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Rabbit Diet

Updated on January 5, 2017

Rabbits can be quirky when it comes to eating, but it is important to feed them a rabbit diet designed especially for them. Giving them processed foods designed for people can lead to stomach problems, and in extreme cases, death. It is said that rabbits will eat just about anything that you give them, but that doesn't mean that they should eat everything laid before them. Most rabbits will try something, and then discover for themselves that it is bad for them. A good owner won't experiment on their rabbit, rather they will know beforehand what a good rabbit diet is and provide those foods to their pet.

Rabbit Diet Tips

  • Don't buy more dry feed than your pet will eat in 12 weeks. Keep the feed in an airtight container to keep it fresh and appetizing.
  • Bunnies prefer timothy pellets, though they will eat alfalfa pellets. You can find timothy pellets sold separately at many pet food stores.
  • Have timothy hay, oat straw or other hay (clover, trefoil) available at all times to your bunny. You can buy this from a local farmer or in small bags sold in pet stores.
  • 2 cups of fresh veggies per day, per 6-pound rabbit (3 different veggies per day)
  • 2 tablespoons of fruit per day, per 6-pound rabbit

Vegetables for Rabbits

Rabbits love fresh veggies, but some more than others. Veggies commonly found in a rabbit diet include the following:

  • Basil
  • Beet greens
  • Bok choy
  • Boston lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Carrot tops
  • Collard greens
  • Celery
  • Cilantro
  • Clover
  • Collard greens
  • Dandelion greens and flowers
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Green peppers
  • Kale
  • Mint and peppermint leaves
  • Mustard greens
  • Parsley
  • Sweet snap pea pods
  • Radicchio
  • Radish tops
  • Raspberry leaves
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Sprouts - alfalfa, clover, radish (no bean!)
  • Wheat grass

Avoid beans, rhubarb and burdock leaves (commonly found outdoors in rural areas) as they can cause digestive upsets. Wash leaves and veggies to remove pesticides if necessary.

Note:  When it comes to lettuce, the greener the better.

Fruits for Rabbits

Fruit should be given to your bunny as a treat, not as a main part of a rabbit diet; otherwise you may end up with a chubby bunny. Fruits that your bunny may enjoy include:

  • Craisins
  • Raisins
  • Bananas
  • Cored apples (seeds are toxic)
  • Blueberries
  • Seedless grapes
  • Melon
  • Peeled oranges, remove seeds if necessary
  • Papayas, remove pit
  • Peaches, remove pit
  • Pears
  • Peeled pineapple
  • Plums, remove pit
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Rabbit Diet Do's and Don'ts

  1. Never feed your rabbit chocolate.
  2. Avoid feeding your rabbit processed, frozen, or canned foods unless prescribed by a vet.

Warning

If your rabbit stops eating or drinking, and this goes on for more than 6 hours, something may be seriously wrong. Seek the advice of a veterinarian immediately. A rabbit with a bowel obstruction may die within hours if not treated.

Comments

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  • Gerber Ink profile image
    Author

    Charlotte Gerber 7 years ago from upstate New York

    Hi RTalloni - good idea about "rabbits vs. bunnies." Also, I currently only have 2 lop ears, so I don't know how much of the garden they can fertilize effectively, though I'll give it a try!

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

    Great hub. When my kids were little I learned that calling them Rabbits or Bunnies depended on what they were being raised for. They produce great fertilizer when fed correctly!

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