Friday, September 14, 2012


Feeding your rabbit pellets is important to ensure they get the vitamins and minerals needed for long term health. This is especially true for baby rabbits. Many websites recommend feeding mostly hay and only a small amount of pellets. I use to think the same way until I realized that this caused nutritional deficiencies! This occurs because most rabbit pellets are designed to provide just the right amount of the needed micronutrients as if the pellets were the only thing the rabbit ate. Supplementing rabbit pellets with hay, grain, or other feeds will alter the needed balance of these nutrients and will dilute the vitamin and minerals that are needed.

 However most rabbit pellets are formulated with too much protein and grain. This leads to bloating and causes your rabbits urine to smell like ammonia. The best rabbit food is soy free and uses very little or no grain. Adding minerals in an organic chelated form is also better than inorganic mineral salts like zinc oxide or copper sulfate. Research clearly shows that a balanced diet greatly improves the health and playfulness of your rabbit and you'll see a difference in the quality of the fur coat.

 In nature, rabbits will nibble on many different food items throughout the changing seasons. Although wild rabbits survive on this type of a diet they would greatly benefit if they could add specific vitamins and minerals to their food. Because of this it is best to feed domesticated rabbits a balanced diet of pellets. To clarify, imagine using miniature blocks to build a rabbit. Some of these are needed in large amounts while others are needed in very small amounts. The food given to a rabbit contains a mixture of these blocks and most of them need to be eaten on a daily basis. If some of the blocks were in a limited supply or if there was way too much of some of them then the health of the rabbit will suffer.

 This is why rabbit pellets that are designed for "rabbits of all ages" is likely to cause nutritional problems for "rabbits of all ages." Instead, rabbits should be fed pellets designed according to their age or life-stage. For example, baby rabbits need extra minerals like phosphorous and vitamins like choline. They also need a high energy diet that is high in fat and fiber but low in starch. Adult rabbits need less energy and protein in their diet but need specific chelated minerals to maintain long-term health.

 One other important fact you should know about rabbit pellets is that they need to be of the proper size. This is because pellets that ate too small and are made of fine ground ingredients will cause digestive problems. Pellets that are too big increase waste because the rabbit can't fit the whole thing in its mouth. The ideal pellet size is a diameter of 1/8 inch and a length of around ¼ inch. Searching for the right rabbit pellet is worth the effort!

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