What to Feed Your Bunny

General guidelines for a healthy bunny...
  A healthy rabbit's diet is divided into three basic food groups: vegetables, hay and pellets.
  Click here to find out why you should avoid commercial rabbit treats.
Consider these important points...
Fibre is your rabbit's friend. Fibre is an exceedingly important part of your rabbit's diet.
Just because it is sold in the pet shop doesn't mean it is good for your rabbit. Be careful of all those enticingly packaged treats. Remember grocery stores sell chocolate bars and chips, but that doesn't mean they are good for you.
Variety helps add enjoyment to your rabbit's day. There is a plethora of vegetables acceptable for rabbits, don't slip into the lettuce rut. How would you like to eat the same thing day after day?
   
The Importance of Hay...
  Perhaps the single most important element in your rabbit's diet is hay. Your rabbit should be provided with an UNLIMITED supply of hay. Hay does lots of wonderful things for your rabbit. It provides essential nutrients necessary to your rabbit's diet, while being low in calories; Its course stalks help keep your rabbit's teeth ground down; and most importantly the fibers helps keep your rabbit's digestive tract working normally.

The primary type of hay your rabbit should have is Oat Hay. Good oat hay should be nice and green with very little to no brown mixed in. Very rarely do pet stores sell good quality oat hay. Instead you may have to purchase from a local farm or feed store. If you purchase a bale from a local farm be very careful to keep it dry. Mould can be very toxic to rabbits.  It is also important that your hay has been protected from rodents - rodent droppings can carry a bug that causes an untreatable disease in rabbits.

You will find many overseas sites recommend Timothy Hay - we have searched far and wide, and found that oat hay is the closest equivalent that is available in Australia, as customs prevents us from importing timothy hay. If you have trouble finding oat hay, contact us, and we will do what we can to help.  Or if you have a better alternative, please let us know.

Almost any type of grass hay is safe to feed your rabbit. Once again variety can add enjoyment. The one type of hay you should avoid is alfalfa/lucerne. Alfalfa is acceptable occasionally as a treat, but because of the high level of calcium should not be fed in large amounts to a mature rabbit.

Vegetables - a Bunny Salad
 

The next most important items in a healthy rabbit's diet are fresh vegetables. Your rabbit should eat on tightly packed cup of greens per four pounds of body weight. And yet again variety is important. If your rabbit has never eaten greens you may want to introduce then slowly to avoid soft stools. The same holds true for introducing a new type of green to your rabbit. If soft stools do result simply reduce the amount or remove the new vegetable for a while.

Good greens:

Basil, beet tops, Bok choy, Broccoli (mostly the leaves), Brussels sprouts, cabbage, chickweed, cilantro, clover, collard greens, dandelion flowers (be careful of pesticides), endive, escarole, mint, mustard greens, parsley, peppermint leaves, radicchio, radish tops, raspberry leaves, romaine lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, watercress, wheat grass

Good but give in limited quantities because of high levels of calcium:

Carrot tops, dandelion greens, kale

Never give Iceberg lettuce

Acceptable vegetables:

Cauliflower, green peppers, Snow peas, turnip

Never feed raw beans, corn, rhubarb, or potato peels

Treats:

The small animal aisle of your local pet food store can be just as tempting for your rabbit as the candy aisle of a grocery is to you. But just like the candy aisle, most of the treats sold for rabbits are not good for them. You should especially stay away from anything with corn, seeds and processed sugar. The good news is there are lots of other things your rabbit will love to have as a treat.

Good treats:

Apple, banana, blueberries, Craisins (dried sweetened cranberries), carrots, grapes (limited quantities), mango, papaya, peach, pear, persimmon, pineapple, raisins, raspberries, strawberries and tomatoes.

Oats are acceptable as an occasional treat.

 

Stay away from:

 Breakfast cereals, chocolate, salty or sugary human snacks

 

 

Vitamin supplements and salt/mineral licks are not necessary when feeding a healthy diet.