Feeding Rabbits - What Are You Feeding Your Rabbit?
Feeding rabbits is easy and important. Knowing what to feed them and how much is the first step. When feeding your rabbit make sure you purchase a high quality pellet. Pellets today have all the nutrition a rabbit needs, if it’s a good quality. Your local pet store will carry such brands.
A good quality pellet should contain 18 to 20% crude fiber; 16 to 20% protein. They should also contain phosphorus, calcium and vitamins.
If you get your rabbit from a breeder, check to see what brand of pellets they are using. If you can’t get the same brand, they may recommend a good brand to use. If you are unable to find their particular brand at your local pet store, then use the above percentage guidelines to find a good quality pellet.
The recommended serving size to give your rabbits is 2-3 oz. per day for small breeds, 6-8 oz. per day for medium breeds and 8-10 oz. per day for larger breeds.
Feeding rabbits is more than just putting down a bowl of pellets and fresh water. Just like any creature (humans included) they like treats.
I give Oreo yogurt drops as a treat. Oreo loves these. If he hears me in the frig (that’s where I keep them) he will come hopping to the kitchen. Telling me he wants a treat! He will even growl and jump towards you if he thinks you will take his treat away. It’s so funny; he gives out a little grrrrr, to let me know that the treats are his, so back-off.
Other ideas for treats are some fruits. Introduce new foods to your rabbit in small amount to see if his digestive system will accept them. The recommended serving size is a tablespoon per day, per 5 pounds of weight.
Here is a list of some approved fruits.
Apples – without the seeds. Apple seeds are poisonous to rabbits.
Pears – without the seeds. Again the seeds are poisonous.
Grapes, Oranges, Strawberries, Cherries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Melon, Mangos and Tomatoes.
Beware that Avocados are toxic to rabbits.
Give your rabbit a few pieces of the treat to see if he likes it, if he does then give him a few more pieces. You don’t want to give your rabbit too much because you are not sure how the treat will react with the rabbit’s delicate digestive system.
Your rabbit may have loose stool if you give him too much. Maybe just 2-3 pieces to begin with. Once his system is conditioned to the new treat you can increase the portions.
If your rabbit happens to get loose stool, stop the treat until his dropping are back to normal then introduce the treat more slowly. Maybe give it to him twice a week or every other day.
When feeding rabbits, please know that hay is also very important. It is high in fiber which helps with your rabbit’s digestive system. Hay will help eliminate fur-balls, so your bunny needs hay readily available to him.
Rabbits are not like a cat that can vomit up the fur-balls. This is where the high-fiber foods help eliminate them. I use Timothy Hay, as loose hay that I put out in a basket for Oreo. I also give him Alfalfa hay in pressed-cubes. Alfalfa hay is higher in calories, so it should be given in smaller amounts. That’s why I like the cubes; it’s a controlled amount that I can give Oreo.
At my local pet store they have a variety of items of rabbit treats. I have purchased some of them to see if Oreo would like them. Most of the times, he does not. So I stick to the treats I know he likes, which happens to be Yogurt drops and apples.
Feeding rabbits is also a good time to bond with your little buddy. Give him a treat and give him a scratch or pet him. He will love the attention you are giving him.