Rabbit Feeding- what’s good and what’s not to feed…
Things to feed and not to feed to your Rabbits
Here I have enlisted the important food ingredient for your rabbit’s balanced diet. You can also use supplements like that of multivitamins and calcium on your vet’s recommendations. Also many good quality commercial diets are also available for your rabbit’s growth and development.
- Hay (the most important ingredient)
- Should make the bulk
- Should be readily available at all times.
- For Adult rabbits – grass, and oat hays
- For younger rabbits-alfalfa. Alfalfa should not be given to adult rabbits because of the higher protein and sugar content.
- Hay 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.
- Should be given fresh as much as possible but if not available, commercial good quality hay can serve the purpose.
- Basil: Rabbits can be fed basil but on a rotating basis with other fresh foods. If your rabbit is having some kidney problems or issues like kidney then the quantity and frequency of basil in the diet should be observed cautiously as this herb is fairly high in calcium. Basil is nutritious and low in sugar, so it is a nice, natural treat for rabbits. Some rabbits may dislike basil’s scent but most bunnies like this fresh herb. You should not feed basil to the baby rabbits. Adult rabbits can be given one or two stems of basil with leaves.
- Cauliflower/ Broccoli leaves (stems or tops can make rabbits gassy): It may cause bloating and excess gas formation if given in excess. This should not be given more than 10% of the total diet.
- Carrot tops (carrots are high in calcium and should be given sparingly)
- Cilantro: Low in Oxalic acid and makes a good option to feed
- Clover: Leaves, stems, stalks, flowers, or even roots are safe where roots have maximum fibre and hence recommended. Nutritionally, clovers have proteins, iron, calcium, vitamin C, manganese, sodium, and vitamins A, C, K, among other nutrients. Clover has high concentration of calcium and proteins and hence should be feed sparingly or mixed with other vegetables when feed to bunnies. Also it should be thoroughly washed to get rid of pesticides etc before feeding.
- Mint: Mint refers to plants which fall under the genus mentha, which includes plants like spearmint, peppermint, and thyme. All mint varieties are safe to feed to rabbits, except for pennyroyal. it’s advisable to only offer the leaves, flowers, and stems. Mint is a healthy herb and can be fed to rabbits in small amounts. Mint can be given to rabbits with digestive tract issues, as well as those weaning to prevent mastitis but only on your vet’s advice.
The above mentioned ingredients make an ideal rabbit food but if your bunny is not habitual to the above diet do not force him to suddenly shift to the new diet. This will cause gastric disturbance and sometimes may lead to irreversible damage. The bunny may also experience vomiting and diarrhea if done so. Prevent unwarranted use of any kind of antidiarrhoeal or antibiotics if such thing happens. Rush to your vet immediately. Always remember to be slow to introduce any kind of new food to your bunny and always consult your vet before doing so.
Things that should be strictly avoided:
- Meat: Rabbits are herbivores, meaning that they eat plants so meat is not digested well.
- Potatoes: High levels of carbohydrates and starch can cause ill to your bunny’s digestive system.
- Chocolate: Chocolate is absolutely prohibited. They can be poisonous to rabbits and should never be fed to them as they can even cause death.
- Bread, Pasta, Cookies & other bakery items: These are having high levels of carbohydrate; sugars which will surely lead to stomach issues.
- Walnuts: Walnuts are high in fat which can cause your rabbit uncomfortable indigestion.
- Peanut Butter: they are also rich in carbohydrates and can lead to stomach aches.
Keep Loving… Keep Living… Keep Petting…