All kinds of bunny food for your cute furry friend
A rabbit’s diet should be made up of good quality pellets, fresh Hay, water and fresh vegetables. Young rabbits can be fed pellets and hay from approximately 7 weeks of age but should not have access to an unlimited supply of pellets until they are 12 weeks old. At this age they are also ready to eat fresh vegetables. As your rabbit grows you can increase the volume of veggies and increase the volume of pellets that you provide but it is important to ensure that they do not become overweight. Older rabbits may lose weight. If your senior rabbit struggles to maintain their weight, then increase the volume of pellets provided.
Choosing a rabbit food
In the wild rabbits eat a vast range of different foods. This includes grass, leaves, bark, weeds, fruit, crops etc. Of course rabbits are herbivores and have become very good at digesting different types of fiber. They are very good at getting rid of things that they can't digest.
Luckily there are lots of Rabbit Food products on the market today which will provide your rabbit with all the nutrients they will need. Rabbits require fairly high levels of fiber in their diet, in order to aid digestion. They will also appreciate fresh vegetables along with other specialist rabbit treats. Ideally rabbits should be fed twice daily, with fresh hay available at all times. You should also ensure clean drinking water in available at all times too.
In terms of rabbit food, there are basically two different types available. This includes complete mixtures and pellets. Mixtures contain various ingredients including Flaked peas, grass pellets, oats, biscuits, extruded locust beans, wheat, whole wheat, herbs etc. These products provide your rabbit with different textures and flavours which can make meal times more interesting for them. There are many rabbit mixtures on the market from brands such as Chudleys, Supreme, My super pet and more besides. However rabbits can sometimes be very fussy and will occasional just eat a handful of the ingredients and leave the rest. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies.
This can be combated by the use of rabbit pellets. These products contain all the nutrients your rabbit will need, however they are made into pellet form with each pellet being identical. This prevents selective feeding. There are various rabbit pellets on the market from manufacturers such as Allen & Page and Burgess.
The disadvantges of Feeding Your Rabbit Muesli
Vets are warning rabbit owners not to feed their pets muesli. The mixed rabbit food might seem like a relatively benign meal for bunnies but that is not the case. Rabbits require a surprisingly complex diet including fresh water, hay, selected fresh vegetables and dry food. It is the dry food aspect of their nutrition which is causing problems. Rabbit muesli is making some animals sick. How can that be when the food is formulated specifically for the bunnies?
It turns out that rabbits which eat muesli will often selectively feed. In other words, they pick the bits they like out of the muesli, and leave the rest. The high sugar, high starch and colourful bits are quickly gobbled up but the fibre-rich ingredients get left in the bowl. This can have serious implications for the animals’ health.
Selective feeding increases the chances of your rabbit developing dental issues, gut stasis and flystrike. If you are not familiar with the latter, Flystrike (Myiasis) is caused by the green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata) and related fly species which lay eggs on rabbits. The flies are attracted to damp fur, urine, faeces and the odour of rabbits’ scent glands. They then lay their eggs on or around the rabbit's bottom. These hatch within hours into maggots that eat the rabbit's flesh as well as releasing dangerous toxins.
Rabbit Awareness Week
The aforementioned conditions could result in expensive vet bills and may prove fatal. The team behind Rabbit Awareness Week, have launched their ‘Move away from muesli’ campaign in order to educate pet owners about the most suitable foods for their bunnies.
The annual PDSA Animal Welfare (PAW) Report, has revealed that inappropriate diet has been consistently cited by vets as the top issue that needs to be addressed in the case of rabbits. 25% of owners are feeding their bunnies muesli. That means that roughly 280,000 rabbits are being given potentially harmful foods.
The Rabbit Awareness Week website features a "Move Away from Muesli" pledge which owners can sign. They should also spread the word about muesli amongst fellow rabbit owners.
The Right Diet for Rabbits
So, if muesli is off the menu, what should you be feeding your pet rabbit? Experts recommend that you provide a good quality hay-based diet supplemented by rabbit nuggets and some fresh greens. The nuggets may not look particularly appetising but ensure that rabbits receive all of the nutrition that they need. Don’t suddenly switch from one food to another. Introduce the nuggets gradually over the course of a few days. Rabbits have sensitive digestive systems and appreciate routine.
The foods which may appear to be the most appealing, aren’t necessarily the sensible choice for pets. Like people, when presented with the opportunity to cherry pick, pets will do exactly that! Don’t give them that chance! If you feel bad, you can always provide the occasional special treat. You will not be helping your pet in the long run if you feed them an inappropriate diet.
We've simply got the best rabbit food at Time for Paws
It is vital for your rabbit’s health that they receive a balanced diet and that the pellets you provide are sufficiently high in fibre. Low quality pellets can lack the required fibre and may also be high in harmful sugars. At Time for Paws we offer an exceptional range of the highest quality pellets which have been formulated to provide optimum nutrition for your pet.
We have chosen our rabbit feeds from the leading brands including Burgess Excel, Haygates, Beaphar, Charnwood Milling, Allen and Page and Supreme. These are the names that you can trust to deliver carefully researched and properly formulated foods which precisely meet the needs of your rabbit. You will discover pellets and mixes for both junior and adult rabbits together with varieties specifically for dwarf rabbits.
Great food and amazing prices at Time for Paws
It is essential that your rabbit receives the correct balance of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Our foods contain all the nutrients that rabbits need so don’t leave their diet to chance! At time for Paws you will find the best foods at the lowest prices so why shop anywhere else?
What do rabbits eat? Plus, other great nutritional advise.
There is some great advise on the PDSA website in relation to the ideal diet for rabbits. Click here to read