Rabbits are big eaters and will happily devour any fruits or veggies you give them. However, due to their complex digestive system, it is imperative that your rabbit receives the correct diet for their health. We know all pets need constant clean water, but what about food when it comes to rabbits?
Hay is Most Important for Rabbits
It might not be appetising to us, but hay should make up 80% to 90% of your rabbit’s diet. It is their bread and butter and helps them stay healthy in a number of ways. The long fibres of hay help keep your rabbit’s gut strong and prevent intestinal blockages in the complex digestive system of all rabbits Furthermore, with rabbits’ teeth growing 12 centimetres a year, the physical act of chewing the hay helps keep their teeth at a perfect length.
How Much Hay Should Rabbits Eat?
Your rabbit should eat a bundle of hay the same size as their own body every day. However, portions should be unlimited and hay should be given fresh every day. Any leftover hay will usually be dragged into their sleeping area and snuggled up on or you can place it in their toilet area in between deep hutch cleans.
Avoid cheap dusty hay and invest in Timothy or oat hay, available at all good pet supply stores. Remember, lawnmower clippings are not hay, never feed these to your rabbit or you will make them ill.
Access to Grass
Grass is the most natural food for rabbits but does not contain everything rabbits in captivity need to maintain a healthy diet. Ensuring your rabbit grazes on grass every day is a must. Many rabbit owners set up a run for their rabbit to get some exercise and indulge in some grass.
Although the rabbit mixes which appear to have flakes of vegetables in appeal to humans, it is high fibre rabbit pellets that are the best for your bunny. With rabbit mixes, selective feeding can occur. This means your rabbit will pick out all their favourite morsels, leaving the rest behind. Furthermore, these muesli-look foods are high in sugar and starch which are hard for your rabbit to digestive and can cause weight gain and obesity.
Rabbit pellets are high in fibre and each individual pellet contains a spread of all the essential nutrients. Your rabbit will only need a handful of pellets a day, don’t keep the bowl topped up constantly! Also, if your bunny isn’t devouring enough hay, cut back on the amount of pellets you feed them.
Leafy Greens and Vegetables for Rabbits
Rabbits love variety in their diet and vegetables are a fantastic source of extra essential nutrients for them. Three types of leafy greens per day is the perfect accompaniment to any rabbit diet. However, just make sure to introduce them slowly and little at a time. Each rabbit is individual, so one type of leafy green might upset the tummy of another.
The following vegetables and greens are perfectly safe for rabbits to eat:
Fruits for your Rabbit
Due to the high sugar content in fruit, rabbits should only have around two tablespoons worth per day. However, make sure to remove pips and stones as they can be poisonous to bunnies. Rabbits will happily gorge themselves on fruit so make sure to limit the following: