Anyone have experience of getting a bun to lose weight

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Katie94

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Hello,

The vets have advised on our yearly check up that our buns are a little overweight even though we have been feeding them as recommended. I have tried to reduce the amount they are fed and was wondering if this seemed like a sensible plan. I have attached pics for reference of their new daily diet. The portion of pellets is fed twice a day between two rabbits, the veg is fed once a day between two rabbits and the treats are a piece of dried fruit (type various) and a piece of treat biscuit made with oats and fruit. They used to have twice that many pellets per day and 1 treat a day but breaking them up gives about 2-3 treats per week. Is there anything else I can do differently or better?

Thank you!
 

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Blue eyes

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What type of hay do they get and how much do they eat?

What type and brand of nuggets?

I would totally skip the treats. Greens should not be adding weight. But I'd skip broccoli (I see that in the photo). For "veggies" just stick with green leafy herbs/lettuces. It should be fine to feed even more greens without causing weight gain.

Hay and nugget type may be a contributing factor, so I'll be curious to see what kind you've been using.
 

Katie94

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@Blue eyes we get our hay from a company called hay box and it is a mixture of soft and coarse cut Timothy hay. They eat quite a lot of hay but I would struggle to guess how much exactly.

For pellets they used to have burgess excel mint but they are now getting burgess excel light which is lower calories for over weight buns. I mostly feed pellets now just to keep on the same routine for them as they expect it at certain times of day otherwise would probably remove them all together.
 

Katie94

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That’s very impressive @Nancy McClelland it gives me hope that it is possible. If I could start all over again with ours I would do it differently, I thought feeding them by the book was a totally safe bet but turns out I was wrong and prevention is definitely easier than the cure! I just hope I can turn it around. I feel terribly guilty about cutting out the food especially as they have been fed the same time for 2.5 years but I think I need to get tougher with myself to see the results!
 

JBun

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If you don't want to eliminate the treats completely, you could just reduce the amount to a tiny bite. Also reduce pellet amounts. Then if you can feed more of the coarse hay and less of the soft. Coarse hay has less protein in it, so less calories. But they also need to be getting enough nutrients from pellets, veggies and leafy hay. So it's finding the right balance. Then closely monitor their body condition and weight loss, as you don't want them losing too much weight.
 

Katie94

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Thanks @JBun thats very useful to know about the hay, I can actually swap to a complete coarse cut without the soft. I only picked the blended one for variety without any nutritional knowledge. With the treats and pellets I only strictly need to feed one of those once a day just to put them away in their bedroom at night. In my head they will be distressed if they expect breakfast/ dinner and don’t get it but in reality they might be confused for about a minute or two and then move on. I’m thinking like a human would instead of a rabbit!
 

JBun

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He'll need to have something with some nutrition. Either some pellets or some soft hay. Too much coarse hay and a rabbit won't be getting enough nutrients and will lose too much weight. Happened to a rabbit of mine once, when she favored the coarse hay over her pellets and other food, and lost too much weight and started fur chewing because of the lack of nutrients and protein.
 

Katie94

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Gosh it’s such a mine field isn’t it! Maybe I’ll keep my blended hay for now I can always change it up later if it doesn’t work. I’ll focus on committing to the fewer pellets and smaller/ no treats and keep a close eye on them. Here’s a picture of my little chonks at the moment got the most work to do with Eden and Narla I think (grey and black bunnies) but hope we can get back on track!
 

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