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Best items for buns to gnaw on?

Advice on purchasing or constructing cages and hutches for your rabbitry.
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Best items for buns to gnaw on?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby TexGardenGirl » Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:36 pm


I’m trying to make some treat/toy hangers for my meat rabbits. Similar to the Kaytee k-bob things. They rust out after a few years so I’m trying to DIY it to save some money. I bought several of the items they sell as refills - applewood sticks, loofah slices etc, and want to also include something to keep their teeth maintained. I tried something called “lava bites” which is just slices of pumice but the bunny chewed it to bits in maybe 15 minutes. So I’m thinking something a little harder is necessary. I was thinking about cuttlebone like you give to parrots to keep their beaks short. Would cuttlebone be too much calcium? I don’t really know if excess calcium is something to worry about in rabbits. Or should I just give them big chunks of wood? They always manage to get the applewood twigs loose and drop them through the wires without chewing much at all.
If I go with chunks of wood, my options are pecan, hackberry or maple, or purchased lumber. In the past I gave a couple bunnies chunks of pine 2x4, which they chewed on a lot but eventually they became urine soaked, so I guess I could figure out a way to hang them in a way the bunnies would use them without peeing on them too much.
Any thoughts about this or other ideas are welcome! Thanks!

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Re: Best items for buns to gnaw on?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby olafthebunny » Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:16 am


hey! My buns love to naw on sticks as well as pieces of cardboard. It helps keep their teeth short and healthy, and they don't even eat the cardboard. after chewing, they spit it out.
Carrots are good treats to keep their teeth down as well.
I would recommend untreated wood- so that they don't ingest anything toxic or harmful in their systems. The sticks I give to my rabbits and guinea pigs are mulberry branches, but any fruit tree branch is fine. I give them the thickest branches I can find, instead of the flimsy little ones, as they just devoured those! :lol:
Willow, spruce, birch, and maple tree branches are all completely safe for your rabbits to chew on, as well as rose bush branches ( except not if there is any thorns on them).
I hope this helps!
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Re: Best items for buns to gnaw on?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby TexGardenGirl » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:25 am


Thanks for the input! Yes I will definitely avoid any treated wood. I don’t use it much anyway and I would certainly not give them a piece of wood if I were not sure it’s untreated. I was mainly wondering if there’s any particular species of wood that might be used for lumber that’s bad for them. Like I know chickens shouldn’t have cedar shavings but pretty much anything else is ok. I guess most ordinary lumber in North America at least is going to be pine or cedar; things like oak, maple, birch are usually clearly labeled and also more costly because they are generally for finishing carpentry rather than structural. So I’m unlikely to have them as scrap. I suppose I’ll start collecting big hunks of wood. Hubby tends to use the maple and pecan for cooking, but the hackberry is all mine if I want!
I did order some cuttlebones and I’ll report back on how that goes.
Thanks again!

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Re: Best items for buns to gnaw on?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby hotzcatz » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:10 am


Not exactly sure what hackberry is, but the pecan should be okay for them to eat. If you can get it, branches of mulberry with the leaves still on it are very nutritious for bunnies.
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Re: Best items for buns to gnaw on?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Zass » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:39 pm


Pine cones are always popular in my rabbitry. I know hackberries (from a hackberry tree) are edible to people, so the wood is very likely also safe for rabbits.

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Re: Best items for buns to gnaw on?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Preitler » Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:13 pm


My buns favorits are ash and quince branches.
Forsythia, any kind of willow or fruit trees are welcome too.

They also always have a fir branch to gnaw on, but that isn't popular all the time, I guess it's some kind of remedy.

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Re: Best items for buns to gnaw on?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby a7736100 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:50 pm


Do they chew up the wood? I've given them green twigs and I toss them after they chewed off the bark. Don't know if they would continue chewing the heart wood.

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Re: Best items for buns to gnaw on?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby minibackyardfarmer » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:08 am


a7736100 wrote:Do they chew up the wood? I've given them green twigs and I toss them after they chewed off the bark. Don't know if they would continue chewing the heart wood.


Yes they will eat all the wood.

I've found with mine some love apple branches others just like the leaves and bark.

But they all love pear branches they last maybe 5mins lol

I still need to try Willow and others to see.

But you'll find what is their fav and which you'll prob end up giving the chewed on twig to a rabbit that prefers that type. This way getting the most out of your resources. Since no two rabbits are the same with their pref.

We have one that goes through moodiness with what we offer her. One minute loving one type and another minute giving us heck for not giving her a specific type. She will turn her back to us and even sometimes if moody enough shake the wire wall of the cage till we give her the branch that she is in the mood for lmao. So I guess either moody or has us well trained :lol:

They can and most will eat all the twig you give them.

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