We see all creatures great and small!
Rabbits are often purchased as easy first pets for children due to their quiet, gentle nature and relative ease when it comes to feeding and upkeep. Unfortunately all of these things that make them seem like easy and simple first pets are old fashioned ideas as rabbits require very specific diet and care to keep them happy and healthy.
What you may not know if the most important thing in a rabbits life is hay, they use it for bedding and, surprisingly, 80% of their diet is made up of the same hay. The sheer amount of hay that a rabbit needs to eat in a day is staggering considering their size. Think of your average size kitty litter tray, now imagine it full with fresh hay your bunny should be <strong><em>eating</em></strong> almost the entire thing every day. Other than the nutritional benefits rabbits need to eat so much hay as their teeth grow continuously throughout their life and need to be constantly worn down to prevent problems such as tooth abcesses and a good, consistent diet of quality hay is the best way to keep their teeth in tip top shape.
When people think of rabbits they think of Bugs Bunny munching away on an endless supply of carrots but, of course, as with most things you learn from cartoons this is not something that is encouraged as carrots really aren't too good for your little long eared friend. Rabbits should be having a loosely packed 3 Litre tub of fresh green leafy vegetables for every 2kg of body weight, theses are things like Bok Choy, celery, coriander, the leafy tops of carrots and fresh grass (make sure it has not been sprayed or treated). these veggies will make up the remaining 20% of your rabbits diet. In regards to carrots your bunny can certainly eat these but you want to limit this to only small pieces occasionally as treats.
We know what you're thinking "what about pellets?" unfortunately feeding rabbits isn't as simple as giving a handful of pellets a day and while there are some great quality pellets, such as the Oxbow brand, you should only be feeding one to two tablespoons a day, as a diet of mostly pellets can lead to health problems down the track.
If you'd like any more information on what you should and shouldn't feed your little bunny please give the clinic a call on 9579 3430.