Any changes you make in their diet can affect their digestive system. Introducing new foods too quickly can even put their health at risk. That’s why it’s good to know the suitable types of rabbit food and when to introduce them. Learn all about Timothy Hay and other foods that these beautiful animals prefer.
Include a Variety of Rabbit Food for a Healthy Diet
Rabbit Food needs to be as diverse as possible to meet nutritional needs. You can include quality hays, such as hay, pellets, small amounts of vegetables, such as carrots or small pieces of fruit, water, and green vegetable leaves. Grass hay is essential for rabbits because it helps maintain their digestive health. If alfalfa and clover are too high in protein, Timothy hay is a grass they can eat without any problems. Make sure your rabbit has access to fresh grass. The grass you offer is also essential to be free of harmful pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
Another way to feed your rabbit is through pellets. They are an excellent rabbit food because they contain the necessary nutrients to ensure a balanced diet. Be careful about the number of pellets they eat. If they eat more than is recommended for their age, they are at risk of being obese. You can balance their diet by adding fresh vegetable leaves, such as broccoli leaves or lettuce. Be sure to introduce new foods carefully, so it does not affect their digestion.
The Amount of Food You Can Give your Rabbit according to Age.
Like a baby, food is gradually introduced into the diet of rabbits. Here is how much food they can eat depending on their age:
- From birth to 3 weeks – they feed on breast milk. In the case of orphaned rabbits, there are solutions for feeding them.
- From 3 to 4 weeks – they still feed on breast milk, but they may also receive small amounts of pellets and alfalfa during this period
- From 4 to 7 weeks – breast milk remains an essential source of food. but during this period, you can give them more alfalfa and pellets
- From 7 weeks to 7 months – because their digestive system is much more prepared for the absorption of food, rabbits can eat an unlimited amount of Timothy hay and pellets
- from 12 weeks – you can introduce the vegetables, one in a small amount.
- From 7 months – you can introduce timothy hay, oat hay, and grass hay. During this period, it is advisable to reduce the amount of alfalfa and pellets to 1/2 cups per lbs. body weight. It is also good to feed your rabbit with more vegetables, which you can introduce gradually. Make sure you give them vegetables they can tolerate.
- From a one year – you can give an unlimited amount of Timothy hay, oat hay and fat hay. 2 cups of vegetables per 6 lbs. body weight is enough. Fruits should not exceed two tablespoons per 6 lbs body weight.
Why is Timothy Hay Suitable for your Rabbit?
Timothy Hay is suitable for rabbits because it is friendly to their delicate digestive system. It contains an adequate amount of protein and fiber that ensures optimal functioning of the digestive system of rabbits. Due to its calcium content, it is more suitable for adult rabbits. As they grow, rabbits consume less alfalfa to be added to their diet and an unlimited amount of this hay.
Vegetables and Fruits Recommended for Rabbits
The daily Rabbit Food can include bok choy, bell pepper, Brussels sprouts, carrot tips, fennel, cucumber, endive, basil, dill, mint, parsley, oregano, green leaves, arugula, alfalfa, and radish germs, wheat grass, zucchini or wheat grass. Be careful not to give them more than two cups of vegetables daily; this amount is recommended for adult rabbits. Among the vegetables offered several times a week are carrots, broccoli, spinach, kale, dandelion leaves, chamomile, and marigolds.
Once or twice a week, they can feed on fruits such as nectarines, oranges, bananas, apples, berries, grapes, watermelon, para, papaya, pineapple, plum, and peach. If you want to give them treats, the best are freeze-dried fruit from the list of allowed foods.
To make sure you give rabbits healthy food, read their ingredient list carefully. They are recommended to be excluded if they contain ingredients that are not allowed. Also, make sure that the fruits, grass, and vegetables you give are free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals. You can use products from organic farming. Don forget to add plenty of water because they need to maintain hydrated. Clean regularly the water container and fill it frequently with water. By respecting all this, you can ensure your rabbit has a balanced diet to help him grow healthy. You will also be able to prevent digestive difficulties and other health problems that poor nutrition can trigger.
What Foods to Avoid?
Certain foods can be dangerous for rabbits. Among them are processed cereals which are high in sugar but low in minerals. Other foods to avoid are beans, cauliflower, hazelnuts, peas, cabbage, corn beans, mustard beans, rhubarb, sugar, yogurt, or potatoes. At the same time, it is recommended to avoid the snacks that humans eat, whether biscuits or other snacks that can make them sick. Rabbits are susceptible to the food they eat, so it is essential to follow veterinarians’ recommendations strictly. It’s easy to do that if you consider the diverse range of products they can consume.
Respecting all these rules for a healthy rabbit diet can be challenging. However, it’s more complicated at first because as the rabbit grows, it becomes easier for him to make the right food choices. In addition, there is a lot of information available on the internet and at your veterinarian about rabbit food, so it is possible to make the right choices. Just have patience and see how your rabbit is growing day by day.