See Rabbits files
The domestic rabbits They are mammals that belong to the Lagomorpha order, that is, they are not rodents, as had been considered until the beginning of the 20th century, they are a different order. Rabbits are sociable and intelligent animals, which can be with us for more than ten years. As with dogs, we currently find a wide variety of types and breeds of rabbits.
If you have a rabbit, have decided to adopt one or are going to do so soon, it is very important that you properly inform yourself about the diet of rabbits, to ensure an optimal quality of life and a positive state of health. ¿You are wondering what rabbits eat? ¿How to feed a newborn rabbit?
In this AnimalWised article we will inform you about rabbit feeding In all its stages, whether we are talking about kits, adults or the elderly. Discover below the keys so that your rabbit is healthy, happy and well cared for. ¡Take note!You may also be interested in: Feeding of the dwarf rabbit Index
- Feeding newborn rabbits
- Feeding the young rabbit
- Feeding adult rabbits
- Feeding elderly rabbits
- What should rabbits NOT eat? Food not indicated
Feeding newborn rabbits
The baby rabbits, also known as "rabbits ", they are especially delicate and require special care to survive. In an ideal situation, it is the mother who should feed all her young with breastmilk, However, if the female rejects her offspring or dies, we will have to take charge of their feeding to ensure their survival, being common to ask ourselves what baby rabbits eat.
It is important to note that the chances of survival of a young kitten are few if it is far from its parent, therefore, if you are in charge of a newborn baby rabbit, we recommend go to a vet to ensure your health and receive specific guidelines as appropriate.
The kitten's nest, essential for its survival
Before getting into the feeding of newborn rabbits, it will be very important to focus on the care of newborn rabbits. We will start by highlighting the importance of create a "nest " or "safety zone " for the little bunny. You can make a cardboard box, which you will accommodate with a soft towel, with coconut fiber, goat hair or hay. You can even combine several of these materials to make it more comfortable and fluffy..
We will place the nest in a quiet zone, no drafts or direct light. In addition, if it is winter in your country, you should ensure the warmth of the nest with a thermal blanket. Of course, the blanket should never come into contact with the newborn rabbit. You will have to wrap it in a towel or thick blanket and, on top, you will place the nest.
Feeding newborn rabbits
You should know that feeding newborn rabbits is not an easy task, for that reason, it may be highly recommended to go to an exotic animal veterinarian to show us the procedure. We must have a bottle with a very small nipple (for example, for kittens puppies) or a small syringe without tip and specific milk for kits, that is, infant formula for rabbits, for sale in veterinary centers, pet supply stores or online stores.
The amount of milk it is around 3 milliliters during the first week of life. At this stage it will be convenient to feed him about three times a day and supervise him regularly to ensure that everything is going well. We will progressively increase the amount of milk, until reaching 15 milliliters during week 6 or 7. From the third week, approximately, we will leave small portions of fresh hay within reach of the rabbit, so that it begins to experiment with he.
Some tips Key to feeding a newborn rabbit are:
- Always bet on specific formulas for rabbits
- Feed your kitten always horizontally, never like a human baby
- Weigh the kitten daily to ensure it gains weight
- Don't force him to eat, you could give him aspiration pneumonia
- Go to the vet if you notice that he does not defecate or any symptoms of disease
- Do not overstimulate him, let him rest the necessary hours
Feeding the young rabbit
The weaning age It is around 8 weeks, however, it is important to note that each rabbit has its own rhythm and that some will start eating solid food before or after eight weeks. At this time we can transfer him to a cage for rabbits of adequate size. To comply with a minimum of animal welfare we must ensure that the minimum cage measurements They are between 1 meter and 1.5 meters, yes, it can be greater if you wish. Do not forget to place a nest so that your rabbit can take refuge.
From weaning to 6 months of life, the rabbit must have in its cage unlimited hay, that will ensure an active and healthy intestinal transit. It is important that you always have hay at your disposal, because if the intestinal transit stops, you could suffer serious health problems. In addition, you must also offer unlimited pellets of good quality, that is, those that are composed of 18% fiber.
You can complete your diet with oatmeal and start adding new foods to your diet, paying special attention to the fruits and vegetables recommended for rabbits. Due to its high sugar content, we will reserve the fruits to use them as prizes, but we can start offering green leafy vegetables on a daily basis, such as arugula, endive, carrot leaves or kale. Regardless of the food, you should always have fresh and clean water.
Feeding adult rabbits
Around 6 or 7 months of life, our rabbit will reach adulthood and, at that time, its diet should be slightly modified to prevent obesity in rabbits. Any change in your diet should be made gradually, never sudden, as this can cause gastrointestinal disorders.
If you wonder what rabbits eat, the unlimited hay It will continue to be the basis of your diet to ensure proper gastrointestinal motility, which must always remain active. Make sure it is fresh, quality hay. If your rabbit does not seem interested in eating hay or stops, you should go to a vet to rule out health problems, but you can also try encouraging him with different types of hay and herbs, such as Timothy's hay, alfalfa, clover, etc..
At this stage you should limit the supply of pellets, therefore, it will be convenient to review the doses indicated in the nutritional table on the container. They generally vary depending on the age and weight of the rabbit and are represented in grams. Make sure that the amount you offer is adequate and, if you have doubts or observe that your rabbit is losing or gaining weight, contact your veterinarian..
You will continue to offer your rabbit daily green leafy vegetables and, as in the previous stage, you will limit the fruit. It is important to enrich your diet by varying the foods, of course, pay special attention to the forbidden foods for rabbits to avoid possible poisoning.
It is important that you supervise on a daily basis that the rabbit is fed properly and that it drinks water. In the case of observing a lack of interest in food, lack of excrement, diarrhea or dental overgrowth in the rabbit, go to your veterinarian for an evaluation. On the other hand, stools that are too small, dark or that show irregular shapes may be indicating a lack of fiber..
Feeding elderly rabbits
About the six years, rabbits start in their old age stage. It is important to spend more time and pay close attention to their behavior, habits and droppings in order to detect any problems early and ensure the daily interaction that they so badly need..
When they become old, rabbits still keep the same diet as adult rabbits, however, in this case, a increased pellets to maintain weight. Especially if you begin to observe a notable loss of weight, it will be highly recommended to assess the dose of feed together with the veterinarian, who will advise us in a personalized way.
Make sure to provide all the necessary affection. Remember that a rabbit can exceed 8 years of life, although this will depend directly on its diet, the care it receives and socialization. Take care of it as it deserves, for all the moments it has given you.
What should rabbits NOT eat? Food not indicated
To finish, we are going to show you a list with some foods toxic, poisonous or poorly indicated for rabbits:
- Fruit in syrup
- Iceberg lettuce
- Tea leaves
- aloe vera
Likewise, it is not advisable to offer human food or any animal derivative, remember that the rabbit is a herbivorous animal. Food, if it is fresh, will be much better accepted by his body and he will enjoy eating it much more. Always check the expiration date.
Now you know what rabbits eat and what fruits and vegetables should be included in the rabbit's diet. ¿What else would you add to this list? Excluding the feeding of the wild rabbit or the feeding of the farm rabbits, any type of rabbit will greatly benefit from being offered a proper diet by its guardian.
¿Do you know more vegetables for rabbits? ¿Some beneficial rabbit cereals? ¿What is the ideal food for your rabbits? ¡Leave us your comments so that other members of the AnimalWised community can benefit!