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Feeding

What should you feed your pet rabbit?

Rabbits enjoy a variety of foods and enjoy having a varied diet.  Here we look through some of the foods that your pet rabbit will enjoy and some that you should not be feeding your bunnies.  You can see some more in-depth information on rabbit nutrition here.

Hay

A large majority of your rabbits’ diet should be made up from fresh hay.  There should always be hay available to your rabbits, generally somewhere in their cage where they can eat as much as they like when they are in the in the mood for it.  Timothy hay is the most popular kind of hay to feed pet rabbits and certainly what we would recommend. 

The reason rabbits need so much hay is that it provides the majority of the fibre that keeps their digestion system healthy and helps wear down their constantly growing teeth. Figures vary depending on where you look but somewhere upwards of 70% of your rabbits’ diet should be hay.

You will be able to get timothy hay from any good pet store or potentially local farm shops if there are any nearby.

Fresh Grass

If possible, rabbits should have access to grass for grazing, we are lucky to have a garden that they can roam in and graze when they fancy it.  If you are able to let your rabbits graze on fresh grass be aware that their could be weeds or plants growing that could make them ill, like ragwort, so just keep an eye on what they are grazing on.  Also, very important to note you should not feed your rabbits grass clipping from a lawn mower as a substitute, this can make your rabbits ill.

You can see Mac and Cheese enjoying some grass in the garden below

Pellets

Pet rabbits should have a daily amount of pellets as part of their healthy balanced diet.  The older your pet rabbit gets the fewer pellets you should give them, due to the high amount of protein it can lead to obesity in rabbits later years.  According to the RSPCA you should feed your rabbit 25g (one egg cup) per kg of your rabbits weight.  For a medium size rabbit this means about 2 full egg cups.

Greens

Rabbits love a variety of greens and they should have a handful of fresh greens.  It is important to always wash any fresh food before allowing your pet rabbit to eat them to ensure there are no pesticides present on the food.  Any new greens that you are introducing to your bunnies’ diet should be done gradually to assess whether they like it and don’t cause any issues with their digestion.

Some of the greens that your pet rabbit will enjoy are

  • Basil
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Curly kale
  • Dandelions
  • Mint
  • Rocket
  • Watercress

These is a comprehensive list of safe food for rabbits on the Rabbit Welfare website.

You should not feed your iceberg lettuce and anything sugary should be used sparingly.  Fresh foods with pips or seeds should also be avoided as they can contain toxins.  A full list of foods that are not suitable for rabbits are listed on this site.

Treats

Who doesn’t love treats? Your rabbit is no different but treats should be used as a rarity rather than constantly.  Treats should come in the form of fruit rather than ‘rabbit treats’ that you find in pet shops.  They generally are full of fat and sugar and are not good for your rabbits’ diet.  Anything high in carbohydrates should be avoided. 

Like greens all fruits should be washed before allowing your bunnies to eat them.  Raspberries, bananas and blueberries are all great treats for your rabbits.

You can see a video here of Mac and Cheese enjoying some banana.

Water

This should go without saying but their should always be fresh water available for your rabbits.  You can either use a water feeder or a bowl and should be refreshed regularly. 

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