On average, a rabbit lives to be about 8 to 10 years old. But with proper nutrition and welfare, it can live to be 11 or 12! Like any pet, rabbits have age-specific needs. So to properly care for your rabbit, it’s important to understand its various stages of life and what they entail. Is your young bunny still a kitten, or already an adult buck or doe?
A young bunny opens its eyes and discovers the world when it’s about 2 weeks old. Baby bunnies still need milk then, but you can introduce quality hay when they’re around 3 weeks. At about 6-8 weeks, they’re no longer hanging off their mother and are mostly eating pellets as food, rather than just hay.
3 months to 1 year
A rabbit that’s younger than twelve months is called a kitten, although some large breeds are considered mature at nine months.
Make sure your young animal has plenty of space in which to live and play. A kitten is curious and active, so it needs time outside the enclosure every day to stretch its legs. As for diet, provide muesli (granola) or extruded pellets with all the extra vitamins and minerals your young bunny needs for healthy growth.
1 to 5 years
Although adult rabbits still have specific nutritional needs, they grow more slowly or not at all, depending on the breed. An adult male rabbit is called a buck, and a female rabbit is called a doe.
Adult rabbits tend to be sluggish and lazy. Exercise and mental stimulation keep them physically and mentally healthy. Changing your rabbit's habitat from time to time can help reduce boredom - consider creating a new hideout or tunnel.
Using specially developed extruded pellets as food will keep your buck or doe in good condition.
From 5 years onward
For older rabbits, you should tailor the diet according to its/their overall condition and take any health problems into consideration. Although it's not always the case, two things tend to happen to many older rabbits. Either they lose a lot of weight, or they become obese.
Pellets prevent selective eating behavior, keep your rabbit in optimal health and ensure healthy urinary tracts.