If you’ve ever seen a young rabbit, you’ll know that they are one of the cutest things in the world, but you might be wondering if they are born with fur, or when they get their fur if they are born naked. Rabbits are adorable little creatures, with or without fur, but when do they start to grow it?
Baby rabbits have almost no fur when they are first born, but they start to grow their proper fur when they are about seven days old. In the next five days, the fur will thicken and keep growing, until the rabbit has a snug coat of baby fur, which is extremely soft to the touch. As the rabbit ages, it gets its adult fur.
How Long Do Rabbits Take To Grow Fur?
Rabbits are usually born with no fur at all, and they stay this way for a surprisingly long time. If your rabbit is expecting baby rabbits (known as kittens), you may be startled to find that they don’t really start to grow a proper coat until they are around a week old.
At this point, however, their fur should start to come in, and you’ll find they become soft, fluffy little creatures that look like miniatures of their parents. You may notice that this first fur coat doesn’t feel like the adult rabbit fur, but is much softer and fluffier, like cotton wool.
This is the rabbit’s coat of baby fur, and it will keep this until it is at least three months old, sometimes for an entire year. Somewhere between three and twelve months, its coat will gradually be replaced by its adult coat, which is sleeker and not quite so soft to the touch.
What Do Baby Rabbits Look Like?
When a baby rabbit is first born, it will have its eyes closed and it won’t be able to do much more than wriggle feebly. Baby rabbits are totally dependent on their parents to begin with. The mother will guard and feed her babies, which are usually only a couple of inches long and weigh barely two ounces (depending on the breed, of course).
You may be able to tell from a rabbit’s skin what its fur will be like as it grows. Baby rabbits with pale pink skin will usually have light colored or white fur. Babies with darker skin are more likely to have dark fur, and babies with blotches of dark skin on pale pink will have corresponding markings in their fur.
It is very interesting to be able to guess what a rabbit will look like when it gets its first coat, so you might enjoy looking at the babies and studying the patterns on their skin. Their eyes should open at around day ten, and their ears at around day twelve.
Baby rabbits will start to emerge from their nest when they are between three and five weeks old, and their mothers will continue to care for them until they are about six to eight weeks old. At this stage, they are ready to go to new homes.
Can You Touch Baby Rabbits?
You may have heard that you should never handle a baby rabbit, but this isn’t quite true. You won’t frighten the mother away from her young by touching them, and if your rabbit is domesticated, she will have no issue with finding your scent on her babies in most cases.
Wild rabbits should not be handled, however, either as babies or as adults. It is far too stressful for them, and they might even die from the shock and stress. Do not touch baby rabbits in the wild under any circumstances, unless you know that the mother is dead and they are going to die.
In such cases, it may be appropriate to gather up baby rabbits to transport them to a rescue facility. However, you should minimize handling and avoid touching the babies as much as possible, or they may die of stress before you can get them to a rescue.
If your pet rabbit has had babies, though, you are fine to handle them. The mother won’t mind and you may at times need to touch and move the babies. You might want to weigh them, shift them around, or handle them for other reasons.
It is best to minimize the disruptions for the first few days if possible. While you won’t hurt the babies by just touching them gently a few times, you should allow both them and their mother peace and quiet while they all adjust to new family life, and don’t keep picking them up unnecessarily – there will be time for that when they are older!
Baby rabbits grow fur at around a week old, and prior to this, they will be naked and pink. You will see their baby coat coming in after the first week, and their adult coat a few months after that.