Rabbit feeding questions...

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by WhiteMountainsRanch, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 19, 2010
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    I have my buns on Purina Show with hay in their cages. I've always left food out for my pet rabbits 24/7 and never had issues, but these are different and I haven't owned rabbits in quite a few years. I've always heard that rabbits shouldn't be allowed to get fat. Mine seem "thicker" than when I got them, but they don't have rolls or anything? How do I tell if my buns are fat? I've never really had that problem before... Should I be weighing them? I have one male that is huge, but he doesn't "seem" fat...



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  2. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

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    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    Okay, what are they? Breed?

    How much are you feeding them?

    If the rabbit is bored, sometimes, they will just overeat. Do they have chewing stick in their pens.

    If you are feeding more than they should get, reduce slowly!

    Pretty bunnies! Nancy
     
  3. MustLoveHens

    MustLoveHens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2010
    Albion, Wisconsin
    Those look like a meat rabbit, hence their mass/size. My guess is Californian's. They should be fed 1/4 to 1/2 cup of pelleted food a day per 6 pounds of body weight when they have reached adulthood(7 to 12 months of age). Since you free feed pellets you will slowly cut back to the 1/2 cup mark and see if they need to be cut back further.
    Free feed timothy or grass hay and slowly add rabbit approved vegetables to their diet ultimately you will feed 2 cups of chopped veggies(ie basil, alfalfa srouts, escarole, green peppers, mint to name a few) a day per 6 pounds of body weight. Hay, veggies, pellets, treats (fresh fruits liker papaya, apples, raspberries and strawberries) in tiny amounts-2 oz/2 tbsp a day per 6 pounds of body mass)
    Ideally they would also be on a timothy pellet, but for meat rabbits I like to keep them on an alfalfa pellet or a good mix of alfalfa/timothy blend pellet. I, myslef, like Heinold pellets over Purina. The protein is the important part to watch. Too much protein will allow a rabbit, especially as meat variety, to get too fat. So I free feed hay as much as they want and watch their alfalfa intake with a pellet that I can control.
    Not knowing thier age and breed it is hard to determine the weight they should be. I would weight them and if you know the age and breed, look up the breeds group/association and see what they are supposed to be. Then either increase or decrease their diet.
     
  4. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Weird double post again [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2010
  5. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are indeed meaties- Californians... I just weighed my big guy Teddy and he was 10 pounds.

    Right now they have free access to pellets and hay, Timothy I think. With mineral blocks in the cage. They also get garden veggies a few times a week.

    Three are 1 year, one is 8 months and one is 4 months.

    They really only need 1/2 cup? WOW they are eating way more than that!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2010
  6. RabbitMage

    RabbitMage Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My rabbits get grass hay often, and I feed one ounce of pellets per pound of body weight (so an 8 pound rabbit gets 8 ounces of pellets). This has been a good general guideline for me.

    With your rabbits, being fairly young and a meat breed, try feeling their backs. They should feel full and firm, but not flabby. You should be feeling muscle, not fat. The skin will be a little loose, but there should be a fairly tight loin under it. It anything jiggles, they're probably overweight.
     
  7. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good! That's what I needed to know! They are very firm on their backs... feels like solid muscle.... no jiggly stuff anywhere. [​IMG]
     
  8. RabbitMage

    RabbitMage Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2009
    That's great!

    Now, my personal opinion is not to free-feed anything other than hay. Some rabbits do okay on unlimited feed, but many do not. And having overweight rabbits is not good for their health, and can also affect your breeding plans. Some people feed veggies, personally I do not. We use King Feed and love it, and besides grass hay and water, that's all they get.
     

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