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Poll: How much hay do you feed your rabbit each day?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Willow's Meadow, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. Willow's Meadow

    Willow's Meadow Songster

    Apr 16, 2010
    Do you give her as much as she wants everday or just a little? Should I should let my'n have unlimited hay all day long or just a certain amount?

  2. Thats what I been doing.
    No matter how much I put in, its always all gone in the morning.
    I think they need to sit and chew/eat all day like a cow.
  3. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    I free feed hay... its always available for my rabbit.
  4. mom2jedi

    mom2jedi Songster

    Aug 12, 2008
    San Diego, CA
  5. MomtoSyd&Emma

    MomtoSyd&Emma Songster

    Jul 13, 2009
    Southern VA
    You know the party cups everyone uses (the red ones for party time) I use that to scoop rabbit food, and I fill Jacobs bowl up, and refill when its about empty, usually lasts him about 2 days sometimes 3 days. BUT he is a baby mini rex bunny so he isnt a huge eater like the larger bunnies!
  6. therealsilkiechick

    therealsilkiechick ShowGirl Queen

    Jul 18, 2007
    Northwestern, pa
    i feed mine all a complete pellet feed so they do not need it extra since it is in the feed, but i free feed hay and pellets along with veggies and fruits as treats.
  7. firedove

    firedove Songster

    Nov 10, 2008
    Fitzwilliam NH
    Free feeding pellets is a quick way to a fat bunny and fat bunnies have all kinds of health and hygiene problems. Some rabbits will limit themselves and only eat what they need. Others will just eat all you give them. I raised Mini Lops for 10 years. Only babies under 6 months and lactating mothers got free feed pellets. Even with that, if the young ones were gaining too fast they would sometimes have to be limited before reaching 6 months. My adult Mini Lops got 1/2 cup or 1/4 cup for my easy keepers of high quality complete pellet every day. Mini Lops top out around 6.5lbs so a larger rabbit would need more food. My rabbits were always at optimum health and weight. Even pregnant females would only get 1/2 cup until the litter was born. Small breeds do best on 14% to 16% protein pelleted feed, medium breeds on 16% - 17% (18% for pregnant females and show animals) and large breeds do best on 18% feed or large rations of 16%-17% protein pelleted feed.

    Free feeding hay or just a handful a day keeps down bunny boredom and long coated breeds need the fiber to pass hair through their system. Short coated breeds do not need hay if they are being fed a proper pelleted feed.

    Most pet/grocery store feeds are not a good diet for your rabbit. Anything with dried fruits or colored crunchies is bunny junk food and will contribute to weight issues fairly quickly. Not to mention that many bunnies choose to eat more of the fruit and crunchies and not enough of the pellets where all the nutrients are. Feed stores have better feeds for rabbits and they are in bigger bags for lower prices than the pet store junk food. Usually they are in 25 or 50 pound bags for under $18 a bag (that price being for the big bag). Brands like Poulin, Blue Seal, Purina (not rabbit chow, but show or pro formulas), and Heinhold are good brands though no brand is fool proof when it comes to the occasional ingredient problems in different parts of the country. My favorite is Purina feeds, Show formula is a 16% protein feed, Pro is an 18% protein feed. My show herd did best on the Pro with beautiful coats and optimum muscle and weight. Made for healthy breeders too. I have also extensively used Blue Seal's Hutch 17% feed when I moved and could no longer get Purina. Results were less consistent but it did the job and would be absolutely great for a medium large boned breed pet rabbit. Lighter breeds do great on the Blue Seal Hutch Deluxe extruded feed or their 16% pelleted feed.

    In my experience, veggies and treats should be limited. Some groups advocate using mostly veggies in a rabbit's diet and although it does work great for a few rabbits, most rabbits just end up sick or dead from too many veggies and fruits in their diet. Unless you are a nutritionist or formulate a veggie diet with your vet, keep veggies to 1 cup or less a day and fruits to 4oz or less. Veggies high in sugars like carrots should be fed in quantities like fruits and should not be combined with fruits. Always feed your rabbit it's full ration of pelleted feed in addition to any hay and veggies.

    ETA: sorry reflex on the free feeding pellets thing, missed the part in the post title that said hay, why is there no blushing smiley on BYC?
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010

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