Posted on Jun 05, 2008 | Comments 0
Rabbits are the most delicate and adorable little animals accompany you for years.
Not only the rabbits, the digestive capacity in the rabbits is also delicate.
The digestive system of the rabbit is very complicated, so proper rabbit care is necessary when you are choosing rabbit food. The right balance in the rabbit food makes it healthy.
Rabbits possess complicated, round-about way of digestive system to digest the food. For e.g., the rabbits can digest fructose (sweetener present in fruit) with the help of small intestine whereas it cannot digest direct sugars like candy sugar or external sweeteners as this can make the rabbit sick.
What is balanced rabbit food?
Balanced rabbit food should be nutritious and supplied in proper time periods. The diet should include protein, starch, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates. The food you supply for the rabbit must be digested quickly. Never feed the rabbit with a large meal, give the rabbit food in small amounts in different time lapses.
When you are providing diet to the rabbit, have proper knowledge on the food you are feeding. Know about the digestive and non-digestive rabbit foods as imbalances in the food can kill the rabbit.
Rabbit food chart:
Rabbits eat a wide range of vegetables and fruits. The vegetables are basic rabbit foods while the fruits are treats for the rabbits.
Preferable vegetables as rabbit food: Beet greens, broccoli, carrot, carrot tops (leaves), dandelion greens, collard green, endive, mustard leaves, parsley, watercress and lettuce are rich in calcium and are very good rabbit foods. Limit spinach and kale, as extra intake of these can make the rabbit sick as these are high in oxalates.
Fruits to be included in rabbit food: Apple, blue berry, papaya, peach, watermelon, mango, raspberry, tomato, strawberry, peach, cactus fruit and pine apple are very much preferable rabbit foods. Limit grapes, banana and raisins as they contain high sugar levels. But, make sure to remove the seeds in the fruits when feeding seeded fruits.
The digestive necessities of rabbits differ from age to age. So, rabbit food differs for different age group rabbits. The basic rabbit food is hay, pellets, vegetables and fruits.
Rabbit food for different age group rabbits:
Baby rabbit to 7 months of age:
- The rabbit food at the age of 3 weeks is mothers milk
- After 3 weeks, you can include pellets, alfalfa, nibbles including mother’s milk. Continue this rabbit food till 7 weeks of age.
- At the age of 12 weeks, you can include vegetables in the rabbit food and cut down mother’s milk completely
- At 3-7 months of age, you can include unlimited amount of hay and pellets.
7 months to 1 year:
- Feed the rabbit with different hay- timothy, grass and oat hays
- Decrease alfalfa and pellets
- Increase the vegetables in regular diet.
- Include a fruit to provide calories.
1 year to 5 years: This is known as adult diet.
- Unrestricted amount of hay and straw
- ¼- ½ cup of pellets according to the body weight
- 2 cups of chopped vegetables
- A full fruit
Over 5 years:
- Continue the adult rabbit food if the weight is appropriate.
- But as the age grows, rabbit’s food must include maximum amounts of pellets and alfalfa.
Make sure the daily rabbit food schedule contains hay, dry food and fresh foods (vegetables and fruits).