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Q: House Rabbit Diet ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: House Rabbit Diet
Category: Family and Home > Pets
Asked by: beerman157-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 21 Nov 2006 20:59 PST
Expires: 21 Dec 2006 20:59 PST
Question ID: 784703
My 1yr old, house trained Jersey Wooly has absolutely no interest in
vegetables or fruit. We've tried introducing them on and off since
about 5 months of age and he'll sniff them and nothing more. We've
even tried taking away the rabbit's regular food and replacing it with
various (one at a time) vegetables and an occasional fruit. Everything
I read suggests that a rabbit's diet should minimize pellets in favor
of veggies. My wife had a rabbit when she was younger, and it always
ate vegetables and an occasional fruit treat.

The rabbit is about 4.5lbs (normal for the breed), eats Hartz pellets and hay.

I guess my question is a two part one:

1) Should we be concerned? Expecially long term with a rich, pellet-only diet.
2) What can we do?


Subject: Re: House Rabbit Diet
Answered By: tlspiegel-ga on 21 Nov 2006 22:31 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi Mike,

Thank you for your question.  Remember to read the disclaimer at the
bottom of this page... I can only provide general information and if
you are concerned about the health of your Jersey Wooly he should be
checked out by a veterinarian.

For now, let's just assume he is healthy but he just hasn't acquired a
taste for veggies and fruits.  Hopefully some of the information
provided will be helpful to you!

Three Little Ladies Rabbitry Feeding Your Rabbit

The main diet of a rabbit should be rabbit pellets. Rabbits can also
be fed certain vegetables, and hay.

Hay should also be a regular part of your rabbits diet. Hay helps
reduce hairballs and blockages in the intestines which can kill your
rabbit. The most preferable type of hay is timothy hay. It provides
the best fiber and lowest levels of calcium.

Vegetables & Treats
Rabbits have a sweet tooth. They can be fed several types of treats,
but should be limited to small portions two or three times a week.
Never feed treats that have been treated with chemical fertilizer or

[See the list of "treats" consisting of good and bad vegetables
/fruits on this page.]


Greenwich Rabbit Rescue

The following site is basically about GI STASIS (GastroIntestinal
Stasis, The Silent Killer) however, I found the information below
considerably interesting regarding how to stimulate a rabbit's
appetite. I realize you are not trying to stimulate his appetite, but
it might be helpful in getting him to enjoy eating veggies, etc.

D. Fresh, wet, leafy herbs. 

The fiber and moisture in fresh vegetables also will help stimulate
the intestine. Kale is a good choice. If the rabbit refuses to eat,
try fragrant, fresh herbs such as mint, basil, dill, cilantro,
tarragon, sage, fennel, parsley and others. Sometimes it helps to nip
off the ends of the stems and wave the fresh, juicy stems under the
bunny's nose or even gently insert the stem into the corner of the
bunny's mouth. You can even lightly pat the herbs against the bunny's
face until she gets annoyed with you and grabs the offending sprig.
Sometimes all it takes is a little taste to get the bunny nibbling.
Try a variety until one of them gets the bunny to eat. You never know
which herb will stimulate the appetite, so it's best to have a variety
on hand."


The following page has some excellent information on feeding also:

"Can my rabbits eat carrots,lettuce an strawberries everyday?"  The
answer if she is healthy and likes them and they produce no adverse
effects on her (ie diarrhea) then yes, limited, small quantities.

Rabbit diets, in order to remain healthy and prevent obesity should be as follows:

1.  Hay (timothy hay, orchard grass), should be there for them 24
hours a day, and it should make up 75-80% of their food.  They are
designed to eat this and get nutrition from it.  Hay is critical to
rabbits' health as it helps push through hay they ingest from grooming
and normally make up 95% of the material in their hard waste pellets. 
It's excellent fiber.  Rabbits can live without pellets, greens, and
treats if they are given good quality hay. Rabbits will not live well
or long if they are given everything but hay.

2.  Good quality rabbit timohty-hay pellets without extra fat/sugar
junk in it (like oxbow Bunny Basics - T) can be given at 1/4 cup per 5
pounds body weight.  If smaller than 5 pounds an 1/8 cup or 3/16 cup
can be given.

3.  Good-quality greens in more limited quantities.  It is recommended
no more than 1/2 cup per 4-5 pounds body weight, and further, some
greens may give them gas which can lead into bigger stomach problems
that could kill them if not treated by a vet.  Greens are optional and
not necessary like hay is.  Always introduce new greens in very small
amounts and very slowly into their diets (you should always do this
slowly and in small amounts for ANYTHING you are adding to their
diets).  Not every rabbit handles each type of greens as well as
others.  Never give iceberg lettuce - always romaine, green leaf

4.  Higher carb veggies, fruits and treats - very limited quantities. 
Too much of these cause unhealthy weight gain and again, stomach
problems that can kill them.  I would give them carrots, and fruits
like bananas sparingly.  Maybe a few small (1/8 inch thick) pieces, or
a few baby carrots a day.  Max.

5. Rabbits diets work best on consistency and regularity.  Once you
introduce them to something new over a one-two week ramp up period,
you can't just all of a sudden stop giving it to them, you need to
start reducing portions over a week or two to allow their gut bacteria
balances to adjust without causing them problems.  So do not introduce
more than one new thing at a time, and be sure that you can give it to
them regularly once they are used to it.  Make sure you will be able
to 'ease' them off of it if whatever it is goes out of season or you
can't get it anymore."


And, much more on this page:


Lots of information on this forum page:


I used various combinations of the following keywords for my research:

Jersey Wooly house rabbit won't eat hates vegetables veggies fruits feeding


Best of luck to you!
beerman157-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $3.00
Thank you. I guess I haven't been pushing him enough into the
wonderful world of veggies. I sat with him this evening and stuck a
dandelion leaf for 5 minutes until he started to eat it.

Subject: Re: House Rabbit Diet
From: tlspiegel-ga on 29 Nov 2006 17:44 PST
Hi Mike,

Great news!  You'll probably have him chowing down on tons of new
veggies and fruits soon. :)

Thank you for the nice tip!

Best regards,

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