If you ask anyone around you, “What do rabbits need to be fed with?” 80% of them would tell you carrots.
Now, think about it. Would you be able to survive eating fruits?
To everyone, that’s all you need to feed a bunny, which is not true. As humans need foods rich in nutrients to sustain and allow us to lead a healthy life, so do rabbits.
Granted, rabbits can’t always eat carrots even though they love them. If that’s the case, what is a bunny’s favorite food?
What is a bunny’s favorite food?
Research by rabbit.org shows that hay is the key component in your rabbit’s nutritional needs. A rabbit’s proper diet should consist of 80% grass hay, 10% veggies, 5% healthy pellets, and 0 to 5% healthy treats.
Chewing hay helps improve your rabbit’s dental health, helps with digestive issues, and keeps them happy and healthy.
This article is focused on some of the best hay to feed your rabbit, what you should avoid feeding them, and finally, the dietary requirements of fruits to ensure your rabbit is in perfect condition.
What can you feed your rabbit to make sure it’s healthy?
Grass hay provides adequate fiber, calcium, and protein needed for your rabbit. It is good for your rabbit’s mental and dental health, and it aids digestion.
Hay is an essential staple in your rabbit’s diet, and it’s also better to introduce it early because if your rabbit doesn’t take it now, it will probably reject it later.
Also, make sure you’re choosing top-tier quality. Here are some of the best hay feeds for your rabbit:
- Timothy Hay. Timothy Hay is hand selected to ensure long fiber strands and a proper leaf-to-stem ratio to support your pet’s digestive system. It’s fresh, naturally grown without artificial ingredients, and it is best suited for rabbits over 7 months of age.
Timothy Hay is cut three times. The first cut hay is rich in calcium and fiber, but it has less fat.
The second cut has a standard balance of protein, calcium, and fiber, which are all essential to your rabbit’s needs, while the third cut isn’t good for your rabbit’s dental health and it also has more calories than the first and second one.
The best choice is to go for the second cut of hay as it contains everything your rabbit needs to stay healthy, but if you’re allergic to Timothy hay, try out Orchard grass hay.
- Oxbow’s Oat Hay. This is also high-quality hay to help nourish your pet. The aroma is going to stimulate your pet’s appetite.
Oxbow’s Oat Hay is ideal for picky rabbits. Especially for those who reject Timothy Hay.
- Alfalfa Hay. Alfalfa Hay is much more suitable for young rabbits as it contains more protein, needed at that age. This could also be given as a once in a while treat to older rabbits.
- Mountain Grass. This is high in fiber, low in protein, and calcium. It has coarse leaves, and no stems, and it’s also enough to cover your rabbit’s nutrition and dental needs.
Other grass hays you could choose to experiment with include:
- Orchard Grass Hay.
- Meadow Hay.
- Mountain Grass Hay.
- Ryegrass Hay.
- Barley Hay.
- Wheat Hay.
- Fresh vegetables.
Pellets don’t have to be a part of your rabbit’s diet as you could choose to supplement it with vegetables, hay, and healthy treats.
Whenever you’re about to choose pellets for your rabbits, check the ingredients as most brands contain nuts, which aren’t good for a rabbit.
Aside from that, some contain dried fruits, which are high in sugar, and that can wreck your rabbit’s digestive system or lead to excessive weight gain. Before you decide on a product, make sure you’re checking the nutritional facts.
Alfalfa Pellets. This is suitable for younger rabbits up to seven months of age as it is high in protein and nutrients.
Timothy Hay Pellets. This is high in fiber and nutrients, and this is perfect for older rabbits.
Experiment with a few products before settling on one, and remember that pellets don’t have to be a part of your rabbit’s dietary needs.
Timothy Cubes: Timothy Cubes are high in fiber and have less protein and fatty nutrients, which is perfect for your rabbit after 7 months of age.
Kaytee Alfalfa Cubes: High in protein and great for your small animal’s health.
A study shows that a rabbit has three upper premolars and two lower, along with three upper and three lower molars. Premolars and molars are back teeth, and their function is to grind food into smaller particle sizes to allow for the food to be swallowed.
If your rabbit’s teeth aren’t evened out and properly groomed, then it’s going to have problems grinding the food, which doesn’t aid easy digestion.
Chew Toys are a great supplement to help with grooming your rabbit’s teeth. The first tip to getting chew toys is to make sure the materials used in creating them are non-toxic and safe for your rabbit.
You could consider getting this chew toy made from 100% natural materials. It contains apple tree wood sticks, timothy hay balls, rattan balls, woven carrots and corn, and loofah carrot toys.
Rabbits love drinking water, especially when the temperature level is hot or if they’re very active, so ensure your rabbit always has unlimited access to water.
Make sure your rabbit drinks up to 1-2 cups of water per day and change the water every day to avoid staleness or their bowls getting infested with bacteria.
What if your rabbit isn’t drinking enough water? Rest assured they’re getting enough of that from their vegetables.
Fruits contain sugar and too much of it can cause illness, lead to excessive weight gain, or cause digestive issues, so the rule is to give fruits only once in a while.
This list was provided by Saveafluff on fruits, vegetables, and herbs you should be feeding your rabbits.
Don’t go for dried versions of these fruits as they contain much more sugar than fresh ones, and whenever you’re about to feed fruits to your rabbits, wash them.
Rabbits have sensitive stomachs, so being hygienic is a must.
- Raspberries (and their leaves also have excellent astringent properties)
- Apples (without the seeds and pips, they’re poisonous)
- Fresh carrots (should be limited because of high sugar and not the roots)
- Cherries (Not the pits and plants. They contain cyanide, which makes them poisonous)
- Kiwi fruits
Give your rabbits some of these once or twice a week and introduce them one at a time. Give them time to get used to it.
Vegetables are perfect to give to rabbits alongside fresh hay. Some of these include:
- Lettuces: green leaf, red leaf
- Okra leaves
- Radish tops
- Bell peppers
- Cabbage (give sparingly. It could cause digestive problems and gas)
- Broccoli (should be limited as it can cause gas)
- Spinach (only occasionally)
- Turnip (Only occasionally)
- Beetroot (limited as it could cause gas)
- Artichoke leaves
- Baby sweetcorns (not full-sized ones)
- Green Beans
Here’s a list of poisonous plants that rabbits cannot eat.
Herbs: Herbs can sometimes be sprinkled into hay and some of these are:
- Fresh Peppermint
What should you avoid feeding your rabbits?
Foods with added sugar, preservatives, and artificial coloring are harmful to your rabbit’s health.
Avoid the following:
- Sugary foods
- Peanut butter
- Chocolate (this is harmful to rabbits)
- Meat (rabbits are herbivores, so they don’t need this)
- Acidic fruits like oranges
- Processed foods
- Every dairy product (can cause GI stasis in your rabbit)
Do bunnies like carrots?
Bunnies love carrots, but remember to give them sparingly as they contain more sugar than fiber.
Can bunnies eat candy?
Don’t be tempted to give candy to your rabbits. It’s damaging to their health. Rabbits can’t eat candy, so don’t give it to them.
Do bunnies like bananas?
Bananas are high in potassium and fiber, but they’re also high in sugar, so small amounts of bananas should be given to your rabbit.
An average adult rabbit should have no more than 2 tablespoons of bananas 2-3 times a week per 5 pounds of body weight. A piece of banana should never be larger than your thumb so your rabbit doesn’t get too used to it and reject healthy food.
What is a rabbit’s favorite food?
Hay. A rabbit’s natural diet should be fresh, healthy hay sprinkled with herbs and water.
What human foods can rabbits eat?
Fruits and vegetables.
What can rabbits drink?
Rabbits need a large amount of water. Nothing more, nothing else. Don’t be tempted to give your bunny soda, cow’s milk, or yogurt, as they could cause GI stasis.
If you have any doubts about feeding your rabbits something aside from hay, then you shouldn’t do it.
All they need is an unlimited supply of fresh hay.
Refer to the list above for guidelines on what to give and what you shouldn’t, as that’s all you need to keep your rabbit safe, happy, and healthy!