Rabbits are an excellent pet for the entire family to enjoy, however, when it comes to their diet, it is very important you do your research and know how to cater for their needs.
What is important in their diet?
Many people think that carrots and other vegetables are included in rabbits’ diets, this is incorrect as rabbits wouldn’t naturally include cereals, root vegetables or fruit. Carrots, apples etc can still be given but in small amounts as an occasional treat.
Encourage your rabbit to eat more hay by handing it above their litter tray and feed at their active periods (early morning, late afternoon and overnight.) Make sure they have finished their food before giving more pellets as it could result in them eating less hay.
Muesli, yes or no?
New studies have shown that muesli is linked to health problems and should be avoided. As it slowers gut motility it can put your rabbit in danger of getting gut stasis which can be fatal. Muesli will fill them up and result in less hay consumption which can cause problems such as dental disease and a decreased water intake, leading to urinary tract stones.
This food has different pieces in, and this is when selective feeding occurs. Rabbits will sit and pick out their favourites and leave the rest causing an unbalanced diet and lack of vital vitamins and minerals. To ensure a balanced diet feed them small, measured rations of pellets or nuggets (always remember hay is more important) Without hay and just the muesli it will cause your rabbit to gain weight, become overweight or obese.
Changing from muesli to pellets
If you are feeding your rabbit muesli and now want to change, never just completely change their diet at once, this could cause serious health problems.
Gradually change their diet by adding nuggets to their muesli, add more nuggets and less muesli each time until all the muesli is eventually all gone, and it is just the nuggets.
Keep an eye on your rabbits’ weight and eating habits to ensure they don’t become under or overweight.
Enjoyed this? Why not read our 5 treats we know your rabbit will love blog!