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You have new rabbits and can’t decide what to feed them? OR Maybe you are hesitant to buy rabbits because you think finding the best rabbit food for your rabbits will be a hassle.
I am Emiko and let me say you this:
You are in the right article for a definitive guide to healthy rabbit foods. Having pet rabbits for half a decade I have learned so much about rabbits foods and habits.
I have shared all my knowledge on the best and healthy rabbit foods here for all types of rabbits.
From this article, you will learn which rabbit foods are best for your rabbit and the right proportion of hay, vegetables, pellets and treats you should give to your young and adult rabbits.
You don’t want to overfeed your rabbits or serve them the same food every day. Let’s first understand:
How much food does my rabbit need to stay lively?
Rabbits are generally wild animals but at this age they are domesticated. Though they are considered has house pet rabbits today, their food habit is not so different from wild rabbits.
Commonly rabbits like to eat:
Fresh grass, hay or dry grass, tree barks, all sorts of vegetables and many seasonal fruits.
Although they like to eat a lot doesn’t mean you will feed them whatever they want to eat.
As the guardian of your rabbits, you have to understand their digestive system and consider only the right proportion of food.
For better digestion and to maintain a nutritional diet of your rabbit, you have to supply them with a balanced mixture of all sorts of foods.
Also changing the foods often will not make your rabbits bored of their food menu.
The right proportion of best rabbit food in an average rabbit’s menu must look like this:
- Grass and Hay: 75-80%
- Fresh Vegetables: 10-15%
- Dry Food and Pellets: 5%
- Treats and Fruits: 5%
- Fresh Water: 24/7 Use a feeder like this to keep your rabbits hydrated 24/7.
So from the percentage specified above, I believe you already have a slight idea of what shall a balanced diet of a rabbit looks like.
If you want to keep your rabbits healthy, happy and beautiful, then continue reading to know which best rabbit food you must buy to ensure your rabbits’ fit life.
With hundreds of pet product brands out there, it’s easy to get confused by which one is the right product for you.
But honestly, brands don’t make a lot of difference but the ingredients used in the product determines which is the top product.
So let me explain and then you decide:
What do rabbits like to eat and not get bored?
In real it is not about what rabbits like to eat. What you have to take into account is what is best for your rabbits’ health, good digestive system, and proper bowel movement.
You neither want your rabbits to get gassy nor pooping soft stools.
Let me share a short story:
You see, my rabbit used to love eating peanuts. Whenever I was eating peanut probably DAYA (name of my first rabbit) could smell it and just kept jumping near my foot and sniffing.
I couldn’t resist her cuteness but gave her two peanuts. She ate it in seconds and was sniffing for more. She looked excited, so I gave her a few more.
Then what happened the next morning terrified me, the floor of my living room was full of soft stools. Stools here and there and DAYA didn’t seem as lively as she was the other night.
She was sitting in a corner. It didn’t take a while for me to realize that it’s all because of the peanuts I fed her last night.
I was sure that my rabbit loved the peanuts but it was not good at all for her digestive system.
So I quickly fed her water. I gave her dry rice so that her poo will harden a bit inside her bowel. Well, at least that’s what I thought at that time.
So from my experience, I realized your rabbit may like many different foods though it is not good for their digestive system. You as their guardian, it is your duty to take note what to feed and what not to.
If you want to feed your rabbit with a new menu then please do check the stool on the following day.
Later in this article, I have written about what not to feed your rabbits. So continue reading.
Now the best part:
Let’s talk about what to feed your rabbits and the best rabbit food out there starting with HAY.
Best hay for rabbits and grass for a complete diet.
Regardless of what age your rabbits are, they need a combination of green grass, hay, vegetables, fruits.
The first choice for your rabbits should be green grass. Because green grass provides them with all the necessary nutrition for a healthy diet.
Now many people do not have access to green grass due to many reasons. That’s when you have to consider feeding your rabbits dried grass or hay.
Hay or green grass must be 75-80% of your rabbits’ diet. If you don’t have access to green grass then hay is your second best choice.
Hay contains all the nutrition your rabbit can get from green grass except a few minerals disappear due to the drying process.
That doesn’t mean there is an alternative to hay. To fill up for the missing nutrition and bring moisture in their diet, you have to feed your rabbits vegetables. Fresh green vegetables must be 10-15% of their diet.
But before moving on to which vegetables to feed your rabbits let’s find out the best hay for your rabbits:
Alfalfa Hay for Rabbits.
Bunnies require more calcium and protein. They need protein and calcium to grow and remain strong. So Alfalfa hay for rabbits is the best option when your rabbits are still young.
By young I mean your rabbits must be less than 7 months old.
Alfalfa Hay Contains:
34% Fibre, 19% Protein, 1.5% Calcium
Why I said this rabbit hay is best for baby rabbits because it will supply your rabbit with the nutrients required for growth.
As well as alfalfa hay is very soft and your bunnies will not be troubled chewing them.
But when your bunnies will grow you need to consider a different brand of hay for them.
Rabbit Timothy Hay.
For adult rabbits, I hold the best hay is Timothy hay. Any rabbit over 7 months can start to consume timothy hay or a mix of timothy hay with alfalfa hay.
Timothy hay is high in nutrition and has long fibers which help maintain a balanced digestive system for your cute rabbits.
Rabbit Timothy Hay contains:
34% Fibre, 11% Protein, 0.5% Calcium.
The best rabbit timothy hay from my experience has been Small Pet Select Timothy Hay.
I saw the review was good online and ordered my first pack and later found my rabbits absolutely love the smell and the taste.
Once you order a pack and open it upon arrival, you will find the real difference between your regular pet store timothy hay and a pack of Small Pet Select Timothy Hay.
Once you open the pack you will see the dried grass has a very good texture and is green. Though the grass is dried, it is really fresh and grasses are long.
If your rabbit could choose a hay, without a doubt they would choose Small Pet Select timothy hay. This comes in long grasses and is soft.
Your rabbit will love the taste and will waste very less.
Oat Hay for Rabbits.
Well, oat hay is a pretty good alternative to timothy hay. However, I wouldn’t consider giving oat hay to my rabbits.
Oat hay is low in protein and calcium so definitely, it’s not the best option for young bunnies.
It is best to mix timothy hay with oat hay to bring variation in your adult rabbits’ taste bud.
Oat hay is sometimes a good bedding alternative for your rabbit over the wheat straw. My favorite brand for my rabbits is OXBOW Oat Hay. It is cheap but I suggest you not to choose oat hay over timothy hay for your rabbits.
Oat hay every day in a rabbits diet wouldn’t be healthy and your rabbit may not be very happy about the taste.
Vegetables for Rabbits to give that required moisture.
Feeding your rabbit with hay and dry grass all the time is fine. Because grass is essential to fill in the nutritional requirements.
But due to the drying process of commercial rabbit hay, it lacks some of its nutrition, therefore it is essential to feed your rabbits some vegetables and green herbs.
Vegetables and herbs will bring a new flavor to your rabbit’s taste bud. Fresh green leaves and herbs will fill out for the missing nutrients and minerals from dry grass, as well as bring the required moisture in your rabbits’ menu.
The moisture in your rabbit’s diet is vital because it allows your rabbit’s kidneys’ to function properly. So don’t think only hays and dry grass is enough for your rabbit’s diet.
Below is a list of vegetables and greens which you can feed your rabbits for a healthy diet:
- Broccoli Leaves (Stems and tops can make your rabbit gassy)
- Dandelion leaves
- Swiss greens
- Carrot Tops (Carrots are high in calcium)
- Collard greens
You don’t have to limit your rabbits’ menu according to the list, you can also try other fresh herbs and leaves to bring changes in your rabbits taste bud.
Yet try to avoid the sugary vegetables, to prevent your rabbit gaining too much weight which is not fine for your small pets.
Best Rabbit Pellets.
There are too many rabbit pellets in the market to choose from. The best one for your rabbit is the one with the same color texture so that your rabbit won’t choose from which color to eat.
Also depending on your rabbit’s age and weight, you have to look for the ingredients a pellet is made from to understand which the most suitable for your house rabbits.
For young rabbits, alfalfa hay based pellets are best if you don’t have access to real alfalfa hay. For bunnies, you need to purchase pellets that contain more protein and calcium.
For adult rabbits, if you don’t have access to timothy hay or fresh greens, then choose rabbit pellets that have more fiber and less protein in order to avoid health complications.
Pellets are not usually necessary for your rabbits if you can supply them with enough hay, grass, and fresh greens. Pellets are important when your rabbits are lacking nutrition from their usual diet.
Pellets will fill up for the lack of nutrition to keep your young and adult rabbits healthier. Hence only a 5% presence of pellets in your rabbit servings is enough.
What are rabbit pellets made of?
Rabbit pellets are made from a mix of green vegetables and dried grass. Pellets are like nutrition concentrated food for your rabbits.
Varieties of grass and veggies are blended to prepare these nuggets to provide health benefits for you rabbits in case they are having a nutrition deficiency.
Understand this do not overfeed your rabbits with an excess amount of rabbit pellets. Due to the fact, it’s concentrated with nutrition can be harmful to your rabbits.
Healthy natural rabbit treats will make them excited.
Regard this, rabbits are naturally wild animals, though we domesticate them today, their digestive system is still the same and the taste bus is similar to the wild ones.
So every once in a while your rabbit needs to have some fruits. In the wild, due to fruits seasonality, they get to eat different fruits during seasons.
They love the taste and fruits work as healthy natural rabbit treats. Even though fruits are fine treats, you can’t give your rabbit too much of it.
Occasionally fruits are good but it’s not everyday best rabbit food.
Fruits contain natural sugar and starch. Too much of it will aid in gaining weight. Gaining too much weight will lead to health concerns.
You must also avoid fruits with large seeds. In case you offer them a fruit remove the seeds first and serve them. So, that they don’t trouble themselves with fruit seeds.
Examples of some healthy natural rabbit treats are:
You would never want your rabbit to become unwell. Treats are fine, sometimes feeding your rabbits with a few seasonal fruits will make your rabbits happier and they will look forward to it as treats.
Different fruits will serve their taste bud very well too.
What not to feed rabbits to avoid health issues?
You are your rabbit’s guardian. It is your duty to know which foods are most fitting for your bunnies and which foods are leading to health issues.
Every time you feed your rabbits with a new food, do not forget to check their stools the very next day. Depending on the condition of your rabbit’s stool you will find out whether the food was best for your rabbit or not.
If your rabbit poops soft stools and gets normal in a day, then you can understand that the new servings in your rabbit diet did not go very well for her digestive system.
Best to not feed your rabbit the same food again.
If the rabbit food leads to continuous soft stools, then you must seek assistance from a vet.
Don’t feed your rabbit anything that is salty, spicy, or too much sugary.
Do not feed your rabbits something like onions. Onions can be considered as somewhat spicy and I am sure it will not be a great dish to match your rabbit’s digestion process.
I hope in this article I have helped you at least a little on the best rabbit food.
If you have any questions about anything written in this post please leave a comment below. I will reply shortly.
If you haven’t bought your rabbit yet, but planning on getting one, then check out this article on Rabbit Cages here.
Want your rabbit to be happy and healthy?