What Rabbits can eat
The key to having a healthy rabbit is providing them with a healthy diet so just what do rabbits eat? You may be not surprised learn that contrary to popular belief feeding your rabbit is not just a case of throwing it a bit a of lettuce and a few carrots. In fact feeding you rabbit lettuce can end up a little bit messy bringing a new meaning to the term rabbit runs.
Rabbits need to eat constantly while they are awake and it is vital that their digestive system keeps moving. In order to keep their digestive system moving the roughage and long fibres in grass are the perfect food. Therefore the main part of a rabbits diet should consist of hay. In fact 70% of everything a rabbit eats should be Grass Hay. It sometime known as Timothy Hay and it should always be available for your rabbits. If your using home cut grass make sure it has not been treated with pesticides.
In addition to grass and to ensure that your pet rabbit is eating balanced diet additional food can be offered. In order to do this you can feed your rabbits supplementary food, some fresh vegetables and the very occasional treat. Both pellets (especially hard shell ones) and course mix supplements offer the ability for your rabbit to ensure health teeth. Rabbits teeth grow constantly and need to be worn down by frequent chewing of all food sources
Rabbit Pellets or Course Mix ?
When considering supplements you have the choice of pellets or course mix. Course mix has a variety of ingredients and therefore is more likely to encourage mimicking of natural behaviour. However selective eating may mean that not all the required nutrients and vitamins are consumed.
Pellets offer an alternative. Good quality pellets have a high hay content and also include ingredients required to ensure all the nutrients required by your rabbit are included. However they are a less natural option.
In both cases do not over feed your rabbits supplementary food. Remember there mainstay should be hay and providing too much alternatives will decrease the consumption of hay. I feed my rabbits a medium bowl of pellets each evening which tends to keep them healthy.
Should I feed my rabbit Lettuce ?
There is often differing view points surrounding whether you should feed your rabbit lettuce or celery. I would always avoid these foods. Whereas a wild rabbits may feel unwell after eating and seek an antidote such as dandelion that’s not always going to be an option for your pet.
In addition to hay and supplements your rabbits can be feed fresh vegetable treats in small amounts. Care is needed to avoid food which can cause gas and bloating. Foods containing high sugar content should also be kept to a minimum. Rabbits usually enjoy the occasional slices of apples and other good vegetables include , carrot, beat tops, sprouts and parsley. If you have the opportunity and you know they are pesticide free rabbits also love dandelion leaves and clover. Please remember whilst variety if nice treats are just that. If you think your rabbit is getting bit on the heavy side treats should be cut out completely.
When deciding what you should feed your rabbit remember the saying everything in moderation holds true to some extent. However an unlimited supply of fresh (changed daily) water and Hay is essential. Remember If you think your rabbit is not eating well , unwell, or is overweight and aren’t sure how to deal with it seek professional advice from a vet.