What's the most appropriate food for rabbits?

Appropriate rabbit food consists of 4 things:

  •  Hay
  •  Dry food
  •  Fresh drinking water
  •  Fresh vegetables

 

Dry food

The pet shop offers various options when you are looking for dry food: a varied muesli with vegetable flakes and hay stems, pressed pellets or extruded pellets.

Konijnen eten hooi

Hay

Hay is essential and always needs to be present freely for your rabbit. It ensures an ideal teeth wear, a healthy digestive function and, because they need to chew extensively, it prevents boredom. All the better, right?

Your rabbit easily eats its own size in loose hay daily, so be sure not to economise on that!

 

Did you know that rabbit teeth grow their entire life? At least 1 to 2 mm per week! Insufficient tooth wear will make the teeth grow too long, causing the rabbit to get wounds to the tongue and the inside of the mouth. In serious cases the rabbit will stop eating, because it is too painful.

You can also give them a piece of willow or birch to gnaw on. Make sure the wood is clean, not sprayed or soiled with bird droppings. Do not give too much, because otherwise they will eat less hay.

TIP
Never give them freshly cut grass instead of hay, because this will ferment pretty quickly, which makes it very harmful for rabbits. Click here for more tips for an ideal outside rabbit hutch.

Fresh drinking water

Hay is essential and always needs to be present freely for your rabbit. In a hutch a drinking bottle is one of the best options for rabbits, but a drinking bowl is also sufficient. Try to keep the drinking water out of sunlight as much as possible, to prevent it from becoming warm.

Fresh vegetables

Fresh vegetables are mainly green leaf vegetables like spinach, parsley, watercress, endive, fennel, carrot leaves, etc. The bigger the rabbit, the more vegetables it needs. Provide a mix of 1 to 3 different vegetables for variation.

TIPS
  •  Remove the remaining vegetables after 24 hours. This way, you prevent mould from growing and your rabbit from becoming sick.
  •  "Pre-dry" your vegetables. By evaporating the water in the food, you limit the risk of bacteria and mould.
  •  Definitely DON'T give rhubarb, avocado, bamboo shoots, onion or sweet potato to your rabbit.

Snacks

In addition to hay, dry feed, water and vegetables you can also give and extra once or twice. There are many snacks, in all scents, colours and shapes. Just like us humans, your rabbit also enjoys a sweet snack every once in a while. But they'll also feast on snacks like hay bales or a vegetable or berry mix.

Be careful, because fresh fruits (apples, kiwis, etc.) are also snacks, so you can only give them with moderation, due to their high natural sugar content. Only a few pieces suffice to make your rabbit feast. Some rabbits are very sensitive to this and could get gas in the intestines or even diarrhoea. konijnen drinken water

When should you feed your rabbit?

Rabbits are crepuscular animals by nature; they mostly go looking for food in the morning and evening. You can feed them accordingly, by giving them their meals at these times. Feed them when you get up in the morning and before you go to bed (or during dinner).

Be creative!

  • Hide food in a hay ball, hang a self-made vegetable chain to the hutch, hide hay in a toilet roll, etc. This way you make your rabbit search for its food the whole day long, just like in nature, you keep it active and prevent boredom.
  • Spoil your rabbit with a delicious homemade biscuit.



Do you have problems with composing a proper diet for your rabbit? Or does your rabbit not like certain ingredients?
Be sure to let us know! We would love to help get your rabbit in the best shape!

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