Pet Rabbit Food

You can feed many types of food to your pet rabbit. Many of these types of food can be bought from a pet store. However, it is important to understand what should constitutes the major diet of a rabbit to enable the rabbit to grow healthy. Once you know the basics about a rabbit pet’s diet, you then can vary them in accordance to the rabbit’s preference. Rabbits also have different preference when it comes to diet. This may sound surprising to you, but not all rabbits love carrots. It is important to understand your rabbit’s preference while ensuring that they get the most basic diet to support their health.

 

In all cases, fibre is the most important to the proper functioning of the digestive system in a rabbit. They are many source of fibre in a rabbit’s food. The easiest fibre that you can obtain and in great quantity too, is through hay. Fresh grass hay and vegetables should form the major portion of a rabbit’s diet. Many rabbit pets may prefer pellet to hay. The main reason is that they have grown up eating pellets instead of hay. It may no be easy to change their diet immediately, but you can still try to introduce it gradually.

 

Rabbit pellets contains fibre but it is finely ground and does not easily stimulate the intestinal functions of the rabbit digestive system. Rabbits that feed on just pellets also grow obese and they may be digestive problems. Roughage found in hay is also important in preventing hair balls. Rabbits spent considerable time everyday grooming themselves and in the process ingested much fur into their digestive system. Unlike cat that can cough out fur ball, rabbits can’t. The roughage in hay actually helps the rabbit to pass out the fur that they have ingested. As a matter of fact, it is strongly suggested that fresh hay should be made available all day long.

 

Some rabbits may not take much hay especially if you are introducing it to them for the first time. For younger bunnies that are less than 6 months old, start them with alfalfa hay. When they get older, you may want to switch over gradually to grass hay such as timothy hay. It is good to feed rabbits older than 1 year old with grass hay. Alfalfa hay is higher in calcium and protein but they are lower in fibre than grass hay. It is not surprising to find that most rabbits would prefer alfalfa hays. If your adult rabbit do not like grass hay, then try to start by mixing alfalfa and grass hay together. Adding fresh hay a couple of times a day may help.

 

Most of the times, rabbits may just survive on commercial pellets and hay. However, if possible, then you should try feeding rabbit with two to four cups of fresh vegetables every day. Whichever new rabbit food that you introduce to the rabbit, you should always introduce them gradually rather than suddenly changing them. Rabbit’s digestive system should be given the time to adjust. Only introduce one new vegetable to the diet at a time so that if the rabbits have diarrhoea or other problems, then you are able to tell which vegetable is the cause and you should stop feeding your rabbit with that type of vegetable.

 

There are many types of vegetables that is suitable for a rabbit. These include carrots, carrot tops, parsley, broccoli, mustard greens, lettuce and spinach. However, you should note that kale, spinach and mustard greens are high in oxalates and so, their feeding should be limited to no more than three times in a week. Avoid beans, cauliflower, cabbage and potatoes as these may cause problems. Rhubarb should be avoided altogether as they are toxics. Always wash your vegetable in running water to ensure that all dirts and remains of pesticides or insecticides are completely washed off.

 

You can try introducing vegetables to your bunnies when they are about 12 weeks old. Always introduce them in small quantity. Over the years, you would have added a larger variety of vegetables and reduce the amount of pellet intake. However, note that if your rabbits are underweight, then you may still want to continue to keep the amount of pellets available.

 

Pellets are quite high in calories. So, many house rabbits that do not get adequate exercise and fed with just commercial pellets may end up being obese and may develop related health problems. Even though pellets may be balanced in nutrient, it is still good to compensate any reduction with fresh vegetables and grass hays. If you are feeding pellets, choose only good quality pellet. These should contain a minimum of 20 to 25% fibre, about 14% protein and less than 1% calcium. Adult rabbits should have their pellet intake regulated depending on the size of the rabbits. Baby rabbits may be fed pellets as much as they can eat, but gradually regulated to ½ cup as they grow older.

 

Rabbits love treats and have sweet tooth. You may want to feed your rabbits with 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh fruit everyday as treat. There are also other form of treats sold in pet store that are available for rabbits, but you may want to limit the intake of these commercial products as they can contain very high carbohydrate or sugar content. Rabbits love bananas and very few rabbits would resist them. You may only provide treats as a reward for good behaviour. Commercially produced treats such as corn nuggets may be more convenient to be served as treats during your pet rabbits clicker training session.

 

If you are about to have baby rabbits and wonder what kind of food or milk is suitable for baby rabbits, then you can consider kitten milk replacer formula. Try to get those in powder form as these are usually more long-lasting. Forget about using feeding bottles for cats or small pets as most of the time, these are really too big for the bunnies tiny mouth. Use feeding syringe instead. These usually works best. Serve milk warm as they resemble the doe’s milk and rabbit will more likely want to take it. No matter what rabbit milk replacer that you use, note that nothing can be better than the original rabbit mom’s milk and the rabbit mom should be allowed time to nurse their young, no matter how brief is the time.

 

Copyright 2008 - 2013 Pet Rabbits | Kids Hanger