Like most animals, whether wild or domesticated, rabbits need to feed on a well -balanced diet. When they feed on the diet, they become healthy and strong and hence, can live their lives fully. Whether you have a cute little rabbit hutch or a nice big run for your rabbits, each of the components of the feed must be given to them at all times in the right quantities in addition to water for drinking. This helps them resist diseases and makes them recover easily if they are hurt or attacked by a disease. Their diet can be changed gradually over a period of time to prevent digestive upsets from occurring. Rabbits should have the following in their diets:
1. Grass and Hay
The rabbit’s diet should be made up of around 80-90% of fresh hay. It is by far the most important feed in the animal’s diet. However, the hay is available in different colours of green. Therefore, you need to ensure that you make a choice of the best hay that your animal likes. Better yet, you can mix a variety to enable them to grind and help in wearing down their teeth that are constantly growing. You can buy the hay in bulk and feed them for extended periods before you go for more.
2. An assortment of vegetables
Without some vegetables, the animals’ diet will not be a complete one. They are a source of a rabbits nutrients. However, if you have not fed them to your rabbits before and you want to introduce them slowly, make it gradual and in small quantities. If you don’t give the rabbits a break from vegetables now & then, they are likely to experience upsets related to digestion and they will be stressed up. Like the grass and hay, the veggies also need to be supplied in a variety. This aids in the wearing out of the rabbits’ teeth as well.
They should be fed on the fruits but with a limit due to the poisonous nature when eaten in excess. This is due to the high sugar content of the fruits. These animals will eat too much of the sugary fruit if you do not control it and this is bad for their health. The stones, pips or plant parts of the fruits are often poisonous to rabbits and you should not allow them to feed on them.
4. Herbs, weeds and flowers
Herbs can be fed to rabbits as well. However, their tastes can be strong and can affect the animals. This is why they need to be given in small quantities. They can also be fed on a number of flowers and weeds. At the same time, not all the herbs, weeds or flowers can be fed to rabbits. Ensure that you pick the right ones.
5. Pellets that are high in fibre
To prevent selective feeding, you should feed the animals on high-fibre pellets as opposed to food mixes. The pellets also contain a number of nutrients that are beneficial to the rabbits. On the other hand, food mixes may contain too much sugar resulting in obesity and other health problems.
6. Foraging material
It’s a good practice to add a mix of dried leaves, twigs, and flowers to hay and feed it to the pets. This keeps them occupied and encourages them to feed on the hay.