The typical diet for a pet rabbit consists of water, hay,
pellets, fresh vegetables, and its own faecal pellets. Most rabbits like to munch on carrots or lettuce. You want
to feed your rabbit every day to ensure they are receiving the proper amount of food. Unlike cats that eat when
they are hungry, a rabbit can over eat and become over weight. Some commercial feeds for rabbits
contain nuts; however, these are typically not good as they are high in fibre. You can feed your rabbit fruit as a
treat, but you should not do so daily. Rabbits require a constant water supply as they dehydrate quickly.
Most sources recommend 80% of the diet should be Timothy hay or
another grass hay. Too many vegetables in a rabbit's diet typically leads to diarrhoea and other digestive
Rabbits often act famish even they are not so do not be fooled
with this thing because too much food intake could lead to obesity. Also give them food rich in fibre such as
turnips, mustard green, dandelion greens and parsley. High fibre foods would help their digestion.
Rabbits are generally fed a pelleted feed available from pet
stores, supermarkets, and farm suppliers. Pellets were originally designed for rabbit breeders for the purpose of
providing as much food energy and vitamins as inexpensively as possible. This is optimal when the rabbits are being
bred for food or for experimentation.
Most sources recommend a minimum of 18% fibre, low protein
(14-15%), and less than 1% calcium. Depending on the amount of vegetables available, an adult rabbit should be
given between 20 ml to 40 ml per kilogram of pellets per 6 pounds body weight daily. Pre-adolescent and adolescent
rabbits (7 months and younger) can be given as much pelleted diet as they can consume, although additional
vegetables are preferable to additional pellets.
Rabbits over one year old in age should be given with 1 /4 cups
of pellets daily. Feeding pellets depend on what age and size of the rabbit. But do not overfeed them with this for
pellets are very high in calorie. Too much intake of caloric food could lead to obesity.
An older rabbit (over six years) can be given more pellets if
they are having difficulty maintaining a steady body weight. Timothy hay-based pellets are great for rabbits that
have stopped growing and do not need to gain weight. Alfalfa-based pellets are best only for young, growing rabbits
or older rabbits who are under-weight.
Hay is essential for the health of all rabbits. A steady supply
of hay will help prevent gastrointestinal stasis and other digestive tract problems in rabbits. Additionally, it
provides a number of necessary vitamins and minerals at a low food energy cost. Rabbits enjoy chewing on hay, and
always having hay available for the rabbit may reduce its tendency to chew on other items. Timothy hay and other
grass hays are considered the healthiest to provide the rabbit. As a persistently high blood calcium level can
prove harmful to the rabbit, hays such as alfalfa and clover hay should be avoided. Alfalfa is also relatively high
in food energy, and a constant diet of it can cause obesity in rabbits.
Treats are unhealthy in large quantities for rabbits, just as
they are for humans. Most treats sold in pet stores are filled with sugar and high food energy carbohydrates. If an
owner is determined to feed the rabbit treats, the best treat to provide it with is fruit.
Acceptable fruits (seeds and pits MUST be removed): Banana,
Mango, Pineapple, Peach, Apple, Kiwi, Berries, Orange and other citrus fruits.
Pineapple, mango, and papaya all contain a natural enzyme which
is thought to reduce hairballs.
Fruits or other treats must be given in moderation, as rabbits
easily become overweight and suffer health problems. Their diet should consist of no more than half a tablespoon of
fruits or treats per day.
However, fresh fruits should not be given to rabbits under the
age of 4 months because their digestive systems are not always developed enough to handle the fruit. It can cause
enteritis that causes death within 48 hours.
Vegetables: Rabbits also need to eat veggies and fruits to avoid any vitamin
deficiency. This is another important factor of proper ways on pet rabbit care. But not all fruits and veggies are
allowed for them to chow down. Some could give them respiratory health problems and even kidney failure that may
lead to death. Supplement their chow with 1 / 2 cups vegetable such as broccoli, carrots and watercress. Do
not feed your pet rabbit with ice berg lettuce or cabbage. While a common myth that rabbits should be given
lettuce, this is not a good idea because it contains little to no nutritional value for the rabbit and again can
cause enteritis which leads to a quick death. For vegetables which to avoid or feed, consult your vet.
Do not be alarmed if you see your rabbit eat some of his faeces.
These are called faecal pellets, and are a vital part of his diet. Faecal pellets are soft, smelly, clumpy faeces,
and are a rabbit's only supply of Vitamin B12. Due to the design of the rabbit's digestive system, they cannot
extract some vitamins and minerals directly from their food. At the end of their digestive system is an area called
the caecum where cellulose and other plant fibres are broken down and ferment. After they have been broken down and
passed, a rabbit's digestive system can finally extract the vitamins from them.