Springfield Rabbits

Specialising in Pedigree Mini Lops

                  Food & Nutrition

                                                      

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. 

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              

     Apple                                                          Artichoke                                   Watermelon

     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                                    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.