FAQ: Feeding Rabbits

How important is correct feeding?
This governs the health and general well-being of your pet. Most beginners will tend to overfeed their rabbits, making them ill. Other than pregnant does, most rabbits need to be fed only once per day. If you feed at a regular time of day your rabbit will soon be used to a routine.

How much food does a rabbit need?
Once ounce of food per pound of body weight is the norm. However, rabbits have very unique metabolic systems. Some dwarf breeds require 4 ounces per day, and some require only 1.5 ounces or less. The required amount should be deduced by starting at one ounce of food per pound of body weight and weight and condition should be monitored on a weekly basis. If the rabbit feels thin or too fat, increase or decrease the quantity accordingly. Younger rabbits generally require more food per pound of body weight than adult rabbits.

Mini Lop Rabbit

What do wild rabbits eat?
Wild rabbits always seem to be in the peak of condition. They eat almost anything that grows, right down to the roots. Wild rabbits seem to be aware of which plants are poisonous to eat.

What is a balanced diet for a rabbit?
A balanced diet for an average rabbit is a mixture of good quality hay, pellets and raw vegetables. It is generally recommended that as a rabbit matures, hay and vegetables should be a greater proportion of their diet.

What health problems are caused by a poor diet?
Bowel upsets are the most common result of a poor diet. When buying your rabbit, you should ask how it was previously fed. This way, you can gradually change its diet over to your preferred option. Serious illness can result from a sudden change in diet.

How many vegetables should they ideally have?
A rabbit’s diet should consist of between 20% and 40% vegetables. This can be varied day-to-day. Your rabbit should always have available a good selection of raw vegetables. Dark leaved vegetables (such as cabbage) and root vegetables (like carrots) are a good choice.

How should dry food be stored?
Always keep dry food in an airtight plastic container away from bright lights or high temperatures. Also, make sure to store hay above ground level.

Do pregnant or nursing does need a special diet?
Pregnant rabbits do not require a special diet, although a mixture of milk and water is an ideal supplement to keep her strength up. The doe should be fed extra quantities as her appetite increases during pregnancy.

Why do rabbits always eat their own droppings?
Rabbits do not always eat their own pellets and your rabbit may in fact never do this. They sometimes re-digest their own pellets since they are a good source of vitamin B. In the wild, these make an excellent food store for those long winter months.