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Baffled by Breakfast - Not a Morning Bunny?

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HalaBuns

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Hi All!

I have 2 buns, who both lovvve food most of the time.

Over the last few weeks though, one of them has been really quite fussy with her breakfast and i’m wondering what the cause is. She’s totally fine at other times of day.

It doesn’t happen all the time, just on odd days. When it does happen, it’s hard not to worry that it could be gas or GI stasis, so when I went away recently I would end up grilling the pet sitter about how enthused she was about her food and was going to cancel my trip early at one point because I was worried.

It is generally the case that I put their pellets down in the morning and they are both very excited by this event and run over and both demolish their way through them. When Gigi is having one of her “off” days though, she will just lay quietly, or sit in her litter box (but not eating) and totally turns her nose up at pellets offered to her.

The first 2 times this happened, I was worried, assumed it was gas and looked at all the tips on here for what to do and eventually got her eating after a few hours. Before my trip I took her to the vet who confirmed her teeth and tummy were fine and she is in good health. She had eaten apple the night before both times she was funny about pellets, so we thought it could be connected to that and they’ve both been on a sugar free diet since, other than the odd slice of carrot now and then.

Once back from my trip I had a friend come to stay, which meant I slept on the spare bed in the “bunny room”. They usually sleep by the side of my bed in my room and are quite lazy in the mornings. With me in their room however, they took great delight in waking me at 6am throwing toys around, jumping on me, chewing the bedding etc. They also both smashed through their pellets every morning without fail when I fed them 2 hours later.

Now I’m back in my room and they’re back to sleeping by my bed. Gigi would happily laze around there until 9am if it wasn’t for me getting ready for work and again twice over the last few days, she’s been really unenthused by her pellets. I actually picked her up and put her in front of them this morning before the other one gobbled them all up. She tucked into them eventually.

I thought rabbits were pretty much always hungry, but is it possible that she’s just not a morning bun? 😂. She always eats eventually and then bounces around like normal, but some days seems to just need some easing into the day (like her mum)
 

JBun

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It sounds like she's getting an upset stomach from something. I would be looking at something that happens or food they get at night that they don't have in the morning or during the day.
 

zuppa

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Hi, can you give more details about your rabbits and their diet

Age, breed/size, how long they live with you, are they both neutered, how long are they bonded

What pellets, brand, ingredients, % of fiber and protein, how much is her (their) day portion, you only feed once a day in the mornings?

What other food and what type of hay they are getting, I understood they are not getting any fruit/sweets anymore, just a slice of a carrot like once or twice a week?
What vegetables/greens are they getting and how much, when you usually feed greens (time).
What snacks/chewing toys they get and how often/much (snacks on the sticks, stuffed logs etc)
 

HalaBuns

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It sounds like she's getting an upset stomach from something. I would be looking at something that happens or food they get at night that they don't have in the morning or during the day.
Thank you Jbun. They’ve not had any new introductions to their veggies, but I vary the vegetables and herbs that they do eat from week to week. I’ll start to keep a log of what they have eaten or events that have happened the day before each time she has an episode and see if that brings anything to light.

I did transition them onto new pellets a couple of months ago. They would go crazy for their old pellets. But they were all different colours and not hay based, so probably not good for them (and why they found them so delicious). I also don’t think I was feeding them enough when they were on the old pellets. I figured the combination of both factors could be why she seemed way more ravenous before.

On the advice of the vet, I am also moving them again to another pellet brand, but taking that extremely slowly. It’s been a bit of a minefield trying to find the right pellets here as we don’t have much choice in Dubai. Her problems started before this though.

One other thing that has just sprung to mind, is the behaviour of her buddy Kiki since the 3 of us moved house at the beginning of October. Kiki is the dominant and I have witnessed her mount Gigi’s face 3 or 4 times (I’ve separated them when I’ve seen this for safety reasons). There will no doubt have been other times when I’ve not been present too. Gigi is very submissive and they always get along just fine after and groom one another etc, but would something like that put her off her food temporarily?
 

HalaBuns

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Hi, can you give more details about your rabbits and their diet

Age, breed/size, how long they live with you, are they both neutered, how long are they bonded

What pellets, brand, ingredients, % of fiber and protein, how much is her (their) day portion, you only feed once a day in the mornings?

What other food and what type of hay they are getting, I understood they are not getting any fruit/sweets anymore, just a slice of a carrot like once or twice a week?
What vegetables/greens are they getting and how much, when you usually feed greens (time).
What snacks/chewing toys they get and how often/much (snacks on the sticks, stuffed logs etc)
Hi Zuppa

My girls are rescues, so I have no idea what breeds they are, although I would be very interested to know (happy to post pics if that helps). The lady I adopted them from found them dumped behind a car park in April, with their babies and one other bunny (who she assumes was the boy and was unable to catch unfortunately). The babies were rehomed and she fostered my two until I adopted them in June. As far as I know, they were already bonded when they were found.

Their age is also a bit of a mystery. They were both spayed in June a couple of weeks before I took them and have never shown any hormonal behaviour, if that is any indicator that they could be mature bunnies. They have always been very calm, all of my furniture is intact (famous last words), totally litter trained etc. I feel I got very lucky after reading other peoples' experiences!

They weigh around 3kg each.

As I mentioned above, I am in the process of transitioning pellets at the moment. I am moving them from Supreme Science Selective Adult Rabbit to Zupreem Natural Timothy Hay pellets (I'll take a pic of the nutritional information of both). I started 2 weeks ago and the current ratio is 50/50. They have 65-75g each, mostly in the morning but I hold a little back for a treat later in the day.

They have unlimited timothy hay and are good hay eaters. Veggies, they get romaine and boston holland leaves every day and in addition I vary baby bok choy, fennel, chicory, romaine hearts and top with either mint, dill, coriander, or parsley (the parsley is not every week). I try to avoid anything that is known to cause them gas or an upset tum. They get one bowl to share early evening after they wake up and another a bit later at night.

For treats they get a few pellets, or a few sprigs of herbs, 2 slices of carrot every few days. They also love the small Kaytee compressed timothy hay treat cubes, so they share one of those 2 or 3 times a week. I've also been giving them an Oxbow Papaya Support tablet each day. Treats are almost always in the evenings.

I give them a new willow stick or two to chew every couple of days. They also have various wooden chew toys which I switch around each week, a grass mat and a wicker play tunnel which they sometimes chew on too, but are pretty bored of to be honest. Occasional cardboard box or empty toilet roll, but they go a bit nutty for cardboard so not very often.
 
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