Bonded pair - different diets?

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by beanilika, Oct 15, 2019.

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  1. Oct 15, 2019 #1

    beanilika

    beanilika

    beanilika

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    I'm new to bunny ownership but just adopted 2 cuties on Friday!

    Since they're still young (estimated age around 4-5 months), on the advice of the shelter vet, I'm continuing with unlimited hay and pellets, and beginning to introduce some veggies. Right now the veggies are just in very small portions as treats, but I'm going to move towards them being most of their diet eventually.

    Anyways, Strudel LOVES every taste of a fruit or veggie I've given them - romaine, carrot, bell pepper, apple, and banana* - but Cricket won't touch any of them. Any suggestions on how to get Cricket to try vegetables, when they share a living space? Or do I just need to wait and keep trying until they're more settled in? They seem really comfortable already, asking me for pets and exploring and playing with toys, but Cricket is a little skittish about being held. (They currently live in my guest bathroom but when they get good at using the litter box, they'll stay in an x pen in my kitchen while I'm at work and free-roam my apartment when I'm home.)

    I can also imagine, based on their behavior I've seen so far, once I start reducing pellets, that one or the other might eat most of the food. I don't work from home, so I can't sit there all day and see who is eating what exactly, and I wouldn't want to separate them all day while I'm at work in order to make sure they're each eating what they're supposed to.

    Thanks for any suggestions or tips you experienced bunny-owners can offer!

    *The reason I was trying so many things in just a couple days I've had them home is that I had to give them their post-neuter medicine and was trying to find something Cricket liked to make him ok taking the medicine, but couldn't find one.
     
  2. Oct 15, 2019 #2

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    Hi and welcome to the forum!

    How long has been since their neuter? Is Cricket still getting meds?

    When it comes to greens, you are right to note that it isn't advised to try multiple things in such a short time.The reason is that if a rabbit doesn't do well with a particular one, you won't know which one caused the problem.

    So now that you are preparing to begin introducing greens, be sure to use only one type at a time for several days in a row. So if you offer cilantro (for example) offer bits at a time. If there are no change in poos, then you can increase the amount each day - always checking for any changes. If Cricket refuses it, keep offering it any way while you are giving it to Strudel. Some rabbits require multiple introductions before braving something new. Seeing the other rabbit eat it can also encourage him.

    Go through the same process with each new type of green. On that subject, think more in terms of "greens" than "veggies" or fruits. Green leafy stuff is what you want to focus on. Fruits are only a treat and should be severely limited. In fact, I wouldn't offer fruits (except if needed for meds) until bunny is already used to and receiving a variety of daily greens. Carrots also fall into the category of treats because of their high sugar content.

    As for limiting pellets, I doubt you need to worry. Since pellets are limited so much once they are 6 months of age, they tend to eat their portion all at once. There will not be any pellets sitting in a bowl all day. I feed my pellets at night to get them back in their cage. They eat them within a couple minutes and are done. There won't be any need to separate the rabbits during the day. They will have their unlimited hay during the day. That is all they need.

    Even when they get their daily greens, they'll likely eat them then and there. They can be fed all at once or the portions divided for twice daily.

    I'm not quite seeing the logic of getting them used to the bathroom and then moving them into an ex-pen in the kitchen later. This could be upsetting for them as they are basically having to move again and then get used to all new sights, sounds, & smells. Also, when they move, they will likely feel the need to mark their new territory anyway and then get used to the litter box in a new location.

    It might make more sense to let them in the kitchen from the start.

    When they are sufficiently litter trained in the kitchen, it's also a good idea to limit their free roaming initially. Giving them too much space too soon can cause setbacks or potty accidents. It is much more difficult to correct mistakes than to prevent them in the first place. Best is to limit roaming and then expand gradually as they do well with the training.

    Not sure if you've had time to browse around the site here much or seen litter box set ups. A setup can determine how quickly they train. Many here on RO use wood pellets (not shavings) topped with hay. It works great for odor control and is cheap. You may already do this, but thought I'd mention it just in case.
     

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