Your Rabbit Needs A Lot More Than Carrots To Protect It From Obesity and Gastrointestinal Problems
When you think ‘rabbit’ we’ll bet you immediately think ‘carrot’ and vice versa. After all, Bugs Bunny seemed to thrive on a diet of pure carrots, right?
Be that as it may, feeding your pet rabbit(s) only carrots is not the best idea in the world.
Like any living being, rabbits need variety in their diets to prevent them from getting bored (and going off eating completely) and to ensure that they are getting adequate nutrients. While carrots may provide your bunny with some nutrients, it needs a range of other vegetables to get all that he requires to thrive. Here are some general guidelines to feeding your pet rabbit along with specific vegetables and foods that you should routinely be giving him:
Feed Three Times Daily
An adult rabbit should be fed three times a day with a variety of foods. Baby or adolescent rabbits should be given smaller meals five times a day as their digestive systems can only process small amounts of food at a time.
Additionally, your rabbit’s water trough should always be filled with fresh water that is changed at least twice daily.
Include Vitamin A Rich Vegetables In His Meal Once A Day
Vitamin A will help your rabbit maintain a healthy immune system as well as ensure that healthy cells are constantly growing. Vegetables rich in vitamin A are kale, mustard greens, parsley, pea pods, romaine lettuce, spinach, water cress and broccoli.
Incorporate these in your rabbit’s meal once a day.
Mix It Up With Other Vegetables
To bring some variety to his diet, feed your rabbit a range of other vegetables twice a day; try basil, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, celery, cilantro, green peppers, mint, wheat grass and peppermint leaves.
Throw In Some Hay
Hay is essential to a rabbit’s diet as it provides it with a good amount of roughage that will help avoid hairballs and constipation. Oat hay works best for adult rabbits.
Limit The Amount Of Pellets
While it may be tempting to keep your rabbit on a store bought pellet diet, pellets will not give your pet nearly as much roughage and fibre as fresh vegetables will. So, limit servings to a quarter cup of pellets per day as a snack.
A mature rabbit should be fed 1/4 cup of pellets and two cups of chopped vegetables per 3 kilos of body weight. Fresh hay should be available to your rabbit at all times.
Additionally, like with any pet, your rabbit should be given enough space (in a hutch or in the open) to run around, which will keep him healthy and fit.