are the basics of a good house rabbit diet?
A rabbit's diet should be made up of good quality pellets,
fresh hay (alfalfa, timothy or oat), water and fresh
vegetables. Anything beyond that is a "treat"
and should be given in limited quantities.
makes a good pellet?
Pellets should be fresh, and should be relatively high
in fiber (18% minimum fiber). Do not purchase more than
6 weeks worth of feed at a time, as it will become spoiled.
Pellets should make up less of a rabbit's diet as he
or she grows older, and hay should be available 24 hours
kinds of veggies should I feed my rabbit?
When shopping for vegetables, look for a selection of
different veggies--look for both dark leafy veggies
and root vegetables, and try to get different colors.
Stay away from beans and rhubarb. Here's a suggested
list of veggies safe for rabbits and available in Singapore:
- Alfafa Sprouts
- Basil Leaves
- Bok Choy
- Broccoli *
- Carrot *
- Chye Sim
- Kang Kong (!)
- Kai Lan (!)
- Parsley *
- Pea Pods (the flat edible kind) *
- Peppermint Leaves
- Romaine Lettuce (no iceberg or light coloured leaf)
- Siao Pek Chye
- Spinach (!) *
- Watercress *
- Wheat Grass
Select at least 3 kinds of vegetables daily. A variety
is necessary in order to obtain the necessary nutrients,
with one each day that contains Vitamin A, indicated
by an *. Add one vegetable to the diet at a time. Eliminate
if it causes soft stools or diarrhea.
(!) = Use sparingly. High in either
oxalates or goitrogens and may be toxic in accumulated
quantities over a period of time.
Also, carrot should only be fed once or twice a week
as it is very sweet.
Hay is essential to a rabbit's good health, providing
roughage which reduces the danger of hairballs and other
blockages. Apple tree twigs also provide good roughage.
quantities of food should I feed babies and "teenagers"?
- Birth to 3 weeks--mother's milk
- 3 to 4 weeks--mother's milk, nibbles of alfalfa
- 4 to 7 weeks--mother's milk, access to alfalfa and
- 7 weeks to 7 months--unlimited pellets, unlimited
hay (plus see 12 weeks below)
- 12 weeks--introduce vegetables (one at a time, quantities
under 1/2 oz.)
quantities of food should I feed young adults?
(7 months to 1 year)
- introduce timothy hay, grass hay, and oat hays,
- decrease pellets to 1/2 cup per 6 lbs. body weight
- increase daily vegetables gradually
- fruit daily ration no more than 1 oz. to 2 oz. per
6 lbs. body weight (because of calories)
quantities of food should I feed mature adults?
(1 to 5 years)
- Unlimited timothy, grass hay, oat hay, straw
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup pellets per 6 lbs. body weight (depending
on metabolism and/or proportionate to veggies)
- Minimum 2 cups chopped vegetables per 6 lbs. body
- fruit daily ration no more than 2 oz. (2 TBL) per
6 lbs. body weight.
quantities of food should I feed senior rabbits?
(Over 6 years)
- If sufficient weight is maintained, continue adult
- Frail, older rabbits may need unrestricted pellets
to keep weight up. Alfalfa can be given to underweight
rabbits, only if calcium levels are normal. Annual
blood workups are highly recommended for geriatric
I feed fewer pellets, how do I compensate?
When you feed a lower quantity of pellets, you must
replace the nutritional value without the calories,
which is done by increasing the vegetables. Also, a
variety of hay and straw must be encouraged all day
long, we do this by offering fresh hay a couple of times
- Apple (remove stem and seeds)
- Orange (including peel)
Sugary fruits such as bananas and grapes should be
used only sparingly, as occasional treats. Bunnies have
a sweet tooth and if left to their own devices will
devour sugary foods to the exclusion of healthful ones.
Primary Author(s): Marinell Harriman
Sources: HRH, various articles from the HRJ, RHN