A feeding guide for your Pet Rabbit

what do rabbits eat

A feeding guide for your Pet Rabbit

DIET – THE most IMPORTANT PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE!

Rabbit’s teeth grow continuously throughout life. They depend on their diet to help wear down their teeth.  Without healthy teeth, a rabbit won’t lead a healthy and happy life.

HAY: 80% of diet

  • MOST IMPORTANT – feed in unlimited amounts,
  • Timothy, Oaten, Wheaten, Pasture, Paddock, Meadow or Ryegrass hays.
  • NB: Lucerne or Clover hays are not recommended as they cause obesity.
  • Hay wears down teeth; reduces boredom and behavioural problems; aids digestion.
  • Ensure hay is not dusty or mouldy. Good hay smells sweet.
  • Store hay where air can circulate – not in plastic bags.

VEGES + HERBS: 15 – 20% of diet

  • Around 2 packed cups of fresh leafy greens per kg body weight (at least 3 different varieties):
    • Veges: broccoli, snow peas, cabbage, beet/carrot tops, spinach, brussel sprouts, celery, bok choy, other Asian greens, dark leafed lettuce varieties (NOT ICEBERG LETTUCE!), kale etc.
    • Herbs: parsley, endive, coriander, dandelion, mint, dill, basil, water cress, mustard greens, edible flowers from the garden (organically grown and not from the florist), chickory etc.
  • Ensure all food is washed to remove chemicals / pesticides.

TREATS: 1 -2 tablespoons per rabbit per day ONLY!

  • Fresh fruit: apple, apricot, banana, berries, carrots!, capsicum, cherries, cranberries, mango, melons, peach, plum, papaya, pineapple.
  • Pellets: too much of a good thing? YES! Rabbits should NOT BE FED SOLEY on “pellets” or “mixes”.  They don’t meet nutritional standards and reduce the bunnies desire to ingest hay.

FORBIDDEN FOODS:

  • Avocado, beans, biscuits, breads, breakfast cereals, cake, chocolate, cereals, caffeine, corn / popcorn, dried beans, dried corn, grains, meat /fish, nuts, oats, peas, potatoes, rhubarb, sugar, seeds, sweets, wheat.

OTHER TIPS

  • Mineral or salt blocks are required.
  • Fresh water must be available at all times. Offer TWO (2) water containers in case one is spilt.
  • All bunnies need exercise outside their hutch every day, approximately 4 hours.
  • Sunshine: indoor rabbits may lack vitamin D, thus a complete and balanced diet is essential.
  • Bunnies are natural chewers, so provide lots of chew toys – wooden blocks, old telephone books etc.