Moose & Hippo's Daily Diet

 HAY, HAY AND MORE HAY! We have two to three different bins/boxes of Timothy hay available for them at all times. So important they have access to hay and fresh water 24/7! 

 

In addition to hay, they also get two large bowls of fresh food for breakfast and then again for dinner. After their breakfast and dinner of fresh veggies, they each get one tablespoon of pellets. 

This usually consists of a variation of the following:

  • Romaine Lettuce

  • Cilantro

  • Bok Choy

  • Mint

  • Basil

  • Parsley*

    • Every other day

  • Celery*

    • A few slices once every other day​

  • Kale*

    • Every two to three days once a day either at breakfast or dinner

  • Radishes*

    • A couple of small slices two to three times a week once a day either at breakfast or dinner

About three to four times a week, we'll give them a small treat. This usually consists of one raspberry or a small, nickel-sized slice of banana, apple or carrot. It usually just depends what we have on hand! 

Please note, we discussed what serving sizes were right for Moose and Hippo's serving sizes with our qualified vet. What works for Moose & Hippo may not be right for your bun; it's important to see out a veterinarian who is versed in rabbit health if you have any questions or concerns regarding the care and health of your rabbit.

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All of the below information is taken directly from House Rabbit Society (https://rabbit.org/). it is important to discuss any concerns or questions you have regarding your rabbit's health and diet with a qualified veterinarian.

 Bunny Diet Basics

Large, unlimited amounts of fresh hay should be offered daily. Young bunnies should be introduced to hay as soon as they can eat on their own. Mixed grass hay or Timothy hay is preferred because it is lower in calories and calcium than alfalfa. Use a good quality, high fiber alfalfa or timothy based pellet as a small part of your rabbit’s diet.

Feed a minimum of 1 cup vegetables for each 4 lbs. of body weight. Select at least three types of vegetables daily. A variety is necessary in order to obtain the necessary nutrients, with one each day that contains Vitamin A, indicated by an *  in the corresponding list. Add one vegetable to the diet at a time. Introduce gradually and eliminate if it causes soft stools or diarrhea.

 

Limit fruits to 1-2 tablespoons per 5 lbs. of body weight (none if dieting) from the list below of high fiber fruits. Sugary fruits such as bananas and grapes should be used only sparingly, as occasional treats. Bunnies have a sweet tooth and if left to their own devices will devour sugary foods to the exclusion of healthful ones.


What are the basics of a good house rabbit diet?
A rabbit’s diet should be made up of good quality pellets, fresh hay (timothy or other grass hays), oat hay, water and fresh vegetables. Anything beyond that is a “treat” and should be given in limited quantities.

What makes a good pellet?
Pellets should be fresh, and should be relatively high in fiber (18% minimum fiber).  Do not purchase more than 6 weeks worth of feed at a time, as it will become spoiled. Pellets should make up less of a rabbit’s diet as he or she grows older, and hay should be available 24 hours a day. Alfalfa pellets are fine for younger rabbits but timothy pellets are preferred for older rabbits.

What kinds of veggies should I feed my rabbit?
When shopping for vegetables, look for a selection of different veggies–look for both dark leafy veggies and root vegetables, and try to get different colors. Stay away from beans and rhubarb. Introduce new veggies slowly. 

Is feeding hay important?

Hay is essential to a rabbit’s good health, providing roughage which reduces the danger of hairballs and other blockages. Apple tree twigs also provide good roughage.

What quantities of food should I feed babies and “teenagers”?

  • Birth to 3 weeks–mother’s milk

  • 3 to 4 weeks–mother’s milk, nibbles of alfalfa and pellets

  • 4 to 7 weeks–mother’s milk, access to alfalfa and pellets

  • 7 weeks to 7 months–unlimited pellets, unlimited hay (plus see 12 weeks below)

  • 12 weeks–introduce vegetables (one at a time, quantities under 1/2 oz.)

What quantities of food should I feed young adults? (7 months to 1 year)

  • Introduce timothy hay, grass hay, oat hay, and other hays; decrease alfalfa

  • Decrease pellets to 1/2 cup per 6 lbs. body weight

  • Increase daily vegetables gradually; make sure your rabbit can tolerate

  • Fruit daily ration no more than 1 oz. to 2 oz. per 6 lbs. body weight (because of calories)

What quantities of food should I feed mature adults? (1 to 5 years)

  • Unlimited timothy, grass hay, oat hay, other hays including brome, Bermuda, etc.

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup pellets per 6 lbs. body weight (depending on metabolism and/or proportionate to veggies)

  • Minimum 2 cups chopped vegetables per 6 lbs. body weight; always introduce vegetables and greens slowly to make sure your rabbit can tolerate

  • Fruit daily ration no more than 2 oz. (2 TBL) per 6 lbs. body weight.


What quantities of food should I feed senior rabbits? (Over 6 years)

  • If sufficient weight is maintained, continue adult diet

  • Frail, older rabbits may need unrestricted pellets to keep weight up

  • Alfalfa can be given to underweight rabbits, only if calcium levels are normal.

  • Annual blood workups are highly recommended for geriatric rabbits.


If I feed fewer pellets, how do I compensate?

When you feed a lower quantity (or no) of pellets, you must replace the nutritional value without the calories, which is done by increasing the vegetables. Also, a variety of hay must be encouraged all day long, we do this by offering fresh hay a couple of times a day.

Please visit https://rabbit.org/faq-diet/ for more information.

 Approved  Vegetables

Alfalfa, radish & clover sprouts
Basil
Beet greens (tops)*
Bok choy
Broccoli (mostly leaves/stems)*
Brussels sprouts
Carrot & carrot tops*
Celery
Cilantro
Clover
Collard greens*
Dandelion greens and flowers (no pesticides)*
Endive*
Escarole
Green peppers
Kale(!)*
Lettuce: Romaine, Red or Green leaf (no iceberg or light colored leaf)*
Mint
Mustard greens*
Parsley (!)*
Pea pods (the flat edible kind)*
Peppermint leaves
Raddichio
Radish tops
Raspberry leaves
Spinach (!)*
Watercress*
Wheat grass

(!) = Use sparingly or rotate. High in oxalates, vitamin A or goitrogens and may be toxic in accumulated quantities over a period of time.

An approximate of fresh vegetables to feed your rabbit would be around 1 cup of greens for 2 lbs of rabbit body weight once a day or divided into multiple feedings a day.

 Approved  Fruits

Apple
Blueberries
Melon
Orange (including peel)
Papaya
Peach
Pear
Pineapple
Plums
Raspberries
Strawberries

These should be no more than 10% of the diet (about 1 teaspoon per 2 lbs of body weight per day). NOTE: unless otherwise stated it is more nutritious to leave the skin on the fruit (particularly if organic), just wash thoroughly. IF you are in doubt about the source of the fruit and you are concerned about chemicals in the skin, then remove it.​ 

 

Absolutely NO chocolate (poisonous!), cookies, crackers, breakfast cereals, bread, pasta, yogurt drops or other “human treats.” There is research to suggest these items may contribute to fatal cases of enterotoxemia, a toxic overgrowth of “bad” bacteria in the intestinal tract.

For more information, please visit House Rabbit Society's list of suggested vegetables and fruit.

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