Wednesday, July 21, 2010


A little extra space in the garden will grow enough to keep the rabbits fed

The next question would be what do rabbits eat? Rabbits are herbivores with an efficient digestive system capable of eliminating non-digestible fiber and at the same time fermenting digestible fibers. In the wild rabbits eat a wide range of vegetation such as grass, brush, weeds, shoots, leaves, twigs and bark. Of course we’re all familiar with rabbits and carrots courtesy of Bugs Bunny, but rabbits enjoy other root vegetables, as well as fruits and garden vegetables.

Aside from the question of what to feed your rabbits you’ll need to know that they should be fed twice a day. Because they like to chew it’s recommended that you use a feeder that hangs on the wall of the hutch. Only feed each rabbit what they will eat in a session and remove any extra afterwards. By feeding a bit less everyday, you will eventually figure out just how much each rabbit will eat to ensure they "clean their plate" without not getting enough to eat

Rabbit Feed is Nutritious

Rabbit teeth grow continually so they require fiber to trim their teeth. They should eat fresh vegetables every day along with hay. Most of their diet should consist of a commercially sold feed that consists of a formulated rabbit food that will provide all of the nutrition that your rabbits need. It can be purchased from your local feed store in 50 lb. bags and will usually store well for a good six months.

Alfalfa hay is a great supplement to a rabbit’s diet, but should never be the primary food. Another advantage of alfalfa is that chewing it helps to wear down the rabbit’s teeth. If you plan on foregoing commercial feed in favor of hay, garden produce and kitchen scraps, then you’ll need to keep a salt spool in each hutch.

In addition to knowing about feeding rabbits, you’ll need to know that it is important to keep their food dry. Many rabbit breeders have learned not to use a bowl that sits on the floor of the cage. Rabbits will soil in their food thus increasing their chances of getting sick. If you pick forage, grasses, etc from the yard during the summer, make sure it is dry. Eating wet forage can give rabbits diarrhea and actually kill them.

Because rabbits will also soil in a water dish or turn it over, most breeders have learned to use the water bottles that clamp to the wire of the wall of the hutch. It also may be worth the extra cost to get the type of water feeders that open at the top to be refilled, rather than having to remove the bottle and unscrew the nozzle to refill it.

Once the question of what do rabbits eat has been answered, then you need to decide which breed will be best to raise as meat rabbits.

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