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Rabbits & Chinchillas Home > Pet Info > Rabbits & Chinchillas
Feeding Pet Rabbits

Rabbits need fibre! Ideally, the main food for any rabbit would be grass. Allowing rabbits to eat grass for several hours a day would wear down their teeth evenly. It would also help make their digestive system work properly. This is the natural food for rabbits. In Hong Kong this is very difficult to feed. We can feed dark green leafy vegetables as a substitute.

Hay is a form of dried grass. Ideally, the main food for any rabbit would be grass. Allowing rabbits to eat grass for several hours a day would wear down their teeth. It should always be available and be fresh. Hay is as beneficial as grass. Feed adult rabbits Western Timothy Hay or good quality meadow hay. Alfalfa is higher in protein and good for growing rabbits. We stock both types of hay from Oxbow, a reputable company which grows hay for rabbits on a farm in Nebraska, USA.

“Rabbit mixes” are often too low in fibre. They encourage the rabbit to select the best bits and eat foods which are not part of the natural diet such as seeds and corn.

Complete pellet foods are made from hay and other ingredients to provide all the nutrients a rabbit needs. The nutrient contents are adjusted to the actual needs of rabbits in various life stages and the rabbits therefore receive a balanced food. However, pellets should be given as a side dish to hay. They can be too rich as the main or only food causing obesity. Oxbow makes several types of pellet foods for adults and growing rabbits, mothers and ill rabbits.

If you are feeding a mixed diet, wean your rabbit off the rabbit mix on to a hay and pellet diet by slowly decreasing the mix whilst increasing the pellets over 2 weeks. Bunny Basics T from Oxbow is very high in fibre and has optimum protein levels for the maintenance requirements of your adult rabbit.

Dark leafy vegetables can be given on a daily basis, but should not be the main part of the diet because of a lack of fibre. Choi sum, pak choi and broccoli are good choices. Make sure they are thoroughly washed or soaked before feeding. Be consistent and offer the same type of vegetables most of the time.

How Much Food?
  • Hay should be available all the time
  • Feed a moderate amount of fresh green vegetables each day, a quarter broccoli or a few heads or stems of Chinese greens
  • Limit pellet foods to 1-2 Chinese soup spoons daily.
Rabbit Welfare - The Five Freedoms

The welfare of pet rabbits kept in cages for long periods is easily overlooked. As the owner or guardian of a rabbit, you have a duty to ensure your rabbits welfare. This can be summarized into 5 basic areas which you must provide FREEDOM FROM:

Hunger and Thirst Provide fresh water and the right food to keep them comfortable.
Discomfort Make sure that rabbits have the right environment including shelter and somewhere comfortable to rest.
Pain, injury and disease Prevent illness pain and injury, ensure animals are diagnosed and treated rapidly.
Fear and stress Protect your rabbit from causes of fear or stress, predators and noise.
Freedom to behave normally Make sure rabbits have enough space and proper facilities to show normal behavior.

More Info
HK Rabbit Society
HK Rabbit Society blog
Rabbit Welfare Association
British Rabbit Council
Oxbow Pet Products
Selected Books

Why does my Rabbit…? By Anne McBride
Comprehensive and practical, this book is an introduction to understanding rabbits. It gives an overview on the natural history of the rabbit and concentrates mostly on their behaviour.

Rabbits for Dummies By Audrey Pavia
This American book offers a fresh view on pet rabbit keeping and gives you lots of food for thought, providing advice on keeping and feeding your pet rabbit.

Rabbitlopedia By Meg Brown and Virginia Richardson
Divided in 3 sections on rabbit keeping, health care and rabbit breeds, this book gives a modern overview of keeping rabbits, both for pets and for showing.

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