When Do Baby Rabbits Open Their Eyes? 3 Best Reasons!
You might be wondering when do baby rabbits open their eyes. To answer directly, it would take them about seven days to do so.
Thumper, my pet rabbit, opened his eyes after two weeks.
It made me worry, and I even thought about opening his eyes to him, which you should never do!
Regardless, Thumper grew and became an active and friendly pal of mine!
Now, let’s proceed to the topic.
When Do Baby Rabbits Open Their Eyes And See The World?
Rabbits are considered to be adorable; how much more when they are still babies?
Seeing a tiny fluff hopping around your yard will surely melt your heart.
That’s one of the reasons why I took Thumper as a pet he was just too adorable.
If your rabbit is pregnant, then congratulations! But expect a load of responsibilities coming your way.
And once your rabbit gives birth, or maybe she already did, then I bet you were impatient to see the baby bunnies open their eyes. It’s understandable.
However, be patient enough as it may take you seven days or maybe three weeks for kittens to open their eyes as this process take lots of time.
The question is:
When do baby rabbits open their eyes?
After 10 to 12 days, your tiny bunnies will now be grown to four inches, covered in fur, and eyes are wide open, ready to be on their own.
Yet, some rabbits coming from other breeds may delay, while some kits would open their eyes earlier, so don’t worry, or better consult your veterinarian to make sure.
Why Are Rabbits’ Eyes Closed For Days After They’re Born?
As I’ve discussed above when do rabbits open their eyes, which would take 10 to 20 days, it does not necessarily mean that they can see right away.
Baby rabbits are still developing, so it might take a while to see clearly.
You see, rabbits grow at different rates, and their breeds contribute to that as well, as some may take two months for kits to see clearly; or maybe they might have health issues that delayed theirs’.
The period after pregnancy is crucial for both the parent and its offspring.
Since the mother is recovering and needs to nurse it’s young as the babies develop their eyes and muscles, so make sure to keep them away from bright light as it may damage their eyesight.
After bunnies are born, I can relate that you will immediately think of what food you would feed them as a pet owner.
As for me, when Thumper was already old enough to be fed, I gave him this food for young rabbits, which he likes very much.
The feed is filled with fiber for healthy digestion and protein for energy, perfect for kits, and even their mothers!
Nevertheless, if you are waiting for your kittens’ eyes to open, you’d want to know why it takes time to happen, right?
Well, here is a list of reasons why rabbits’ eyes are closed at birth:
#1. For the kittens’ protection
A baby’s body is delicate, especially after birth, and this applies to rabbits as well.
Specifically, the eyes, which are not yet developed, should be kept from harm as they are fragile organs.
If a kit’s eyes are not closed at birth, it might get injured while it moves around the nest. Moreover, bright light can damage their eyes; that’s how sensitive a newborn’s eyes are.
Therefore, their eyes are closed to protect them as they develop until it is ready to be opened.
#2. For their mother’s protection too
Pregnancy is a challenging stage in a women’s life for humans and animals. You’d have to tend them 24/7, but not for rabbits.
In the wild, the mother rabbit would leave their young in the nest and come back to feed them once or twice a day.
After birth, the rabbit’s body would need nutrients to recover, and it’s their way to avoid eating their babies too.
Yes, you heard that right!
Rabbits sometimes eat their young if it is weak and in need of survival.
So, they have to leave their kits to search for food; this is where the doe uses her energy and comes back to its babies to nurse them.
That is why baby rabbits don’t need to see yet, as they would most likely stay in the nest until they are ready to go out.
Moreover, you’d want to leave them alone at this point; keep on reading to find out why.
Rabbits And Their Young Ones; Why They Should Be Left Alone?
Are you familiar with the expression “breeding like rabbits?” Rabbits can have at most eight young’s every 28 days!
Can you imagine how many babies rabbits can have in a year? That would be a lot!
Anyways, if your rabbits give birth, it would be best for you to leave them be; here is why:
Mother rabbits visit their young
The mothers always tend to their young, so there is nothing to worry about if you don’t see them every time with their young as they would visit them twice a day.
Allow them to wander
If you see your bunny strolling around, you don’t have to chase and rescue them.
Let the kits be on their own for them to wean.
However, you’d still keep an eye on them as they might get preyed on.
The rabbit may be suffering from a disease
The rabbits may have tularemia, a transmittable bacterial disease, which people can also get.
So, I advise you to use gloves when handling your fluffy pets to avoid such illness and better consult your veterinarian to be diagnosed.
It’s better to leave your cute baby bunnies alone, for they only need their mother to stay alive.
Yet, if you notice that their sick, injured, or dehydrated, bring them to the nearest animal hospital immediately.
Do make sure that after 24 hours from birth, the doe would feed her kittens; if not, you have to ask your veterinarian how.
Can I Open The Eyes Of The Baby Bunnies For Them?
Never open their eyes, no matter how worried you get!
If you noticed that the kits are still closing their eyes after the 12th day, please take them to your veterinarian.
I beg you not to force a rabbit to open its eye; you will make it worse!
It will destroy its eyes, eyelid, and even the facial nerves which could lead to paralysis, blindness, and even death!
What To Feed Baby Bunnies Right After They Are Born?
When they are born, they should be kept in a dark place probably in a card box.
Baby bunnies should be fed with goat milk or kitten milk replacer which can be found at nearby pet stores until they are around 3 weeks old. This is when they would start eating carnations.
After 3 weeks bunnies can take solid food.
When do baby rabbits open their eyes? Again, after 10 to 12 days.
Be patient, and don’t ever force them to open their delicate eyes!
Leave them with their mother, and as a responsible pet owner, monitor and ensure that everything is well and the mother rabbit is fine.
Thank you for reading this article; hopefully, Thumper and I helped you out!
Maria Schultz is a talented writer and a passionate animal lover who brings her expertise in the pet industry to the Petcosset team. With a degree in English and years of experience writing for various pet-related publications, Maria deeply understands the latest news and products in the pet industry. She is dedicated to providing pet owners with the most accurate and up-to-date information to help them take the best possible care of their small friends. When she's not writing about pets, Maria can often spend time with her beloved pets, including a rescue dog and several cats.