Rabbits Diet: Is your rabbit eating right?
Roughly about 80% Timothy hay or another grass hay is recommended by most sources. In a rabbit’s diet having excessive vegetables typically results in diarrhea and other digestive problems.
The typical diet for a pet rabbit includes water, hay, pellets, fresh vegetables, and its own caecal pellets. Obesity can occur when too much fruit and other treats are given. Please bear in mind to only give it in very limited quantities. Rabbits dehydrate quickly and therefore require a constant supply of water.
Most sources recommend a minimum of 18% fiber, low protein (14? 15%), and under 1% calcium. Depending on the amount of vegetables available, an adult rabbit should be given between 20 ml to 40 ml per kilogram (? and? cup of pellets per 6 pounds) body weight daily. Pre-adolescent and adolescent rabbits (7 months and younger) can be given as much pelleted diet as they can consume, although additional vegetables are preferable to additional pellets. An older rabbit (over six years) can be given more pellets if they are having difficulty maintaining a steady body weight. Timothy hay-based pellets are great for rabbits that have stopped growing and do not have to put on weight. Alfalfa-based pellets are best only for young, growing rabbits or older rabbits who are under-weight.
Rabbits are generally fed a pelleted feed available from pet stores, supermarkets, and farm suppliers. Pellets were originally designed for rabbit breeders for the purpose of providing as much food energy and vitamins as inexpensively as possible. This is optimal when the rabbits are being bred for food or for experimentation.
Hay is essential for the health of all rabbits. A steady supply of hay will help prevent gastrointestinal stasis and other digestive tract problems in rabbits. Additionally, it provides a variety of necessary vitamins and minerals at a low food energy cost. Rabbits enjoy chewing on hay, and always having hay available for the rabbit may reduce its tendency to chew on other items. Timothy hay and other grass hays are considered the healthiest to provide the rabbit. As a persistently high blood calcium level can prove harmful to the rabbit, hays like alfalfa and clover hay should be avoided. Alfalfa is also relatively high in food energy, and a constant diet of it can cause obesity in rabbits.
Pineapple, mango, and papaya all contain a natural enzyme which is believed to reduce hairballs.
However, fresh fruits should not be given to rabbits under the age of 4 months because their digestive systems are not always developed enough to handle the fruit. It can cause enteritis that causes death within 2 Days.
While a common myth that rabbits should be given lettuce, this is not a smart idea because it contains little to no nutritional value for the rabbit and again can cause enteritis which leads to a quick death.
Acceptable fruits (remove seeds and pits!): Banana, Mango, Pineapple, Peach, Apple, Kiwi, Berries, Orange and other citrus fruits.
Treats are unhealthy in large quantities for rabbits, equally as they are for humans. Most treats sold in pet stores are full of sugar and high food energy carbohydrates. If an owner is determined to feed the rabbit treats, the most ideal treat to provide it with is fruit.
Fruits or other treats must be given in moderation, as rabbits easily become overweight and suffer health issue. Their diet should be composed of no more than half a tablespoon of fruits or treats daily.
Do not be alarmed if you see your rabbit eat just some of his feces. These are called cecal pellets, and are an essential part of his diet. Caecal pellets are soft, smelly, clumpy feces, and are a rabbit’s only supply of Vitamin B12. Because of the design of the rabbit’s digestive system, they can not extract some minerals and vitamins directly from their food. At the end of their digestive system is an area called the caecum where cellulose and other plant fibers are digested and ferment. After they have been dissolved and passed, a rabbit’s digestive system can finally extract the vitamins from them.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own veterinarian. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing the health of a pet. Always consult your own veterinarian.