We have developed a custom-designed ventilator to deliver a stable pressure to the lungs of small animals for use in imaging experiments. Our ventilator was designed with independent pressure vessels to separately control the Peak Inspiratory Pressure (PIP) and Positive End Expiratory Pressure (PEEP) to minimise pressure fluctuations during the ventilation process. The ventilator was computer controlled through a LabVIEW interface, enabling experimental manipulations to be performed remotely whilst simultaneously imaging the lungs in situ. Mechanical ventilation was successfully performed on newborn rabbit pups to assess the most effective ventilation strategies for aerating the lungs at birth. Highly stable pressures enabled reliable respiratory gated acquisition of projection radiographs and a stable prolonged (15 minute) breath-hold for high-resolution computed tomography of deceased rabbit pups at different lung volumes.