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Need weight gain

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Sireenica » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:00 pm


So first I want to say that I am very new to rabbits and second that my boy is a 1 year old Giant Angora

When I got him the breeder said his last weigh in was just under 8lbs and that he might stay a smaller guy. Giant weight range says he should be 10lbs at least

He gets unlimited ROWE pellets (he was switched after someone suggested unlimited vs 1 cup day), unlimited timothy hay, 1 TB of BOSS, and a few handful of herbs and weeds from the garden each day. I have had him 3 months and have started to taper down the BOSS as I read its a hot food and its summer time.

His last two weigh ins were 8.5lbs (I am using a bathroom scale so grain of salt and I haven't weighed him recently)
He will NOT eat rolled oats, banana, carrots, black berries, chamomile, or pineapple. He seems to prefer only green foods like dandelions, mint, plantain weeds, chicory.

He still feels boney on his pelvis even through his thick fur.

Question:
1. What else can I add for weight gain?
2. Is he making reasonable progress?
3. I fill his bowl as needed but I swear some days he eats nothing but hay.

He was on ivermectin when I got him (monthly dosage) but I have not dosed him as he is not exposed to other rabbits and figured that I could dose him as needed when it was needed.

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Re: Need weight gain

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Preitler » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:18 pm


Hm, if feasable I would give him unlimited of this stuff he likes anyway, greens, weeds, and so on. I raise my 8-9lbs meat rabbits on that, with very little pellets (treats to get them go back into their hutch).

While there is green stuff around mine too think I try to poison them with carrots, at least the young ones.

But I wonder if he really is skinny, or just a healthy, lean, active boy. I would consider the spine a better indicator than the pelvis, but that's what I'm used to.
Also, even rabbits I did not consider fat, or actually thought were rather skinny, had quite a lot of internal fat. Granted, the gaint checkerd part of the anchestry makes them long and slender, but sometimes there's more than what meets the eye.

I wouldn't try to fatten him, just offer unlimited greens and hay.
I trust my rabbits instincts to know what they need.

Hm, Angora. Mayby some of the wooly breeders chime in, I've heard they may need more protein for all that fur, so maybe some alfalfa, but that's just an assumption.
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Re: Need weight gain

Post Number:#3  Unread postby sunrise » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:48 pm


Try feeling his spine, if the bones there aren't sharp, then he is probably the right weight for him. Ideal weight for the breed and actual weight of any individual can vary greatly. Angora's of any type seem to have those hip bones that you can always feel, even at a good weight. They do need more protein to produce the wool and some breeders feed them an 18% pellet, but I have mine on a 16% with a tiny amount of BOSS and they're doing great.

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Re: Need weight gain

Post Number:#4  Unread postby BlueHaven » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:51 am


Pellets are hay.. If you cut hay down to twice a week,and only a hand full at that, he will eat more pellets.. I feed hay only twice a week to my grow outs. Once they hit their desired weight then I feed hay full time. I have never ever had a problem and my rex kits usually hit four plus pounds easy at 8 week.

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Re: Need weight gain

Post Number:#5  Unread postby hotzcatz » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:43 am


We've switched to organic alfalfa only pellets, not the 'rabbit' pellets so the alfalfa pellets have been augmented with 'treats'. That's whole wheat mixed with BOSS and calf manna. They'll get a half cup of that per bunny per day (which I think is pretty rich, they should probably be on a quarter to a third of a cup, but they really love the stuff) and they've finally started getting into much better condition than when they were on rabbit pellets and forage. These are English angora, so they won't be as big as yours.

If you have access to mulberry leaves, that's nutritious for bunnies. I'd free feed mulberry and forage leaves & grasses. The bunnies here get unlimited alfalfa pellets and restricted 'treats'. Unlimited leaves, grasses and greens. We've never had a problem with too much weight, not sure if they use up all the food in growing hair or what.
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Re: Need weight gain

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Sireenica » Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:01 pm


sunrise wrote:Try feeling his spine, if the bones there aren't sharp, then he is probably the right weight for him. Ideal weight for the breed and actual weight of any individual can vary greatly. Angora's of any type seem to have those hip bones that you can always feel, even at a good weight. They do need more protein to produce the wool and some breeders feed them an 18% pellet, but I have mine on a 16% with a tiny amount of BOSS and they're doing great.


I have trimmed him on the belly area but left the coat on his back to grow longer. I don't think his spine feels sharp. He definitely feels more filled out than when I first got him, its just hard to tell through all that fluff.I forgot to weigh him the morning before work. I know rabbits can get fat internally and not show on the outside, I am trying to avoid that BUT I also want to provide enough nutrition in case he has more growing left to do. I figure the unlimited pellets should do that, but wanted to do as much as I could. I was told he comes from big lines, so maybe its a growth delay. Nothing was mentioned about him being a runt, just that he might stay on the smaller size.

ROWE is a 16% The one who bred him and the breeder I got him from said that that was sufficient and more could give him bad poops. I also heard Calf Manna could be used but was warned it could make his poops sticky- with long fur that is a hard no.

Are they other indicators I can look to to make sure he's getting what he needs?
Coat looks healthy
perfect poops
bright eyes
his lungs sound clear- like a birds
strong heart beat
I clip his nails twice a month- but I'm just anal about it. They seem to be growing at a good rate
Teeth look good- still amazed I can grab his face and check out his front teeth without getting bit (seems strange a small animal would let you do that)

-- Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:16 pm --

hotzcatz wrote:We've switched to organic alfalfa only pellets, not the 'rabbit' pellets so the alfalfa pellets have been augmented with 'treats'. That's whole wheat mixed with BOSS and calf manna. They'll get a half cup of that per bunny per day (which I think is pretty rich, they should probably be on a quarter to a third of a cup, but they really love the stuff) and they've finally started getting into much better condition than when they were on rabbit pellets and forage. These are English angora, so they won't be as big as yours.

If you have access to mulberry leaves, that's nutritious for bunnies. I'd free feed mulberry and forage leaves & grasses. The bunnies here get unlimited alfalfa pellets and restricted 'treats'. Unlimited leaves, grasses and greens. We've never had a problem with too much weight, not sure if they use up all the food in growing hair or what.


No mulberry here that I can get that's not treated or next to a road. I suppose I could ask around.
What's the recipe you use? I am hesitant being a complete newbie to try to mix my own in fear he will miss some key nutrient. I figure if I supplement it with fresh garden greens that would help. I know some rabbits are kept on nothing but pellets and do great. I just spoil him and want to do the best I can.

What would be putting on weight too fast? Or know when to ration his portions back down? I heard some rabbits over eat and others maintenance the amount they need on their own

-- Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:01 pm --

BlueHaven wrote:Pellets are hay.. If you cut hay down to twice a week,and only a hand full at that, he will eat more pellets.. I feed hay only twice a week to my grow outs. Once they hit their desired weight then I feed hay full time. I have never ever had a problem and my rex kits usually hit four plus pounds easy at 8 week.


Today is his first low hay day, I have a feeling he will not be amused. He looked for it then started tossing his cardboard slab that its usually on around. Guess we will see how many pellets he eats today.

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