Pregnant rabbits crave meat?

by Al
(Modesto, CA)

I've heard that pregnant rabbits crave meat, and to keep them from eating their young a piece of bacon should be hung in their cage a few days before she is to deliver. Does anyone know if this is true.

***Karen Sez***
Wow, that's a new one.
We'll have to bust that myth and say *no,* not true. Rabbits are true herbivores, meaning they never eat meat.

IF rabbits eat their young, it is out of fear as a survival instinct, not from hunger.

But: when pregnant, their need for protein goes up. Bacon contains more fat (and chemicals) than protein, but fat supplies nutrients that help optimize the rabbit's use of protein. (That said, we don't know of ANY breeders that offer bacon to their rabbits!)

The usual source of protein and fat in a rabbit's diet is plant-based. Normally, rabbit breeders simply increase the amount of feed a pregnant rabbit receives, or switch from a 15-16% protein feed to an 18% protein one. You can also supplement rabbit pellets with fresh garden forages (no pesticides), and add a high-protein supplement such as Calf Manna. And, if you dampen the calf manna with wheat germ oil (just a few drops per serving), you will have added protein, fat and fat-soluble nutrients.

But bottom line - if you're feeding fresh rabbit pellets, you really shouldn't need to add anything - the pellets are a complete feed, making your life simple! Just ensure peace and quiet for your doe while she kindles, and all should be well.

Any rabbit breeders out there that feed bacon to pregnant does???

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Apr 30, 2021
Bacon for Rabbits
by: Tammy

Myself and all of my friends who raise rabbits have always given them a piece of bacon the day before they are due to kindle. We find that when we do this, for whatever reason, they do not eat their kits.

***** Karen Sez *****
I'm not sold on the advisability of the practice, although I've heard of it. For me, that ranks in the category of coincidence.

Do you or any of your friends happen to have or to know a rabbit-savvy veterinarian? If so, I'd love to know a vet's opinion on this practice.

Jul 23, 2019
Really? Seriously?
by: jacklinz

Of all meat there is to feed anything, BACON would be the LAST on my list. It is full of chemicals and toxins.

Feeding a rabbit a change of diet is risky, then adding to it something full of toxins and on top of that something they are not meant to eat (really? They actually eat it?). Is asking for trouble i think.

Mar 26, 2019
Feeding meat to pregnant does
by: Anonymous

I always raised rabbits even as a child. When mom had one eat her babies she asked a experienced rabbit farmer nearby who told her they only do that out of survival instinct due to low protein levels, and to feed either a piece of raw meat or high protein grain free dog or cat food. I offer dry pet food about 3 days before due date and never lose any.

Sep 11, 2013
Never feed meat products
by: Robyn

Rabbits don't eat meat, they are vegetarian, their digestive tract isn't designed for it. believe me they don't kill their young because they are hungry! Instead feed them suitable high protein vegetables like spinach, broccoli and their leaves, sprouts, all have 4% protein, carrots, turnip greens, chives, kale, cauliflower greens, collards, and parsley, all have 3% protein. Your rabbit will not only love it, but their digestive track won't go into shock.

***** Karen Sez *****
In the big scheme, 4% protein is LOW, given that rabbits need a minimum of 12% protein for sedentary non-producing animals. I'm all for feeding veggies (organic and pesticide free), but rabbits really do fare best when the bulk of their diet is a good quality fresh commercial pellet. No meat required.

Agreed that rabbits are herbivores. Sure wish I knew where the crazy idea of feeding meat to rabbits came from!

Dec 09, 2011
bacon for rabbits
by: Clear Ranch

I have heard of some people doing this. I never personally have. I have only had a couple of rabbits eat their kits, out of the two does that did that both where first time breeders. One went on to be one of our best breeding does and my daughter won Grand Champion with a pen from one of her litters. The second doe we tried two more times to breed, she never ate the kits again, but she never took care of them, some does are like that. It was really ashamed because she was a winning show rabbit and we were looking forward to her babies. We did successfully foster one of her kits and it lived, but even though we marked it, all said and done we could not tell the difference between the foster kit, and the other kits. Some does just don't make good moms. In the 3 yrs we have been breeding I have only had the one doe that would never take her litter so I guess we have been lucky :0)

That being said I don't think bacon will fix the problem.

Nov 20, 2011
Bacon for does
by: Anonymous

Went to a rabbit show and many said to feed the bacon to prevent the does from eating their young. Haven't done it myself, plan to try it as my does have lost their minds and ate all babies born.

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