What Do Rabbits Eat to Stay Healthy?

Answering the Question What Do Rabbits Eat?

what do rabbits eat

Here’s my beautiful Norwegian Giant buck enjoying some fresh vegetation. Not a staple of his diet but is a very nice treat!

If you own a rabbit, or probably more likely, are thinking of getting a rabbit or rabbits I’m sure the question, “what do rabbits eat?” has at least briefly crossed your mind.

I think, generally speaking, most have an idea of what the answer is, though we might be surprised that we could be wrong!

I know that before I knew better, if you asked me what rabbits ate, the immediate answer that would come to my mind are rabbit pellets for domestic rabbits and a very general “vegetation” for wild rabbits.

Those answers aren’t exactly wrong, but they could be a lot better.

Wild rabbits eat hay, grass and some vegetation, but 80% to 90% of their diet is hay and grass.

They really are the same thing, only grass is hay in its raw form and hay is properly dried grass that is mold free and safe for an animal to eat.

Mimicking Your Rabbits Natural Diet

baby bunny

A cute little California Giant baby bunny or more properly known as a kit. California giants are one of the more popular varieties of domestic rabbit, though not as popular as it once was.

If you have or are getting domesticated rabbits, which are decedents of European rabbits, then the best thing you can do for them is to try and mimic their natural diet.

As far as food goes, pellets are easier to deal with to be sure and they are much less messy. But, and of course there’s always a “but”, it’s in your rabbits best interest for you to at least get some hay and grass and into your rabbits diet.

They will be much healthier for it.

Depending on where you live, hay and grass may be abundant, seasonally abundant or hard to come by except at the pet store.

Nothing wrong with the hay at the pet store except the price! Now if your rabbit is on a pellet diet what you do not want to do is switch them to hay all at once.

Make Dietary Changes Gradually

Rabbits are sensitive creatures so it is best to make any change gradually. Changing their diet by 20% per week, over the course of the week, is a good rate especially if there’s been any sudden or abrupt changes that already have your rabbits stressed.

Too much change all at once for a rabbit can become fatal, so take it slow and easy.

You can also feed your rabbits vegetables and you don’t have to completely remove pellets from their diet. Carrots, celery, broccoli even apple in small quantities are good supplements to their diet, but do not overdo it.

Keep their diet 80% to 90% hay with a little fresh grass occasionally. Just make sure it hasn’t been sprayed or treated with anything.

What do rabbits Eat Locally?

what rabbits eat

If you have room to keep a roll of hay and keep it dry they can last for months! To get a really good roll cost me around $35 compared to around $20 for a bag of rabbit pellets.

Where I live there are a lot of horses and cattle in the area so most of the farms in the area will get 2 or 3 cuttings of hay a summer. I can get a bale of hay for next to nothing and it will last for weeks.

The only thing you have to be careful of with a bale of hay, because I expect you’d not want to keep it in your house due to the mess, is to keep it dry.

If you feed rabbit’s moldy hay, it could be a death sentence. No different, really, if you feed them moldy pellets, it is bad for your bunny!

What do rabbits eat? Hay, hay and quite a bit more hay especially if they could speak to you they would say, I want hay!!

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