Caring For Your New Pet Rabbit

Courtesy of Pet Rabbit Ridge ...

Feed Your Rabbit a Healthy Diet

 

Wild rabbits are natural grazing animals that find a wide variety of vegetation that provides all the minerals and nutrients the animal needs to help it sustain a healthy life. A variety of grasses, leaves and garden variety vegetables are often their natural diet, but your pet rabbit will only be able to eat the food you provide, so it's very important that the diet you introduce to your pet rabbit meet all it's nutritional needs. Your new pet rabbit will love a handfull of tender grasses or clover occasionally as a treat, but only use this type of food as a treat for caged rabbits to insure your pet will remain healthy.

Here at Pet Rabbit Ridge, our rabbits receive only the best quality feed available to help insure your pet's long and healthy life. "NaturWise Rabbit Pellets" by Nutrena is a complete diet that meets or exceeds your rabbit's nutritional needs, and any other food you introduce to your pet should be considered as a "treat" for your pet and not it's main diet.

Many of the "treat" items I use are apples, celery, carrots, fresh garden greens, etc. ... When giving your pet a treat, it is important to make sure you are using small portions so the rabbit will continue to eat their normal diet as well. Alphafa hay or Timothy grass can also be used to feed your pet from time to time when used in small portions, but remember your pet rabbit really needs the added nutrients found in their pellet feed.

I give all my rabbits treats in moderation on a weekly basis, and never over twice a week. After the weaning, you should wait until your rabbit is at least 4 months old before giving them any type of raw vegetation because the raw vegetables or fruits have a tendency to cause a loose stool in younger rabbits, which in turn leads to dehydration or impaction by matting the fur near the vent area. Be sure to introduce these treats between regularly scheduled feeding times, or add a small portion to their feed so as not to confuse your pet that this is a substitute for their meal.

Below is a simple feeding chart to help you determine how much pellet feed your pet rabbit will require as it grows into adulthood. These measurements are only a suggestion for rabbits that reach 5 to 7 pounds when fully grown. Larger breeds will require a little more, while Dwarf and Mini Breeds will require a little less. These amounts are to help insure your rabbit is healthy and not overweight. An overweight rabbit will have heart and breathing problems which will shorten their 8 to 10 year life span considerably.

 

Recommended Feeding Chart

 Rabbit's Age Amount of Feed Frequency of Feeding
 Weened to 2 Mos. 2 to 3 oz. Once Every 12 Hours
 2 to 4 Mos. 4 oz. Twice Daily
 4 Mos. to Adulthood 4 to 6 oz. Twice Daily

What to Look For When Feeding

It's important that your New Pet Rabbit has plenty of food provided throughout the day as well as water... If your Rabbit seems excited when it is time to feed, it may mean that it's time to increase their food alotment. Look under the pen where your feeding station is placed to make sure the feed hasn't been scratched out of the feeder and wasted. If the feed you have provided has been eaten, increase the portions per feeding by one or two ounces. If there is always extra feed at feeding time, you may want to decrease the portions you provide, or make sure the water delivery system is working correctly. Rabbits need plenty of water when eating pellet feed, and sometimes a nipple drinker isn't working properly and this is the reason you are seeing extra feed. 

Feed Costs

After feeding 50 to 100 rabbits on a year-round basis, I have calculated that when you buy pellet feed in the 50lb. bags at around $10.00 per 50 lbs., the cost of feeding your new pet is between $0.50 to $0.65 a week per rabbit you own. This makes owning a Pet Rabbit a very affordable project the whole family will enjoy...   

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