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  Feeding your rabbits

As herbivores rabbits need a diet consisting almost entirely of vegetable matter. Variety is essential, and the food offered must be fresh. An ideal diet consists of 85% hay and 15% green veggies with occasional fruit.
Green leafy vegetables such as Asian greens and endive (not lettuce and cabbage as these can cause diarrhoea) are in fact preferred, while fruit (mostly apples and pears) and root vegetables (such as carrots) should only be fed in small amounts. The hay portion of the diet can also be supplemented with a bowl of oaten chaff. Fresh water must be supplied via a drip feed bottle rather than in a bowl which can be easily contaminated or tipped over.

Avoid feeding your pet pellets (as they can cause dental problems) and mixes which are high in grains or which contain molasses

?For rabbits, an essential ingredient to ensure their dietary health is grass or grass hay. This will allow your bunny extended periods of happy chewing which is necessary to wear down their continuously-growing teeth, and thereby helping to prevent dental disease. Chewing on grass or grass hay also helps keep your intelligent friend occupied and prevent boredom. The high fibre content of grass and grass hay is also crucial for normal gastrointestinal motility.

Rabbit food pyramid
Download rabbit food pyramid poster (PDF, 1.15MB)

To ensure your rabbits have a healthy "balanced" diet, you should provide:

  • A constant supply of good quality fresh grass or grass hay - e.g. Timothy, Oaten, Wheaten, Pasture, Paddock, Meadow or Ryegrass hays. Rabbits should not be fed Lucerne (alfalfa) or Clover hays as they are too high in protein and calcium. Grass or grass hay is paramount in providing sufficient fibre for gastrointestinal health and encouraging chewing for long periods of time for healthy teeth.

  • A dietary source of Vitamin C (for guinea pigs) because, like humans, guinea pigs cannot synthesise Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) from other food substances. While this is usually supplied by fresh leafy green veggies, it is a good idea to feed your guinea pig small quantities of vitamin C rich foods such as citrus or kiwi fruit (commercial Vitamin C supplements added to drinking water or commercial feeds are not reliable sources of vitamin C).

  • Plenty of fresh water supplied via drip feed bottle.

Keep feeds and feeding habits consistent. Any changes to the diet must be made gradually, over a two to three week period, to minimise digestive upsets.

Do not feed your pet: cereals, grains, nuts, seeds, corn, beans, peas, breads, biscuits, sweets, sugar, breakfast cereals, chocolate or any garden plants that are toxic to rabbits.

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