What Food do Baby Pandas Eat? (9 Things You Should Know!)

Most mammals feed their young with their mother’s milk. However, we all know that giant pandas rely on eating bamboo. If that is the case, what food do baby pandas eat?

Here’s the answer!

In the first six months, a panda cub purely relies on its mother’s milk. After six months of breast milk feeding, the panda cub will start eating bamboo and some other food like vegetables and fruits.

However, a panda cub is so vulnerable that they need attention and assistance.

This assistance covers what they eat and what they do even after their first birthday.

By this time a panda cub can weigh around 75 pounds, but the care and assistance continue.

It lasts for another six months before baby pandas can go on their own.

These Sounds interesting, right? 

Let’s find out what other food a baby panda can eat in this article.

Do baby pandas eat fish?

No, baby pandas do not eat fish. and they sometimes catch fish as their food.

Matured Pandas will sometimes catch and eat fish but not the baby panda. They love to spend time in the water to cool off or to play. If they do happen upon a small fish, they might catch it and eat it.

Do baby pandas eat poop?

Yes, baby pandas eat poop.

The major food Giant pandas eat is bamboo. However, baby pandas cannot bite it because it is hard.

This is due to their sterile intestine and delicate tissues. Hence, they eat their mother’s feces to obtain the required nutrients and bacteria.

The bacteria will help digest the bamboo when panda cubs finally eat them.

Do baby pandas eat meat?

No, baby pandas do not eat meat.

Baby pandas are tender and young thus, can not hunt down other animals for food.

But their wild parents eat meat sometimes because they can chase down other small animals for food.

Though pandas have made bamboo their primary source of food, their digestive system is built to digest meat.

Recent research done by a team of scientists tells that pandas changed from being carnivores to herbivores about 2.4 million years ago.

However, this change did not affect their digestive makeup; everything remains the same.

Recommended Reading For Full Guide: Can Giant Pandas Eat Meat or Small Animals?

Do baby pandas eat grass?

Photo of a bamboo

Yes of course! Baby pandas eat grass.

At 1-6 months, the panda cub is still dependent on its mother’s milk and poop. But from 7 months it is old enough to eat bamboo.

Bamboo is simply a green kind of grass that grows in warm and moist temperature conditions. An example is the hilly areas of China.

Baby pandas eat every part of the bamboo stick, even the shoots, leaves, and stems.

What do baby pandas drink?

Baby pandas drink milk.

Panda cubs increase their weight at a fast pace by drinking milk. They suckle on their mother’s breast about 14 times daily.

Laurie Thompson, an assistant giant pandas keeper in China explained that when baby pandas are born, they have their mothers feed them with their colostrum breast milk as much as they want every day.

This feeding habit helps the baby pandas grow bigger and faster.

Do baby pandas drink water?

Yes, Baby Pandas drink water.

From 7 to 9 months when baby pandas are old enough to eat bamboo, they get their water from the bamboo they eat.

Unfortunately, this water is not enough for them so they also drink fresh water from streams and rivers when they are a bit older to move. 

They drink water just once or maybe twice a day because the bamboo shoots they eat supply more than 60% of the water they need every day.

When it is spring, the bamboo shoots are abundant. As a result, baby pandas can stay one or two days without drinking water.

How long do baby pandas eat?

Baby pandas spend almost all their day eating. 

They drink milk from the day they are born till their sixth month when they are old enough to eat bamboo.

These cute panda cubs spend up to 10-16 hours every day eating bamboo stems and shoots.

How much does a baby panda eat a day?

Newly born pandas eat up to 14 times every day by suckling their mother’s breast milk.

Though they don’t form much inside their mother’s belly, baby pandas make up for this small size 48 hours after birth by eating so much.

Subsequently, at about one month, the mother of the baby pandas decides to take a leave of carrying them all day long.

She begins to put them on the floor and then leave them for water and food.

Finally, in their sixth to the seventh month, baby pandas start to grow teeth and crawl. 

They proceed to eat about 10-15 kg of bamboo every day while staying with their mother – an indication that the panda cubs are set for the next stage of their growth.

How do pandas feed their babies?

The panda mothers take good care of their panda cubs by carrying and cuddling them in their arms just like a human mother would do.

They hold their babies in their hands and feed them with milk and never allow them out of her sight no matter what.

These young pandas need this care and protection because they are tender and helpless; owing to that other animals might want to eat them.

Final Thoughts

Before you leave, here are the key takeaway points in this article.

Baby pandas purely depend on their mother’s milk!

After six months of taking milk, they start eating bamboo and sometimes vegetables & fruits.

They also eat their mother’s poop to get the necessary nutrients required for their growth.

Panda cubs do not eat fish or meat owing to their delicate nature and their inability to hunt them down for food. 

Panda mothers feed their babies by carrying them in their arms and feeding them milk. 

She feeds them up to 14 times a day and this takes her about 10-16 hours daily.

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Do you want to learn how adorable baby pandas are? Here are 8 facts you should know about baby pandas!