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When Do Baby Rabbits Open Their Eyes? Vet-Approved Ocular Anatomy Information

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

New Born Rabbits

Vet approved

Dr. Luqman Javed Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If your rabbit has had babies (known as kits), you’re probably excited to learn everything you can. Baby rabbits are some of the cutest newborn animals of all! Since these little guys and gals are born deaf, blind, and hairless, you might wonder when they will be able to see the world for the first time.

The real answer is it depends! Some open their eyes sooner than others, but they generally open their eyes when they are around 10 days old.


When Bunnies Open Their Eyes

When the baby rabbits, or kits, are born, they are both blind and deaf. However, they develop very quickly in the first few weeks of life. They begin to grow their hair when they are just around 2-3 days old. Their eyes are soon to follow and typically completely open by the time they are 10 days old.

By 6-8 weeks, the kits are fully weaned and out on their own with developed sight and no need for their mother to look after them! The ability to grow rapidly is important for rabbits, as they are a prey species. Maturing quickly to reproduce ensures their numbers do not dwindle in the wild. As pets, though, this proliferation can be quite a handful for an owner and make a serious dent in their wallets. For this reason, and for health reasons, you should neuter and spay your rabbit kits.

Adorable baby rabbit on green garden nature background
Image Credit: UNIKYLUCKK, Shutterstock

Nest Box Eyes: What Is It and How to Treat It?

Nest box eyes typically happen with baby rabbits as they are developing. The eyes start to open and then become irritated due to hay and debris in the bedding space. This causes a crust to form on the eyelid, sealing the eyes shut.

If it has been beyond 12 days and one of your bunnies still cannot open its eyes, you should look into this matter further. If you suspect this condition, have your vet take a look at your kits. In addition to a medical checkup, veterinarians can help remedy this issue. They gently help massage and clean the eye with a soft, slightly damp cloth of appropriate material.

Though experienced rabbit keepers can do this on their own, it’s important to not risk it if it’s your first time dealing with baby rabbits. If you’re too rough, you could permanently damage their eyes. This issue can be avoided by ensuring your rabbit’s nest has good hygiene and is kept clean.

How Good Is a Rabbit’s Vision?

A rabbit’s normal field of vision is between 150-175° (degrees). Because their eyes are placed on the sides of their head, their overlapped vision is quite minimal and is usually just around 10-35°, depending on the strain and breed of the rabbit.

Rabbits can widen their field of vision by moving their eyes and tilting their head upwards. This increases their field of vision to about (but not quite) 360°. However, this field of vision isn’t a permanent feature and will go away once they rest their head back down to a neutral position.

wild rabbit while eating a blade of grass
Image Credit: Alemaz, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

Rabbits develop quickly once they are born. However, they come into this world naked and defenseless. They take roughly 3 weeks to develop fully—but their eyes start to open around the 10-day mark.

If you’re expecting a litter, do lots of research so mama stays healthy and stress-free and the bunnies grow adequately.

Featured Image Credit: Roselynne, Shutterstock

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