What to Feed Bunnies?

What should pet bunnies eat? Contrary to popular belief, rabbits need to eat more than just carrots and lettuce. They require a balanced diet of hay, fresh veggies and fruit, and a few pellets. Rabbits have very sensitive digestive tracts, so the transition to hay or pellets, or the introduction of new fruits and vegetables, must be done gradually to allow the rabbits system to adjust.

You can feed your bunnies either one type or a mixture of different grass hays. Buy the freshest hay possible and check for the presence of mold or dust, which could make your rabbit sick.

Alfalfa hay is not a good choice for an adult rabbit, since its a legume, not a grass, and as such is too rich to be fed on a daily basis. Timothy hay pellets can be given to bunnies in small quantities. Rabbits larger than 10 pounds do not need more than a quarter of a cup, since its not a crucial part of a bunnys diet.

Most greens found in a supermarket are safe for rabbits, with a few limitations and exceptions. Dwarf breeds and rabbits under five pounds should get just one cup of fresh veggies per day. Add one new vegetable at a time, and watch for signs of loose stool or diarrhea because, as mentioned above, bunnies have delicate digestive systems.

Certain vegetables can be given every day, while others should be fed sparingly, one or two times a week. Do not feed your rabbit potatoes, corn, beans, seeds or nuts. Bell peppers Bok choy Brussels sprouts Carrot tops Cucumber Endive Escarole Fennel Herbs: basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme Lettuces: romaine, green leaf, red leaf, Boston bibb, arugula, butter Okra leaves Radicchio Radish tops Sprouts: alfalfa, radish, clover Watercress Wheatgrass Zucchini

Vegetables and plants to give sparingly (one or two times a week) to a bunny: Broccoli (stems and leaves only) Carrots Chard Clover Collard greens Dandelion greens (pesticide-free) Flowers: calendula, chamomile, daylily, dianthus, English daisy, hibiscus, honeysuckle, marigold, nasturtium, pansy, rose Kale Spinach The appropriate serving is one to two tablespoons of fruit (either one kind or a mixture) per five pounds of body weight.

Apple (no seeds) Banana Berries: blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries Cherries (no seeds) Grapes Melon Nectarine Orange Papaya Peach Pear Pineapple Plum Watermelon As with humans, treats are at the top of the food pyramid for bunnies and therefore should be fed sparingly. Healthy treats for your bunny include small pieces of fresh or freeze-dried fruit (the approved fruits listed above); natural, unprocessed mixes that include hay and dried flowers (the approved flowers listed above); and Oxbow brand rabbit treats.

Always read the ingredient list on store-bought treats because not all of them are safe for bunnies. All human treats Beans Beet greens Cabbage Cauliflower Cereal Chocolate Corn or corn-cob treats Crackers Iceberg lettuce Legumes Mustard greens Nuts Pasta Peas Potatoes Rhubarb Seeds Sugar Turnip greens Yogurt Finally, rabbits need to stay hydrated, so they should have an unlimited supply of fresh water, which should be changed daily.

Water bottles are not easy to clean and can be difficult for rabbits to use, so bowls are better. A heavy ceramic bowl is ideal, since it doesnt tip over easily. About Best Friends Animal Society: A leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends runs the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as lifesaving programs in collaboration with thousands of partners nationwide working to Save Them All.

What can I feed my bunny?

Hay: The staple of a rabbit’s diet. ….Pellets: Feed a bunny small quantities. ….Vegetables: A rabbit’s favorite foods. ….Fruit: Give to a bunny once or twice per week. ….Treats: Feed to a rabbit sparingly. ….Foods to avoid giving a rabbit. ….Fresh water: Unlimited supply for a bunny.

What is the best feed for rabbits?

Rabbits should have a daily diet of mostly hay, a smaller amount of fresh vegetables, and a limited number of pellets. Hay is the most important part of a rabbit’s daily intake. Unlimited, high-quality grass hay, such as Timothy, orchard or brome, should make up the bulk of a rabbit’s diet.

What should you not feed rabbits?

Yogurt Drops. ….Bread, Pasta, Cookies, and Crackers. ….Avocado. ….Cereal. ….Iceberg Lettuce. ….Silverbeet. ….Hamster Food. ….Walnuts.

What veg can rabbits eat daily?

Feed a variety of greens daily, ideally 5-6 different types, such as cabbage/kale/broccoli/parsley/mint..Introduce new types of greens gradually in small amounts to avoid potential stomach upsets.

Just like people, bunnies enjoy a good meal. A nice mix of hay, vegetables, pellets, as well as fresh water will make your rabbit healthy and happy. Read on for more information about what to feed your pet rabbit.

Hay is important for rabbits because it provides the essential fiber needed for good digestive health and it helps wear down a rabbits teeth (which continuously grow) for good dental health. Do not choose a hay that looks brown or moldy or no longer smells like fresh cut grass.

Store hay in a dry place in a container that allows air flow to keep it from getting moldy. For a full list of poisonous plants, visit the Sacramento House Rabbit Societys page on the subject. Basil Bok choy Broccoli leaves (stems or tops can make rabbits gassy) Carrot tops (carrots are high in calcium and should be given sparingly) Celery Cilantro Clover Collard greens Dandelion leaves Dill Kale (sparingly) Lettuce romaine or dark leaf (no iceburg lettuce and no cabbage) Mint Mustard greens Parsley Water cress

Pellets that are high in protein can lead to obesity and other health issues in rabbits. Do not feed your rabbit items high in carbohydrates like breads, crackers, pasta, pretzels, cookies, chips, or cereal. Although branded for rabbits, many commercially-sold bunny treats are high in fat and sugar, such as yogurt chips, and should not be given.

Fruit is the best option for a treat, but again you should give it only in small amounts because of the sugar content. For more information about the types and amounts of food you should provide your bunny as he/she matures from birth into old age, see the House Rabbit Societys article, FAQ: Diet .

Rabbits in the wild all over the world successfully consume a wide variety of plant material. Various types of dry and fresh grasses and plants with leaves comprise the largest portion of the wild rabbit diet. Rabbits will also eat bark on trees, tender twigs and sprouts, fruits, seeds and other nutritious foods in much small amounts. This is important to know when we decide what is a healthy diet for our house rabbits.

Fresh foods are also an important part of your rabbits diet and they provide additional nutrients as well as different textures and tastes, which are enriching for your friend as well. Fresh foods also provide more moisture in the diet, which is good for kidney and bladder function.

The one most talked about with rabbits is oxalic acid and it is completely harmless to animals or humans when consumed in small amounts. The toxicity of oxalic acid comes with feeding large quantities of foods high in this chemical and can result in tingling of the skin, the mouth and damage to the kidneys over time. You may know that dark green leafy vegetables and red peppers have more vitamin C per weight than citrus fruits!

Foods that are notorious for causing rabbit GI problems when fed improperly are grains of any kind and legumes (beans, peas, etc). There has also been discussion about feeding vegetables that are goitrogenic in humans (causing a goiter) more notoriously those in the broccoli/cabbage family. One study done on rabbits indicated that it would take several weeks of exclusively feeding huge quantities of these foods to see any abnormalities in the blood.

These foods are often higher in starch or sugars and should be fed in lesser amounts than the leafy greens. A good amount of other vegetables (non leafy greens) to feed your rabbit would be about 1 tablespoon per 2 lbs of body weight per day in one meal or divided into two or more. You also might choose to hand-feed the fruit portion of the diet as part of developing a close bond with your bunny and also to make sure he has an appetite every day.

When a plant would produce fruit, it is for a limited time and all the animals in the area would want to gobble these gems up quickly! Overfeeding fruits can result in a weight gain or GI upset so it is up to you to feed these foods in limited amounts. IMPORTANT: Before introducing any fresh foods to a rabbit it is best if he has been eating grass hay for a minimum of 2 weeks.

The grass hay will help to get his GI tract motility and flora in good working order so that he will be able to accept new foods more easily. When introducing new fresh foods to any rabbits diet it is best to go slowly to allow the gastrointestinal tract and all its important microorganisms to adjust. All fresh foods regardless of the source should be washed or scrubbed (in the case of hard vegetables) before serving them to your rabbit.

LEAFY GREENS These foods should make up about 75% of the fresh portion of your rabbits diet (about 1 packed cup per 2 lbs of body weight per day). Carrots Broccoli (leaves and stems) Edible flowers (roses, nasturtiums, pansies, hibiscus) Celery Bell peppers (any color) Chinese pea pods (the flat kind without large peas) Brussel sprouts Cabbage (any type) Broccolini Summer squash Zucchini squash Apple (any variety, without stem and seeds) Cherries (any variety, without the pits) Pear Peach Plum (without the pits) Kiwi Papaya Mango Berries (any type) Berries (uncooked) Pineapple (remove skin) Banana (remove peel; no more than about 2 1/8 inch slices a day for a 5 lb rabbitthey LOVE this!)

Melons (any can include peel and seeds) Star Fruit Apricot Currants Nectarine Others have found that kale fed in large amounts on a daily basis may contribute to bladder sludge and other health issues.

Rabbits are herbivores (plant eaters) and are considered grazers, in that they eat continuously. They have complex digestive systems and are very efficient at processing food. They also have very specific dietary needs. If you introduce new foods too quickly, or feed inappropriate food choices, the rabbit’s normal digestive flora (normal bacteria) will be disturbed, gas- and toxin-producing bacteria can overgrow, and the rabbit may become very sick and possibly die.

Unlimited, high-quality grass hay, such as Timothy, orchard or brome, should make up the bulk of a rabbit’s diet. Grass hay is high in fiber, which is critical to maintaining a rabbits healthy digestive tract.

Introduce new vegetables slowly and in small quantities, and monitor for soft feces, diarrhea, or signs of gas pain. Other acceptable vegetables include broccoli, green peppers, Brussel sprouts, endive, wheat grass, radicchio, and squash. The high sugar content in fruits (and even carrots) may upset the normal GI tract bacteria if given in excess.

Rabbit Diet: What to Feed a Bunny

What should pet bunnies eat? Contrary to popular belief, rabbits need to eat more than just carrots and lettuce. They require a balanced diet of hay, fresh veggies and fruit, and a few pellets. Rabbits have very sensitive digestive tracts, so the transition to hay or pellets, or the introduction of new fruits and vegetables, must be done gradually to allow the rabbit’s system to adjust.

Hay: The staple of a rabbit’s diet

The bottom of a rabbit food pyramid would contain long-stemmed fiber, in the form of hay, which makes up 80 to 90 percent of a rabbit’s diet. As grazing animals, rabbits need to have an unlimited supply of fresh hay daily.You’ll want to feed your rabbit grass hays. Good types of grass hay for bunnies are timothy, orchard grass, brome and oat hay. You can feed your bunnies either one type or a mixture of different grass hays. Buy the freshest hay possible and check for the presence of mold or dust, which could make your rabbit sick.Alfalfa hay is not a good choice for an adult rabbit, since it’s a legume, not a grass, and as such is too rich to be fed on a daily basis. Alfalfa can be given to rabbits once in awhile as a treat. Rabbits under one year of age can be fed alfalfa hay, but as they get older they should be switched to grass hay, especially if they are also being fed alfalfa pellets.

Pellets: Feed a bunny small quantities

Timothy hay pellets can be given to bunnies in small quantities. An average-sized (6-10 pounds) adult rabbit only needs one-quarter cup of pellets daily. If your rabbit is under five pounds, feed just one-eighth of a cup. Rabbits larger than 10 pounds do not need more than a quarter of a cup, since it’s not a crucial part of a bunny’s diet.Rabbits under one year old can be fed alfalfa pellets. Be sure to feed grass hay (rather than alfalfa) if you are feeding your young rabbit alfalfa pellets. Look for pellets with a high fiber content — the higher the better. Do not buy the rabbit pellets that have dried corn, nuts and seeds added, because those foods can potentially be very harmful for rabbits.

Treats: Feed to a rabbit sparingly

Rabbits count vegetables and herbs among their favorite foods. Most greens found in a supermarket are safe for rabbits, with a few limitations and exceptions. (See the list of foods to avoid below.)No more than two cups daily of fresh vegetables should be given to adult rabbits. Dwarf breeds and rabbits under five pounds should get just one cup of fresh veggies per day. A variety of two or three vegetables is ideal. Add one new vegetable at a time, and watch for signs of loose stool or diarrhea because, as mentioned above, bunnies have delicate digestive systems. Certain vegetables can be given every day, while others should be fed sparingly, one or two times a week.Do not feed your rabbit potatoes, corn, beans, seeds or nuts. These foods are difficult for rabbits to digest and can cause serious digestive problems.Vegetables that can be fed to a rabbit daily:Vegetables and plants to give sparingly (one or two times a week) to a bunny:

Hay

Fresh hay should make up the bulk of your rabbit’s diet and needs to be readily available at all times. Adult rabbits can eat timothy, grass, and oat hays, while younger rabbits should be fed alfalfa. Alfalfa should not be given to adult rabbits because of the higher protein and sugar content. Hay is important for rabbits because it 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.When choosing hay, make sure it looks and smells fresh. Do not choose a hay that looks brown or moldy or no longer smells like fresh cut grass. Store hay in a dry place in a container that allows air flow to keep it from getting moldy. Buying hay in bulk from a local farmer tends to be much more economical than buying bags from a pet store.

Water

A varied assortment of vegetables should be a part of your rabbit’s daily diet. When choosing vegetables look for something fresh and free of pesticides. Always wash your vegetables thoroughly before feeding them to your rabbit. Feed new vegetables in small quantities until you can judge if your rabbit reacts well to them. Do not feed rabbits the leaves from houseplants as many are poisonous to rabbits. For a full list of poisonous plants, visit the Sacramento House Rabbit Society’s page on the subject.Your rabbit may enjoy some of the following vegetables:

Pellets

These should be purchased so that they are fresh, as bunnies will turn their noses up at stale pellets. Look for pellets that are high in fiber and low in protein. You will need to limit your rabbit’s pellet intake as he/she ages. Pellets that are high in protein can lead to obesity and other health issues in rabbits. Do not give pellets that have “treats” mixed in (dried corn, etc.). These additives are never healthy for rabbits and can cause digestive problems.

How often should I feed my rabbit?

Rabbits should have a daily diet of mostly hay, a smaller amount of fresh vegetables, and a limited number of pellets. Hay is the most important part of a rabbit’s daily intake. Unlimited, high-quality grass hay, such as Timothy, orchard or brome, should make up the bulk of a rabbit’s diet. Grass hay is high in fiber, which is critical to maintaining a rabbit’s healthy digestive tract. While young, growing rabbits can eat any type of grass hay,Timothy pellets can be offered at approximately 1/8-1/4 cup per 5 lbs (2.25 kg) of bodyweight. Over-feeding pellets to adult rabbits is a common cause of obesity and soft stool (caused by an overgrowth of abnormal bacteria in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract), as pellets are generally low in fiber and high in carbohydrates. In addition to hay, wild rabbits eat a lot of other fresh vegetation.A pet rabbit’s diet should be supplemented with a variety of leafy green vegetables every day. Rabbits can consume as many vegetables as they want to each day as long as they do not get diarrhea and as long as the vegetables are not high in carbohydrates, as carrots and potatoes are. Variety is important. Introduce new vegetables slowly and in small quantities, and monitor for soft feces, diarrhea, or signs of gas pain.Particularly good vegetables include the dark leafy greens like romaine lettuce, bok choy, mustard greens, carrot tops, cilantro, watercress, basil, kohlrabi, beet greens, broccoli greens, and cilantro.Some leafy greens, such as collard and dandelion greens, parsley, kale, Swiss chard, and escarole, should be fed in limited quantities, as they are high in calcium and may contribute to the development of calcium-based bladder stones if fed in excess. Other acceptable vegetables include broccoli, green peppers, Brussel sprouts, endive, wheat grass, radicchio, and squash. Iceberg or head lettuce should not be fed, as it is mainly water and contains few nutrients.Carrots should be fed sparingly, as they are very high in carbohydrate and may upset GI bacterial flora. A small amount of many different vegetables is much better than a large amount of one food item.Young rabbits, under approximately 7-8 months old, should be fed alfalfa pellets and alfalfa hay free-choice; they need the extra protein and calcium as they grow. They, too, can have a variety of vegetables. At approximately 7 months, they must be weaned onto an adult diet, as described above, since their growth slows down.

What are the water requirements of rabbits?

Yes, but first be sure to check with your veterinarian about the types of treats that are recommended. Rabbits certainly can become overweight if fed an abundance of high-calorie treats. Cookies, nuts, seeds, grains, and bread shouldFruits can be fed in very limited quantities – no more than 1-2 tablespoons of high-fiber fresh fruit (such as apple, pear, or berries) every 1-2 days. The high sugar content in fruits (and even carrots) may upset the normal GI tract bacteria if given in excess.