How NOT to feed your rabbit

Theodore and Roxy

This is Theodore and Roxy. The big, lop boy should be half this size and little Roxy is supposed to be a dwarf. For 4 years they received unlimited amounts of alfalfa pellets 16 % protein mixed in with crushed oats, corn and barley with molasses. Their droppings are tiny and they hardly move around. This is a good way to kill your bunny. They are now on a healthy diet, slowly loosing weight and becoming more active. As they are sweet, friendly rabbits they will hopefully get a home with some room to run and people who will feed them properly.

4 comments to How NOT to feed your rabbit

  • Amanda Rogers

    This is shocking!
    Of course, people should do their research, but I am always horrified at what companies will market as an appropriate diet for rabbits. I see bags of food with sunflower seeds and pieces of peanut in them. Pellets marked “timothy” turn out to have alfalfa meal listed as the second ingredient. You can buy “treats” made of yoghurt, even though rabbits should not consume any milk except rabbit milk, when they are small.
    I almost lost one of my bunnies before I learned to feed properly. I thought I was feeding well, but I was seduced by the easyness of pellets and I considered hay to be a nice extra. After three weeks of syringe feeding with critical care and dosing with medicam and simethicone I realized how lucky I was to still have this beautiful animal in my life. Six months later we are a hay household, and we think of parsley as a nice treat!

  • Olga

    I always say that diet and exercise are the keys to rabbit health. Pet stores sell many things that are NOT healthy for rabbits – same as grocery stores sell things unhealthy for humans. Trick is to know what. For adult rabbits avoid pellets made with alfalfa hay and look for those made from timothy hay. Buy nothing with coloured pieces, seeds, nuts or corn in it. Avoid sugar. If you look at the label on yoghurt drops you will see “icing sugar”. Of course, one can give rabbits little pieces of these things as a special treat but I think avoiding them altogether and giving a piece of carrot or apple a much better idea.

    Adult Rabbit’s ideal diet: lots of grass hay (such as timothy – NOT alfalfa) as much as he wants, selection of fresh greens, limited amount of plain timothy hay based pellets (about 1/4 cup per day), plenty of fresh water.

    Note: Do not change a rabbit’s diet suddenly. Switch him over a little at a time. And if your rabbit is obese reduce food slowly over time.

    Happy hopping!

  • Carmen

    Yeah I still remember Katrina and how fat she was when she arrived at the shelter. I’m so glad the vet was able to take some fat out during the spay but I often worry if her diet had left any damage. It seems to me that people will buy anything the pet stores stock. I have not found one single bag of food that was healthy for rabbits, no matter what the packaging says. I once saw these “nothing but herbs” treats that looked alright but when it was cracked in half, inside was a PEANUT and it was covered in sesame seeds and honey. Companies don’t care about the health of a rabbit and/or what’s good for them or not. They just want to sell their products.

  • Selected ideas in this article are really the best I have ever read.

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