Why Do Rabbits Eat Their Young?


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Pet owners have their own perspective to have specific pets in their house. But I guess liking a pet’s behavior is the most common part among every owner.

Rabbit’s behaviors are also cute and attractive. Still, there are some basic instincts of them can be disturbing and hard to agree.

Rabbits kill and eat their Youngs. I know you are shocked if you find it out just now. In this article, we will talk about why do rabbits eat their young?

Why Do Rabbits Eat Their Young?

Rabbit generally does not eat her young willingly. But because of misunderstanding, panic attack, territorial attitude, and some other reasons can happen when a mother rabbit may eat her young.

Read through the article and you will know why do rabbits eat their young and when this happens. I will let you know some other important tips to protect both baby rabbits and their mother.

What Happens When A Rabbit Has Her First Babies?

Before going into deep, we need to know what happens when a rabbit has her babies for the very first time and ready to give birth. This is also the first time for her.

So we need to know about her condition as well as behaviors before and after birth.

  • The mother rabbit will feel overweight than before. And she may stay in teary eyes when she is ready to breed.
  • She will try to make a nest for her upcoming babies. She will try to find a secret place. Maybe she will dig a hole too. She will just try to make a place where she can give birth to her babies.
  • The mother rabbit should seem hungry than usual. Her behavior would be changed. She may try to find more and more foods and if any other animal or any other rabbit comes nearby, she may grunt or thump her feet.
  • She will remain silent mostly and not as active as usual days.
  • A mother rabbit will nurse her babies well. Though she won’t feed the newborns more than twice a day. But she will keep a sharp eye on her babies.
  • She would try to wean her babies. It would take her 8 to 9 weeks. After that, she would feel irritated and totally unwilling to feed milk.

Why Do Rabbit Mothers Eat Their Babies?

After all this caring you must feel disturbed to think and believe why do rabbits eat their young? I mean which mother does that!

Well, this is bitter but true. Many of the owners of having rabbits as pets for more than 2-3 years may have experienced this situation.

There are some possible reasons behind this instinct.

Dead Babies: If a mother rabbit gives birth to some dead baby rabbits then the mother might try to eat them. This is so cruel, still, this happens.

Misunderstanding: Sometimes mother rabbit gets confused between her afterbirth and the baby. Then she eats it, unfortunately.

Gets Panicked: If the mother rabbit is in a panic situation then it may eat the babies to remove her existence and runs away.

Territorial Attitude: There are some rabbits who really don’t want to share their place with others. Even not with her babies! Yeah, sounds disgusting but true.

Should I Keep Away Babies from Mother Rabbit?

When this kind of situation happens, as an owner one must plan to remove the babies from the cruel mother. But baby rabbits need their mother milk for at least 8 to 9 weeks.

Moreover, they need that warm touch of their mother to become familiar with their mother. The mother rabbit also teaches them some specific behaviors of her to her babies.

So, there is no chance to keep away the babies from mother rabbit.

How does A Mother Rabbit care Her Young?

At this point, you should know how a mother rabbit takes care of her babies.

Mother rabbit will keep the babies in a secret and safe place. She will try to stay close to that place.

She will keep a sharp eye if any predator comes nearby. Not only that the mother rabbit will try her best to keep those predators away from her babies.

She will feed the babies twice or once a day. But will make sure her babies’ stomachs are well filled.
She will try to find more foods for herself as she needs to grow milk inside her. After all these, still, some mother rabbits would be found who kill their young and eat them.

How to Stop Rabbits from Eating Their Young?

Aha! Finally, the most expected point may be found, eh? But if you jump over here directly then I would like to tell you that you should please read other parts of the article.

So, what should we do to stop rabbits from eating their young? These are the ways:

  • Before breeding wait for the time when your rabbi gets matured. At least take seven months before breeding. An immature rabbit will not be able to understand her motherhood.
  • Make a safe and secure place for her. While she is pregnant, try to create a hiding place for her and introduce her to the new place so that she might create a plan for giving birth there.
    You can give this type of nest to the mother rabbit for breeding.
  • Feed the mother rabbit more energetic foods. Keep giving hay, grass, and pellets every day. You should allow some fruits to such as guava, pineapple, carrots, and others. But the amount must be within the limit.
  • Make her feel affectionate as before after she gives birth to her babies. Rabbits might feel offended if their behavior changes.
  • Keep the male rabbit away when the mother rabbit is having a relaxed time and taking a rest.
  • Keep a sharp eye on the mother rabbit. If you find any dead baby rabbit she breeds, try to keep that away as soon as possible.

Do Male Rabbits Eat Their Young?

Male rabbits don’t seem to be likely to kill or eat their babies. But baby rabbits should not stay with their dad. If you know, a male rabbit does not have much caring instinct as a mother rabbit has.

Male rabbits may see their babies as opponents and feel disturbed. Although they won’t kill or eat the babies, they might harm them.

Does Mother Rabbit Kill Her Babies If Human Touches Them?

There is a hilarious myth that a mother rabbit kills her babies if anyone touches them. I don’t know where it has come. But this is totally a dumb question.

Those who are breeders, they touch the babies often. But the mother rabbit does not kill her babies.

Things to Consider

One thing to remember, if you follow the rules of how to stop a mother rabbit to kill her babies and still your female rabbit kills again her babies then you should neutered her and never breed her again.

Maybe the rabbit does not want to be a mother at all. Whatever, you now know the ways of a mother rabbit’s breed and when she is likely to eat her babies or not.

You must take the leading part to protect the mother and the babies.


Knowing the result of why do rabbits eat their young can be disturbing and you may feel upset. But that doesn’t make the mother rabbit an evil. It’s just a natural way and that is both complicated and beautiful.

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