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A non-profit domestic rabbit rescue, adoption and education organization

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Diet
 

A well-balanced diet with variety will go a long way in keeping your bunny happy and healthy.  Always provide unlimited fresh timothy hay and fresh water.  Good quality fresh pellets purchased from a pet or feed store and given in limited quantities are best.  The freshness of grocery and discount store pellets is questionable.  Refrain from buying store-bought rabbit treats unless they are an Oxbow product; there is very little, if any, nutritional value in them and they are generally loaded with sugar. 

Is Feeding Hay Important?

Fresh hay is essential to a rabbit’s good health, providing roughage, which reduces the danger of hairballs and other blockages.  Apple and willow twigs also provide good roughage.  Hay should be kept in an open plastic bag and stored in a cool dry place away from sunlight.  If the hay is fresh it should have a strong hay odor.  You can stuff hay in empty toilet paper tubes or fill empty cardboard tissue boxes (after removing any plastic and enlarging the opening to accommodate your bunny’s head and ears).   

Pellets

Good quality pellets should be included in your bunny’s diet but in limited quantities.  BunnyPeople recommends Oxbow Essentials Adult and Young Rabbit pellets.  Young pellets are for rabbits up to one year of age and Adult pellets are for rabbits a year old and older.  Small to medium active rabbits should not exceed ¼ to ½ cup of pellets a day.  Active large bred rabbits may have ½ to ¾ cup of pellets daily. Pellets may be given along with the am and pm salad, or just once a day.  To ensure freshness, only purchase what your rabbit can eat on 4-6 weeks.  Pellets freeze well, but only for about 3-4 months.  In addition to pellets, steel cut oats may be a part of their diets.  Found in health stores and natural food sections in grocery stores, these oats are whole grains and can be given in ½ -1 tablespoon serving once or twice a week as a treat. 

Water

Fresh water must be available to your rabbit at ALL times.  This is needed for hydration and to keep the hay moving through their digestive system.  Don’t forget to regularly wash the dish with mild soap and rinse it well.     

Please consult the “Food List” in this packet for the correct food varieties and quantities for your bunny.

 

Additional Information

For specific information on a particular topic, such as bonding, bunny-proofing your home, litter box training, etc., call BunnyPeople at 717-469-0125 or see the House Rabbit Society’s website, www.rabbit.org.  Information can also be found in a library or at your local pet store. 

Food List

Never give your rabbit these foods:

Beans

Iceberg lettuce

Potatoes

Cabbage

Onions

Rhubarb

Provide at least three kinds of vegetables daily.  A variety is required in order to assure necessary nutrients, including one daily that contains Vitamin A (indicated by * on the list).  Add one new vegetable, herb or fruit to your bunny’s diet at a time, eliminating it if it causes soft stools or diarrhea. 

Before you serve any fresh food to your bunny:

1.       Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly

2.       Remove any bad/rotten spots

Veggie List

·         * Contains Vitamin A 

·         ! Use sparingly, it’s high in oxalates and/or giotrogens which accumulates in the body and may become toxic over time.

·         # if pesticides or herbicides are used in your yard or in the grounds surrounding your yard, do not give anything from your yard to your bunny! If not, you can harvest clover, dandelion and wide-leaf plantain – they love it!

Arugula

Kale *!

Basil

Leaf Lettuces (Green, Red, Spring Mix, etc) *

Beet Greens (tops) *

Mint

Bok Choy

Mustard Greens *

Broccoli  (mostly leaves and stems) *

Parsley *

Brussels Sprouts

Pea Pods (flat, edible kind) *

Carrots and Carrot Tops *

Radicchio

Celery (include the leaves)

Radish and Clover Sprouts

Cilantro

Radish Tops

Clover (include flowers)

Raspberry Leaves

Collard Greens *

Romaine Lettuce *

Dandelion Greens and Flowers #

Spinach *!

Endive *

Swiss Chard

Escarole

Watercress *

Green Peppers

Wheat Grass

 

Fruit List – Give 1-2 small servings a day.

Apples (remove seeds, they contain arsenic)

Peaches (remove pit)

Apricots

Pears

Bananas (very favorite)

Pineapples

Blueberries

Plums

Grapes (remove seeds)

Raisins

Oranges (include peel)

Raspberries

Papayas

Strawberries

 

Example of full day serving size for a medium 3-5 lb bunny (i.e. Mini-Lop): 2 romaine leaves, 2 endive  stems/leaves, 4 sprigs of parsley, 4 springs of cilantro, 2 inches of carrot, and 1 inch of banana or a small apple wedge.  Adjust for smaller or larger bunny and divide in half if you’re feeding in the AM and PM. 

 
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