Are Wild Rabbits Born with Fur?


Wild rabbits are the most benign and cute animals that grace our backyards, gardens, and meadows. Rabbits look cute to humans because of their downy appearance due to the fur coat.

Wild bunnies usually have a greyish brown or dark-hued mixture of coarser fur rather than domestic rabbits’ sleek, grey, or white fur. Adult wild rabbits will not be white in the least but have white underparts and cottontails. Therefore, these are also called cottontail rabbits.

They usually have long and velvety fur, but are they born with it? If they are not born with fur, how do they manage to protect themselves from the environment? By which time do they develop it? Read the information below to get all the answers to these questions.

How Are Rabbits Born in The Wild?

A female wild rabbit or doe can have three to eight young rabbits every litter and up to five litters each breeding season. They have a gestation period of thirty days. Baby cottontails are born in underground burrows or nests cushioned with their mother’s fur and covered in the bush or dried grass.

Cottontail mothers visit and feed their young ones once or twice a day, usually at dusk or dawn, to keep the predators away from the location of the nest. Babies are born blind, but they develop quickly and are able to leave the nest at approximately two weeks of age.

Does A Wild Baby Bunny Have Fur When Born?

Wild rabbits are best known for their fluffy coats, yet this is not how they are from the moment the rabbits are born. Being altricial, the newborn rabbits are born naked, with no fur at all regardless of which breed they belong to.

The rabbit’s fur grows from the time they are born until they are a few weeks of age. Then, every day till they’re roughly four weeks old, it keeps growing. Since the baby bunny is born without fur, he cannot keep himself warm. The mama rabbit thus builds the nest and lines it with her own fur to keep her baby warm.

What Does A Newborn Rabbit Look Like?

An infant bunny also called a kit or kitten, is not developed completely when the mother rabbit gives birth. Wild baby bunnies are born blind, deaf, and defenseless. Since they are altricial, they are unable to move and care for themselves.

The babies are immature and naked, which means they are born without fur. The baby rabbit will have no hair at all as it develops, regardless of how much it will have when it is fully grown.

If they’re going to be of light color, most baby bunnies have pink skin. Rabbits with black or brown fur are more likely to have a bit darker skin at birth. They’ll have multicolored fur if their skin is speckled, with black patches among the pink.

How Old Are Wild Rabbits When They Get Fur?

Baby bunnies grow quickly, and this is particularly helpful for wild rabbits. The earlier the newborns can see, hear, and run away from danger, the better their chances of survival are. To stay warm, they must, of course, develop fur.

Most baby wild bunnies begin to develop smooth, soft peach fuzz by the age of three days. This is actually the rabbit’s undercoat, the very first layer of the rabbit’s fur. It isn’t thick already to keep them warm in the meantime. Most baby rabbits produce a soft baby coat when they are seven days old.

After that, a fine, thin, silky coating of fur will cover the majority of their loose skin and body. Their feet, belly, nose, and ears may still be pink.

How Long Does Rabbit Fur Take To Grow?

The babies’ fur will appear thicker and coarser every time you check on them. Daily, you’ll be able to see their fur change. Rabbits develop a full coat of fur by the 12th day, and this fur is thick enough to insulate the body against atmospheric heat or cold.

This baby coat will transform into the intermediate coat when the baby is 4 to 6 weeks old. Longer guard hairs and downy hairs make up this type of coat. Wild rabbits are fully weaned by this time of their age and are ready to leave the family group.

The intermediate coat will become thicker with time and is eventually replaced by the adult coat between the age of 4 to 12 months. Adult coats are lengthier, sleeker, more insulating, and more protective than any of the subadult or intermediary coats. The development of a complete coat of fur enhances skin protection and activity level.

Can You Touch A Wild Baby Rabbit’s Fur?

There is this famous myth about touching a wild baby bunny. You also probably would have heard somewhere that a human should never touch a rabbit kitten. It is believed that a person transfers his human scent to the baby through his touch.

If this happens, the mother will not recognize her baby’s scent and will reject him. Luckily this is only a myth, and nothing is true about it. It is said that this myth started when parents wanted to stop their kids from disturbing a wild rabbit’s nest.

It is because the baby rabbits are extremely sensitive, and any type of rough handling by young children can harm them.

You can touch a baby rabbit, and it won’t affect them because human odor does not affect rabbits. Likewise, the parent rabbits will smell their baby’s aroma beneath yours and won’t be bothered by it.

This is especially true for those rabbits that have been bred to feel at ease in human environments. But remember to be soft while touching them.

Why Does Bunnies’ Fur Change Color?

Stop worrying about baby rabbits changing the colors of their fur. These small animals change colors every three months. A bit older baby bunnies change colors after 4-5 months, while other adult rabbits change colors twice a year.

What new color will rabbits produce depends on the time of the year to a great extent after their genetic makeup? In summer, most rabbits have darker fur colors because of more exposure to sunlight, resulting in more melanin production and darker colors.

In cold weather, rabbits have light-colored fur. It’s because of less sunlight exposure and less melanin. In regions with cold climates, the fur turns completely white due to no exposure to sunshine at all.

Why Do Baby Bunnies Lose Fur?

Young wild baby bunnies lose some of their furs every 3-4 months. It’s perfectly normal, and we call it moulting. How do you think they change the color of their fur? A rabbit dyeing his fur, well, that’s not going to happen. So, of course, he sheds the older fur and replaces it with a new fur having a new color.

Do Adult Rabbits Lose Fur Too?

Yes, adult rabbits lose fur too. It happens twice a year, in Autumn and Spring. Moreover, a pregnant wild rabbit loses her fur for the sake of newborn rabbits.

While they are pregnant, rabbit mothers pull out their fur from the back and the belly themselves and keep it in the nest and around it. Then, as the baby rabbits are born hairless, this fur can keep the babies warm.

Besides these, if a rabbit is losing too much fur that’s more than usual, it might be alopecia. It’s a disease that results in hair loss in rabbits. So it’s better to go through its symptoms and causes to keep the bunny safe.

What If A Wild Baby Rabbit Has Been Abandoned?

Wild baby rabbits are scarcely abandoned by their mothers. Sometimes it seems like the mother has abandoned the babies, but that’s not the case. Rabbit mothers nurse their babies once a day for 5-10 minutes.

Then, they leave the nest box early in the morning and stay away from it the whole day. Mother rabbits spend most of their time because they won’t attract predators, and the babies will be safe in the nest. Then the mother rabbits return to the rabbit nest in the evening.

To check if the baby bunny has really been abandoned or not, you need to check for the entire day. Staying on the watch 24/7 is not possible, right? Instead, you can set some loose net or strings on the ground and see if its pattern has been changed or not. In the former case, the mum visited the babies, while in the latter one, it’s an orphaned bunny for sure.

Let them stay in the nest for orphaned rabbits and reach out for a vet as soon as possible. In case the nest is destroyed, dig a shallow hole, build a nest and do your best to keep them warm. If you find some fur in the old nest, add it to the new one. It’s probably the mother’s fur and the best thing to keep them warm.

Don’t do anything that can make the animals sick and wait until professionals or the team you contacted find you.

What If A Wild Rabbit Has Been Injured?

Stray cats attack and kill wild rabbits immediately to treat themselves to a tasty meal. Unlike feral cats, whom we also call stray cats, house cats maul wild baby bunnies the worst way. They catch bunnies just for playing around; you will mostly find them skinning baby bunnies alive.

In addition, they might get attacked by dogs and by more dangerous animals, including snakes and foxes. In fact, uncountable scenarios are resulting in an injured wild bunny. So whatever the case is, if you find an injured rabbit, run to a local emergency rabbit vet. It’s better to avoid self-made remedies.

Sometimes The Baby Rabbit Is Not Actually Injured

You might find a wild baby rabbit constantly crying in its nest. It’s not because it’s injured but because it’s hungry. It’s better to leave him crying in its nest, as taking him out can be dangerous for him. Also, you might not be able to handle him properly, harming the baby unwillingly.

What To Do To Protect The Wildlife?

Wild bunnies visiting your backyard can get injured by your other pets. Cat owners need to provide managed outdoor habitats for their cats or hang a bell in their neck so that wild bunnies will be alarmed. They might build a nest in your backyard if you have long grass in it.

Moreover, lawn chemicals can produce convulsing death in them. It might be because of the chemicals being released from the toxic plants. They can rarely survive such chemicals.

So, it’s best to remove stone piles, brush piles, and litter, cut the grass short, and avoid spraying lawn chemicals in your backyard, as they are not good for your pets too.

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