Rabbit Nutrition - What Is The Best Type Of Lettuce To Feed Your House Rabbit?
Rabbit nutrition is important and easier than you may think. I was surprised to find out that iceberg lettuce is NOT good for rabbits. That’s right. Iceberg lettuce is the worse type of lettuce you can feed your house rabbit. It has no nutritional value for them.
Even though iceberg lettuce is good for us. It’s not good for bunny rabbits.
Better choices of nutritional veggies are green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, (both are Oreo’s favorites), collard greens, dandelions, carrot tops, spinach, parsley, celery and artichokes.
For the best rabbit nutrition, use dark green leafy veggies. You will need to try some and see what your rabbit likes.
A word of caution, the dandelions are the ones you buy at the grocery store and not the ones you pick out of your yard. Due to the fact the ones in the yard might have chemicals on them that can hurt your house rabbit.
I found out the hard way that bunnies have very sensitive stomachs and they need fiber-rich, nutritional food to keep their stomachs in great working order.
Not only indigestible fiber and nutritious but tasty also. What good will it do if your rabbit won’t eat it?
My little Foo was always getting sick. He had loose stool and I was always taking him to see the veterinarian. I took him to a few, who kept putting him on antibiotics. He would get better then it would start all over again.
Foo also hated taking the medications as much as I hated giving them to him. I had to give him a little syringe of the antibiotics twice a day. On top of that, I also had to give him another type of medication. All to help my little guy get better.
He did get better, but it came back.
It wasn’t until I moved and by this time Foo had passed away, that my Petie started to have the same problems. I went to a new vet and the doctor told me I was feeding him the wrong lettuce.
She gave me a list of “Greens” that were nutritional for house rabbits. I started Petie on a few “Greens” from that list and he never had a problem again.
So, I always make sure Oreo gets lettuce that is good for him. I learned my lesson.
I’m just sorry I didn’t learn it for Foo.
Also know that when introducing a new food to your house rabbit to do it in small amounts until your rabbit’s stomach get adjusted to the new food. If you give your rabbit new foods all at once, this also can cause your rabbit to have problems.
A sudden change in your rabbit’s diet can wreak havoc with his digestive system and cause him to become very sick. So introduce new food items gradually. This is the same for pellets as well.
I would suggest mixing new with your current pellets. Start with 90% current and 10% new and see how your rabbit tolerates the new mixture. If he likes it and his droppings are looking good, then increase the mixture to 80-20 for a few weeks.
Keep increasing until the new pellets are 100% introduced.
Rabbit Nutrition - Feeding
I’ve read where you should give your rabbit greens and hay and a lesser amount of pellets. I give and have given all my boys the same basic meal. Timothy hay pellets that I leave out in their food bowl.
I give them 3-4 baby carrots and a leaf of lettuce and 2 yogurt treats in the morning and at dinner. I give Oreo apples later in the evening as a snack. They always have a bowl of fresh water. They always have Timothy hay (loose) and as in a solid chew blocks at their disposal daily.
Hay is very important. It’s very high in fiber and very nutritional for rabbits.
It helps their digestive system. The best hay to give your house rabbit is a grass hay (which are now easier to find at pet food stores) and Timothy hay.
Alfalfa hay, which my boys love, should only be given in small quantities; house rabbits may get too much calcium and gain weight.
Hay also helps eliminates fur-balls. You can also give your rabbit papaya or pineapple. The enzymes in these two fruits also help eliminate fur-balls.
House Rabbits continually groom themselves like cats, so they can get fur-balls.
The one thing rabbits cannot do is vomit up the fur-balls. This is where the high-fiber foods help eliminate them.
If your house rabbit shows a decrease in size of their droppings and a decrease in their appetite, see your veterinarian.
Your house rabbit may have a blockage that can be fatal. Papaya, pineapple, exercise and high-fiber foods may help eliminate this problem.
You can try buying the dry papaya and pineapple, which some pet food stores carry. When Foo was having all his problems, the vet recommended these fruits. He seemed to like the dried fruit and I would give him a few pieces a day.
Rabbit Nutrition - Fruits to give your house rabbit
Bunnies also like fruit. Oreo loves apples. Fruit is a good treat to give your rabbit and a good way to give them a variety of foods to eat.
A recommended serving is a tablespoon per day, per 5 pounds of weight. Here’s a list of some approved fruits.
Apples-without the seeds. Apples seeds are poisonous to rabbits
Pears-without the seeds. Again the seeds are poisonous.
Be aware that avocados are toxic to rabbits.
Rabbit Nutrition - Pellets
Today’s commercial pellets are formulated to have all the nutrients your house rabbit needs to remain healthy. The brand you choose should contain 18 to 20 percent crude fiber and 16 to 20 percent protein. The pellets should also include phosphorus, calcium and vitamins.
If you get your rabbit from a breeder, ask them what pellets they recommend or you can check with your veterinarian. I found a good variety of house rabbit pellets at the major pet food stores. I keep the pellets in the refrigerator, this keeps them fresher longer.
I give Oreo enough to last a day. The ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Assoc.) recommends a serving size to be 2-3 oz. per day for small breeds, 6-8 oz. for medium breeds and 8-10 oz. for larger breeds.
I put maybe a 1/4 cup of pellets out so Oreo can munch on them throughout the day. I don’t measure the amount; I just pour a small amount in his food bowl.
These rabbit nutrition tips will help keep your furry little friend happy and healthy.
Rabbit Nutrition also includes these healthy tips.
Rabbit Nutrition - Here are more tips!
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