Are Oates good for baby rabbits ?

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Lottiej

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I read somewhere that Oates or oatmeal is good for baby rabbits or even as treats for any rabbit. I then looked into this further and I’ve read a lot of different things , some websites say yes others say no . Anyone’s advice ? I have 3 week old mini lop babies . I’ve never even given mum or dad Oates . Thanks in advance .
 

SirLawrence

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I think oats are fine for growing rabbits or as a treat. Mine both get them as treats! As long as they're the "old fashioned" or any type with nothing else in them. Many people use them in older rabbits also, to help them keep on weight. From what I understand, they shouldn't be used as a food replacement for healthy rabbits, but they're not bad, per se, either. Like everything (except hay), I'd use in moderation.
 

JBun

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I wouldn't, especially with three week old kits. Oats are carbs, and sugars and carbs carry the risk of disrupting a rabbits healthy GI microflora when introduced into the diet improperly and/or fed in excess. Baby rabbits in particular are extremely susceptible to this occurring, as their digestive system isn't fully developed at this stage, so carbs aren't digested fully or properly, which means they can end up in the cecum and alter the delicate bacterial balance, possibly resulting in very serious bacterial enteritis illness developing.

Medirabbit: bacterial and mucoid enteritis

WARNING: LINK CONTAINS GRAPHIC NECROPSY PHOTOS, though explains the risks and causes of weaning enteritis/diarrhea well
Medirabbit: weaning enteritis/diarrhea

Best thing for baby rabbits is lots of good quality hay(no mold, no noxious weeds) and continuing to nurse from their mom. Then slowly getting used to the other foods their mom is used to eating. Never try introducing a new food into their diet(good grass hay is an exception to this rule) until they are at least 12 weeks old, and even then carbs/sugars shouldn't be the first new food introduced, and need to be properly introduced slowly, and in very limited amounts. The only reason not to wait until 12 weeks to introduce new foods is if health complications are occurring from their current diet, then the proper changes may be needed.

 

Preitler

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From the practical side, rolled oats are perfectly ok as a supplement. Can be given as soon as they start nibbling solid food, at around 2 weeks, no problem. Easily digestible, not much adjustment time needed. Never had, or heard of a problem.

The question is why you would feed them. When raising meat rabbits, that makes sense. Or when there's a big litter and they are on the skinny side. Other than that, they don't really need it. Imo fastest posssible growth isn't necessarily the most healthy, and it doesn't change much on the final size anyway.

I don't think such supplements make much sense when raising pet rabbits.
 

Alyshia

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My rabbit likes oats and I give her plain oats every once in a while (about a teaspoon once a week) and it has never caused any digestive issues. But every rabbit is different so you should introduce it slowly.
 

Orrin

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Our two live-in buns are crazy for plain rolled oats. They greet me as soon as I arise in the morning, knowing they're going to get their daily treat of a pinch of oats, each. It's probably a teaspoon full for the doe who is a wee bit heavy and a tablespoon full for the buck who needs to put on weight.

Sometimes they'll eat all of them at once and other times they'll eat most and finish later in the day. It is a really big deal for them, something to look forward to in their daily routine. Rabbits love the same ritual every day. :)

I put then in those little Dollar Store plastic cups that are just the right size.
 

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