A few diet questions

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DazyDaizee

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1. Bell peppers: Are the seeds & stem edible? I always cut them out and pull out the fleshy inner ridges.. but is that necessary or am I wasting food that they could be eating?

2. Hay: I recently purchased 2 bales of hay from a feed store. They told me it was a first cut Timothy, Brome, Orchard blend. Does this mean it's a mixture of all types? I'm limited pellets, so I'm taking my veggies & hay very seriously and want to feed a variety of hays. Does this suffice?

3. Pellets: Toot is my only adult bunny (Dutch, about 5.5lbs, should be about 5, maybe a little less). I cut her down (gradually) to a little under 1/4 cup once a day. Ideally I don't really want to feed pellets at all anymore, but I don't want to deprive the rabbits of a balanced diet, either. How little can I cut back to to ensure that she's getting her daily needs of vitamins and minerals?

And on the pellet subject:
I know this may be more controversial, but I am fostering a litter of mini lops and began limited their pellets as well. When they had free choice pellets they were CHOWING down on them and got pot bellies and drank so much water that I had to refill a giant crock at least twice a day. I gradually reduced their pellets (1/4 cup per bunny daily) and drastically increased veggies and of course, unlimited hay. Now they are nice and lean, but still growing well, none of them are skinny or showing any problems. They seem much healthier now.
These guys (now 3 months) have also been eating veggies since they were 2 weeks old. Another controversial thing, I know, but they were in the same pen with momma rabbit and started nibbling on her veggies, pellets, and hay once their eyes opened. Never any GI issues, so they've been on veggies since they've been eating solids. I feed as wide a variety as I can get with Veggies and go by my list to limit high calcium veggies and I'm sure to include at least one Vit A veggie per day.

So, typically they get at least 3 veggies per meal once daily. The babies probably get about 6-8 cups or so, and Toot gets about 3-5 cups, depending on what's on the menu.
Veggies fed include: Collard greens, Romaine/green leaf/red leaf lettuce, parsley, kale, flat pea pods, red/green bell peppers, carrots, chicory endive, swiss chard, dandelion greens, escarole, broccoli, celery, bok choy...

4. Is there something more I should be offering that would impact their health, or is this enough of a variety? Considering limiting pellets, that is. (I have a list of acceptable veggies, but don't have access to all of them at my local grocery stores)

5. Considering how much veggies & hay they eat, does 1/4 cup pellets suffice nutritionally for a 3 month old rabbit?

6. I know that people feed radish & beet tops.. are the radishes and beets okay to feed as well?

Thanks
 

pamnock

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I think you are certainly on the right track to good health for your bunns!

Do continue to provide limited pellets for minerals, protein, and carbs. You are supplying a good variety of fresh veggies and dark leafy greens.

Watch for pot-belly in rabbits that are fed large amounts of hay - this can indicate protein deficiency.

Greens/veggies are fine for bunnies from the time they are able to nibble them - as long as this has been part of the dam's diet. Sudden diet changes can be fatal to young bunnies.

Variety is a key to good nutrition when pellets are limited in the diet. 1/4 cup is sufficient for growing bunnies that are being fed hay, greens, veggies. Each individual's metabolism varies, so use their condition as a guide.

Pam


 

bounce

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Hi - You might want to go easy on beet leaves, I do give my bunnies a small piece of beetroot or beet leaf but I'm very sparing with it. Both contain oxalic acid which in excess can be a issue for us and I suppose might be for them. Mine have quite strong stomachs and lots of variety as we have a large garden that they roam in and lots of allotment scrapes. Mine particularly like strawberry leave, lemon balm, sage and nastursium.
 

Hazel-Mom

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Looks like a pretty good diet, however, you might consider NOT limiting "high calcium" veggies, definitely not for the babies.
They are still growing after all, and rabbits do NEED calcium, they have bones, teeth, etc. to grow and maintain.
If you limit calcium too much (especially in young, growing rabbits) they may end up with brittle bones or bad teeth.
 

DazyDaizee

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I should have specified, I do limit the high calcium veggies just for my adult rabbit (and Gpig), but I give the younger rabbits plenty.
 

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