Diet

What are the basics of a good house rabbit diet?

A rabbit’s diet should be made up of good quality pellets, fresh hay (timothy or other grass hays), water and fresh leafy greens. Anything beyond that is a “treat” and should be given in limited quantities.

What makes a good pellet?

Pellets should be fresh, and should be relatively high in fiber (18% minimum fiber). Do not purchase more than 6 weeks worth of pellets at a time, as they will become spoiled. Pellets should make up less of a rabbit’s diet as he or she grows older, and hay should be available 24 hours a day. Alfalfa pellets are fine for younger rabbits but timothy pellets are preferred for older rabbits.

What kinds of leafy greens should I feed my rabbit?

When shopping for leafy greens, look for a selection of different veggies–look for both dark leafy veggies and root vegetables, and try to get different colors. Stay away from beans and rhubarb. Introduce new veggies slowly. Here is suggested diet information.

Is feeding hay important?

Hay is essential to a rabbit’s good health, providing roughage which reduces the danger of hairballs and other blockages. Apple tree twigs also provide good roughage.

Fresh hay should make up the bulk of your rabbit’s diet and needs to be readily available at all times. Adult rabbits can eat timothy, grass, and oat hays, while younger rabbits should be fed alfalfa. Alfalfa should not be given to adult rabbits because of the higher protein and sugar content. Hay is important for rabbits because it provides the essential fiber needed for good digestive health and it helps wear down a rabbit’s teeth (which continuously grow) for good dental health. Placing hay at one end of a litter box will also encourage the use of the litter box, as rabbits tend to eat hay and poop at the same time.

When choosing hay, make sure it looks and smells fresh. Do not choose a hay that looks brown or moldy or no longer smells like fresh cut grass. Store hay in a dry place in a container that allows air flow to keep it from getting moldy.

Help support our rescue efforts and provide the best for your bunnies: Large bags of Hay and 10 lb bags of Oxbow Pellet food can be purchased through Lucky Bunny Rabbit Rescue.  Email Nancy@luckybunnyrescue.org or call/text 951-834-5860 for locations and hours.    OR shop at:

Horizon Pet Supply- 2 locations:

Wildomar
36068 Hidden Springs Rd (Stater Bros. shopping plaza)
Wildomar, CA
951-678-7333

Murrieta
30688 Benton Rd.
Winchester, CA
951-926-5700

What quantities of food should I feed babies and “teenagers?”

  • Birth to 3 weeks–mother’s milk
  • 3 to 4 weeks–mother’s milk, nibbles of alfalfa and pellets
  • 4 to 7 weeks–mother’s milk, access to alfalfa and pellets
  • 7 weeks to 7 months–unlimited pellets, unlimited hay (plus see 12 weeks below)
  • 12 weeks–introduce vegetables (one at a time, quantities under 1/2 oz.)

What quantities of food should I feed young adults? (7 months to 1 year)

  • introduce timothy hay, grass hay, oat hay, and other hays; decrease alfalfa
  • decrease pellets to 1/2 cup per 6 lbs. body weight
  • increase daily vegetables gradually; make sure your rabbit can tolerate
  • fruit daily ration no more than 1 oz. to 2 oz. per 6 lbs. body weight (because of calories)

What quantities of food should I feed mature adults? (1 to 5 years)

  • Unlimited timothy, grass hay, oat hay, other hays including brome, Bermuda, etc.
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup pellets per 6 lbs. body weight (depending on metabolism and/or proportionate to veggies)
  • Minimum 2 cups chopped vegetables per 6 lbs. body weight; always introduce vegetables and greens slowly to make sure your rabbit can tolerate
  • fruit daily ration no more than 2 oz. (2 TBL) per 6 lbs. body weight.

What quantities of food should I feed senior rabbits? (Over 6 years)

  • If sufficient weight is maintained, continue adult diet
  • Frail, older rabbits may need unrestricted pellets to keep weight up. Alfalfa can be given to underweight rabbits, only if calcium levels are normal. Annual blood workups are highly recommended for geriatric rabbits.

If I feed fewer pellets, how do I compensate?

When you feed a lower quantity (or no) pellets, you must replace the nutritional value without the calories, which is done by increasing leafy greens. Also, a variety of hay must be encouraged all day long, we do this by offering fresh hay a couple of times a day.

Leave a Reply