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Diet for a Mini Rex?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi,

   

  I have a male mini Rex (named Rex) who I am concerned about his weight. He weighs 6 pounds, and from what I read online, they should weigh no more than 4 1/2. After he had stopped growing, he started getting fatter, so I put him on a diet that I had gotten from a book. The book had stated that Rex and Mini Rex rabbits need to eat mainly vegetables and hay with only a small portion of pellets. So that's what I started feeding him, mostly vegetables and hay with a small portion of pellets, however, the whole time I failed to notice that he was no longer fat but skinny, like maybe even dangerously skinny. So one day, when I had taken him out to play my dad pointed out to me what was happening. So after that, I went back to feeding him mostly pellets along with hay, and some vegetables on the side. Know though after several years I'm beginning to what to do something about his weight, but I don't want to do anything that will be dangerous or unhealthy to him. Does anyone know what I should be feeding him or be doing to get his weight down?:idunno

Below is are some pictures of him.

 

 

 

 Thank you for your help!


Edited by Gazelle03 - 12/14/16 at 1:26pm
post #2 of 7

A rabbit's diet should be mostly comprised of hay. They are designed to be grass eaters. For a rabbit weighing 5 to 7 pounds, about 1/4 cup to a 1/2 a cup of pellets per day is a good supplement to hay. Veggies are extras and should be used as treats. 

post #3 of 7

Oh, forgot to mention that he should have access to hay at all times.

post #4 of 7

I feed my Mini Rex 1/2 cup of quality pellets each day. They occasionally get some Timothy hay, but never vegetables. All of them, including does with litters, are at a good weight and haven't had any health issues.

 

Keep in mind, however, that each rabbit is different (both in terms of healthy weight and correct diet). Your rabbit may have heavy bone and be built so that he naturally weighs more than 4 1/2 pounds. In that case, you wouldn't want to make him lose weight. Rather than focus on weight, focus on how he feels and looks. A rabbit that is neither overweight nor underweight will have a backbone that can barely be felt and have few, if any, loose folds of skin hanging around its body. An overweight rabbit, regardless of weight, will have a backbone that can't be felt, have trouble bending around, and likely have a large dewlap and folds of flabby skin around its stomach and neck. An underweight rabbit will be noticeably bony, with a prominent backbone.

 

Unless you're already doing so, I would recommend feeding your Mini Rex about 1/2 cup of pellets a day and see how it affects his appearance. You can continue with the hay if you want, but it isn't necessary. Yes, hay is great for digestive health and rabbits enjoy eating it, but many people raise rabbits with just pellets and have beautiful, vigorous animals. Vegetables are also enjoyed, but they can be fattening and again aren't needed. Pellets are designed to provide all the nutrients a rabbit needs, in addition to plenty of fiber for the average rabbit.

 

One last thought: are you sure he is a Mini Rex? There is a breed known as the Standard Rex, or simply Rex, which is a larger version of the Mini Rex. Could your rabbit be a standard Rex, or even a Mini Rex/Rex cross? If that is the case, 6 pounds is probably a fine weight for him.


Edited by BantamLover21 - 12/14/16 at 3:08pm

Breeder of Dutch bantams, Wyandotte bantams, and a few exhibition rabbits.

Feel free to ask me questions about chicken and rabbit care, breeds, and showing! I'm always happy to help!

Nature's first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf's a flower

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay. --Robert Frost

Reply

Breeder of Dutch bantams, Wyandotte bantams, and a few exhibition rabbits.

Feel free to ask me questions about chicken and rabbit care, breeds, and showing! I'm always happy to help!

Nature's first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf's a flower

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay. --Robert Frost

Reply
post #5 of 7

A good rabbit diet should have about 1/2 cup pellets per 6 pounds of rabbit, and a lot of hay. Extra things are fun and helpful, but not really neccessary.

post #6 of 7

Mini Rex bucks have a maximum showable weight of 4 1/2 pounds, but they certainly can grow to a size where the normal healthy body weight for their frame is heavier than that - those are just rabbits that can't be shown. The MR is one of the breeds that employ the dwarfing gene to get that compact build that is required by the breed standard, and a lot of purebred, even pedigreed Mini Rex don't inherit the dwarfing gene, so they grow a bit bigger. These rabbits are often referred to as "false dwarfs." Looking at the proportions of your boy, my impression is that he is a false dwarf, so for him to weigh only 4 1/2 pounds would be way too skinny and unhealthy.

 

Frankly, at his current weight, he looks fine to me. If he's several years old, he has probably lost some muscle tone just due to age, so you may be able to feel his backbone and pin bones even at a healthy weight. The usual rule of thumb is 1 ounce of pellets per pound of healthy body weight per day (so half a cup is roughly correct for a rabbit his size) plus free choice hay. I wouldn't cut him down less than that, and he might even need a bit more - as noted by others, the needs of a particular rabbit may vary a bit from the "norm."

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
 Currently I'm feeding him 1 cup of food so I will change him to 1/2, and see how he does. Thank you for all of the advice and input.:D 
(By the way he is six years old.)
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