The average size rabbit (6-10 pounds) should be fed ¼ cup of pellets and between 3-5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day. If you’re meeting those requirements, you’re feeding your rabbit enough food to keep them healthy without gaining excess weight.
Am I feeding my rabbit enough? If you are the owner of a rabbit, you’ve probably asked yourself this question once or twice. If you’re stuck wondering this, look no further. In this article, we’ll go through everything you need to know about feeding your rabbit.
What You'll Learn
- 1 How Much Should I Feed My Rabbit?
- 2 Amount Of Vegetables By Weight
- 3 How Do I Tell If I’m Feeding My Rabbit Too Much?
- 4 Signs Of An Overfed Rabbit
- 5 Effects Of A Rabbit Being Overweight
- 6 What Should I Feed My Rabbit?
- 7 Foods That Are Healthy For Rabbits
- 8 Foods That Are NOT Healthy For A Rabbit
- 9 Finding The Sweet Spot
How Much Should I Feed My Rabbit?
The answer to this question depends on the size of your rabbit. The amount of food a rabbit will need varies depending on its weight.
For example, a rabbit that is 4 pounds needs ¼ cup of pellets, while a 10-pound rabbit needs ⅝ cup of pellets. Below you’ll find all the necessary amounts of food for each size of rabbit.
Amount Of Pellets By Weight:
- 2-3 Pounds: ⅛ Cup
- 4-6 Pounds: ¼ Cup
- 7-10 Pounds: ½ Cup
As you can see, rabbits don’t need a lot of pellets each day. Pellets help a rabbit receive nutrients they do not receive from the other foods they eat.
Pellets are not essential to a rabbit’s diet, though. You can raise your rabbit without providing them pellets. As long as you give your rabbit enough hay and vegetables, it will be fine without pellets.
Amount Of Vegetables By Weight
Rabbits will NOT be just fine without green veggies each day. A rabbit’s diet must include enough green vegetables daily to stay healthy. Below are the recommended amounts of green veggies for each size of rabbit.
- 2-3 Pounds: 1 – 1½ Cups
- 4-5 Pounds: 2 – 2½ Cups
- 6-7 Pounds: 3 – 3½ Cups
- 8-9 Pounds: 4 – 4½ Cups
- 10 Pounds: 5 Cups
As well as providing essential nutrients, vegetables help give the rabbit proper hydration. Not sure what kind of vegetables to feed your rabbit? Look further in this article to find out!
How Do I Tell If I’m Feeding My Rabbit Too Much?
If your rabbit has been acting differently lately, it may be due to it being overfed. While it is essential to feed your rabbit daily, you may be overfeeding it.
When a rabbit is overfed, it starts showing signs, and if not stopped, could eventually lead to death. This is why it is important to ensure you don’t overfeed your rabbit.
Signs Of An Overfed Rabbit
One of the easiest ways to tell if your rabbit is being overfed is by simply looking at them. If your rabbit looks severely overweight, it is most likely due to being overfed.
If it is hard for you to tell if your rabbit looks overweight, you can feel your rabbit to see. Simply feel along the rabbit’s ribs, hips, and spine. If it seems to be very hard to find these bones under the rabbit’s fat, it is overweight.
If your rabbit is overweight, it may also have problems grooming itself and hopping around. The best way to solve this problem is by adjusting your rabbit’s diet so they don’t eat as much.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can also have your rabbit participate in simple exercises to help them shed some excess weight.
The other main sign to tell if your rabbit is being overfed is if your rabbit begins to develop tooth decay. When a rabbit is overfed, its teeth may start to decay.
Trying to tell if your rabbit’s tooth is decaying may be difficult, but there are signs that a rabbit may be suffering from tooth decay. The easiest way to tell if your rabbit may have tooth decay is if they refuse to eat and drink.
Tooth decay is painful for a rabbit, and eating and drinking worsen the pain. Because of this, they refuse to eat and drink.
Another sign your rabbit may have tooth decay is if they become lethargic. Because of the pain from tooth decay, rabbits become sluggish and non-energetic.
The best way to treat a rabbit for this is to change their diet to mainly high-fiber hay, with smaller amounts of vegetables and pellets. You may also consider taking your rabbit to the Vet’s Office if problems persist.
Effects Of A Rabbit Being Overweight
If a rabbit is overweight, it can cause many short and long term problems, and it can even lead to the death of a rabbit. Listed below are some of the effects being overweight can have on a rabbit.
The worst effect of a rabbit being overweight is death. Yes, a rabbit can die from being overweight.
The fat that the rabbit gains will start to build up inside the rabbit’s chest, and the fat begins to put pressure on the lungs. As the rabbit gains more weight, more pressure is put on its lungs. Because of this, when a rabbit becomes deeply stressed, it makes it difficult for them to breathe, which could lead to the rabbit dying.
Some more issues of a rabbit being overweight include fatty liver disease, sore feet, heart diseases, skin problems, and flystrike caused by larvae burrowing under the skin and eating the flesh.
What Should I Feed My Rabbit?
Rabbits require a balanced diet of various foods to help them stay healthy. They are known to be grazers, which means they eat continuously. Since rabbits have a very sensitive digestive tract, you must feed them correctly.
Foods That Are Healthy For Rabbits
Hay is one of the most important parts of a rabbit’s diet. Rabbits can be given an unlimited amount of hay as there is no possible way to feed a rabbit too much hay.
Feeding your rabbit lots of hay can also save you a trip to the vet. Since rabbits’ teeth are constantly growing, they use hay to keep their teeth trimmed. If your rabbit isn’t being fed enough hay, the vet may have to file down their teeth. Hay is also very high in fiber which is required to keep a rabbit’s digestive tract healthy.
Vegetables are also an important part of a rabbit’s diet. If you decide to feed a rabbit new vegetables, it is vital that you gradually introduce them to the vegetable. If you fail to do this, it could lead to severe digestive issues. Below is a list of vegetables that a rabbit can eat daily.
- Bell Peppers
- Brussel Sprouts
- Carrot Tops
- Mustard Greens
- Okra Leaves
- Radish Tops
There are also a few vegetables that a rabbit should not be eating daily but can be fed once or twice a week. Those vegetables are listed below.
- Collard Greens
- Dandelion Greens
While fruit may not be as important to a rabbit’s diet as hay and vegetables, it is still vital that your rabbit gets the right amount of fruit each week.
Fruits should be given to rabbits once or twice a week to keep them healthy. New fruits must also be gradually introduced to rabbits to keep them from becoming sick. Listed below are fruits that are healthy for rabbits to eat once or twice a week.
The last part of a rabbit’s diet is pellets. While pellets are not required in a rabbit’s diet, they can be beneficial.
Pellets can help a rabbit get certain nutrients they do not get out of hay. Pellets provide rabbits with calcium and protein that helps the rabbit’s bones and muscles.
It is also imperative to give your rabbit the correct amount of pellets for their weight. If a rabbit eats too many pellets, it can lead to obesity, which can cause further health problems.
Foods That Are NOT Healthy For A Rabbit
While most fruits and veggies are healthy for a rabbit, a few are not healthy and can mess up a rabbit’s digestive tract. Listed below are the foods that a rabbit should not eat.
- Raw Onions
- Fruit Seeds/Pits
- Meat, Eggs, And Dairy
- Iceberg Lettuce
Finding The Sweet Spot
Making sure you are feeding your rabbit correctly is not an easy task. There are many different components when it comes to a rabbit’s diet.
You must ensure you are feeding your rabbit enough, but you also can’t feed it too much to the point where it becomes overweight.
Rabbits also have sensitive digestive tracts that can easily be disrupted by certain foods. By following this article, you should be able to provide your rabbit with a safe and healthy diet.