Rabbits are always munching on something. They have a complex digestive system that is constantly moving, hence the urge to eat throughout the day.
Besides, these cuties seem unsure of what they can digest, so they may eat things like fur (combined with their food), which may cause blockage.
To prevent blockage, they need to snack on hay throughout the day, so something is moving inside.
But don’t confuse a rabbit’s snacking on hay with eating. They still need to be fed. How many times should you feed them?
At least two times a day. This post explains how often you should feed your bunny and answers all your questions related to this.
Read on to learn more.
How Often Do Rabbits Eat?
Pet rabbits snack on hay all day long. Wild ones, on the other hand, graze on herbs and grass throughout the day since they are herbivores.
However, for feeding, most eat two times a day, though this depends on several things. For example, the age of the rabbit.
Let’s find out exactly how many hours a rabbit eats and when you should feed yours.
How many hours a day does a bunny eat?
Generally, every rabbit owner should mimic wild rabbits’ eating habits. They graze on grass for 6-7 hours a day.
Therefore, you should ensure your rabbit pet has a constant supply of fresh hay throughout the day. This way, they can have something to snack on for six or seven hours.
Alternatively, you can feed your bunny grass. Chewing on grass or hay for long hours helps wear down the rabbit’s growing teeth. This prevents dental diseases.
In addition, the constant fiber helps in digestion, resulting in fewer digestive problems. Chewing on grass or hay also increases activity levels, preventing boredom, which may affect behavior in general.
What time should I feed my rabbit?
Rabbits are crepuscular. This means your bunny is more active at daybreak and dusk. Therefore, you should feed your rabbit in the morning and the evening.
Ensure you stick to the schedule and maintain a good feeding habit. So if you feed the rabbit at seven in the morning and six in the evening, try to maintain that.
A good feeding habit is essential for your bunny. Rabbits who are left to feed at any time during the day tend to overeat, gaining excess weight.
Generally, your rabbit should eat two times a day. However, there are exceptional cases where you may feed the bunny more than twice.
For example, pregnant and lactating rabbits should be fed at least three times daily. This is because they need more energy than ordinary rabbits. So you may feed her in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
Baby bunnies also need frequent feeding for their growing bodies. Feed them good-quality commercial pellets while maintaining high hygiene levels. Don’t leave uneaten pellets contaminated with dirt in the feeder for long. Clean it regularly to prevent digestive problems.
Check the weight and flesh condition to ensure you are feeding your bunny well and at the right time. Weigh in as often as every two weeks and track the progress. To check the flesh condition, feel the hindquarters. Ribs and the backbone should be perfectly rounded, not protruding.
If you notice any discrepancy in weight and flesh condition, adjust feeding accordingly. If you are unsure how much it should weigh according to its age and breed, consult your vet or check the ARBA Standard of Perfection book 2021-2025 (American Rabbit Breeders Association, Inc ).
Can I feed my rabbit once a day?
Yes, sometimes you are too busy and can’t do it twice a day. You can feed your bunny once a day, provided you feed the correct quantity with sufficient nutrients.
The American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) recommends these nutritional facts:
|12% to 22%Not less than 18%||3% or less||Less than 1%||14% to 18%|
Always check the nutritional content of commercial feeds before purchasing. You can also consult your vet on the nutritional content of your bunny.
Add clean water to the above nutrient facts. Ensure your bunny has a continuous supply of clean water.
Can You Overfeed a Bunny?
You can. In fact, most rabbit owners do.
One cause of this is not knowing your rabbit’s breed, so feeding it the wrong quantity. Use this guide to determine the exact feed for your bunny:
|Small breeds||Medium breeds||Large breeds|
|2 to 3 ounces of pellets a day.||3.5 to 4 ounces of pellets per day.||4 to 8 ounces of pellets per day.|
Remember to include hay and grass in your feed. Don’t serve commercial pellets alone.
Will My Bunny Stop Eating When It’s Full?
Rabbits are—naturally—grazers. As a result, they eat grass and other herbs throughout the day to remain active.
However, they will notice when they are full and stop for a while. But if there is a distraction, they forget and start eating again.
This is common in wild rabbits because they are prey, so when they hide, they get distracted and forget they were full.
Monitor your bunny so it doesn’t overfeed and gain extra pounds.
Bunnies should eat twice a day. However, special rabbits like those lactating or pregnant should eat more, at least thrice a day.
It’s essential to determine your rabbit’s breed to know the correct feed quantity. Pay attention to the nutrients, most importantly fiber, to help with the complex digestive system.