Oats -- what type?

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Well-known member
Feb 16, 2012
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coastal southeast North Carolina
Very nervous new rabbit mom here...my bunnies come next week :bunnyhop: :bunnyhop: :bunnyhop: :bunnyhop: and I'm trying to be sure I am ready so bear with me...

When talking about feeding rabbits, when "oats" are listed... is that the "Quaker Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats" (uncooked) or is that oat groats like at the health food store or is that "horse oats" like they sale at the feed store?

(Checklist: shed (check), MannaPro pellets (check), bermuda hay (check), cages (not yet here...), lists of safe and unsafe foods (check), BOSS ( ), grains ( ) )

Oh, dear...I'm not ready for the stork yet!
You'll be fine, Frecs. Just relax and enjoy the anticipation of the "new arrivals". :)

Different kinds of oats are used by different people for different purposes.

For young kits just being weaned or for any rabbit with digestive problems such as diarrhea, oats would usually mean kitchen oatmeal, like Quaker Old Fashioned. Very digestible and palatable to rabbits, but expensive if used all the time.

People who only feed a handful of oats now and again to a few rabbits would likely use the oat groats from the health food store. Convenient because you don't have to store large quantities but again, more expensive than oats from the feed store.

People using a lot of oats will get them from a feed store. "Race horse oats" are fine for this purpose. Some rabbits are bothered by the husks on whole oats so if you can try them on a sample that would be a good move. Some people buy crimped oats instead, but they will not keep a full year the way whole oats will.

All types of oats are safe, nutritious food for rabbits, so it is really just a matter of choosing what suits your purpose best.
Thanks for the encouragement and info!

Okay, so with the breeder suggesting that I give them oats to help them during the stress of the move, Quaker Old Fashioned Oats is a good option. Then, it seems while my rabbitry is small, oat groats from the HFS will suffice. Excellent!

There is so much to learn and figure out. I keep looking around my yard and thinking "that's a good weed, that's a bad weed, wonder what THAT weed is....".... now, if only those cages would arrive so I can have them put together before my babies arrive!
Yes, you've got it right.

Go easy with the weeds, introducing them very slowly after the rabbits have settled in and are eating and drinking well. Make sure the rabbits are drinking. If they have been accustomed to crocks, they may not understand water bottles. So many rabbits have been stressed unnecessarily by not getting enough water after they go to their new homes.

Have fun!

These greens are very safe for rabbits... in fact they are useful to treat diarrhea. They make good starter greens for this reason, but only feed them if you are confident you have identified them correctly.
1. common plantain - Plantago major
2. shepherd's purse - Capsella bursa-pastoris
3. leaves from UNSPRAYED raspberry, blackberry or strawberry plants.
I give mine a small treat bowl of whole oats daily. As Maggie said, any type of oats can be given but the more processed they are the more they'll cost. Most of my rabbits eat them hull and all, even the young ones. I actually have one rabbit that manages to leave the hulls in the treat bowl. I have to check to see if she's actually eaten the oats because a bowl of hulls looks like a bowl of oats. I still haven't figured out how she does it.
:lol: Yes, I have one that will strip the hulls off too and it was surprising to find that the next morning!

Also, for BOSS, a bag of cardinal sunflower seeds (no other grain or seeds in it) in the gardening section will do fine.

Bermuda hay works in the winter here, but my buns really would rather have "horse hay" which is a mix of long grasses. Some places call it orchard hay.

Also, I would only feed hay and water for 24 hours after the buns arrive, then just a half a ration of pellets in the morning and the rest in the evening.

I sold some buns last weekend and told the folks to only feed hay and water during the 6 hour drive home and for 24 hours afterward and they wrote and said the buns have adjusted quite well and are eating fine with no strange poops or upset tummies.

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