Unlimited hay is necessary and a rabbit should eat a minimum of its body size a day. Here’s an overview of type of hay that we recommend for rabbits:
Timothy – Most common type to feed rabbits. 1st cut is preferred as it is fibrous and stalky. 2nd cut is acceptable if your rabbit prefers softer leaves. Mixing both 1st and 2nd cut is a good practice. We do not feed 3rd cut as they are too soft.
Straw – Common types are oat, wheat and barley and often contains seeds. They are strong smelling which is good for picky eaters but can be very stalky and not always accepted by lazy munchers or rabbits with dental issues.
Orchard Grass – This is a sweeter and softer alternative if your rabbit does not like timothy hay. We recommend mixing it with timothy for a healthier blend.
Alfalfa – This is a legume hay that is very high in calcium. You should only feed them to babies (<6 months), mothers, or senior/sick rabbits with weak bones.
The quality of hay varies from brand to brand due to its farming locations and the harvest season. To ensure our rabbits do not get affected, we recommend mixing at least 2 types of hay. Store hay in dark and cool places to ensure freshness and change out those in your rabbit’s litterbox at least once a day.
Here are some common brands and type of hay that we feed to our rabbits:
Fresh leafy greens are a great way to provide fiber, water and natural vitamins to rabbits that cannot be found in hay and pellets. We recommend giving 1 to 2 cups of leafy greens daily. Occasionally, you can include a baby carrot or cubes of fresh fruits to make your rabbit happy. You should avoid ‘gassy’ vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, roots like potatoes and beans and the onion family (leeks, chives, onions) which can cause bloat and a slew of digestion issues to our rabbit’s sensitive stomach.
|Everyday Veggies||Occasional Veggies||Veggies to Avoid|
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Sweet Potato Leaves
All Beans and Nuts
Pellets can be considered as supplementary food to provide fortified vitamins and minerals for our domesticate rabbits. We recommend giving 1 to 2 tablespoon per day to a healthy rabbit and this amount can varies depending on the rabbit’s need (growth and health condition). We recommend timothy-based pellets. You should avoid colourful pellets which have high fat and sugar that can cause obesity as well as digestion issues.
Here are some common brands and types of pellets that we feed to our rabbits:
Treats are just for fun and should be no more than 1 tablespoon per day. We recommend giving small cuts of fresh fruits such as carrots, strawberries, blueberries and apples. Oxbow, APD and Burgess also make delicious hay-based treats that are very enticing for the rabbits. We do not recommend milk cookies or yogurt drops as rabbits are lactose intolerant and can get diarrhoea. They also should not have access to chocolate, bread or fried food which are toxic to rabbits!
Another healthy treats is natural herbs. In fact, wild rabbits do hunt for a variety of plants and flowers to ‘self-medicate’. Example of fresh herbs that are safe for rabbits include basil, oregano, parsley, dill, cilantro, mint and rosemary. You can also find dried herbs such as birch, chamomile, dandelion, echinacea, milk thistle, plantain and willow. A great way to introduce these herbs is to sprinkle them over their hay, vegetables or mix into their pellets to ‘spice’ things up.
Hydration is very important and a healthy rabbit typically drinks 50-200ml per kg weight of water a day. We recommend offering filtered and/or boiled water. We do not recommend mineral or tap water due to the extra minerals that can cause bladder sludge/stone. For rabbits who like to flip their bowls, a wide-base bowl or a ceramic bowl is recommended. For rabbits who drink a lot, a water fountain may be ideal. We do not recommend water bottles but if your rabbit has long fur and can have wet chin, a bottle with a well-designed spout to ensure easy drinking will be better.