Bunnies love food. If you give them the freedom to eat, then they will surely spend the entire day gnawing and eat. That will happen, especially when their foods are natural or with something green in them.
A healthy and proper diet for bunnies will be the cornerstone to keep them healthy. In many cases, rabbits suffer from gut problems and issues affecting their molars and teeth. These are all due to improper diet.
In feeding rabbits properly, you should know not just what to feed your pet. You also need to know how much to feed them. Know their everyday feeding intervals and rhythms. Sometimes, you might be thinking you haven’t given enough to your pet, but it is so important to make sure the rabbit is not overeating.
In this post, I will be giving you ideas on what to give and how you should feed your furry friend based on each type of food that is suitable for it.
What to Remember When Feeding a Rabbit?
Rabbits must be fed twice every day, preferably once in the morning and the other at night. Your pet’s everyday diet must include:
- Unlimited and easy access to grass and hay
- A handful of veggies, fruits, hay, and leafy plants
- Some high-quality commercial pellet mix made for rabbits.
Those are the kinds of foods that your pet should be eating. However, you will find a wide array of treats for bunnies that are widely sold in pet stores.
It must be noted that these treats shouldn’t be offered every day. Likewise, they must not be a big part of your pet’s diet. Too many treats can lead to obesity, especially if you opt for those products with high sugar content.
Rabbits have various tastes. Besides, not all of them have similar things to consume. It’s necessary to find out what foods are good and bad for your pet. This will help a lot in keeping your pet safe from harm while maintaining its overall health and vitality.
Did you see your rabbit eating its feces? Don’t worry because that is normal. The rabbit does that to get the remaining nutrients in its stools.
How Much Food Should One Feed to a Bunny? Steps to Follow
Start Giving Hay like Alfalfa.
Your bunny’s diet should consist of 80% hay. The most famous kinds of grass hay include Timothy, meadow, and orchard. Likewise, wheat, oat, and barley hay are also good for a pet. Give your pet unlimited access to hay.
Alfalfa is great only for babies and juveniles. For adults, the best choice is Timothy hay. Alfalfa is rich in protein, so it is best for the growing buddies. In some cases, alfalfa can help in dealing with malnutrition for adults and older rabbits.
Milk is good for baby bunnies 1 to 3 weeks. Between 4-7 weeks, you can also feed a young rabbit full access to pellets mixed with alfalfa.
Consider Fresh Food.
Fresh food must be roughly 10 to 15% of the bunny’s diet. Fresh foods that are ideal to rabbits are:
- Non-leafy fresh foods – 15%
- High-fiber fruits – 10%
- Leafy fresh food – 75%
Offer Some Fruits.
- For young adult rabbits age 7 months to 1 year, fruits should not be over 1-2 ounces per 6 pounds of body weight.
- For adults age 1-5 years, fruits must not be over 2 ounces per 6 pounds of body weight.
Give Non-Leafy and Leafy Veggies
For the baby bunnies, veggies must be fed once they reach 12 weeks of life. Introduce the veggies one by one in quantities below ½ ounces. For adults, the estimated amount of feed will be approximately 1 cup of green veggies for 2 pounds of body weight.
It is important to find out the limitations of your pet when it comes to food. Feed your bunny a minimum of 3 kinds of veggies every day with at least one veggie rich in vitamin A.
A mixture of different veggies is required to ensure your pet is getting all the nutrients it needs. For instance, when you feed your pet with spinach this week, don’t give spinach next week. Instead, give something that is not high in oxalate.
Introduce new veggies to your pet’s diet to avoid digestive upset, though the animal is now familiar with different veggies. Some rabbits might not react positively when being fed with greens. Bunnies thrive on a hay/pellet diet. It is not a big deal. Ensuring that your pet drinks enough water is more important.
The number of fresh foods must be double the size of a bunny’s head. So, slice the veggies coarsely and then collect the slices snuggly. Don’t squeeze them tight with your hands.
Offer Some Pellets
Pellets are mainly for breeders because they are high in protein, which is essential for faster growth. In spite of that, ensuring a longer lifespan is more important to your pet. Pellets make juveniles eat some or no hay, which is not good. Your pet should have proper eating habits right in the first few weeks of its life.
You can start giving pellets when your pet is at least 4 weeks. Alfalfa mixed with pellets is good for young bunnies age 4 to 7 weeks. Juvenile bunnies (7 weeks – 7 months) can eat 25 grams of pellets per kilogram of adult weight in case you use high-protein pellets. If you use low-protein pellets, then you can add a bit more.
Compute the quantity based on the other foods your pet may be eating and its activity level. Decrease the quantity when the bunny produces soft droppings or is not consuming more hay. A young adult rabbit should not be fed with alfalfa. Also, you need to reduce the amounts of pellets it eats to just ½ cup for every 6 pounds of body weight. A 1 to 5-year old rabbit can eat ¼ to ½ cup of pellets for every 6 pounds of body weight.
- 1 pound is equal to 0.45 kilograms
- 1 cup is equal to 2.5 ounces
- 2 cups are equal to 150 grams or 5.3 ounces
- 1 ounce is equal to 28.35 grams
Dry foods are quite tasty for rabbits. It makes these foods good for incorporating activities and toys. When feeding your pet with dry foods, try using “treat” balls. These are hollow balls with a tiny hole. Fill them with food, and the balls will fall out while your pet pushes them all over the ground.
“Treat” balls are commonly available in the cat supplies section in the pet shops. You can also make a DIY treat ball by using a box, bottle, or cardboard tube with holes where dry food will come out.
Teach your pet how to make the treat ball work by putting it with the hole down and some food pieces near it. While your pet attempts to get the foods, the treat ball moves and knocks more foods coming out. From there, your pet learns and will start running after the ball quickly. If your pet is having fun with the ball, then you may use it instead of the bowl when feeding the rabbit.
Feeding your pet right is the ultimate key to keeping it healthy and alert for the rest of its life. I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Please let me know your thoughts through the comment section below. If you like my article, please share it with your friends through your social media accounts.