jojo79 PRO 10:56pm, 25 August 2007
Most peoples pets are overweight and bunnies are no exception. If you think your bun needs to be a little slimmer and trimmer then here are a few things you could try.

Changing a rabbits diet is a tricky thing. Always take it slowly and keep a check for upset tummy. (the text has been taken from another post so may read a litte funny).

Here is a list of approx ideal bunny weights (in pounds). PLEASE bear in mind that this is only a guideline and is based on PURE BREEDS - therefore you can have small, medium and large varietys of each breed ie my Pippin is Rex crossed with Chinchilla so in this case his approx weight range would be 5.5lbs - 10.5lbs and he weighs 7.5lbs so Im happy with that.

American 9 to 12

Angora, English 5 to 7

Angora, French 7 to 10 -1/2

Angora, Giant 8-1/2 up

Angora, Satin 6 to 9-1/2

Belgian Hare 6 to 9-1/2

Beveren 8 to 11

Britannia Petite 2-1/4 to 2-1/2

Californian 8 to 10-1/2

Champagne d'Argent 9 to 12

Checkered Giant 11 up

Chinchilla, American 9 to 12

Chinchilla, Giant 12 to 15

Chinchilla, Standard 5-1/2 to 7-1/2

Cinnamon 8-1/2 to 11

Creme d'Argent 8-1/2 to 11

Dutch 3-1/2 to 5-1/2

Dwarf Hotot 2-1/4 to 3-1/4

English Spot 5 to 8

Flemish Giant 13 up

Florida White 4 to 6

Harlequin 6-1/2 to 9-1/2

Havana 4-1/2 to 6-1/2

Himalayan 2-1/2 to 4-1/2

Hotot 8 to 11

Jersey Wooly 3 to 3-1/2

Lilac 6 to 8

Lop, English 9 up

Lop, French 10 up

Lop, American Fuzzy 3 to 4

Lop, Holland 3 to 4

Lop, Mini 4-1/2 to 6

Netherland Dwarf 2 to 2-1/2

New Zealand 9 to 12

Palomino 8 to 11

Polish 2-1/2 to 3-1/2

Rex, Standard 7-1/2 to 10-1/2

Rex, Mini 3 to 4-1/2

Rhinelander 6-1/2 to 10

Sable 7 to 10

Satin 8-1/2 to 11

Silver 4 to 7

Silver Fox 9 to 12

Silver Marten 6 to 9-1/2

Tan 4 to 6
PLEASE NOTE: Rabbits under 1 year old should be fed a different diet! They need to have unlimited access to good quality alfalfa or timothy based pellets and an unlimited supply of a mix of timothy and alfalfa hay (until they are 6 months old and longer if they are large / giant breeds). Fresh veg, herbs etc should not be introduced to the diet until the rabbit is at least 3-4 months old and should be done very slowly. Once the rabbit is between 6-10 months old you can start to reduce the number of pellets and increase the amount of fresh food. This will ensure that the rabbit has all of the nutrients needed to grow well - but not get fat by over eating a rich diet!
Also, alfalfa hay should only be fed sparingly to rabbits over 1 year old as it can be fattening and has a high concentration of calcium. Timothy hay is one of the best to feed to rabbits over 1 year old.

Here is a link to the HAY thread:

Ideally bunny breeds weighing 3lb - 6lbs should have the following amounts per day:
1/4 teacup of pellets
1 teacup of fresh veg
UNLIMITED hay (at least a 'ball' of hay the same size of the rabbit.)
No more than 1 teaspoon of fruit including store bought sweet treats

Bunny breeds weighing 6lbs - 9lbs:
1/2 teacup of pellets
1 1/2 teacup of fresh veg
Unlimited hay
No more than 1 teaspoon of fruit including store bought treats.

Bunny breeds weighing 10lb+:
1 teacup of pellets
2 teacups of fresh veg
Unlimited hay
No more than 1 teaspoon of fruit including store bought treats.

****This is only a guideline and you know your bunny best. This is a low pellet diet to encourage a bun to eat far more hay. They will 'beg' for food, but you will know if they are truely very hungry and need a larger quantity of food***

Pellets. Here is a link to a thread talking about different types of pellets:

Here is a link to vetcare plus food info:

To diet:
I would start by cutting her pellets in half and feeding one half in the morning and then the remaining half 6 hours later. This means she is still getting the same amount of pellets but will need to 'ration' them out a bit. This should help her get used to spreading her food out accross the day and not pigging it all in one go. It should also encourage her to eat more hay. Make sure she has loads of fresh hay available each day so that she can go to it once her pellets have run out.

Also, feed her fresh veg at a seperate time (ie so all her meals start to be split throughout the day / evening rather that all in one go). Lunchtime is a good time to feed veg if you are able, if not then when you get home from work. It will help her learn a routine and she will know that her bowl may be empty but more food will come in a couple of hours. And like I say...If she is very hungry she can eat her hay. As for the amount of fresh veg - this can be increased a little, but keep a check to see her poo's do not become too 'loose'. Also, try not to feed her too much cabbage or broccolli as this can sometimes cause excess gas in bunny tummy's.

Does she enjoy her hay or is it tough to get her to eat it? If she doesnt really enjoy it then there are a few things you can try:

Hay salad - grate some carrot and mix in with the hay. Also mix in some fresh Mint and Basil leaves and some parsley. This should get her more interested in the hay.

Try some different types of hay, Oxbow are the best but very expensive. It is worth getting some small sample bags of different types of hay to see which she really likes.

Here is a link to a good hay guide by Oxbow:

I would also recommend feeding her some herbs and plants. Again, this can be an extra meal fed at a different time of day. I usually feed this to mine at about 10pm. I used dried ones because I can store them easier. Here is a list of things you can try for her:

Red clover flowers - have a calming effect
Dandylion - good for digestion
Nettle - good for urinary tract health
Strawberry leaves - just taste good
Marigold petals - just taste good
dried peppermint leaves and stalks - good for digestion

Here are a few links showing some 'extra' foods (like the herbs / plants above) that you can give to her:

This one is where I buy my dried herbs etc from

I would not buy any store bought treats if your bun is on a diet. I feed mine Basil and mint leaves as treat and they love these just as much as the store bought snacks. I also use the Oxbow papaya tablets as treats and these are actually to help prevent hairballs.

(Last updated Jan 2012)
ladylagomorph76 9 years ago
thanks!!! Nutmeg is just on the upper side of mini-rex weight...bunners is about five pounds...and i have no idea what a black and white helicopter baby is!?
GemJulez PRO 9 years ago
I agree with sunsealou, very thourough. :) BLUers need to keep in mind though, the weight guide is just a general size range and shouldn't be used to say what weight is okay for their rabbit...a smaller framed dutch should not be near the larger weight range.

If anyone is unsure if their rabbit is overweight, their vet will be able to give them guidance at their annual visit. I know a lot of pet owners can't see that their pet is overweight. Sometimes, love clouds out all inperfections. :)
PintSizeDemonPoofball 9 years ago
Nice collection of info!

One of our vets said Arwen is overweight... (she's 4lbs, and probably some sort of jersey wooly, though I've read the "non-dwarfs" can be up to 5lb... no idea what makes a "non-dwarf" though...)

I'm not really buying it though as I can only finally not feel her hip bones protude greatly whenever I pet her! I can still feel her vertebrate, and I can still tell where her ribs are when I pet her. I don't consider that overweight... Besides, the only thing we could actually cut back on are her greens, which ain't gonna happen w/ her having that much hair and shedding all the time! (she only gets a few tbsp of pellets per night and a small papaya/pineapple/apple treat a few times per week, so there's not much extra there). Oh, and unlimited Timothy, but that's kind of fiber option isn't going away either!

Though after the last week of "oh-- you'll eat some more greens? ok, here, have some more, want some more? how about some banana?" while trying to get her to finally get some food through her and get some good poops, I'm guessing she's put on a little more weight. But that was totally worth it! :)
ladylagomorph76 9 years ago
sunsealou....mine want more no matter WHAT amount i give them.
jojo....speaking of that....we use pellets only as candy...we only give about a tablespoon at night, to go "nite-nite", or for special, when they beg "to cute" to stand...they don't NEED them, do they? they have hay and veggies in *good* amounts.
sophisticat 9 years ago
Mine always want more dryfood as well! It's helpful to have all those weight guides - I've always worked on the principle of being able to feel their ribs, which works for cats as well (and we won't mention the cat whose ribs disappeared a looong time ago.)
Gandalf is perfect weight, Saki's varies up and down a little which generally ties in with how well his teeth are doing, and I think Martini is a little chubby...
jojo79 PRO 9 years ago
With bunnies - you should be able to feel the spine and ribs easily but they should not stand out really proud.

Bunnies will not be fully grown until approx 1 year old and even then they will seem to change shape as they get older. Their 'length' will stop growing at approx 1 year but the width will continue!

If you have a bunny that eats a lot of hay and a good variety of mixed veg then they do not have to have pellets. As long as s(he) has a good balanced diet then pellets are not needed and can be given as a treat or not at all. However, dont feel bad about using is more the 'normal' thing to feed and the buns will live just as well, healthy and happily on them.

As for asking for more - think of pellets to be cake and hay to be bread.....I know which I would prefer to eat! Nearly all pellet brands have some sugar added so this is the main reason why the little greedy guts keep on asking for more! With those big round eyes - "Mummy Im STARVING"...honest!

As for the weight guide - yup def only a guideline - I will amend this to say so.
GemJulez PRO 9 years ago
Aw, poor Arwin :( I have the opposite problem, my vet would like Peanut to gain an ounce or two. She only likes hay and little bits of papaya, refuses to eat veggies. I sit there and will her to eat them, alas, she ignores me. Typical bunny!
jade_c PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by jade_c (member) 9 years ago
mmm my Andora is exactly 2.86 pounds (she just got weighed yesterday at the vet). her weight has been constant for some time (same reading since last vet visit). in your list, a holland lop should be around 3-4 pounds. genetically speaking too, she should be around the ideal weight of 3 pounds because she was bred from american show rabbit lines. she turned 2 in June.

thing is, i have been thinking about switching her pellets?

she's been always on oxbow bunny basics 15/23 (the alfalfa one) since she had been having that since i got her (when she was 1.5years old). she's quite active, and on the skinny side, so i've been hesitating weaning her off the alfalfa pellets. wondering if i should buy a new pack of basics T now though, since i'm halfway into the current pack of 15/23 (read that i should mix them to gradually get her used to the new feed)?

is it necessary to switch her to timothy pellets? worried that she'd actually lose weight, making her underweight, if i change her pellets?
GemJulez PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by GemJulez (member) 9 years ago
Jade_c, listen to your vet has to say on the matter. If he/she thinks that Andora is over or underweight, they'll say so. Those guides are just general weight guides, just like the ones for humans that say that a woman who is 5' 5" should be between 118 and 146 pounds (its helpful, but not very meaningful).

Besides eating alfalfa pellets, does she eat plenty of Timothy hay?
Apocaplops PRO 9 years ago
I'd say switch her to the T pellets gradually. Too much Alfalfa can cause problems in adult rabbits. We were feeding our Sam alfalfa pellets without knowing it at first, but our vet alerted us to the matter.

Remember folks, if your rabbit doesn't seem interested in one form of greens there are a million others to try. Our Sam doesn't like Chard or Turnip tops all that much (though she will eat them), but she goes nuts for Kale, Dandelion, and leaf lettuce.

I've always found that people with fat rabbits tend to overfeed them pellets. Sam gets pellets only as treats while training - she gets all her staple diet in greens and hay, which is nearly impossible to overfeed.
jade_c PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by jade_c (member) 9 years ago
oops, i should have asked the vet about the matter when i saw her yesterday. meep.

she and andora's previous vet didn't comment about her weight, so i guess she's normal. i know the previous vet would comment about weight because he said something about my hamster (fat, but nothing much i can do about her since she's on lab blocks already). ah i'll jot it down and ask the vet again when i do visit.

yup! ever since her spay she's been quite a fan of her timothy hay and oxbow orchard grass. once she looked so happy munching on her hay i just had to try it myself (tastes and feels like cardboard).

yeah i know alfalfa pellets can make her fat, but i'm just concerned that taking her off it would make her too thin. mm but i guess it should be easier for a bunny to gain weight then?

haha gotta go supplies shopping soon then.
GemJulez PRO 9 years ago
haha tastes like cardboard! I've often wondered myself :)

The issue with alfalfa is that it can put too much calcium into a rabbits digestive system.

Andora sounds like she's on the right track. Timothy hay should generally be used as the primary source of nutrition for a rabbit with a supplement of pellets (1/4 of a cup a day per 4 pound of rabbit, ideally timothy based). In my opinion, its okay to still feed alfalfa pellets if its in a small quantity, maybe mixed with the timothy pellets? :)

I don't know about getting rabbits to gain weight, typically the rabbits that should gain weight are the really active ones, so they burn it right off again!
jade_c PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by jade_c (member) 9 years ago

heheh maybe you should taste it yourself too. ;) i think it's likely the orchard grass i tried. urm, now i really feel like tasting the timothy hay. haha waiting for the curiosity to eventually overcome me again. :P i think it's soon, since i just realised i've only tasted one of her two kinds of hay. meep.

eh i've tasted her oxbow papaya tablets too, in case you're also wondering about that. haha it doesn't taste as good as it smells (actually quite tasteless, strange sensation thus, since you know there's something that smells good on your tongue).

yeah, i've read and am concerned about the calcium thing.

or perhaps i could switch her to basics T, then add alfalfa hay into her diet?
GemJulez PRO 9 years ago

Hmm...I get my hay from Farmer Dave ( its 'all natural' and has little bits of other things in it besides timothy, like lavender and whatnot, it does look tempting to try. I suppose nothing bad will happen if I try a bit. I'll let you know! :)

Here's some information from Oxbow of alfalfa for you:

They stress how its important to feed really limited amounts of alfalfa hay to adult rabbits. Oxbow is a good source of nutritional information. One of their employees has a degree in animal nutrition (didn't know there was such a thing before I met her!). She came to speak to the rabbit rescue I'm involved in and totally impressed me with everything she told us.
janepriceestrada 9 years ago
yeah...alita is pretty plump (as you can see from her bum pillow in my icon) she is a holland lop but weighs 6lb...her diet since we have had her has been unlimited timothy w/ her greens everyday (i dont measure really because she likes them so much i give throughout the day, like one piece of lettuce/brocolli/parseley whenever i open the fridge, but it amounts to about a cup or so). then she gets a little sprinkling of pellets once a week (to distract her while i clean the cage). but she is also a very chill bun (lazy not lathargic) so she doesnt get as much exercise as she probably should. this is one area i should work on more i guess.

willow is actually heavier than alita which is weird becuase she looks physically smaller than alita. but alita has much much thicker fuzzier shedding constatly hair. willow is a mini lop and weighs 7lb. we just saw the vet a couple weeks ago and she willow is big but really muscular which makes her weigh more. she gets her hay and about a cup and a half of veggies and a little tablespoon of pellets every day. she is not a big fan of hay but we have been weaning her on by using botanical hay and slowly mixing it with more timothy. she also likes oat this as good as timothy?
GemJulez PRO 9 years ago
I believe that oat hay can be substituted for timothy. I have a colleague who is allergic to timothy, so her horses eat oat hay. Horses and rabbits are surprisingly similar in their dietary needs.
divakitty 9 years ago
My buns don't eat any pellets but get a big pile of greens twice a day and eat a mixture of timothy hay, oat hay and orchard grass. Fiona weighs around 5 pounds and Orlando is 6 pounds.
killaypetshop 9 years ago
Dusty our garden bun has almost no hay, 1/4 cup pellets every morning, full cup greens at night. He is almost 8 lbs but is not overweight.

He spends 10 hours a day running free in the garden. I didn't cut my back lawn last year and I haven't yet this year - so I guess he don't need no hay :o)
ladylagomorph76 9 years ago
i think the main reason we were concerned about Bunners is that he had gotten to where he couldn't reach his bum, and he didn't dance or binky or race around....maybe a binky now and again. he slept a LOT. he LOOKS pretty much the same...but we can FEEL the difference, and he ACTS like a baby again! he even chewed the wall the other day!
unaerica 9 years ago
What a useful post, I had the fortune to get it as a guide in oreder to start to help Pipola loose some weight and I am sure it will help me so much. I know what it means to hear that our bunny is fat, I was told it in a very rude and cruel way, it was the way to tell me Pipola was so fat that she wasn't able to clear her ears. I felt like a selfish human, I felt bad as if they told something like that to me first.
Now I know how to manage the situation, BLU friends helped me understand and next time I'm going to Pipola's vet I'm not sure I'll be as kind as usual, I'm an angry bunny mother.

I have changed Pipola's nutrition and I'm changing it too, maybe together will be easier to improve ourselves :)
Serena Barletta Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Serena Barletta (member) 9 years ago
This is so useful, thanks! I'd like to share my 2 cents on the subject: I had to put my bunnies on a diet in March, because Mega, that's a male Californian rabbit, had a (thank God) benign granuloma on his lower jaw that caused 2 of his molar teeth to be removed. He was a lot overweight and to give him a better life expectancy I was suggested to make him lose weight. His little girlfriend Mini, who is an undefined breed, probably an hot hot rabbit mixed with other breeds, also was just a bit overweight.
Well, I can proudly say that now they both are at the perfect weight and their life has improved so much! They run and jump more, they eat better...and they also look much more healty! :)
jojo79 PRO 9 years ago
Arwen is beautiful! And although I cant see much of her in the photos...she doesnt look really obviously obese to me. Personally, as long as the bunny is happy and eating / drinking / pooping well and can reach their butt to clean it...then thats good enough for me. All my bunnies are at the top of their weight bracket, but their weight is stable and never changes. I have recently had to MAKE my Ginny put weight ON which was a very strange experience!
ladylagomorph76 9 years ago
i am glad you bumped this, jojo. about the time we noticed Bunners weight related issues, we also noticed that both bunnies eyes had become dull. we thought it was age related. over the months that we have watched their diets, we have seen their eyes regain their luster. it is amazing! so over feeding and wrong feeding can do more harm than we know...even if the bunnies ARE living long lives...such as Bunners and Nutmeg at eight going on nine. (or nine). they are bouncy, and binkying....and happy.
jojo79 PRO 9 years ago
Im so glad your two are happy and healthy Pam! Maybe you and Chris should follow the same diet ;o)
ladylagomorph76 9 years ago
hee hee.....i have been thinking we should! ((the doctor set us up with a nutritionist this week..(blood pressure)...if she tells us "timmy hay, raw veggies and bottled watter....i will fall over laughing...ha ha))
jojo79 PRO 9 years ago
Funnily enough, you can buy alfalfa juice and tablets in health food stores! So maybe the bunnies know something we dont.
Lilith S 9 years ago
Ah yes, going on a diet!

My bunny had a visit at the vet today and they suggested taking her off pellets and just going with timothy hay and fresh veg. She seems to be having a urine sludge problem and they say her new diet will help with this. She is older, 8 years going on 9 and I have also noticed the eyes not as bright, so maybe its not just sign of old age maybe the diet will improve it.

I'm going to do the same with the diet for my other bun as well because that one is pretty overweight.
jojo79 PRO 9 years ago
Lilith : FRESH PARSLEY!!!!

Give her plenty of fresh parsley as it is super at reducing urinary sludge. Also avoid fresh veg that is high in calcium (like spinach & kale).

You can also feed Birch leaves & Raspberry leaves in small quantities (once per week) as these help to flush through her system. Dandylion leaves are also good and can be fed 3 times per week.

If she is on no other medication, not pregnant or nursing babies and doesnt have any blood pressure problems then you can also feed her a small amount of cranberries each day (2 or 3 berries) as this will help change the acidity of the urine.

As for her pellets, please dont remove them all at once. You will need to adjust her diet gradually over a period of weeks.

Try and mix some oat hay in with her timmy hay as this is low in calcium - make sure she doesnt have any alfalfa as this is high.

Lastly, its VERY important that she drinks lots The more the better. If she has a bad period then ask the vets to inject some fluid under her skin to make sure she is fully hydrated. When giving her fresh veg, make sure it is well washed and left wet.
Lilith S 9 years ago
Yes, I'm taking her off the pellets slowly, even though the vet did not say it that way I know its better not to take something out of their diet so quickly.

I am going to try the parsley and see if that helps. I have been leaving her veg very wet because here recently she has decided she does not want to drink! She is on IV fluids daily at home for awhile. Her only other meds she was given is for arthritis pain.
jojo79 PRO 9 years ago
Thats good. Its also quite common that their water consumption goes down when they have urine troubles - its kind of a vicious circle!

Heres hoping she feels better soon.
Lilith S 9 years ago
She still does not want to drink. I called the vet and they just said that was ok since she is eating and getting her subq fluids. I hope so, I'm very worried about her:(
jojo79 PRO 9 years ago
How much subQ fluids is she getting per day?

Generally, if she is eating a decent amount of wet veg then this should keep her relatively hydrated. I know that my rabbits drink a lot less when I increase their fresh veg portions.
dora_marie 8 years ago

I call that the free food:) LOL
I wish the yard would be fenced here. It is in my future projects. This year was asphalt year. Next year should be yard year;O) So it is going to be a YY
Where and how do you put water for him to drink there? Does it get warm too soon? How do you know they will have enough?
dora_marie 8 years ago

Noisette , before this month, was between 3 and 3.5 pds.
So I guess everything is fine?
She gets pellets only during the night in her cage, about 4 tbspoons. She has timotey hay and fresh greens plus pieces of fruits each day. She finally took bananas in affection. Took her two months!
wardahputeri 8 years ago
What the ideal weigh for Jersey Wooly ~ Latte, and Loop-eared Angora ~ Coffee?


I'm not entirely sure of the breed.. this was told by the pet shop person.
Bunbunboutique 8 years ago
Any ideas how to put on weight for a bunny? Flop eats good but lately he does eat less pellets, but more hay though :) and he eats all his greens too. Little bit of fruit a day will help? The vet said that he is on the skinny side and could use a bit more weight, but is not extremely underweight. He is a active bun :)
jojo79 PRO 8 years ago
In my opinion, thinner is better than fatter. The important thing is that he doesnt LOOSE any more weight. Skinny buns are fine but if they eat well and are still loosing weight then that would be a worrying issue that would need further investigation.

I wouldnt recommend changing his diet in any way to try and gain weight as he would be putting on fat rather than bulking up his muscles etc.

He will also get fatter with age :o)
jojo79 PRO 8 years ago
Jersey Wooly is approx 2-4lbs

The Coffee is more difficult being a cross breed, but my guess would be 5 - 8lbs.
Bunbunboutique 8 years ago
Thats what we thought as well. He is active and eats good. I think he knows what he should eat, he prefers hay over pellets.

Only thing we were wondering if he should get pellets from junior and dwarf of Burgess excel instead of the regular pellets from Burgess excel. Does that give more fibre because he is such an active bun?
jojo79 PRO 8 years ago
I would stick with the regular excel pellets as these should be fine.

If you are thinking of changing their pellets then I HIGHLY recommend the Science Select by Supreme. Its fantastic and unlike Burgess Excel, has NO added sugar!
Muggins' Lover 8 years ago
This is great. I've actually put Ester on a diet. I read the instructions on the backof the pellet bag to discover I was giving her about 1/2 cup too much per day. I thought she was getting a bit chunky.

I like the idea of the spread out portioning. I do this for myself, so I main as well for the bun too!

Thanks for the afirmations!
kohlin PRO 8 years ago
Thanks Jojo. This is exactly what I needed since there's a ton of conflicting info out there. I was going to ask the vet at our checkup on Monday anyway, but now I have it here for reference.
woodworker2 8 years ago
Thanks jojo ,great info !

I showed my Harvey the diet sheet and he ate it !!

Harvey looking stern !
mossbinky Posted 8 years ago. Edited by mossbinky (member) 8 years ago
hahahahha i love you harvey you hogalog!
Lost In Splendor 8 years ago
Bookmarking, thank you.

: )
dora_marie 8 years ago

LOL He is a disapproving bun?:))))
sharon.wathen 8 years ago
What is half of a teacup?? Is that a 1/2 cup? I know US measurements can be lame... but I don't think I have ever heard of half a teacup.. just wondering about how much this means.

Another thing, any ideas on Oxbow pellets? I know Oxbow has good hay, and my two won't eat any other brand... they are both currently on Oxbow pellets after switching from Kaytee...
jojo79 PRO 8 years ago
Oxbow pellets are one of the best. Just make sure they are the bunny basics T (so the timothy pellets and not the alfalfa ones).

1/2 a cup is fine....I put a teacup as I wanted to be sure people would not use a big mug style cup :o)
Hi jojo
Am new to the BLU (I have learnt so much despite my thinking I was already quite bunny-savvy!) and you have finally answered some of my questions about what to feed my babies other than pellets and veg. Was going to order a load of other stuff from Bunny Basics but I see their web site has closed - do you know of any other good suppliers?

Thank you so much for being such a source of good bunny information - so many people just dont understand them and try to pass off other small animal info as suitable when it really isnt. You obviously give a great deal of time to this and we are all really grateful.
jojo79 PRO 8 years ago
Hi Bunnygirl - thanks for the kind words.

Are you in the UK? If so.....I now use The Hay Experts for all my needs. They are superb, great quality, good prices and have a really good range of hay, food toys...everything!
Yes I am in the UK, thanks JoJo will try them and get an order for some yummy bunny food.
Fordster PRO Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Fordster (member) 6 years ago
I have a question about feeding green veggies (e.g. kale, cabbage, broccoli, etc). How much is safe to feed each day? I keep reading about the high levels of calcium and am getting worried that Benji eats too much of it. He normally eats either one cabbage leaf per day (sweetheart or savoy) or a good handful of curly kale. We also usually give him a couple of florets of broccoli each day too.

He doesn't seem to like any other veggies although he will usually eat florence fennel and sometimes celery. We've tried other stuff (e.g. rocket, dandelion leaves, spinach, etc) but he turns his nose up at it.

He's also going through a mad dried corn on the cob phase which I'm not sure about as suspect that might be too much sugar?

He still munches plenty of hay (mix of meadow and timothy) and also his Burgess Excel nuggets so at least has a somewhat mixed diet.
jojo79 PRO 6 years ago
Stop the dried corn!!!!!!!!!!! Its awful stuff and can cause gut blockages.

As for the greens, that doesnt sound too bad. Try him on fresh herbs like parsley, corriander, basil and mint. I only feed herbs as fresh food now and it makes for happy, healthy tummies.

The veg you are currently giving are all the high calcium ones unfortunately. What is his pee like? If it is thick, creamy, lump then this could be a sign of urinary sludge. If his pee is quite normal then he is prob ok for now. I would try and move him across to less calcium rich veg so that he only has 1 high calcium beg mixed with some better stuff each day.
Fordster PRO 6 years ago
Thanks Jojo

His pee is quite chalky coloured but not thick or lumpy. He's not overly keen on the herbs we've tried before but will try again. We tried him on some "Herbal Delight" food that has grass, wheat, peas, parsley, carrot, carob, alfalfa, corn, beetrot, lemon balm, peppermint and marigold but all he does is pick out the corn, beetroot and peas!
mossbinky 6 years ago
try one fresh herb at a time fordster. buy a fresh bunch of basil or corriander. wash it and offer it to him. leave it there and offer a bit more fresh later, and so on for several days. sometimes they take their time to pick at it then suddenly realise they love it! especially if you remove one of the more challenging veggies like kale for a while instead.
jojo79 PRO 6 years ago
That herbal delight sounds like a musli mix type food to me....if so, dont use this. The musli mix type food is rubbish, can block guts, can cause stasis and does not wear down the teeth correctly. Also, the rabbits will be selective as to which bits they do and dont want to eat and dont get a varied diet. Bunnies should ideally be fed a pellet type of food like oxbow or burgess excel or supreme science selective. This way all the nutrients are in each pellet with none of the rubbish.

Do as Dani says with the herbs...the best one to help his urinary tract is parsley. Try the flat leaf and the curled leaf as this can make a difference.

I would say try giving the same amounts of cabbage and then either kale OR brocolli for a little while to cut the calcium down a little bit. Hopefully he will decide he likes fresh herbs and this will help! And offer the herbs at a different time to the veg - or he will always choose the veg he knows over the herbs he doesnt.
Alexandra Akriv 6 years ago
My fatsas is 6 years old and he loves peppers ,every day he eats fresh hay and dry food,for his teeth every 4 days he eats bread(dried) he loves it ! when he was younger he was holding the dried bread in his mouth and he was running and running and after a 5 minutes running he ate it :) haha ..they say your advices are good ! can you suggest me what's the best for a senior bunny ?
Fordster PRO Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Fordster (member) 6 years ago
Thanks for all the advice. The herbal delight was an addition to Benji's diet, not to replace his Burgess Excel or veggies. We only give him a bit now and again but yes he does just pick the bits he likes so we've stopped it altogether now.

The good news is that we took Dani's advice and just added basil which he seems to love. We will try again with the parsley but in the past he has just ignored it.

This past week we've changed how we give him veggies. In a morning we're giving him broccoli and celery/cauliflower leaf and then on a night one leaf of cabbage and either basil or celery. We also give him his Burgess Excel on a night before bed time. We also give him fennel when we can get it.

Although Benji would probably want more than this (he wolfs down his veggies on a night more or less straight away) he has plenty of hay and so is foraging on that. His weight is good and still has plenty of energy so I think we might be heading the right way.
mossbinky 6 years ago
sounds like benji has a liking for strong tastes fordster, so try corriander next, beau who is a basil fiend since markfftang gave it to him in hospital when he was ill, loves corriander now too. yeah fennel sounds like his sort of thing as well. these are sophistibuns!! lol
Fordster PRO 6 years ago
Thanks, will get some coriander and try that. I can see half my garden is going to be taken up growing food for Benji!
Fordster PRO 6 years ago
Looks like we're making good progress. Benji now loves basil and devours it as soon as it is put down. We've not managed to get any coriander yet but we've also been giving him flat leaf parsley and he likes that even though he wouldn't touch curled parsley.

He no longer gets any kale but we still give him broccoli, celery and florence fennel along with his Burgess Excel. We also still give him sweetheart cabbage a few times a week too.

Thanks for all the tips.
jojo79 PRO Posted 6 years ago. Edited by jojo79 (admin) 6 years ago
Superb! For people in the USA then Cilantro is the same thing as corriander (I know your not Fordster!).

Also try and increase his water intake if you can by leaving the veg / herbs soaking wet and sometimes offering a bowl as well as a bottle.

After a couple of weeks of this new regime, take a look at his pee and see if it has made any difference.
Fordster PRO 6 years ago
We use a bowl rather than a bottle anyway given that he is a free range bunny and he does drink from it quite often. Also, we always wash all veggies and herbs and leave them wet so he should be getting plenty of fluid.
The Bunny Maker PRO 6 years ago
I thought i'd list some of the veg and herbs and the like that Nosy and Spike get given on a regular basis ...

Hyssop, Coriander, Chives, Mint, Parsley, Basil (all types), dandelion, plaintain (a fave), thistles, Sorrel, Romaine, Pak Choi, Chicory, cucumber, apple/pear/plum tree leaves and bark.

Don't like: tomatoes, peppers, fresh fruit (!) Only Spike likes banana.

home-popped corn
dried pineapple

They would take my arm off for Herbal Delight!! its drugged, I know it is! never seen then go soo crazy as they do for it.

I bought some of this Timothy hay
and they get very excited about it.
I've always given them Timothy, which they are eaten in a 'this is okay hay and i'm hungry' way - but this stuff, 'Woo hoo, hay!'

It comes in a box so its dry and fresh - not plastic which I find sweats in our shed sometimes. I then have to keep it in the cooler kitchen, but then hay gets everywhere and there are bags cluttering up the place!
This is GREAT hay!
jojo79 PRO 6 years ago
mossbinky Posted 6 years ago. Edited by mossbinky (member) 6 years ago
could we put a feeding for young bunnies under 6 months on here ? at the top jojo before the first bit, then lead onto adult bunnies with the weights thing?
it would help newbies with their young bunnies as their dietary needs are specific and important.
jojo79 PRO 6 years ago
Good thinking Dani
mossbinky Posted 6 years ago. Edited by mossbinky (member) 6 years ago
jojo what do you think of these pellets for adult buns?
they look good to me. no molasses, low calcium protein and high fibre. not too big. i might write and ask them to send me a small sample to try for the bunnies?
jojo79 PRO 6 years ago
Hmm I would be wary just because they are not specifically rabbit. The content looks ok, but personally I wouldn't chance it.
jojo79 PRO 6 years ago
The new year is a great time to re-visit your feeding plans and do a bunny weight check! Dont forget a vet health check if your rabbit hasnt seen a vet in 2010.
Muggins' Lover 6 years ago
Nuts? Are there any nuts that are suitable as a treat? I read somewhere someone's bunny loved almonds...can buns eat almonds?
mossbinky Posted 6 years ago. Edited by mossbinky (member) 6 years ago
i started to feed peach a shelled raw almond a day when he got into such poor condition after his moult and had lost a lot of weight. they're a bit like fruit. should be fed sparingly and not daily unless for a specific reason because unlike fruit (too much sugar) almonds and walnuts are high in fats, which you dont want to include on a regular basis in a bunny diet.

peach is now off his almond a day regime.

they can be helpful for rabbits whose skin is in bad condition or fur due to disease or illness.

mine would have my arm off for an almond but it has to be for a real treat (like going to the vet) or for buzz for putting up with george.
mossbinky 6 years ago
oh jo i meant to say that those graze on pellets went down like a lead balloon, i got a free sample and ended up throwing them. no good for my buns here anyway.
Muggins' Lover 6 years ago
Thanks Moss! I was just curious. I was munching on some almond slices with my yogurt and Lucy came over to ask for some. I told her I'd have ask BLU first, which produced some serious nose nudging and blanket digging. :-P
bel_b 6 years ago
Actually I've been wondering about 'sprouts'? Am growing mung beans, lentils and some beans from seeds in my kitchen. They're ready after 6 days...thought it could be a good treat sometimes? Its *superfood* for us slaves apparently! Too many carbs for bunnies?
mossbinky 6 years ago
i dont know about those bel, i think they're mainly protein packed arent they? like broccoli or sunflower sprouts are v trendy here. ive tried my bunnies on sprouting seeds but they didnt like them. they'd rather nab a real sunflower kernel from me if they can (norty!)
jojo79 PRO 6 years ago
mossbinky 6 years ago
wow 34 % fibre looks good...wonder if they will eat it. fenugreek is a BIG hit here so it might well tempt them....i'm going to try some jo, thanks for posting this.
jojo79 PRO 5 years ago
mossbinky 5 years ago
this is helpful and shows that orchard grass has the same high fibre/low protein ratio exactly as timmy hay!
ladylagomorph76 5 years ago
That is good to know. Ours love Orchard Grass, and Timmy was difficult to get last time we went in! We weren't sure what was going to happen this time we went in! Thanks!
jojo79 PRO 5 years ago
Yup - my guys have only had orchard grass for over a year now and their consumption is still superb.
Supermunchie 5 years ago
Thank you so much! I'll research this all this afternoon. Though I love my chubby bunnies - I want them to be as healthy as possible too.
mossbinky 5 years ago
i've just found that Supreme make a really nice meadow hay!
meghanplessinger Posted 5 years ago. Edited by meghanplessinger (member) 5 years ago
I really enjoyed all of the information. I am having a really hard time getting Remy to eat hay. I was really thinking I was starving him because he always eats everything and begs for more. I feed him pellets in the morning one full cup, then at dinner time I make him a bunny salad with herbs, lettuce and other greens we have on hand. Then at night I add fresh hay into his cage, he eat it all but the hay (he eats some but not a lot of it) which really worries me since he is Angora and really needs his hay. I am going to try your tips on getting him to like his hay more.

My sweet little Remy is learning already how spoiled he is!!!
jojo79 PRO 5 years ago
Welcome to BLU! Glad you like the guide. Please make sure he has a good quality hay available at all times and not just in the evenings. Try different types of hay (there are lots of types!) so see which one he prefers. Hay should be light brown to green in colour and sweet smelling. It should not be dark brown, dry and dusty! Also check out the dried herbs thread as you can mix some of these with his hay to get him more interested. How old is he? If he is over a year then you can start to reduce his pellets so this will increase his hay consumption too.

Also, please do not feed lettuce as it has no nutritional value and can cause an upset tummy.

Lastly, please check out the new members guide.
meghanplessinger Posted 5 years ago. Edited by meghanplessinger (member) 5 years ago
I am going to try to get to the store and get some different types tomorrow. He has access to hay all day I just clean out and give him new every night, maybe that is part of the problem. Where we got him from he was outside and their cages were filled with regular horse hay. I switched him to the Timothy but he is just not eating a lot of it. I am going to try to get some dried herbs for him as well. He loves the parsley we give him!! So he may like to have some herbs mixed in as well.

He is a little over 5 months old according to the pedigree the lady gave to me, however; she said several times he has born in May so I am hoping that when he goes to the vet this Friday they may be able to give me a better idea for sure.

Thanks for the tip about lettuce he loves it, but we will take that out of his salad right away. I don't think he is overweight at all but I do worry about if he is getting enough hay or not. Maybe I am an over anxious bunny owner, but I really want him to get a lot of hay to prevent wool block. So far all of his poos have looked good but still I worry, he is already such a special member of the family!
jojo79 PRO 5 years ago
If he is under 10 months then he can gave large quantities of alfalfa hay and he should like this as it's like bunny crack normally! Alfalfa should be limited though after 10mths to a year old as it's high in calcium and can put on weight. It's great for young buns though.

As for hairballs, grooming is your best option here. Angoras take a lot of work and need weekly grooming (and sometimes daily detangling in spots with your fingers). Check out the guide to grooming for help with this as not every brush or comb will work. I also gave my angora a supplement to help keep her gut lubricated. I would recommend this too so have a look at the hairball thread too.
meghanplessinger 5 years ago
I will try some Alfalfa then and the supplement!!! Thanks again for all of your help!!! He gets groomed every day, and we just had out first plucking (I was a nervous mess but he sat there and then seemed so happy afterwards!). It is so weird I read for about three years about Angora bunny care and I still feel like I am at such a loss because some things that I have read about their care he just does not seem to be receptive of like the hay. Do you think hay racks are good? I have read different things and since his cage before was filled with hay on the floor I figured I would do the same (of couse cleaned out every night) but I am wondering maybe if he would like a hay rack better.
I am hoping the new mommy jitters will wear off. I am really hoping the vet will give him a good bill of health on Friday. Remy is such a sweet good little bunny I really want do the best for him, I am thinking maybe all of my reading before hand makes me nervous when things don't go exactly textbook perfect!!!
jojo79 PRO 5 years ago
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