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Old 06-08-2010, 04:21 PM   #1
natowetay
 
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I'm glad that I found a place I can ask "bunny" questions. lol.

About two weeks ago my mom bought my sons two flemish giant bunnies. We built an outside run (14ftX6ft) which they love. They have their own house (6ftX4ft) as well, filled with straw.

I am a tad bit confused about their "diet". I've read (and heard) different things and from past experience with rabbits,things just seem "different" now. We had meat rabbits(pets) as kids and they ate EVERYTHING. All the left over veggies and fruit and all the grass they wanted.They lived long, healthy lives and were in great body condition and over all health. Now I hear that I should NOT feedourFlemish Giants fruits or veggies ??

Currently we are feeding them 16.5% protein pellets, alfalfa hay and dandelions. We have given them celery twice as well. They sure do eat a lot each day and they are only 8 and 10 weeks old now.

Could some one PLEASE tell me what diet is ideal for a Flemish Giant and what veggies/fruit they can eat??


Thank you so much
Cait



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Old 06-08-2010, 06:59 PM   #2
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Your diet now sounds good. I would add timothy hay or other grass hay along with the alfalfa. For giant breeds, you should free feed pellets for about 9 months so they get all the nutrition they need to grow up nice an big. Once they get to be older, you would reduce them amount of pellets.

Veggies are fine to give on a regular basis. As your rabbits are still young, veggies need to be introduced slowly. Do one at a time and in small amounts. Slowly increase the amount before you add a new one. If they handle a veggie well, wait about a week before adding a new one. Fruits and some veggies like carrots should be limited and given as a treat instead of a daily food. Small amounts of fruit is best.
Flemish giants should be able to eat the veggies that other rabbits can eat. Some rabbits don't tolerate all veggies. There are many lists of safe and unsafe veggies, so you can just pick from those.



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Old 06-08-2010, 07:26 PM   #3
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Thank you. Do you know where I can find a list of safe and unsafe veggies??

As well, this may seem like a silly question... but... are rabbits registered?? I had "barn cats" all of my life and within the last two years started showing and breeding Persians and Himalayans. I had no idea that there were registered cats and unregsitered cats. I LOVE the Persian breed, and in particular, the colour I am working with.

I know my son would enjoy "showing" his rabbit... even in small fair shows, etc. But does a rabbit have to be registered to show like a cat does because our rabbits are not registered.

Thank you
Cait

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Old 06-08-2010, 07:34 PM   #4
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Rabbits don't have to be registered to show. I believe they need to be registered to count points and have titles, but for regular showing it's not necessary. Do they have pedigrees?

They also have to be unfixed. However, a lot of us find that spayed and neutered buns make better pets. Fixing them will also allow them to live together - two unfixed bunnies will most always fight, even if raised together from a young age.

The library has some great sections on diet. Here's a list of safe fruits and veggies:
http://www.rabbitsonline.net/view_topic.php?id=54630&forum_id=17

The house rabbit society recommends 2 cups per 6 pounds of body weight (for an adult) of veggies every day (fruits are more of a treat), so flemmies can eat a lot! Most recommend waiting until the babies are at least 12 weeks to start them on veggies, just to be safe, unless their mother was eating veggies as she was raising them. When you do introduce them, do it in small and amounts and one type at a time so you can determine if they're sensitive to a particular veggie. Over time you can increase the amount.

A good pellet is also key. What brand are you currently feeding? I use oxbow and love it, but I know there are a few other good pellets out there. You can find more info on different brands in the library: http://www.rabbitsonline.net/view_topic.php?id=12160&forum_id=17

Hay is a necessity. Alfalfa is fine since they are babies, but you can start introducing timothy hay as well to give them a variety.

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Old 06-08-2010, 08:06 PM   #5
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Thank you again.

I printed off the information about veggies and fruit.

I bought my rabbit food at the local "pet store". It is called "Topcrop Value Rabbit Pellets". I cannot find information online about this food, but have he guaranteed Analysis here.

Moisture (max) 12.0%
Crude protein (min) 16.5%
Crude fat (min) 2.5%
Crude fibre (min) 17.0%
Crude fibre (max) 19.0%
Calcium (act) 0.90%
Phosphorous (act) 0.63%
Sodium (act) 0.21%
Vitamin A (min) 11,000 IU/KG
Vitamin D (min) 1,100 IU/KG
Vitamin E (min) 50 IU/KG

The rabbits seem to like it. Cosmo weighs about 4lbs and Wanda about 2lbs. They are only two weeks apart in age, but the breeder said that Wanda's litter was larger which is why she is so much smaller. Any how, they go through about 1/2-3/4 of a cup EACH a day right now.

Thank you again for all of the information. I can answer any question about cats, but I am inexperienced with bunnies.

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Old 06-08-2010, 08:09 PM   #6
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For showing, a rabbit doesn't need to be registered. Technically, they don't need to be purebred, they just have to meet the standard for the breed. A pedigree is good, but not needed unless you want to register a rabbit. Flemish giants might be a bit harder to show as the rabbit has to meet a minimum weight. At a small fair, the judge might over look this, especially for a youth exhibitor. I think you should wait until a rabbit is 4 months to start showing.
You should start looking for local fairs soon. Most do require a small fee and you need to enter before the show. You can try looking at rabbit breeder clubs near you to see a lost of shows. Even contacting them to see if they know of smaller shows you can enter.
Show rabbit so need to be intact. Some shows do offer a pet class for spayed or neutered and mixed breed rabbits.

I don't know how old your son is, but you might consider joining 4-H. He will learn about caring for rabbits and should be able to show them and do showmanship. Finding a rabbit project can be difficult as it isn't very popular in Canada. Most projects do focus more on the breeding and showing side rather than pets, but it is still a good program and I think you can do it without having to breed.

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Old 06-09-2010, 02:34 AM   #7
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I second joining 4h. If you are interested in breeding and I showing i also suggest You have your family join the ARBA http://www.arba.net. And the ontario rabbit breeders club.

They do not need to be registered, or full pedigreed. Its best that they are purebred, and they meet the breed standard. If your rabbits don't meet, then you can always breed to improve you lines. Don't get discouraged when you go to your first show, and they don't do wel. Always treat showing as a learning experience. you will run into a lot of wonderful people in the rabbit show world that should be more then willing to help you out.

As for feeding, I would suggest keeping the main course to pellets and hay. And feed them fruits and veggies as treats if you want to. They are not nutritionally necessary, and if you want to show, your best bet may be sticking to a diet that is suitable for a show rabbit. otherwise you may end up running into condition and health problems. They may not do well on the table because of it. with show rabbits, you really want to pay close attention to what you are feeding them. You want something that is very high in fiber,and low in protein.

I used to raise Flemish at one time. They are pigs. They ate about a cup to a cup and a half of pellets a day. I never fed mine veggies or greens and they still did just fine.

Since you are new to Flemish, one thing i want to point out is that they are a breed that can have problems with their hocks because of how heavy they can get. You might want to keep an eye on that. Esp if have them on wire.

my other suggestion is to go to a show, and talk to the flemish giant breeders. Its always a good idea to hook up with someone that is more then willing to mentor, and help you out. IMHO that is the best way to learn about showing rabbits.

Dandelions are also fine as treats.

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Old 06-09-2010, 02:37 AM   #8
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natowetay wrote:
Quote:
Thank you again.

I printed off the information about veggies and fruit.

I bought my rabbit food at the local "pet store". It is called "Topcrop Value Rabbit Pellets". I cannot find information online about this food, but have he guaranteed Analysis here.

Moisture (max) 12.0%
Crude protein (min) 16.5%
Crude fat (min) 2.5%
Crude fibre (min) 17.0%
Crude fibre (max) 19.0%
Calcium (act) 0.90%
Phosphorous (act) 0.63%
Sodium (act) 0.21%
Vitamin A (min) 11,000 IU/KG
Vitamin D (min) 1,100 IU/KG
Vitamin E (min) 50 IU/KG

The rabbits seem to like it. Cosmo weighs about 4lbs and Wanda about 2lbs. They are only two weeks apart in age, but the breeder said that Wanda's litter was larger which is why she is so much smaller. Any how, they go through about 1/2-3/4 of a cup EACH a day right now.

Thank you again for all of the information. I can answer any question about cats, but I am inexperienced with bunnies.
best place to buy rabbit pellets is from a feed company or a mill. Not a pet shop. Pet store pellets won't put much condition on the rabbits if you want to show them. I would contact their breeder and ask what they fed.
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:04 PM   #9
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I tried to research your brand of Pellets but came up empty. Is it a plain pellet or does it have "extras" in it?
Because you have 2 Flemish Giant's your better off buying from a feed store to save money. Those 5-10lbs bags wont last long.

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Old 06-09-2010, 04:27 PM   #10
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The bag of pellets I bought is 25kg. The pet store is also a feed and seed store. The lady said that any rabbit breeders around buy these pellets. It cost me $20 I think for the 25kg bag.

Thanks
Cait



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