Your rabbit should be fed a small quantity of food twice a day. They have been raised on a mix consisting of mainly Burgess Excel, Dwarf/Junior pellets, which in my opinion is one of the best rabbit feeds you can buy. You will be given a weeks supply of food when you collect your rabbit. If you choose to use a different feed you will need to gradually wean them on to it.
Burgess Excel Pellets are readily available at most petshops, are a feed highly recommended by vets and being pellets stops your rabbit from being picky with their food. The feed quantities are written on the side of the bag and must be followed. It is imperative you do not overfeed your rabbit.
Your rabbits diet should be similar to that of the wild rabbit, which aswell as the pellets or mix should include some vegetables, herbs, fruit, grass and wild foliage but these must only be given daily in moderation. See the list below of 'suitable vegetation for rabbits'. Do be aware there are some things you must avoid such as lettuce which due to the high water content will upset your rabbits tummy. It is very important that when introducing any new vegetable or treat it must be done slowly and in small amounts.
Their diet must also include hay which should always be available for them to nibble on. It can be given to them loose, in a hay rack or in an empty cardboard toilet roll, as I do. Hay is an essential part of a rabbits diet as it provides them the much needed fibre and helps to wear their teeth down.
They also love fruit tree wood and bark to chew on eg apple or plum. However do not try to give them bits from any other types of tree as some are poisonous to rabbits.
Suitable Vegetation to Feed Rabbits
Alfalfa Sprouts Arugula Asparagus
Basil Beets & tops Bok Choy
Broccoli (not too much stem) Brussel sprouts Blackberry
Cabbage Carrot Celery
Chard Chives Clover
Collard Leaves Corn on Cob Cucumber
Dandelion Leaves Dill Endive
Escarole Fennel Frisee
Green Pepper Grapes Kohlrabi
Lemon Balm Lilac Marigold
Marjoram Mint Mustard Greens
Parsley Parsnips Pea Pods
Peppermint Leaves Peach Pear
Raddicchio Radish Read Leaf Lettuce
Rasberry & leaves Sage Savory
Spinage Strawberry & leaves Turnip Greens
Tomato (fruit only leaves are toxic) Watercress
Watermelon Wheat Grass Zucchini
The Digestive System
The rabbit has a digestive system that is very well adapted to it’s high fibre diet. To gain the maximum benefit from it, the food passes through the digestive system twice! After the food has passed through the digestive system once, it is expelled as a very soft pellet (called a caecotroph), which the rabbit eats to obtain as many nutrients and vitamins as possible. This is known as coprophagy. It usually happens at night, so you may never see your rabbit coprophaging. The caecotrophs then pass through the digestive system a second time and are expelled as the usual hard, dark pellet.
If a rabbit is fed too much food high in carbohydrate rather than high fibre food it is not at all good for them and they will produce an excessive amount of caecotrophs which will stick to the fur around their bottom. This will attract flies and can lead to fly strike which in turn could lead to death.
You must be careful not to overfeed your rabbit as this can cause all sorts of health problems. Daily exercise is important and will help to keep your rabbit fit and healthy.