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jojo79 1:01pm, 19 March 2012
A NEW re-worked guide to feeding. This guide will provide links to indepth info on pellets, hay and fresh veg/herbs/plants.

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Rabbits need a balanced diet. The best way to do this is to feed a SMALL amount of good quality pellet or monoforage food alongside unlimited good quality hay, unlimited fresh, clean water and a small selection of veg and herbs daily. Each brand of pellet will have feeding guidelines on the packaging. These need to be considered but bear in mind they are usually over generous!

***MUSLI MIX SHOULD NOT BE FED*** as it can cause selective feeding along with dental and digestive problems.

Ideally adult bunny breeds weighing 3lb - 6lbs should have the following amounts per day:
up to 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

Adult bunny breeds weighing 6lbs - 9lbs:
up to 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.

Adult bunny breeds weighing 10lb+:
up to 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***

For more info on how much your bunny should weigh and how to put your bunny on a diet, see the WEIGHT GUIDE:
www.flickr.com/groups/bunnyloversunite/discuss/7215762925...

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BABY BUNNIES AND YOUNGSTERS - 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.
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HAY

This should be the MAIN part of a rabbits diet. They should eat a minimum of a ball of hay the same size as their body - EVERY DAY! You may need to reduce the amount of pellets and fresh food offered to get the diet balanced and increase hay consumption. You can also feed some dried herbs and plants too.

See the HAY GUIDE for more detailed info:
www.flickr.com/groups/bunnyloversunite/discuss/7215762867...

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PELLETS

Good quality pellets contain a balanced selection of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that prevent selective feeding and help work the teeth a little too. There are many different brands but here are some of the best:

* Oxbow
* Supreme
* Burgess

Here is an indepth guide to pellets and monoforage foods:
www.flickr.com/groups/bunnyloversunite/discuss/7215762925...

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FRESH FOOD / VEG / HERBS / PLANTS

Rabbits should be fed some fresh food daily. Personally I am a big fan of feeding herbs as they are non fattening, yummy and do not cause any gas. Some even have holistic health benefits.

* Basil
* Corriander (cilantro)
* Parsley (good for Urinary tract)
* Mint (good for digestion)

These are the main herbs that are safe to feed. Others can be fed and can be found on the following guides along with more info on which veg to feed or not.

Here is a list of herbs/plants that I know are safe to feed bunnies in small quantities. If your bunny is ill or on any other medicine then always check with your vet before feeding.

Blackberry leaf (can help clear up diarrhoea)
Birch leaves
Comfrey leaf (aids digestion, good to feed when moulting)
Dandelion leaf (good for digestion and urinary tract. Also good for older buns to help prevent ostioporosis)
Echinacia (purple) leaves & stalks
Hazel leaves
Licorice Root (small amounts as mild laxative)
Marigold flowers
Nettle leaf (good for digestion and urinary tract)
Peppermint leaf (good for digestion)
Plantain leaf
Raspberry leaf
Red Clover flowers (good for stress / change)
Strawberry leaves
Sunflower petals

As always, introduce all new foods slowly in small quantities to check that your bunny has no adverse reactions.

You can also feed fresh twigs and sticks in small quantities, like apple, birch, hawthorn, pear, willow, hazel, rose twigs and rosehips
(good for arthritic bunnies).

Bear in mind...that veg that can give us gas will have the same effect on bunnies! So limit the amount of things like cabbage, sprouts etc. Also, carrots are very sugary so should also be limited.

Make sure you wash all fresh food thoroughly to remove any contamination. Offer them to the rabbits wet as well as this gets extra moisture into them :o)

*** Although many fruits are safe for bunnies to eat, they are VERY high in sugar and should be avoided and only fed as a very occassional treat ***

A list of plants that can be safe to feed in small quantities...
GOOD PLANT GUIDE:
www.flickr.com/groups/bunnyloversunite/discuss/7215759416...

Some plants can be toxic and FATAL. See this guide...
DANGEROUS PLANT GUIDE:
www.flickr.com/groups/bunnyloversunite/discuss/7215759416...

Rabbits over 1 year old should not be fed large quantities of calcium rich foods as it can cause health problems. See this guide...
CALCIUM CONTENT:
www.flickr.com/groups/bunnyloversunite/discuss/7215762901...

Here is a good thread on growing a 'bunny garden':
www.flickr.com/groups/bunnyloversunite/discuss/7215762248...

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TREATS

Store bought treats should be avoided as most contain excess sugars and preservatives that the rabbit does not need. DO NOT FEED ANY DAIRY products - so avoid yoghurt drop treats! Give fresh / died herbs and plants as treats instead. Or give one or two of their normal pellet as a treat.

You can also bake your own bunnies cookies or make ice lolly treats, see the HOMEMADE TREAT GUIDE:
www.flickr.com/groups/bunnyloversunite/discuss/7215762268...

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WATER

Fresh, clean water should be available AT ALL TIMES! Bottles are easier to keep full and clean however many bunnies prefer to drink from a bowl. Bottles need to be well cleaned once a week to remove any build up inside. If your bunny lives outdoors - you need to buy a cover for the bottle to reduce the amount of algae that grows inside and also to stop it over heating in summer and freezing in winter. Bottles should be checked daily to ensure they are in good working order.

Water bowls or crocks should be shallow and heavy to avoid the rabbit knocking it over. These get dirty very quickly so will need changing twice a day or even more frequently if you have a messy bunny!

Some bunnies are fussy about what TYPE of water they have! Usually, normal tap water in the UK is ok. But some bunnies prefer filtered or bottled water. Make sure you know approx how much your bunny drinks daily so you can notice any changes in habit as this could point towards a health problem.
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jojo79 7 years ago
bump
mossbinky Posted 7 years ago. Edited by mossbinky (member) 7 years ago
jo thanks for this it's brilliant. so helpful to refer to, and i'm glad to see the babies/young buns included again. it must have been a labour of love to complete and rejig such a lot of information. what would we do without you. snorgles.
mossbinky Posted 7 years ago. Edited by mossbinky (member) 7 years ago
i wanted to mention this pelleted food/supplement www.vetuk.co.uk/rabbit-supplies-pet-rabbit-care-c-649_197...

i' ve found that all my bunnies like it, and it has been invaluable for beau with his MC gut in that it's all he'll eat now pellet wise. the rest of them have a bit sprinkled in their hay for foraging. it is dandelion flavoured and smells nice and grassy. i really like this product for use in conjunction with normal pellet, or in the case of fussy eaters or bunnies with difficult guts to be used daily? any comments welcomed.
MOD
enbee401 Posted 7 years ago. Edited by enbee401 (moderator) 7 years ago
I'd like to add a bunny water bowl suggestion. I tried Apples with a heavy bowl of water... He used it to mop my floors ;). I found water bowls that mount to the vertical bars of his pen. I think they can also be configured to horizontal bars. Once you have the mount secure, you twist the crock part to secure it or remove it. I find it's easier for me to put the bowl back on while it's empty and then pour water in. I love it! I found this link:

www.petco.com/product/6987/Lixit-Carrier-Cage-Crock.aspx
MOD
sophisticat 7 years ago
Protexin is scrummy, Dani - I've almost tried it myself, it smells so nice :)

I only give it to Saki - it's quite pricey - but I sprinkle a scoop on his mushed carrot each morning and he loves it. I've been using it for about 9 months now, and it's definitely reduced the instances of poopy-butt which I used to get frequently with him, as he eats so little hay.
mossbinky 7 years ago
yes it's done the same here for miss moss and buzz. they only get a bit but beau will eat nothing else so he gets it. (empty purse syndrome)
admin
jojo79 7 years ago
Thanks Dani - glad you like it! Some of the links are to pages that are still under construction...but its getting there!
mommy25bunnies 7 years ago
Jo, can bunnies eat radish tops? I'm growing icicle radishes & they have big, green, yummy looking tops. Also, can they eat beet tops?
Lopeared 7 years ago
i must be tired long day at work, i read it as A MAN GUIDE TO EATING AND DIET lol
mossbinky 7 years ago
mommy, bunnies absolutely adore radish tops! at least they do here, they can also eat beet tops i think but mine dont seem to like them.
mommy25bunnies 7 years ago
Thanks, moss! I live on the east coast of the U.S. & the gardens are going crazy right now. It'll be fun to eat the radishes & give them tops, just like I do with carrots from the garden.
mossbinky 7 years ago
same here at the moment, mine are getting roses, mint, oregano, lots of grass, everything is growing like mad! it's a relief after the cold spring.
admin
jojo79 6 years ago
Bump
admin
jojo79 6 years ago
bumped
mossbinky Posted 5 years ago. Edited by mossbinky (member) 5 years ago
bumping for pinky earl, pam and anyone with a new or young bun, for info on bunnies younger than a year. which reads

>>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!<<
mossbinky 3 years ago
another new pellet from burgess excel, this one's called Nature's Blend and all the binkys really seem to like the extra flavours in it. www.thehayexperts.co.uk/excel-nature-s-blend-adult-rabbit...

[natures_blend]
hoarseman1 2 years ago
Nice free download about rabbit nutrition:
dontdumprabbits.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/RabbitNutr...
Space is a lonely town Posted 2 years ago. Edited by Space is a lonely town (member) 2 years ago
Looking over this rabbit nutrition summary:
wabbitwiki.com/wiki/Nutrition_for_rabbits

and also after looking into the differences between Oxbow's now discontinued Science Diet (in favor of the upcoming Garden Select), I'm wondering about modifying my rabbit's diet a bit.

He's 4lbs, a dwarf lionhead. Relatively long-haired, and very long haired in certain areas. This guide says that for long-haired rabbits, protein level should be higher. I've been feeding 1st cut Timothy hay (7% protein by Oxbow!) and Oxbow Science Diet pellets (12% protein). I wonder if I should also add a bit of Alfalfa hay into the mix, for a protein boost? The guide mentions 12-16% for general pet rabbits, and up to 17-20% for long-haired rabbits.

Another thing written in that guide is the fat levels should be 2-5% for general rabbit variety and 4-8%(!) for long haired varieties. Thunder, as a lionhead, is semi-long-haired. His pellet mix gives only 2.5% fat, and the new substitute Garden Select will have 2% fat. Oxbow's Timothy Hay is listed to have only 1.5% of fat. The evening veg salad is probably relatively low fat as well. Soybean Oil is listed as being a good source of fat for a rabbit. So I also wonder if I should be adding a small amount of that to Thunder's diet.
hoarseman1 Posted 2 years ago. Edited by hoarseman1 (member) 2 years ago
I compared the Oxbow Natural Science to the new Garden Select and except for a big reduction in vitamin A, it's essentially the same thing. I'm unsure about considering a lionhead as a long-haired breed so I wouldn't overdo the protein. I've always stuck with about 11-12% with the pellets and she normally doesn't get a lot of those. Lately she has because she was sick and lost weight, but that might be because I was feeding her 1st cut orchard grass. She liked it but don't know if it was nutritious enough. Alfalfa hay is fine for young and growing rabbits but generally adults (6 months+) don't need it. Pepper is also a lionhead and about 3.5 pounds. Over the years she has been slowly losing all her distinguishing lionhead "bits" and looking more "ordinary". Sorry, Pepper.
What do you think of this hay mix as a supplement? The touch of clover bit worries me a bit. But maybe only very small amount is okay.
www.farmerdavepetsupply.com/hay/first-cut-spring-medley-f...
hoarseman1 2 years ago
Space is a lonely town:

Maybe a touch of clover. A little white clover is nothing to worry about, red is the iffy one but both are very rich so tiny amounts if any.
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