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What to feed your rabbit

Rabbits have complex digestive systems, and making sure your rabbit is getting the correct diet is essential for their health.

The correct proportions in their diet are as follows:

  • 85% hay

  • 10% leafy greens, vegetables and herbs

  • only 5% of the diet for pelleted feed or nuggets.

Rabbits should have access to fresh clean water 24/7, and making sure it is algae free in summer, and not frozen in winter is important. Water drinkers need to be cleaned and the water changed regularly, water that does not get changed regularly has the potential to make your rabbit unwell.

Hay should be given daily as a bundle, the amount offered being the same size as the rabbit. They should have access to fresh growing grass, but avoid giving cut grass clippings as this can make them sick. Hay is very good for gut and dental health.

Leafy greens, vegetables and herbs should be offered daily, the size of an adult’s handful is sufficient. Good examples of leafy greens are kale, cabbage, brocolli, mint. Vegetables such as carrot tops, courgette, celery and pumpkin are all good options to feed.

Pelleted food should be offered daily in the size of a full egg cup. Allow one full egg cup per kilogram of weight for your rabbit, for example a medium sized rabbit weighing 2kg should have 2 full egg cups of pellets per day. Rabbits who are fed a purely pellet diet suffer painful dental disease, and gastrointestinal disturbances that can be life threatening. Do not feed a purely pelleted diet to your rabbit.

Treats should be given as part of their daily ration; these can be either pellets or leafy greens/veg/herbs. Apples and carrots can also be given in small amounts on occasions.

Different life stages and health situations demand different energy requirements so contact your vet for a suitable diet plan for young, pregnant, ill or nursing rabbits. Also seek their advice on adding anything new into your rabbits diet, ensure all plants/veg/weeds are rabbit safe before feeding – if in doubt, leave it out.

Keep a note of your rabbits weight so you can make adjusts in their diet if they are over or underweight. Using a home weight scale monthly to keep a track of your rabbits weight will provide vital information for your veterinarian should the need arise.

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