Keeping Your Rabbits Healthy
Feeding rabbits a healthy diet is the key to keeping your rabbits healthy. A healthy rabbit diet should include pellets, hay, water and some fresh greens. While these foods are excellent choices for your pet, you should still monitor the amount they eat. Too much of a good thing is still too much.
Commercial rabbit pellets are designed to have all the nutrients your rabbit needs, from the ever important protein to tiny trace minerals.
Unfortunately, not all pellets are created equal. Ask at your local feed store what most breeders are buying.
Rabbits that are breeding must be kept in tip top condition, so the pellets they eat are high quality.
Pellets you are using for feeding rabbits should be as fresh as possible. Bags from the feed store should be dated.
When you open them up, the pellets should be a nice green color and smell like fresh hay. Pellets should be measured every day so the rabbit does not get overfed. Obesity can cause health problems in rabbits, too.
Fresh hay is a wonderful treat for rabbits. It provides fiber, which keeps your pet's digestive system humming along. Rabbits that eat alfalfa pellets should not get alfalfa hay at the same time. Orchard grass, timothy or other horse quality hay is much better.
Hay also gives rabbits something to do. Chewing is an activity that rabbits need to do frequently, as it helps wear down their ever-growing teeth. Chewing on hay can help with that to an extent, and make the rabbit feel like they have something to do.
You should keep fresh water available for your rabbit 24 hours a day. Change the water every day. Do you like stale water? Of course not! Neither does your pet. Every week, wash out the bottle or dish thoroughly with a mild dish soap and rinse well.
Feeding rabbits fresh greens are a welcome treat for any rabbit. Don't overdo it, however. If you give your pet too much, they will have leftovers which will wilt and start to decompose. Most rabbits are happy with scraps from your kitchen, like carrot tops and peelings, a slice of apple, parsley, broccoli stems, and so on. Herbs are also a good food. Dandelion leaves, mint, clover, cilantro and more are wonderful for your pet.
Since rabbits have the need to chew, it is important that you give them something that will help keep their teeth down to size. Unsprayed apple branches are excellent choices. The wood wears down the teeth and rabbits really seem to like them.
Willow branches are also a good choice. You can also give them cardboard tubes. To make them more interesting, stuff them with hay. This makes them into a fun toy as well as a useful item.
Feeding rabbits treats including fresh fruit, oats and other foods that contain a lot of sugar or carbohydrates should be done very sparingly. Think of them as candy. You don't want your pet eating a diet of candy. It will make them sick, just as children would get sick if all they ate was candy.
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