all about rabbit pellets (informational post)

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jaxmarblebuns

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What are pellets

Pellets are made from hay. They are also balanced with nutrients your bunny needs that they might not get from the rest of there diet depending on what else your feeding them.



What to look for



* Fiber: The higher the fiber content generally the better the food will be for your rabbit’s digestion. look for a minimum of 18-20%.

* Protein: A healthy adult rabbit needs a protein level of 14-16% rabbits under 6 months of age, producing does, and meat growers need a higher protein level to support their rapid growth. 16%-18% works well

* Calcium & Phosphorus: Calcium should be 0.5% – 1.0% and phosphorus 0.4%-0.8%. Equally important is the ratio between the two (which should be 1.5-2.1 calcium to phosphorus).

* Fat: 2.4-5%

* Vitamins: Vitamin D 1000 IU/kg, Vitamin E 50 IU/kg, Vitamin A 10,000 IU/kg

* Ingredients: The ingredients list will be in the order of the portion included; with the ingredient the food contains most of listed first. Look for brands that list grass (e.g. timothy, alfalfa, hay or ‘forage’) ahead of things like (e.g. wheat, oats, corn, or maize). As grass is higher in fiber and lower in protein than cereals, foods that are grass-based generally also have a more suitable nutritional balance and are easier for rabbits to digest.

Bad pellets

When looking for pellets you want to avoid anything with colorful bits, seeds, nuts, etc. here are some examples of bad pellets.

Good pellets

When looking for pellets you want to get plain pellets with nothing else, the color should be a moderate to bright green. here are some examples.

I'm still figuring out images, so here's a link to a visual example. Good on the right bad on the left.


How to feed pellets

When feeding pellets it is very important not to over feed them, if you do your rabbit can get very over weight which can lead problem such as sore hocks, does that cant conceive, not enough energy and may more.

If feeding as the main diet:

If you feed pellets as your rabbits main diet, than you will need to give them one once of pellets per pound of body weight,

So if your rabbit is 8 pounds than it would get 8 ounces (or one cup) of pellets per day.

Feeding as supplement:

If your feeding as a supplement along side there regular veggies and hay than you want to feed one teaspoon per pound, so if your rabbit is 4 pounds it would get 4 teaspoons.

Feeding young:

If your rabbit is 6 months of age or younger than it’s diet should consist of hay and/or unlimited pellets *DO NOT FEED VEGGIES ON A REGULAR BASIS* at 6 months you can very slowly introduce veggies and at around 7 1/2-8 months you can give them adult amounts.

Hope you all enjoyed this blog and maybe learned something new.
this is my first official post here, so any criticism is very appreciated.

have a great day :)
 

ladysown

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Young rabbits can be raised on anything their parents are eating.

This isn't very clear: If you're feeding as a supplement alongside their regular veggies and hay then you want to feed one teaspoon per pound, so if your rabbit is 4 pounds it would get 4 teaspoons.
You can't say things like this. Because then people will underfeed their rabbits. Saying that all a four pound rabbit should get is 1 tbsp (and a tsp) of pellets a day if you are feeding another things (what are those other things? what quantities? What fat or protein levels?) Clarity is important. There are people who would read that and say Well my bunny got a piece of apple today so it only get 1 tbsp of pellets. I sell pet bunnies and have met all kinds of stupid.... so be clear and then be MORE clear. :)
 

jaxmarblebuns

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Young rabbits can be raised on anything their parents are eating.

This isn't very clear: If you're feeding as a supplement alongside their regular veggies and hay then you want to feed one teaspoon per pound, so if your rabbit is 4 pounds it would get 4 teaspoons.
You can't say things like this. Because then people will underfeed their rabbits. Saying that all a four pound rabbit should get is 1 tbsp (and a tsp) of pellets a day if you are feeding another things (what are those other things? what quantities? What fat or protein levels?) Clarity is important. There are people who would read that and say Well my bunny got a piece of apple today so it only get 1 tbsp of pellets. I sell pet bunnies and have met all kinds of stupid.... so be clear and then be MORE clear
good point. I often forget stupid people are, and how uncommon common sense has become lol. I'll see what I can do to make it more clear.
 

sassafrasshat

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If your rabbit is 6 months of age or younger than it’s diet should consist of hay and/or unlimited pellets *DO NOT FEED VEGGIES ON A REGULAR BASIS* at 6 months you can very slowly introduce veggies and at around 7 1/2-8 months you can give them adult amounts.​

This is a very helpful post so thank you for making it. I am curious the reason to not feed veggies regularly to rabbits under 6 months. I feed greens and veggies from my garden and kitchen scraps to my kits as they're weaning off of milk at four weeks old and thru to dispatch day. They seem to be okay with it, but I'm a newbie. What's the concern with it?
 

ladysown

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Rabbits need to develop the gut flora to digest foods. and they can have issues which in young rabbits can be life-threatening. You can feed greens to youngsters if 1. you are already feeding them to momma. and/or 2. feed new feeds VERY slowly.
 

jaxmarblebuns

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This is a very helpful post so thank you for making it. I am curious the reason to not feed veggies regularly to rabbits under 6 months. I feed greens and veggies from my garden and kitchen scraps to my kits as they're weaning off of milk at four weeks old and thru to dispatch day. They seem to be okay with it, but I'm a newbie. What's the concern with it?
ladysown said it pretty well. if kits have those problems it can cause soft stool which can turn deadly pretty quick in young rabbits, so its safer for most (at least most "undereducated" people) to just not feed them because of that risk.
 

sassafrasshat

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Thank you both for the clarification! The two situations are true for me. The kits inevitably ate what I gave the mother, so I continue to feed those greens as they grow out. And introducing foods slowly is what I always do since they have sensitive digestive systems. 😄
 

NY Rabbits

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I have read one ounce of pellets per pound of body weight but always took this to mean pellets by weight. One cup of pellets weighs about 6 oz which does not seem like enough for an 8# rabbit.
 

NY Rabbits

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Depending on the density of the particular food you are using that could easily happen. You might weigh a cup of your food to see. In general I think feeding by weight is a good practice.
 

WyoWool

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I have read one ounce of pellets per pound of body weight but always took this to mean pellets by weight. One cup of pellets weighs about 6 oz which does not seem like enough for an 8# rabbit.
Always feed the individual rabbit according to it’s condition. Some breeds and lines out there are magic feed:bodyflesh conversion machines. You feed them what looks to be a tiny amount of food and yet they achieve and maintain fabulous condition on that meager amount. Other breeds, like Flemish and continentals, are known to be absolute chow hounds. Most breeds get free fed (all they want to eat) while they’re juniors. You want juniors to be able to get what food they need while actively growing. As that junior matures into an intermediate or senior, often that’s when the amount of “daily rations” comes into play. If you take the rabbit that’s been used to eating free choice and start offering it 6oz of food once a day and you notice an immediate drop in body condition- bump that 6 to 8oz or even 10oz and see how things go. Scales and weighing food is good, but feeling them and assessing body condition with trial and error is what I’ve found to be the best way.
 
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