Baby bunny food list
Food & Diet | House Rabbit Society
merged from https://rabbit.org/care/food-diet/
What kind of food is best for rabbits? Rabbits need a balanced diet of hay, fresh greens, a little fruit, and a few pellets.
Large, unlimited amounts of fresh hay should be offered daily. Young bunnies should be introduced to hay as soon as they can eat on their own. Mixed grass hay or Timothy hay is preferred because it is lower in calories and calcium than alfalfa.
Use a good quality, high fiber alfalfa or timothy based pellet as a small part of your rabbit’s diet.
Feed a minimum of 1 cup vegetables for each 4 lbs. of body weight. Select at least three types of vegetables daily. A variety is necessary in order to obtain the necessary nutrients, with one each day that contains Vitamin A, indicated by an *. Add one vegetable to the diet at a time. Introduce gradually and eliminate if it causes soft stools or diarrhea.
Limit fruits to 1-2 tablespoons per 5 lbs. of body weight (none if dieting) from the list below of high fiber fruits. Sugary fruits such as bananas and grapes should be used only sparingly, as occasional treats. Bunnies have a sweet tooth and if left to their own devices will devour sugary foods to the exclusion of healthful ones.
Alfalfa, radish & clover sprouts
Beet greens (tops)*
Broccoli (mostly leaves/stems)*
Carrot & carrot tops*
Dandelion greens and flowers (no pesticides)*
Lettuce: Romaine, Red or Green leaf (no iceberg or light colored leaf)*
Pea pods (the flat edible kind)*
Please note that there is currently dispute within the scientific community regarding the levels of oxalates and goitrogens in kale. Many of our rescuers have fed kale daily, combined with other veggies, with no ill effects. Others have found that kale fed in large amounts on a daily basis may contribute to bladder sludge and other health issues. HRS encourages you to make your own decisions on how you feed kale to your rabbit based on this information, and when solid, undisputed research is found we will update this and other articles relating to feeding kale.
Orange (including peel)
Absolutely NO chocolate (poisonous!), cookies, crackers, breakfast cereals, bread, pasta, yogurt drops or other “human treats.” There is research to suggest these items may contribute to fatal cases of enterotoxemia, a toxic overgrowth of “bad” bacteria in the intestinal tract.
What are the basics of a good house rabbit diet?
A rabbit’s diet should be made up of good quality pellets, fresh hay (timothy, other grass hays, or oat hay), water and fresh vegetables. Anything beyond that is a “treat” and should be given in limited quantities.
What makes a good pellet?
Pellets should be fresh, and should be relatively high in fiber (18% minimum fiber). Do not purchase more than 6 weeks worth of feed at a time, as it will become spoiled. Pellets should make up less of a rabbit’s diet as he or she grows older, and hay should be available 24 hours a day. Alfalfa pellets are fine for younger rabbits but timothy pellets are preferred for older rabbits.
What kinds of veggies should I feed my rabbit?
When shopping for vegetables, look for a selection of different veggies–look for both dark leafy veggies. Stay away from beans and rhubarb. Here’s a suggested veggie list.
Is feeding hay important?
Hay is essential to a rabbit’s good health, providing roughage which reduces the danger of hairballs and other blockages. Find out where to buy hay in the united states here.
What quantities of food should I feed babies and “teenagers”?
- Birth to 3 weeks–mother’s milk (tips for orphan feeding)
- 3 to 4 weeks–mother’s milk, nibbles of alfalfa and pellets
- 4 to 7 weeks–mother’s milk, access to alfalfa and pellets
- 7 weeks to 7 months–unlimited pellets, unlimited hay (plus see 12 weeks below)
- 12 weeks–introduce vegetables (one at a time, quantities under 1/2 oz. )
What quantities of food should I feed young adults? (7 months to 1 year)
- introduce timothy hay, grass hay, oat hay, and other hays; decrease alfalfa
- decrease pellets to 1/2 cup per 6 lbs. body weight
- increase daily vegetables gradually; make sure your rabbit can tolerate
- fruit daily ration no more than 1 oz. to 2 oz. per 6 lbs. body weight (because of calories)
What quantities of food should I feed mature adults? (1 to 5 years)
- Unlimited timothy, grass hay, oat hay
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup pellets per 6 lbs. body weight (depending on metabolism and/or proportionate to veggies)
- Minimum 2 cups chopped vegetables per 6 lbs. body weight; always introduce vegetables and greens slowly to make sure your rabbit can tolerate
- fruit daily ration no more than 2 oz. (2 Tbs) per 6 lbs. body weight.
What quantities of food should I feed senior rabbits? (Over 6 years)
- If sufficient weight is maintained, continue adult diet
- Frail, older rabbits may need unrestricted pellets to keep weight up. Alfalfa can be given to underweight rabbits, only if calcium levels are normal. Annual blood workups are highly recommended for geriatric rabbits.
If I feed fewer pellets, how do I compensate?
When you feed a lower quantity (or no) of pellets, you must replace the nutritional value without the calories, which is done by increasing the vegetables. Also, a variety of hay must be encouraged all day long, we do this by offering fresh hay a couple of times a day.
Primary Author(s): Marinell Harriman
Sources: HRH, various articles from the HRJ, RHN
Updated 3/8/2022 with additional links
More rabbit food information:
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What To Feed Baby Rabbits — Rabbit Care Tips
The first six months of a rabbit’s life are pivotal to their long-term health. At this key stage of their development, a rabbit is constantly growing. Their diet needs to reflect this fact. Ensuring that your baby rabbit is sufficiently nourished will mean healthy bones and muscle mass into adulthood.
Hay and water are essential foods. Baby rabbits need more protein, so give them pellets and alfalfa hay. Your rabbit should be weaned. If not, use kitten or goat milk to imitate their mother’s milk.
Make sure that you get a baby rabbit into good eating habits. It’s tempting to overfeed young rabbits, but this can lead to obesity in later life. When their growth spurts subside, your rabbit needs less protein and more fiber. We will explain what the optimal diet plan for a baby rabbit is. You should also read our comprehensive guide to caring for baby rabbits.
New owners are sometimes surprised to learn what baby rabbits eat. Excessive carrots and iceberg lettuce can cause health issues. Instead, domesticated rabbits mainly sustain themselves on hay.
This replicates the experience of wild bunnies, which graze on grass all day. It would be impossible to provide a pet rabbit with enough grass to sustain itself. Hay is a substitute, and pet rabbits munch on it throughout the day.
In addition to hay, rabbits enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables and specialist pellets. The former must be offered sparingly. Too many vegetables can cause a stomach upset.
Pellets are also optional once a rabbit reaches adulthood. Pellets are critical for young and baby rabbits, as they provide a range of vitamins and nutrients. They’re also calorific. Pellets must be reduced in quantity as the rabbit gets older. Don’t panic if your rabbit has stopped eating pellets.
Hydration is also just as important to a rabbit. Bunnies must always have access to fresh water. You can provide this in a bowl, or a bottle that’s attached to their hutch.
What to Feed Pet Rabbits
The three core elements of a rabbit’s diet are pellets, hay, and fresh vegetables. If we were to draw a diagram of a bunny’s needs, hay would be at the base as the most critical.
This is because a rabbit’s digestive tract is engineered to process the fiber found in grass. There are several different types of hay available, each with slightly different qualities.
- Grass Hay (aka Meadow Hay or Timothy Hay). This is the most popular hay feed among rabbit owners. This hay is fresh grass that has been cut and dried out. This means that it replicates a wild rabbit’s diet.
- Oat Hay. This hay is made up of oat grass, which is harvested before blooming. Once the oat blooms, this hay no longer contains any nutritional value for a rabbit. It can be used as bedding, though.
- Alfalfa Hay. This is a little different; it’s a legume, rather than grass. Alfalfa hay is usually fed to larger animals. It contains more protein and calcium than other hays, so it leads to weight gain.
Pellets are considered to be an essential part of a rabbit’s diet. Many claim that pellets are unnecessary for adult rabbits though, and are just empty calories.
If your rabbit is looking overweight, pellets should be sacrificed. Adult rabbits can happily sustain themselves on hay alone. Pellets are essential for helping a young rabbit grow, though.
These should always be kept as a treat, especially fruit. Rabbits love sweet tastes, so they enjoy berries, raisins, parsnips, and carrots. Their bodies are not designed to process carbs, though.
A rabbit can enjoy a tablespoon of fresh fruit and vegetables for every 2 lbs. of their body weight.
Again, an overweight rabbit should not receive any fruit and veg for a while. Rabbits do not necessarily need these to flourish. They’ll get all the vitamins they need from hay.
Baby Rabbit Feeding Guide
Young bunnies need to eat more, as they are continually growing. Baby rabbits also use food to stay warm ahead of the first shedding of their fur. Here’s some info on when baby rabbits get fur.
The diet of baby rabbits adjusts steadily as they grow. They’ll start eating solid hay at around 2 weeks of age. This will be supplemented by milk from their mother, though. By the time they reach 4 weeks, baby rabbits eat pellets and hay.
Feed alfalfa hay to a baby rabbit. The protein and calcium found within will help them grow strong muscles and bones. Also mix in some standard hay, though. This will make the transition easier when your rabbit reaches adulthood.
You should also ensure that you pick up pellets designed especially for young rabbits. These will provide everything that a growing bunny needs.
Whatever you decide to feed your baby rabbit, keep it consistent. Any bunny is sensitive to changes in diet, but young rabbits are especially so. Don’t chop and change unless it’s strictly necessary.
Baby Rabbit Food List
Before you even bring your rabbit home, you should pull together a shopping list. Healthy food for baby rabbits is pivotal, so don’t make any best guesses after their arrival.
You’ll need to buy hay in advance. Prioritize alfalfa hay, but get some traditional meadow hay too. Your bunny cannot eat alfalfa hay forever, so don’t let them get too attached to the taste.
You’ll also need pellets. Have a chat with a clerk in your local pet store, and get the ideal pellets for your bunny. There will be numerous options, tailored to different life stages.
Avoid the temptation to buy a huge bag of pellets. You may be told that baby rabbits can eat unlimited pellets. Pellets can grow moldy quite quickly. Smaller bags are preferred.
It’s advisable to make pellets part of your baby rabbit’s meal plan. These will help your young bunny grow up happy and healthy. Both quality and quantity should be carefully managed, though.
Tread carefully around claims that baby rabbits can eat unlimited pellets. In theory, this is correct. The ever-growing body of a bunny will cope with the calories consumed while they’re so young.
All the same, this is teaching your bunny bad habits. They’ll grow accustomed to having a constant supply of pellets. If you remove this option as an adult, they’ll grow distressed. It’s better to teach a young rabbit to enjoy hay early.
Also, ensure that you pick up the highest quality pellets possible. They should make up at least 22% fiber. Protein should not amount to more than 14%. Avoid anything with more than 1% calcium, as this can be harmful.
Don’t be tempted by muesli-based pellets. These will be tastier, as they contain nuts and seeds. A baby rabbit will pick out the nutrient-deficient fun ingredients, and ignore the rest.
Alfalfa hay is ideal for baby rabbits. For the first months of their life, a rabbit will enjoy the protein in this hay. As pellets also contain alfalfa, your baby bunny will be in good health.
Even though alfalfa hay is good for baby rabbits, it shouldn’t be all they have. Aim for a ratio of around 60:40, mixing alfalfa with traditional grass hay. This will make the eventual transition to meadow hay only less jarring.
Another thing to remember is that your rabbit’s hutch will be filled with hay. They’ll sleep on it, and generally surround themselves with the substance. This also means that your rabbit will pee and poop in their hay.
As baby bunnies have immature brains and bladders, they take a while to be litter trained. This needs to be handled with care. Urine can turn hay moldy, and moldy hay is toxic to rabbits. Clean their hutch regularly.
It’s vital that your baby rabbit sees hay as a source of pleasure. Get them into the habit of grazing on hay as early as possible. Incorporate it into playtime, and exercise.
Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
In the past, popular opinion dictated that baby rabbits should not be fed fresh food. This is because young bunnies have particularly sensitive digestive tracts. The truth is, fresh fruit and vegetables are fine in moderation.
The misconception that fresh vegetables are dangerous to baby bunnies arose through a lack of education. Feeding a rabbit of any age-inappropriate vegetables will cause stomach upsets. A bunny needs time to adjust to dietary changes.
When bringing home a baby rabbit, learn what fresh food their mother enjoyed. Once the bunny reached 4 weeks of age, they would have nibbled on these vegetables too. Their stomachs will be able to cope with them in small doses.
Fresh vegetables will also help a young rabbit manage the size of their teeth. Rabbit teeth never stop growing. By crunching on tough, solid vegetables, they’ll be filed down.
Fruit is best avoided in baby rabbits, unless used as training treats. Offer small amounts of vegetable as a treat, once your bunny has eaten sufficient hay.
Should I Give a Baby Rabbit Meat?
Meat must be avoided. While baby bunnies need protein, they don’t need meat. They’ll suffer from an excess of protein, and experience stomach upsets as a result.
Your rabbit may develop a taste for meat. A little won’t kill them, but it will make them uncomfortable. A rabbit’s digestion is engineered to process fiber, not protein. The older they get, the more problematic this will become.
Rabbits are herbivores. They do not want or need to eat meat. Babies are no exception to this rule.
Can Baby Rabbits Drink Water?
Baby rabbits can drink water. It should be actively encouraged.
Rabbits will start to hydrate from their mother’s water source at around 3 weeks old. As baby bunnies eat more dry food, water becomes particularly important. They need to hydrate regularly to stay healthy.
It’s vital to learn how your baby rabbit enjoys drinking. Some bunnies find water bottles fun. Others would rather lap from a bowl. Encourage your pet to drink in whatever way they prefer.
If you use a bowl, ensure that it’s heavy and shallow. Baby rabbits are playful and curious. They will splash around in water if they can. This can turn their hay moldy, and wet rabbits suffer a drop in body temperature.
Can Baby Rabbits Drink Cow Milk?
Baby rabbits drink milk from their mother’s until they’re 8 weeks old. A bunny should never be separated from their mother before this. If you’re offered a rabbit younger than 8 weeks by a breeder, walk away.
If you must provide a rabbit with milk, don’t use cow milk. This is too dense in calcium. The closest equivalent is kitten milk. Warm goat milk will be suitable in a pinch.
Rabbit milk contains more calories than kitten milk, though. As a result, mix in a tablespoon of sugar-free heavy cream. Baby bunnies should be fed milk twice a day.
Also, don’t forget that baby rabbits are not sustained on milk alone. Once they reach 2 weeks, they also need water and solids. Failing to provide these will leave a rabbit malnourished.
How Can I Tell if My Baby Rabbit’s Diet is Healthy?
Young rabbits need to nap regularly, but they’ll be energetic in between. If your young rabbit is lethargic, it may be due to dietary deficiency.
Another way to check on a rabbit’s condition is their droppings. Rabbit poop is a fine way to assess your bunny’s digestive health. Rabbit’s produce two types of poop:
- Pellets, which will be littered throughout their cage.
- Cecotropes, which are bunches of fecal matter that the rabbit eats.
A healthy poop pellet will be light brown, and will crumble when picked up. If your rabbit’s feces pellets are dark, it suggests they’re eating too much protein.
Diarrhea in a baby rabbit is a medical emergency. This condition can be fatal in hours. Administer the first aid suggested by the University of Miami, and make an urgent vet appointment.
My Baby Rabbit Eats Too Fast
This is nothing to worry about. Even if it leads to hiccups, these will pass in a short period of time.
The main reason that baby rabbits eat quickly is food insecurity. Until they get into a strict routine, bunnies worry about when they’ll be fed. They’ll guzzle food in case they don’t receive any more.
Rabbits that share a hutch are particularly likely to eat fast. They’ll be worried that another, older bunny will eat their share otherwise.
Also, remember that baby rabbits are always growing. This means that they’ll be hungry pretty much constantly. Once they establish a routine, they’ll calm down.
My Baby Rabbit is Not Feeding
If your baby rabbit is refusing to eat, it’s essential to find out why. A rabbit not eating at any age is worrying. This goes double when the bunny is young.
A young rabbit eating less as they reach adulthood is not as concerning. As they grow older, rabbits need fewer calories. They may take to eating more hay than pellets. This is a good thing. Don’t let them eat too much alfalfa hay, though.
You should also check that your bunny is not just being stubborn. If you have changed their diet, they may be holding out for a favorite. This needs to be managed carefully.
Baby rabbits need to eat, but if you cave too quickly, you’re setting a dangerous precedent. They’ll refuse to eat anything that doesn’t like into adulthood.
Move the bowl around in the first instance. If a rabbit feels a draught, it will put them off eating. Food that’s too close to a preferred elimination spot will also deter a bunny from eating. Rabbit pee has an overpowering smell.
Also, ensure that your baby rabbit is not anxious. Being separated from their mother and siblings can be distressing. Offer plenty of TLC and a welcoming home environment to help your bunny settle.
Spaying or neutering young rabbits also leads to behavioral changes. Your bunny may temporarily lose their appetite. This should pass quickly. Observe them, and take action is necessary.
Alternative Food for Baby Rabbits
If your baby rabbit is refusing to eat, you’ll need to offer the formula. This is often easier said than done. Seek professional help to ensure your bunny is sufficiently nourished.
Use kitten or goat milk if you cannot source rabbit-specific milk. Zooh Corner recommends feeding milk at the following quantities, at least twice a day. If your rabbit will not eat hay or pellets, they’ll need more:
- 1 – 2 Weeks of Age – 10 – 15 cubic cm
- 2 – 3 Weeks of Age – 15 – 30 cubic cm
- 3 – 8 Weeks of Age – 30 cubic cm
You can pick up a syringe to provide this milk from a pet store. Many baby rabbits will not take to this, though. Bunny-savvy suppliers will stock a product called the Miracle Nipple. This imitates the nursing experience.
This is not a permanent solution, though. You must learn why your rabbit is not eating, and resolve the issue.
Feeding a baby rabbit is largely similar to nourishing an adult equivalent. Young bunnies eat more, and show more interest in pellets.
What’s most important is that you get your rabbit into good habits surrounding food. Like any animal, a rabbit’s formative experiences will play a significant role in their adult persona.
Help a rabbit eat appropriately while they’re young, and they’ll reach adulthood in a healthy condition. From there, you can enjoy a long and happy relationship.
How to feed a decorative rabbit at home
If you have a decorative rabbit living at home, then it must be provided with suitable conditions. Each owner should know how to feed a decorative rabbit, and what food will harm him.
The quality and quantity of food matters a lot. With the right diet, a pet can please you for up to 10 years.
What should be included in the diet of a decorative rabbit
The diet of a rabbit directly depends on the structure of the digestive tract. In lagomorphs, the stomach consists of two chambers in which food is fermented and digested. The intestine is long, there is a voluminous caecum, in which food also roams. There is a lot of microflora in the gastrointestinal tract, which is very important for ongoing digestion.
In this regard, rabbits should always have access to food. Hunger is also contraindicated due to the fact that a new portion of food moves the old one. If this does not happen, then rotting of food and excessive fermentation will begin. The rabbit will experience extreme pain from bloating and may even die.
In the animal's cage, there must always be solid twigs, hay and tree bark. A rabbit needs to gnaw constantly to prevent diseases of the oral cavity, since their teeth grow throughout their lives, lengthening by about 3 mm every week.
The rest of the food is replenished twice a day. It may seem that the pet is constantly hungry and chews something all the time. This is due to the fact that plant food is quickly digested and the animal again needs to replenish its energy reserves.
Every day, the diet should include:
- Branches of trees and bushes or bark
- Fresh or dried herb
- Vegetables and herbs
- Ready mixed feed
Do not forget that your eared pet should always have clean drinking water. So that it does not become contaminated with hay, food and feces, use special drip drinkers for rodents with a ball.
Now more about each component of the diet.
Ready-made feeds for decorative rabbits, which are available in pet stores, simplify the composition of the diet. But before buying, you should familiarize yourself with the composition. Economy pet food is like fast food for humans. They cause problems with the internal organs, lead to overweight and significantly shorten the life of the pet. Therefore, it is recommended to buy a more expensive but quality product that will benefit your rabbit. For example, blends from Versele-Laga are considered good.
When buying expensive feeds, you should carefully study the composition and decide whether it is suitable. It is necessary that the mixture consists of at least a fifth of the crude fiber. This is the fiber that herbivores so desperately need. But proteins and fats should not be too much, as their excess harms the rabbit. Various vitamins and minerals will help.
The diet of a rabbit cannot consist only of ready-made feed mixtures. Your pet should definitely get more branches, hay and vegetables.
Roughage is the basis of the rabbit's diet throughout the year.
Good quality fresh hay should always be available.
Hay with mold, wet, with an unpleasant odor is not suitable. Also, do not use for drying grass cut by a lawn mower and collected near highways.
The following types of hay may be included in the rabbit's diet:
- Meadow grass
- From cereals
Branches and bark
Rabbits love to gnaw on twigs and bark and willingly eat:
- Apple tree
- Christmas tree
It is better to dry the branches beforehand, they can also be prepared for the winter.
Rabbits are not picky eaters, but you can change the ingredients on the menu about once a week.
In the warm season, in order to provide your little eared pet with fiber and vitamins, it is worth including greens in the diet. Here is a list of herbs that will suit a decorative rabbit:
- Plantain. This herb is rich in nutrients, so its excess will lead to obesity. On the other hand, it saturates animals well and is rich in vitamins.
- Nettle. This herb is given after getting rid of the flowers. Useful both fresh and in the form of hay. Fresh nettles are best treated with hot water, then finely chopped and mixed with ready-made mixtures. One of the best herbs for rabbits.
- Dandelions are also good to add to food, the only question is how much to give the animal. Per day, they can account for no more than one third of the total green mass.
- Clover and other similar meadow grasses. It is better to dry them a little if self-preparation is carried out. An excess of such food leads to the fact that the pet's stomach swells. Therefore, the amount of clover should be limited.
- Lucerne deserves a special mention. A very nutritious herb.
You can also treat your rabbit to herbs such as basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, and lettuce leaves such as arugula and watercress.
If you are harvesting grass and hay for your pet on your own, then try to pluck the grass away from the roads, and even better outside the city.
Vegetables and fruits
Vegetables and fruits for rabbits are a pleasant addition to the diet, although they cannot serve as its basis. Animals kept at home will benefit from the tops of garden plants. For example, the green parts of peas, beans, beet tops or carrots can be a pleasant addition to the diet. But, if we talk about vegetables and fruits, then only one thing can be said here - everything is good in moderation.
Fruits are usually given 2-4 times a week, as an excess of such high-carb foods leads to bloating. And you should not give the rabbit something very tasty too often, otherwise he gets used to such food and refuses the simpler one.
The diet of your eared pet may include the fruits of our middle band.
Vegetables in moderation can be given daily.
Foods suitable for feeding rabbits include:
Decorative rabbits are not the most picky animals. But their diet must be composed wisely and with care. Only then will he help the eared baby live a long and healthy life. If you are having difficulty formulating a diet for your rabbit, or if he has any diseases, then you can get advice on feeding from our rodent veterinarians.
- Brussels sprouts
- Bell pepper
All fruits and vegetables must be given fresh and not cooked.
Do's and Don'ts for Ornamental Rabbits
Rabbits are herbivores. Their diet should be taken very seriously. Do not include harmful and dangerous foods in your pet's menu:
- Dairy and fermented milk products
- Meat, poultry and seafood
- Exotic fruits and vegetables
- Cereals: rice, millet, corn, rye, wheat
- Seeds of apples and other fruits and berries
- Sweets: honey, sugar, chocolate, sweets
- Bakery and fast food
- Canned and cooked vegetables can cause serious indigestion
- Fatty foods
- Muesli and sweet honey sticks and other treats
- Cheap feed mixes high in sugar and fat
Proper nutrition for ornamental rabbits
- Basic diet for ornamental rabbits
- Complex for decorative rabbits
- hay for decorative rabbits
- Special treats for teeth to teeth in decorative rabbits
- Mineral stones for decorative rabbits
- Drinking water for decorative rabbits
- How to feed decorative rabbits.
- Watermelon and melon for ornamental rabbits
- Fruit and berries for ornamental rabbits
- Vegetables for ornamental rabbits
- Greens for ornamental rabbits
- Banana and plum for ornamental rabbits
- Citrus fruits for ornamental rabbits
Feeding ornamental rabbits is one of the most important issues in rabbit breeding. Kind owners try to pamper their pets and actively begin to feed the rabbits exclusively with what the animals like best.
Stop! Rabbits require a standard diet, not a varied set of foods. Let's talk about what you can feed a decorative rabbit.
- Compound feed.
- Special mineral stones.
- Clean water.
Compound feed is a granule containing a complex of substances necessary for a decorative rabbit. Feeding rabbits with compound feed is more beneficial than special feeds. Up to six months, feeding rabbits with compound feed is usually not limited so that the rabbits grow well. But this type of feeding has its own nuances. If the rabbit eats only grains that he likes, and does not touch the granules, he will go to the toilet only with caecotrophs - soft feces.
Don't worry if your adorable rabbit doesn't eat pellets right away. This is normal, because the rabbit eats the most delicious grains first, and then everything else. In no case do not remove the granules, they are important for the pet's teeth and regulate digestion.
In general, rabbits eat caecotrophs (yes, this is their digestion), and defecate with dry peas, but when there is too much solid food, the rabbits have a mess with the toilet.
The optimal dosage for rabbits is 1 tablespoon 3 times a day, and for adult rabbits 1-1.5 tablespoons 2 times a day. If you see that the rabbit has not eaten everything between feedings, reduce the portions.
Hay in the cage must be constant and in sufficient quantity. Hay is perhaps the only thing you can feed a decorative rabbit in unlimited quantities, it helps the rabbits grind their teeth and forms the right feces. It is best to choose a plastic sennik, while a dwarf rabbit can get hurt on a trellised one.
Pets need twigs and special toys for grinding teeth, willow, birch, aspen, poplar, apple, pear, oak branches are suitable for this. In winter, you can give some coniferous branches, in summer - deciduous, even directly with leaves. Branches should be collected only in uncontaminated places, or washed and dried well. A decorative rabbit will also be happy with a white cracker, just give it rarely.
Branches of stone fruits should never be given to rabbits!
Mineral stones. Hang a vitamin or salt stone, chalk in a cage. Rabbits, like any animal, need vitamins and minerals.
Drinking water. Of course, it must be clean. Ideally - chilled boiled. There should be water in the drinker all the time. Change the water every 1-1.5 days. These are the main components that must be included in the feeding of decorative rabbits. The rest will be redundant.
Of course you want to spoil your pet, but never give your rabbit food from your table! It is better to treat him with herbs, fruits or vegetables. And be sure to monitor the condition of the intestines of a decorative rabbit: as soon as the animal has diarrhea, immediately stop excesses.
Feeding rabbits in the summer, of course, is not complete without fresh herbs. You can collect wheatgrass, timothy, hedgehog, clover, dandelion.
A decorative rabbit will gladly eat chamomile, mouse peas, tansy, and yarrow, but alfalfa should not be given in large quantities. It is absolutely impossible to include dill and parsley in the diet of rabbits due to the high content of essential oils.
Also, the feeding of rabbits in summer will be more varied if you give your pet twigs - linden, apple, mountain ash, pear, willow. You can give branches with leaves, just wash them and dry them first.
Start introducing herbs into the rabbits' diet gradually, one leaf at a time. Watch how your pet's stomach reacts. As soon as you notice that the rabbit has a disorder - immediately stop giving herbs! If the dwarf rabbit perceives the plants well, gradually begin to increase the amount until the pet begins to gorge on herbs completely. The entire process will take approximately 14 days.
In general, feeding dwarf rabbits in the summer does not exclude the complete replacement of hay with fresh grass, of course, provided that the pet is in good shape with digestion.
A few more tips
- Walk your pet only in clean places, otherwise he will eat dirty grass.
- Make sure that after a walk, the decorative rabbit does not bring ticks into the house.
- Feed fruits and herbs only when the rabbit is 4 months old.
- Cut fruit into small pieces and divide herbs into small bunches.
- Never feed your pet with wet fruits and herbs, the decorative rabbit will get a violation of the microflora of the gastrointestinal tract.
- With the slightest indigestion, cancel the fruit or herb, and after a few days try something else from the list of allowed plants and fruits.
Remember that rabbit food, water and hay are the main foods in the diet, vegetables, fruits and greens are only supplements.
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Your pet rabbit may or may not eat melon and watermelon. It depends on his preferences. Both of these products can be given, but given correctly. Be sure to peel and pit the watermelon and melon, and cut the flesh into small pieces. If the rabbit is dwarf, cut into smaller pieces.
Remember that it is better not to feed watermelon and melon to pregnant and lactating females - the rabbit's digestion will be difficult. As soon as you notice that your pet has stomach problems due to exotic foods, immediately stop giving these treats to your rabbit.
To the delight of decorative rabbits, most fruits can be included in their diet. Apple, pear, banana, melon, watermelon, kiwi, dried apricots, tangerines, currants, strawberries, raspberries are treats and vitamins that will not harm your pet if given correctly.
- Always cut fruit into small pieces.
- Choose the bones right away.
- Give sweet fruits infrequently.
- If a rabbit develops indigestion, eliminate the product from the diet immediately.
Good advice. Feed your dwarf rabbit once a week with prunes so that the rabbit's stomach can get rid of the accumulated hair during shedding.
Ornamental rabbits can be given carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, marrows, squash, corn, green peas, radishes and artichokes. Cabbage - any, except white. It is better not to include legumes in the feeding of dwarf rabbits at all. Zucchini, pumpkin and squash should be limited, they act as a laxative. Give radishes rarely and very little, and you can feed ornamental rabbits with root crops and leaves. Cucumbers can be safely included in the feeding of rabbits in the summer, and in females that have just given birth, the cucumber contributes to the formation of milk.
Important! Always cut off the skins of store-bought vegetables! Vegetables from your own garden can be given with a peel if you are not fond of watering the beds with chemical fertilizers.
Despite the fact that pets should always have hay, it is useful for rabbits to occasionally nibble on vegetables and other greens. So, the tops of radishes, carrots, beets, lettuce of all kinds, spinach, celery, watercress can diversify the feeding of dwarf rabbits. Brussels sprouts, oats and wheat sprouts are also suitable. By the way, wheat and oats can be germinated at home.
Sprouting oats is as follows: put several layers of gauze on a plate. Pour unpeeled oats between layers, add quite a bit of water and wait one and a half to two weeks, not forgetting to constantly moisten the gauze. Such young grass will be appreciated by every decorative rabbit.
- Give vegetables and herbs when the rabbit is 4 months old.
- Cut everything into smaller pieces, give the greens only in small bunches.
- Wet vegetables and herbs are strictly prohibited.
- We noticed an upset stomach in a rabbit - immediately cancel the product, and try to give something else in a few days.
Proper feeding of rabbits does not exclude all sorts of goodies for your pet, the main thing is to follow certain rules so that later there are no problems with the health of the rabbit or it does not happen that the rabbit does not eat hay because of the desire to feast.
These fruits require very careful dosing. Plum is generally undesirable, it greatly burdens the stomach. And a banana is a very favorite treat for many decorative rabbits. But don't forget that a banana contains a lot of calories, so pamper your rabbit once a week and little by little.