Rabbit Friday will be broadcast on my blog site this Friday!
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Today Rachel, fromMy Kid Has Paws, and I will talk about rabbit nutrition and the extremely important facts about what to feed and what not to feed your bunnies.
Before I get into details, I need to make one thing very clear:
Contrary to popular belief, rabbits should not be fed carrots every day or very often. Carrots are high in sugar, a rabbit’s digestive system cannot handle a lot of sugar, therefore, carrots should be fed as a treat and not a meal. It is very easy to misconstrue this, since cartoons, movies, and TV show associate carrots being the main source of food for a rabbit. If anything, the carrot tops are healthy for the rabbit.
A rabbit’s diet should consist of hay and greens (and the occasional piece of fruit).
Rachel had a conversation with her best friend and Veterinarian, Dr. Summer Godfrey, about what is most important regarding rabbit nutrition. Her reply was, “Hay, hay, hay.”
LOTS AND LOTS OF TIMOTHY HAY is very important. The amount of hay should equal to the physical size of your rabbit. It’s very imperative for gastrointestinal tract and overall health. Also keeps teeth nice and healthy. Rabbit teeth constantly grow so chewing helps shave them down and keep them at a good length.
Godfrey reminded Rachel that in the wild rabbits only have access to hay, and there is no such thing as “pellets.”
Dr. Godfrey has extensive experience with rabbits as well as emergency experience. She said that in emergency medicine, she most commonly sees rabbits for digestive and teeth problems.
She also mentioned that snacking is okay for rabbits when you stick to healthy and natural snacks like veggies, but when rabbits start to ingest too many yogurt snacks or other “sweets”, they can easily get bloating or obstruction.
However, although pellets are not meant for all rabbits, they are often given to young rabbits who need that extra fiber and fat to grow. I took Pup off his pellets and as soon as Luna reaches 1 year old, I will wean her off as well.
OxBow also has GREAT pellets and other products. Give their site a visit.
Make sure that when switching to different types of pellets, you mix in the old pellets with the new so your rabbit doesn’t get an upset stomach.When looking for a good brand of pellets, make sure it has around to at least 20% fiber.
DO NOT get rabbit pellets with seeds or dried fruit mixed in. I cannot stress that enough. I made that mistake when I first had Pup and it caused us a very nerve-wracking and expensive visit to the vet. He had intestinal blockage and a lot of fluid floating around in his stomach which caused him not to eat. He had a 103° F fever as well. They had to take an X-Ray (which allowed them to determine that there was fluid in the stomach) and I had to syringe feed him antibiotics as well as a motility medicine, pain reliever, stool softener, and Critical Care for a while.
I really wish pet stores around the world did not sell these types of pellets. They are extremely bad for your rabbit and whenever I see someone I follow on IG feeding their rabbit those I cringe and politely inform them about the pellets.
If you have any other question feel free to email or comment!
I have learned a great deal about what to feed and what not to feed over the years!