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Rabbit Nutrition

August 07, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

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Don’t just rely on pellets…remember what Peter Rabbit loved about Mr. McGregor’s garden?

Rabbits have a very different digestive tract than most other pets because it can and needs to digest hay.  Many nutrients are actually created by the digestion of hay that is recycled by the rabbit eating its own pellets. Many pet owners do not even know this is occurring because it usually happens at night.  

In order to keep it’s digestive tract running smooth, fiber is necessary. Just feeding your rabbit alfalfa pellets and treats do not support healthy rabbit nutrition and can lead to obesity from excess calories, foot problems, hair balls from lack of fiber and diarrhea as well as other nutritional deficiencies.  Rabbits love to nibble grass and leaves and of course veggies of all types. So create a bunny salad every day and your bunny will love you for it. Also, training your bunny with yummy foods will have him eating right out of your hand!

If the average bunny weighs about 5 pounds, here is an example of his proper daily diet:

  • Oat Hay or Timothy Hay (not alfalfa) to provide abrasive fiber for his digestive system.
  • 1 cup of leafy green vegetables including romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, carrot tops, kale, mustard greens, endive and parsley. You don’t even need to cut it up because bunnies love to nibble.
  • ¼ cup of rabbit pellets.
  • 1 teaspoon (just a few small chunks) of banana, apple, carrots, papaya. Bunnies do love these, but they are considered treats; the greens are more important to his health!
  • As much water as he desires.

Feed your bunny in a heavy glass crock or dish so he does not knock the food all over when he jumps on to nibble. Pellets can be served from a cup hooked to the cage and water is best served by a drip bottle, cleaned and refreshed daily. Provide fresh hay every day and you can even use it as bedding. Just be sure to remove any parts used for elimination.

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