Imho, it isn't breed or genetics, but the way they were raised and fed. Pellets are a very recent invention, a spinoff of meat farming, very convenient but not at all natural. Hay too was just a way to bring lifestock through winter, not so much a staple food. Note: I do not say that "natural" means better or healthier, it has it's own risks and drawbacks (it is cheaper though ), there are several equally good ways to feed rabbits adequatly.Actually, truly domesticated breeds of rabbits have mostly lost their ability to instinctively know what is and isn't safe to eat, heh.
I think about this all of the time. Everyone says a rabbit's diet should be 80% hay. I have a hard time believing that wild rabbits are out there eating dried up grass if green grass and leafy edibles are available to them. My vet (and he IS and exotics vet) says they need hay for their teeth. With pellets rabbits apparently just chew up and down but with hay they chew in a figure 8 and that wears down their teeth. Does anyone know if green grass/weeds/veggies required the figure 8 chewing? Natasha is a hay-eater but Rocky would apparently rather starve than eat hay. I have to doctor up hay with a spray of apple juice or mush up banana in it to get Rocky to eat it at all. I'd love to stop with all that if green grass and leafy greens will do the tick.Hay too was just a way to bring livestock through winter, not so much a staple food.
I completely agree with this. So you go out an forage for their greens. What all are you getting for them? We are on 5 acres and I have a ton of grasses and weeds to choose from. I also have an organic garden with 12 raised beds and they get things from there: Brussels sprout leaves, cilantro, kale, parsley, lettuce, carrot tops, mint and other herbs. What I'm trying to figure out is what, if anything, can replace hay completely.Rabbits evolved to eat grass, weeds etc., it's what their teeth are made for.