LET'S TALK ABOUT - YOUR RABBIT'S DIET!

It's Rabbit Awareness Week! (2)

LET'S TALK ABOUT CORRECT BUNNY DIETS!

It is vitally important to get your bunny's diet right, as incorrect diet is one of the leading causes of bunny health issues! Read on for more information about recommended pellets, how to feed vegetables, and how to encourage more hay eating!

 

A correct rabbit diet contains 80-90% HAY with 10% PELLETS and 10% VEGETABLES if you choose to give them

 

ENOUGH HAY IS ESSENTIAL!

Hay is vitally important for your rabbit's teeth and digestive system.

If they overeat on vegetables or pellets they don't usually eat enough hay - which should be a ball the size of their body each day. Hay can be Meadow hay or Timothy hay whichever your bunny prefers, they are very similar nutrient wise. Alfalfa hay is too high in calcium (so can lead to bladder issues) and too fattening for adults over 6 months. 

 

RABBIT DOESN'T EAT ENOUGH HAY? TRY THESE TIPS -

*Experiment with different types of hay - timothy vs meadow, or hays enhanced with forage or herbs such as dandelion or chamomile hay (Try Hay your Way if you are in Ireland for fresh hay delivered right to your door plus forage mixes)

*Cut back on pellets (only a small handful once a day is required) 

*Cut back on vegetables 

*Try scattering their pellets in the hay, - you can also scatter vegetables, herbs or dry forage, to encourage them to forage among the hay for the goodies

*Spray a little apple juice on the hay

*Feed hay at a different time of day to pellets or vegetables, as your bunny is more likely to be hungry and eat the hay - this is why I recommend pellets only once a day

 

GOOD PELLETS

Rabbit pellets should have at least 18% PROTEIN and 12-14% FIBRE. Muesli mixes aren't good for bunnies, because they usually don't contain enough protein and fibre, plus your bunny can 'select feed' which means they pick out the bits they like and ignore the bits they want, so they don't get the nutrients from all the ingredients. A pellet on the other hand contains all the nutrients in each bite. Pellets should have hay as their first ingredient, usually it is Timothy Hay. Your bunny only needs a small handful once a day when they are fully grown. Any more than that can cause obesity, tummy and bladder issues, and insufficient hay eating. 

Some recommended pellets -

- Burgess Excel

- Supreme Science Select House Rabbit or Grain Free (their standard adult food is actually made from Alfalfa which as I said above isn't good for adult bunnies, this is a good choice for bunnies under 6 months though!)

- Allen and Page Natural Pellets

- Bunny Nature Rabbit Dream

- Fancy Feed Bunny Nuggets

- Kaytee Timothy Complete and Forti Diet Pro

- KMS Hayloft Timothy Choice

- Oxbow (all varities)

 

If in Ireland, check out www.shaunaspetshop.ie and www.furrydubs.com for a range of pellets

 

VEGETABLES

It's a misconception that rabbits need vegetables every day. In fact, vegetables can cause health issues so they are best fed in moderation and a wide variety, and added gradually and carefully to your rabbit's diet. For example, carrots are very high in sugar so can cause tummy issues and obesity. Kale is very high in calcium so can cause bladder issues. A common mistake is to feed the same vegetable regularly because your bunny loves it (for example, kale I am looking at you, most bunnies go mad for it!) It is much better to mix it up regularly so your bunny doesn't get an 'overdose' of any one thing. Vegetables should be introduced only from 3 months of age, one at a time in a small portion, then wait a few days before trying something else to allow it to pass through their digestive system and for you to see if it is causing any tummy upsets or intolerances. Be sure you know which vegetables are safe for rabbits.

 

RABBIT GOT A POOPY BUM? 

 If your rabbit regularly has poop stuck to their fur, then usually an incorrect diet is the issue, so do some detective work to figure out what's upsetting their tummy

 

 

Want to know more?

Check out www.fionaspetacademy.ie

for Bunny Care Online Classes

 

USEFUL CLASSES ON THIS TOPIC  - 

*14 DAY BUNNY OWNERSHIP WITH CONFIDENCE VIDEO COURSE!

*HOW TO SAFELY AND EASILY INTRODUCE VEGETABLES TO YOUR RABBIT'S DIET

*HOW TO SORT OUT YOUR RABBIT'S POOPY BUM ISSUE ONCE AND FOR ALL

 

*PS - JOIN FIONA'S HAPPY BUNNY CLUB for these classes for FREE, plus level up your membership for discounts on Hay your Way, Shauna's Pet Shop, Furry Dubs, and The Rabbit Rooms Boarding and Grooming

FIONA'S HAPPY BUNNY CLUB - MONTHLY MEMBERSHIP

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