It is important to know the basics of feeding rabbits, it will depend on our pet has a good quality of life.
The first thing to understand is that rabbits are strictly herbivores, so their natural diet is high in fiber Y poor in energy
Thus, rabbit feeding includes the following ingredients:
-The hay: It must be the basis of the diet. It is the most important food of our pet because it is the one that contains the fiber. It must always be freely available and must never be lacking.
-Fresh vegetables, leaves and herbs: Carrot, celery, parsley, cabbage, chard, escarole, cauliflower leaves, turnip greens, beets, artichoke can be offered ... They can be given in a cant.> Dandelions and clover can also be collected as wild herbs.
There is a mistaken belief that vegetables cause rabbit diarrhea. There is no problem as long as it is introduced into the diet gradually and never suppose the main food.
- Granulated feed (Pellets): No cereals or seeds added. Up to 6 months, it may be available for free consumption, but in adults it should always be offered rationed. The recommended amount is 2-3% of the animal's weight (1-2 tablespoons a day.)
Many feedstuffs contain mixtures of cereals and seeds, which are offered as is, together with the granule. We advise against it, it is better to give exclusively granulated and high fiber feed. Cereals and seeds are not necessary in the rabbit's diet, and their selective consumption produces digestive disorders and decalcification.
-Carbohydrates (fruit, cereals, sweets, bread ...): They should be restricted to the maximum. Another frequent mistake is to believe that hard bread helps wear teeth. The wear of the teeth is caused by friction of one tooth against another, when the animal chews. Bread causes obesity and can cause severe fermentation in your digestive system.
The most frequent causes of diarrhea in rabbits they are:
- Not having hay at discretion
- Give too much I think.
- High doses of carbohydrates, such as bread or cereals.
- Abuse vegetables and do not introduce them gradually.
One of the main problems we see in consultation is the dental disease. An inadequate diet is the main cause.
The teething of rabbits is hipsodonta, that is, that the teeth are constantly growing and need to wear continuously.
The physiological wear of the denture is mainly caused by the friction of the upper and lower teeth, as well as the abrasive effect of fibrous foods during chewing.
The rabbits they need to eat hay(fiber) to produce the abrasive effect on your teeth.
Water it should always be available, preferably the "pacifier type" drinkers.
Knowing the eating patterns of our rabbit, we can offer a better quality of life, as veterinarians, we can answer any questions.
What is a dwarf rabbit?
The dwarf rabbit, also known as toy rabbit, appears in Holland in the twentieth century Its origin is due to the cross between small rabbits, the result of the mutation of a recessive gene that causes dwarfism with domestic and wild specimens. Due to this crossing, the dwarf variety, especially the Dutch one, managed to settle.
The dwarf rabbit reaches a maximum of 1.5 kilos and measures between 30 and 50 centimeters. As we have already told you, feeding a dwarf rabbit is a very important aspect, since if we offer an inadequate diet, our rabbit may experience various pathologies, such as diarrhea, obesity and even intoxication.
Here we talk in detail about the feeding of the dwarf rabbit.
How much should a dwarf rabbit eat a day?
We should not be surprised if we observe that our dwarf rabbit eats a lot, since we are facing a species that requires a continued food intake to maintain adequate intestinal motility. In fact, if we realize that our rabbit does not eat we should go to the veterinarian, it is an obvious symptom that it presents some anomaly.
To explain why a rabbit eats a lot we must pay attention to digestion mechanism of the dwarf rabbit, which is classified as "passive". When you eat any food, it stays in the digestive tract until another food manages to push it into the body. In this way digestion occurs in lagomorphs.
Once the food group has been digested, the rabbit expels it through a soft stool that it ingests again to take advantage of all its nutrients. This is called coprophagy. Afterwards, the droppings are expelled again in the form of hard stools, which are no longer ingested by the rabbit.
In this sense, the types of food that are combined are very important, as some can be fermented in the digestive tract and cause diarrhea. They are more recommended, therefore, high cellulose foods and low in sugars, starch and fat.
In the following sections we will explain how much you have to eat a toy rabbit a day, as this will depend directly on its vital stage.
Baby dwarf rabbit feeding
You should know that toy rabbits or dwarfs that are popularly known as "babies" are actually called "rabbits"If you have just adopted a baby dwarf rabbit and have doubts about its feeding, then we will show you what do baby dwarf rabbits eat.
What does a 1 month dwarf rabbit eat?
The feeding of the dwarf rabbit is important from the first days of its birth. Before 3 months, it is recommended that the gazapo consume above allhay, which must be available in the cage at all times. Hay is rich in fiber, helps regulate digestion and keeps the teeth that are appearing healthy. It is also important to keep a container with fresh and clean water for the whole day.
Hay, in addition, can be used to form the nest of the gazapo, as it is used to build what will be the bed. It is not recommended to add a new portion of food until the dwarf rabbit has not consumed what is already inside the cage to prevent it from rotting.
The I think commercial that eats a toy rabbit, high in fiber and low in fat, is recommended with a maximum of three tablespoons daily. At this stage, they should avoid cereals, because they contain a lot of fat and the rabbit opts to consume those pieces with higher fat and caloric content.
What does a dwarf rabbit eat for 3 to 12 months?
From 3 months, to the consumption of hay and I think thefresh vegetables. Thus, add one or two pieces of different vegetables two days a week so that the gazapo knows them and, at the same time, stay alert in case they cause diarrhea or discomfort.
The portions that a toy rabbit can eat increase as the individual grows, but they can never exceed the intake of hay or feed during this stage. Balances with three or four tablespoons of feed every day, plus diced pieces of vegetables three to four times, and offers fruit only a couple of days.
What do dwarf rabbits eat?
Daily, it is recommended to offer between three and four different types of vegetables, cut and clean, and do not add another portion until the rabbit has consumed them. Hay remains indispensable, so it must be available at all times. With respect to I think for The toy rabbit feed, choose those that have a higher proportion of fiber, a little protein, calcium and virtually no fat. In an adult rabbit, calculate between 25 and 30 grams daily.
Continuing to feed the dwarf rabbit, the fruit continues to limit it sometimes a week, as it is usually high in sugars and can be harmful to the animal's health. Between two and three times a week is more than enough. Of course, vary the types for your rabbit to learn to eat everything.
The treats for rabbits should be avoided, so it offers some only once in a while, maximum a couple of times per month. Likewise, a healthy rabbit consumes between 80 and 150 milliliters of water approximately.
Keep in mind that toy or dwarf rabbits can spend much of the day just eating, so if you won't be home, leave them in the cage a lot of hay and the daily portion of feed, in addition to some fresh vegetables but without cramming the food space to prevent it from breaking down. Although they eat enough, the portions of each occasion are small.
Fruits and vegetables for dwarf rabbits
For a correct feeding of the toy rabbit we must know in depth the list of fruits and vegetables recommended for the species. Remember that it is very important to vary foods to enrich your day to day and provide you with the most balanced diet possible.
Below we mention some fruits and vegetables for dwarf rabbits:
There are also some harmful foods for your rabbit, or that it is better to consume in moderation to avoid stomach problems and even poisoning. Some of them are:
- Dairy products
- Parsley (in large quantities)
- Candies and sugars
- Fried food
- Food for humans, dogs or cats
Check the article on "Prohibited food for rabbits" to know all these foods in detail and prevent your toy rabbit from consuming them.
How to feed a dwarf rabbit?
Now that you know everything about feeding dwarf rabbits, we add some general tips and suggestions To know how to feed a dwarf rabbit correctly:
- Offer the fruits and vegetables washed, cut and at room temperature, never cold from the refrigerator.
- Watch the health of your rabbit when you introduce a new food, only then you can know if your body assimilates it correctly.
- Hay should always be available, but make sure the portions are fresh.
- Includes pieces or wooden blocks that the rabbit can gnaw to wear its teeth, because they never stop growing. Keep in mind that they cannot be varnished or treated. For more information, check out the article on "Abnormal growth of rabbit teeth."
- Make the diet changes gradually, never suddenly.
- If a food (vegetable or fruit) spends all day in the cage, remove it and discard it to prevent its decomposition.
If you want to read more articles similar to Dwarf rabbit feeding, we recommend that you enter our Balanced Diets section.
Data of interest
- Body temperature: 38Вє-40Вє
- Environmental temperature: Optimum temperature 18Vє-21Вє, although tolerates between 10Вє-29Вє
- Longev> HENO is essential in your diet, you can also put things that can be gnawed: untreated wood, cardboard boxes without dyes, fruit tree branches, ...
- Weekly it is recommended to make a review of the rabbit: check ears, nose, eyes, fur and nails, as well as weigh.
For more detailed information on the correct nutrition of rabbits, you can read the article Feeding rabbits and guinea pigs
The rabbits forever must have at your disposal hay and water.
They appreciate a regular schedule in the rest of their meals, the ideal is to feed them twice a day at a fixed time.
A rabbit a day should eat: 150 gr minimum of hay per rabbit + 100 gr of vegetables per kilo of weight + 30 gr of feed per kilo of weight.
If your rabbit does not eat feed, you should raise the amount of hay and vegetables.
These quantities are a reference, each rabbit is different, so it is very important control your weight weighing you on a weekly scale. Ask your veterinarian what is the ideal weight of your rabbit to know exactly what it has to weigh.
It is the most important food and you should always have it at your disposal. It must constitute at least 70% of the food the rabbit takes per day. It provides them with the necessary fiber, helps keep the digestive system in optimal conditions and favors tooth wear. It should constitute the majority of its food. There are hay blended with dandelion, rose petals, apple etc. to make them more appetizing. The best hay is that of fleo (Timothy grass). But weed hay, oats, ductile (orchard grass) and occasionally alfalfa hay can be given.
The hay should be of good quality, that it does not release much dust, that it is not damp, it is very important that they eat it for the wear of their teeth.
A rabbit that does not eat hay, in the long term, will have intestinal and / or dental problems that can have fatal consequences. Therefore, if our rabbit does not eat a large amount of hay daily, we must start a food re-education program as soon as possible. For this, it is best to consult with a veterinarian, but in our forum we can also advise you.
Vegetables, vegetables and fresh herbs
They have a great nutritional value, they should be given at least one serving of vegetables a day. It is appropriate to make small salads, where at least 3 different types of raw vegetables are mixed. The most suitable are the green leafy vegetables, although other vegetables, vegetables or herbs can be added in smaller quantities.
To the rabbits, the vegetable will be introduced following the Rule of 3 days.
We will follow the same procedure if the rabbit is an adult but has not eaten vegetables before.
To avoid problems in the rabbits, vegetables will not be given until they have passed the veterinary review and intestinal parasites have been ruled out.
- Vegetables allowed: chard, celery, chicory, watercress, cannigo, escarole, green beans (without seeds), pepper, endives, borage, artichoke, arugula, cucumber, carrot and beet leaves, Chinese cabbage, clover and dandelion.
- In moderation they can also be given: spinach, cabbage, tomato, broccoli, carrot, lettuce (green leaves only), fresh aromatic herbs (parsley, mint, basil, oregano, fennel, peppermint, mint, sage, basil, coriander, marjoram)
- Prohibited vegetables and vegetables: Cauliflower, potato, onion, garlic.
They love them, but they gain a lot of weight. Give in small quantities, maximum 2 or 3 times a week.
It is a complement to rabbit feeding, NOT the basis of feeding. It is important that the feed has a high concentration of fiber. Pellets (extruded feed) are recommended, avoiding feed with seeds. Gazapos up to 6 months will have it unlimitedly except in case of obesity. I think in any case it must be of good quality to avoid future problems for our rabbit.
Feed composition: minimum 20% fiber, maximum 3% fat and about 15% protein.
The first ingredient is a grassy plant such as fleo (timothy) for adults and alfalfa for rabbits.
- High-end feed (recommended) in this order:
- BUNNY: Everyone
- JR FARM: Grainless Complete
- OXBOW: Natural Science Adult Rabbit Food
- ZUPREEM: NatureВґs Promise Timothy Naturals
- Gazapos High-end feed (recommended) in this order:
- BUNNY: Young
- OXBOW: Young Rabbit Food
- Medium range feed:
- SUPREME: Science Selective.
- VERSELE LAGA: Cuni Complete
- KAYTEE: Exact Rainbow.
- For rabbits:
- SUPREME Science Selective
- CUNIPIC baby.
- Feed not recommended:
- Feed in bulk without label composition.
- Feed with seeds or different elements from which the rabbit can choose.
- Feed with less than 20% fiber.
Wood to gnaw
It is necessary for rabbits to wear their teeth, in addition to hay you can be given wood to gnaw. It is essential that they are pieces of untreated wood. The most common since they do not splinter, are the woods of fruit trees, such as apple trees, pear trees, in addition to birches, beech, alder, poplar, willow, hazelnut and orange.
If you do not have access to those trees, you can also buy untreated pine wood.
In general, the seeds will be avoided: nuts, legumes and cereals.
Nor will we give them iceberg lettuce, cauliflower, dog or cat food, cooked food, meat, cheese and dairy in general, canned fruit or in syrup.
Vegetables and fruit will always be raw.
As an exception to this rule can be given in very small quantities: raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds without salt, raw almonds without salt, nuts, oatmeal in sugar-free flakes or barley.
Poinsettia, asparagus, belladonna, fungi, orchids, rhododendrons, ivy, ferns, cactus, carnation, geranium, castor, mistletoe, formulas, ficus, narcissus, juniper, oak, poppies, cannabis, aloe vera, bulbs , violet and yew.
You should always have clean water at your disposal that must be changed at least every two days. If the tap water is not of good quality it should be bottled.
The disease is spread by direct contact, by mosquitoes or fleas. To be effective, you have to put it every 6 months. It is recommended in spring and autumn.
The symptoms are: lack of appetite, inflammation of the eyelids, lips, breasts, genitals and ears and swelling of the nose with transparent discharge.
It is produced by direct contagion with sick animals, by feces or by objects, you can take it on the sole of the shoe, by mosquitoes, etc. Although the vaccine only covers 6 months, as with myxomatosis, in rabbits without contact with other rabbits or with barely outside trips it is usually given once a year in spring (in case you go on vacation and take it). It is a disease that, along with myxomatosis, is quite widespread in the peninsula.
Symptoms are respiratory and nervous problems, apathy and anorexia.
Between the Myxomatosis vaccine and the viral hemorrhage, at least 15 days must be allowed to pass.
Rabbits should not live without the company of other rabbits. When it comes to hosting rabbits we must do it in groups or at least in pairs. If you only have one rabbit right now, think that, sooner or later, you should give him company and plan the accommodation for when that time comes.
A space in which rabbits can be alone without surveillance when we are not at home should be conditioned. Cables should be hidden and everything we do not want to be bitten. The kitchens or glazed terraces in which there are no extreme temperatures are easy places to prepare for rabbits. But in principle any room in the house can be prepared for this purpose.
If it is not possible to dedicate an entire room, a very large enclosure should be enabled for confinement hours. The minimum size for the enclosure for 2 rabbits is 4 m2 and 2 m2 more for each additional rabbit, but the bigger the better.
You can include a cage inside the enclosure with the tray, feeders, henera and drinkers if it is more comfortable. If not, at least one place of refuge must be provided. In addition, different elements of environmental enrichment are needed that make the environment more interesting for rabbits.
Apart from its basic accommodation, the rabbit should have the opportunity to run around and explore wider areas of the house for many hours a day under surveillance. Always protecting or hiding cables and everything that can be gnawed or dangerous.
In any case they should not be missing:
- A tray or corner to make your needs. Most do everything in the trays that will have a hygienic bed or pressed chip inside. The most suitable bed is that of pressed shavings in the form of logs that are marketed under several names (CatВґs Best, Top Fresh ... etc). Never use cat litter or loose sawdust or loose shavings because they cause respiratory and liver problems.
Bed trays should be cleaned daily to remove what is wet. At least once a week a deeper cleaning will be done with vinegar or neutral soap. Use bleach only in extreme cases and rinse and dry well since it is toxic.
- Drinker, preferably a bowl.
- A clean place to put hay, cages usually bring a dispenser.
- Optional are the beds, towels, etc. so that they are more comfortable. Many rabbits do not like them and end up using them from WC but others thank them.
You should immediately go to the veterinarian of exotic (specialist in rabbits), in case the rabbit presents any of these situations:
- He hasn't eaten or made poop in 12 hours.
- It does not move or appears apathetic.
- His teeth have grown too much.
- Poop with mucus.
- Trouble breathing and / or mucus.
- Tilt the head.
- It has fallen from somewhere high and does not move.
- Have seizures
- He hasn't peed in 24 hours.
- Crusts inside the ears.
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These are basic recommendations about caring for a rabbit as a pet, but we encourage you to look for more complete information to have this new family member in the best conditions.