Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hey!!! Is Hay Really Good For Your Rabbit?

Many people have read on-line that they should feed timothy hay to their adult pet rabbit instead of alfalfa hay. However, this is based upon some common misconceptions that are not true!
Feeding rabbits Timothy hay is a great way to provide them with a low-energy dietary fiber. Timothy hay grown in the western part of the USA is often a better quality because quickly cures in the desert air so it's green.
If you feed timothy hay to your bunny be careful to not feed it too much because it is likely to cause nutritional deficiencies. Timothy hay doesn't provide enough vitamins and minerals that rabbits need to stay healthy. To support long-term health it is important to provide a balanced diet that is fortified with phosphorous, chelated minerals, and essential amino acids.
For example many people have read online that alfalfa is "too high in calories" and can obesity in rabbits. This simply is not true. Although alfalfa has slightly more calories than Timothy hay it is important to understand that the calories in alfalfa are mainly from protein, which your rabbit needs to eat to be healthy.
The types of calories that can make your rabbit fat are from carbohydrates that come from grain and grain by-products. This is why adult pet rabbits will be healthier when they are fed a grain-free diet. Rabbit food that is made for "rabbits of all ages" will cause your rabbit to gain unhealthy weight because it has too many calories. This is why it is important to feed a properly balanced rabbit food that has the right protein to energy ratio. Although it isn't clearly listed on the feed label it is important to read the ingredient list and avoid rabbit food that has a lot of grain and grain by-products or soy products.
Also many people have read online that they should avoid feeding alfalfa to their rabbit because has more calcium than timothy hay. In reality the amount of calcium in hay greatly depends upon the amount of calcium that is in the soil that it was grown in. Also, hay naturally has a lot more calcium than grain! So the only way to lower the calcium content of your rabbits diet is to feed less hay and more grain... but that is definitely not recommended!
Nutritionists know that the digestible phosphorous content and the phosphorous to calcium ratio of the diet are the most important factors that influences calcium metabolism. Phosphorous is a limiting nutrient and is expensive but adding it to the diet of your rabbit is important for long-term health. Baby rabbits need a phosphorous content of around 0.6% (adult rabbits need above 0.3%).
For these reasons it is best to feed your rabbit a balanced pelleted diet that includes all of the minerals and vitamins that your rabbit needs to stay healthy. When you do you'll see a real difference in the quality of their fur coat as well as their playfulness and overall activity level.

Buy now you know...more info. can be found here!!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7167444

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