Rabbits and layer pellets?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by shuizar209, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. shuizar209

    shuizar209 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does anyone know if its ok for a rabbit to eat layer pellets? My rabbit is eating layer pellets he seems to like them over his pellets. Is this ok? Or should I pen him up? He hates to be in his cage.
     
  2. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    No chicken food would not be good for rabbits. The high level of grains and the animal protein could cause some major digestive tract upset. At minimum it would be likely to cause obesity and long term health issues. The best rabbit pellets are actually as close to grain free as you can get and nearly completely alfalfa or grass hay based with hay or fresh grass and forages making up majority of the diet.
     
  3. Greg Richardson

    Greg Richardson Chillin' With My Peeps

    My rabbit has been eating the chicken feed for 5 months and looks just fine. Chickens sometimes eats her food. They both free range and eat a lot of other food. I think it's a lot like humans. To much of any one thing not good for you.

    No way my rabbit could get fat. It has to much fun running circles around the chickens and dog.
    My dog just stands there while the chickens sometimes will dart after her. What a show.
     
  4. rizq

    rizq Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Tennessee
    My rabbits ate them for a long time (their choice) with no obvious ill effects, BUT that does not mean that it was good for them. As Akane said, rabbits should have a hay-based diet. Corn especially is really not good for them.

    When I showed rabbits (ages ago) I used a home-blended mix of high-quality pellets (Mana Pro show formula), cracked corn, rolled oats, BOSS, and a barley-based sweet feed with GREAT results, but the grain was a very low percentage of their diet. I had GREAT coats and flesh condition on my rabbits and was a high contender on the table. Yes, breeding has a lot to do with it, but I had much better condition on my animals with my blended feed than with straight pellets. So grain is not all bad, but chicken food has way too much grain for a rabbits system.

    Moral of my long-winded, midnight parlance (I should quit posting at this time of night [​IMG] ) is that, while grain is not evil and won't kill your rabbit in moderate quantities, he really should eat his pellets and not your chicken's food ... at least until he starts laying eggs [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
  5. shuizar209

    shuizar209 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG]

    Now the question about his diet is answered. Now I have another problem: I saw an egg in his cage and I ate it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [​IMG]
    Thank you for all your answers I really appreciate it. And as always you guys (and gals) are quick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  6. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    5 months is not long enough to be sure there aren't problems. Also looking at 1 animal doesn't give you any comparison. When we compare 100s of rabbits, veterinary research into their dietary requirements, and common illnesses high grain diets are proven to result in more health issues. Suddenly eating lots of grain at once especially without enough fiber or other foods with it can cause immediate problems. Maybe it isn't noticeable the first or 2nd time but some factor such as not eating much else that day, heat, or stress plus eating lots of grain at once could end up killing them some day.
     
  7. Greg Richardson

    Greg Richardson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Akane.
    Suddenly eating lots of grain at once especially without enough fiber or other foods with it can cause immediate problems.
    Maybe it isn't noticeable the first or 2nd time but some factor such as not eating much else that day, heat, or stress plus eating lots of grain at once could end up killing them some day.

    I'm certainly not going to shut the door to my coop run so the rabbit doesn't get in there.
    My chickens need their water and food when they don't feel like going to the creek and are tired of eating my flowers. LOL!

    This rabbit goes in there, gets a bite to eat, goes back out looking for natural food.
    Not sure why you think a rabbit would fill up on chicken feed when there is all kinds of greens all over the property?
    So much so in fact the rabbit hasn't even tried to dig under the garden fence that was only put up for deer so wouldn't be hard for her to get in there.

    I put out some rabbit food for her. The Chickens stop by now and then and get a bit also. Think it's pay back. LOL!​
     
  8. lavacaw

    lavacaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My two cents worth: chicken feed (especially layer pellets) contains increased levels of phosphates to strengthen eggshells. One of the prime culprits in kidney stones is often phosphates...Not something that is gonna kill a rabbit overnight but could be a painful death nonetheless. [​IMG]
     
  9. Break an Egg

    Break an Egg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They would be bad in excess, that said if you feed unlimited hay during the day you could give them some pellets in the eve for a treat. Rabbits have a very senstive digestive tract. Mine get costal hay, alfalfa, and pellets in the eve.
     
  10. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    A rabbit doesn't know whether chicken feed is better or worse for it. Even with tons of greens about they may decide to eat too much. Small animals over eat on pelleted diets all the time when there is plenty of hay and greens about. Horses over eat on grains all the time when they get into a bag or escape their stall and there can be a field of grass or a good bale of fresh hay waiting for them. Grains are like candy to grazing animals both large and small. They are often attracted to them over better foods. Whether you want to continue to take the risk with your animals is your choice.
     

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