Friday, August 31, 2012

To Oat or Not to Oat?

Rabbits can eat oats and other grains when fed as a part of a balanced diet. However, don't feed them too much because it can cause digestive troubles that lead to diarrhea and bloating. Generally rabbits should not be fed a diet that has a starch content higher than 11% to 14%. The starch content of every grain is different and varies between 57% (oats) to over 70% (corn). This means that if you feed your rabbit oats or other grains that it should only be a very small part of their total diet. 
 Diarrhea and bloating occurs when too much undigested starch passes into the caecum which is then quickly fermented by bacteria. While a small amount of starch can help to speed the fermentation (digestion) of fiber, too much starch can actually cause a change in pH which results in a change of bacterial populations. These "bad" bacteria thrive on the easily fermented starch and cause digestive troubles.
 For additional information about rabbit diets go here

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