How To Tell If Mother Rabbit Is Feeding Babies?

When baby rabbits (kits) are born, they must get proper nutrition from their mother through nursing. However, mother rabbits only feed their young once or twice a day for a few minutes at a time. New rabbit owners often worry that the doe isn’t feeding the kits enough, as it’s rare to observe the actual nursing.

Fortunately, there are some simple ways to evaluate if the babies are getting fed without constant monitoring. Paying attention to the kits’ growth and activity levels and checking the nest area provides reassurance that the mother rabbit is adequately caring for her offspring.

However, after reading the whole article you will learn the practical process of identifying whether the baby rabbits are fed or not. Let’s explore the secrets.

How to Tell If Mother Rabbit Is Feeding Babies?

Here is an in-depth answer on how to tell if a mother rabbit is feeding her babies:

Signs the Mother Rabbit is Feeding Her Babies

Observe the Kits’ Growth

  • Weigh kits daily – they should gain about 10 grams per day. Steady weight gain indicates the kits are nursing properly.
  • Note fuller stomachs and more alertness after feeding.
  • Look for a milk band – a white line on the belly when full. It disappears as food digests.
How To Tell If Mother Rabbit Is Feeding Babies

Monitor Activity Levels

  • Well-fed kits sleep quietly 90% of the time, Only active for a brief period after nursing.
  • Listen for increased squeaking and movement right before feeding times. Quietness after indicates satiation.

Check the Nest

  • Look for scattered nursing hair – molted fur doe uses to line nest.
  • Smell for milk – the nest will have a sweet, creamy scent.
  • Feel for warmth – kits will keep the nest area warm.

Observe the Mother

  • Does may spend long periods away from the nest. This is normal.
  • Well-fed doesn’t display signs of mastitis like dehydration, lethargy, and poor coat condition.

By combining these observations, you can determine if the mother is adequately nourishing her litter without needing to intervene or disrupt bonding time. If you have concerns, consult an experienced rabbit veterinarian. But in most cases, the doe’s natural mothering instincts will meet the kits’ needs.

How To Tell If Wild Mother Rabbit Is Feeding Babies?

If you find the body of the wild baby bunny is warm and the skin of the belly is not wrinkled, that means the wild mother rabbit is feeding her babies.

So, the process is the same as the domestic and wild bunny for identifying. If you find the wild baby bunnies are warm and healthy, keep them in the nest. Their mother is taking care of them. So, you don’t need to nurse them.

How to Make a Mother Rabbit Feed Her Babies?  

Mother rabbits usually feed two times a day to her babies. You know rabbits are prey animals. She never feeds her babies in front of you or other people. Momma rabbit feeds her babies in the very early morning and evening.

So, at first, check whether the mom bunny feeds her babies or not. If you are sure that the momma bunny doesn’t feed her babies, then you could take action.

First, check the condition of the baby bunny. Are they still alive? If yes, keep them in the nesting box. Now, grab the momma bunny and hand-feed the baby bunny from her nipple.

How To Tell If Wild Mother Rabbit Is Feeding Babies

How Long Can Baby Rabbits Survive Without Being Fed?

The baby rabbits can survive for 3-4 days maximum without being fed. Usually, the momma bunny feeds her babies twice a day. After 3-4 days, the baby bunny will die.

In nature, most of the baby bunnies can not survive. You know rabbits are prey animals. In most cases, the momma bunny is killed by other animals. Even the wild bunny can not survive more than a year in the wild. Although their life span is 5-10 years.

Find an Orphaned rabbit in your backyard? Read this article to learn about the care of orphaned rabbits.

What Time Do Rabbits Feed Their Babies?

In the wild, the momma bunny feeds her babies after dusk and before dawn. If she feeds once a day, she feeds her baby before 5 am.

Rabbit milk is very nutritious. The baby bunny can remain warm and healthy for 24 hours. Even they can survive for 3 to 4 days after drinking their mom’s milk.

I hope you have understood the whole process regarding feeding the milk of the baby bunny. Feel free to share this article with other lovers. Thanks for reading. 


Observing the growth, activity, and general health of the litter provides plenty of insight into whether nursing is taking place successfully. Mother rabbits know best when it comes to caring for their babies, so avoid unnecessary intervention. With some simple checks and a watchful yet patient eye, owners can feel assured that the doe is providing her kits all the nourishment they need to grow and thrive in those precious first weeks.


Alex is a full-time rabbit lover and part-time Biologist. He is a proud parent of two rabbits. It's his childhood dream to rescue endangered animals and make the world better for living.

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