Can baby buns have coastal hay?

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Morgan
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I have a whole bale of coastal hay that I now can't use.

Can baby bunnies eat coastal or do they need the alfalfa/timothy?

She is on mostly timothy right now with a small handful or two of alfalfa a day.
So if she could have the coastal then it wouldn't be wasted, if she can't have it then someone can come get it.
 

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Morgan
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I'm about to order her some of the sherwood forest baby pellets. Those have a high protein content right? She is about 5 weeks old, weaned too early and came from a pet store, so wasn't properly fed.
Right now, she eats almost nothing but hay. She only gets about 8-10 pellets at a time so she gets some extra stuff other than just hay. Since she can't have greens or anything like that. Once she gets the sherwood I'll be able to wean her ONto them properly.

I'm only giving her the limited amount of pellets, because I don't want to shock her tummy with pellets. Plus, they're adult and kaytee forti-diet pellets, so not great.
 

LakeCondo

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Yes, it's basically nutritionally the same as any grass hay, including timothy. Alfalfa is the one different kind of hay. That's as long as it's of equal quality,of course.
 

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Its a good quality coastal.

Should I mix it in with her hay now? To like build her up to it? So she'll get timothy(until the bag runs out, which is a few days from now) coastal and a few handfuls of alfalfa a day. Is that too much of a variety for a baby, or is it okay?
 

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And would 12 lbs of sherwood forest baby pellets be too much? How long do they eat alfalfa pellets?
Ahhh...I'm sorry, I'm new to babies and I can't think straight right now. I'm totally distraught and I can't make her diet make sense in my head and I want to make sure she gets everything she needs.
 

missyscove

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Coastal hay is a grass hay like timothy which means they're basically nutritionally equivalent. The kaytee forti-diet pellets aren't bad; they were my fallback pellets when I ran out of oxbow before my order came in.
I've never used the sherwood pellets (I've also never had a young rabbit). Generally the diet switch should happen somewhere between 6 months and 1 year of age, depending on mature size, etc.
 

JBun

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Coastal hay would be fine to feed her, just another grass. You may want to give her small amounts for the first few days, just to make sure there are no digestive issues with it. It doesn't hurt to give them a variety. I'm feeding my babies(I guess they're considered juniors now) a mix of alfalfa, timothy, and another grass hay that I think is coastal. Variety for rabbits is actually good too, as it helps with the wearing down of their teeth.

Sherwood recommends switching babies to the adult food at 12 weeks. If Ellie really is 8 weeks and just small for her age, if you haven't already ordered the food yet, you could probably get away with just starting her out on the maintenance/show pellets, then you wouldln't have to do a transition in a few weeks, from the baby pellets to the adult. The adult pellets are a mix of timothy and alfalfa and have 14% protein which is only 1% less than the baby pellets, so she would still be getting plenty of protein, plus you are feeding her a little alfalfa hay which will give her some added protein. As long as she seems healthy and is gaining a bunch of weight each week, then you are doing just fine. The recommendations on what to feed aren't an exact science and sometimes require a little tweeking along the way. Like, it's recommended to feed unlimited alfalfa pellets for rabbits under 6 mo., but I've found that some of my babies had poopy bum problems with unlimited pellets, so now they get limited pellets and have done much better with that. Unfortunately it can come down to a little trial and error with rabbits, and just trying your best.
 

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Thanks everyone. I was a little frantic last night. lol

I think I've figured it out. I'm going to get the sherwood forest maintenance and show for Ellie. Since I'll have to switch her from the baby food soon enough. The difference in the baby food and m/s is minimal. I'll just order her a big box.

With the hay, I'm really glad she can eat it. I'll start to give her some today, just a tiny bit and see if there is any issue. I'll give the same amount for a few days then start to give more and more, because I'm almost out of timothy so I would like to have her switched to coastal before the timothy runs out. Still with handfuls of alfalfa mixed in with the hay. Is that the right way to go about it? I don't want to mess her tummy up. When the sherwood gets here, I'll wait until I'm done switching hay to introduce the new food. I know that seems a little overly cautious, but I feel like if they develop tummy troubles as babies, they stay with them for life. I really don't want to have a bun with dietary restrictions, I want her to be able to enjoy all foods and hays.

I didn't know if they could have the hay variety like an adult could. I've never had to look up a baby diet because I've never really had a baby. Foo had such a variety of hay, I just didn't know Ellie could have the same variety. I'm glad she can, Foo really loved her hay and I think Ellie will too. She eats so much hay right now.

I probably won't give truly unlimited pellets, I'll figure out a nice balance with the pellets, once she's weaned onto them.

Thanks again everyone. Sometimes I just freak out a little.
 

MyBabyHasPaws

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When you feed Sherwood you should free feed, since thats how the pellets were designed. If she is 8 weeks then I would think you're fine with what you ordered and when you see you're getting a bit low (not extreamly low) order the regular pellets for show/maintenence and just start to mix them in. You'll be fine :)
 

JBun

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They do recommend free feeding those pellets, but I wouldn't do it. I think all pellet manufacturers want you to free feed cause then you have to buy more of their pellets, but it's not usually good for the rabbit. Plus they need the hay to keep their teeth worn down and the fiber from it to stay healthy, and they don't usually eat enough hay on a free fed pellet diet.
 

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I didn't know if they could have the hay variety like an adult could. I've never had to look up a baby diet because I've never really had a baby. Foo had such a variety of hay, I just didn't know Ellie could have the same variety. I'm glad she can, Foo really loved her hay and I think Ellie will too. She eats so much hay right now.

I probably won't give truly unlimited pellets, I'll figure out a nice balance with the pellets, once she's weaned onto them.

Thanks again everyone. Sometimes I just freak out a little.

I've tried to give mine a variety of hay all along (though they're picky little buttheads about it); the only thing that was ever a problem was a very abrupt switch from timothy to alfalfa at 8 weeks old, and only for Gazzles. supplementing the alfalfa with grass hays is just fine for babies.

as far as "unlimited pellets" go, I'd give 1/2 cup twice a day (less if she's not eating them all). bunnies seem to do a TON of growing very, very quickly until around 12-13 weeks old and then it slows down a bit - mine were gaining an ounce a day each for a while!

after 12-13 weeks, veggies get added to the diet and growth slows - you can scale back to 1/3c twice a day and by 5 mos be down to about 1/4c twice a day. by 6-7 mos, I had mine down to 3/8c total per rabbit per day and at 7 mos, I'm currently taking them down to 1/4c total per rabbit per day (their adult ration). after 7 mos, she should be done growing and you can gradually transition over to a pellet-free diet like Foo had.

They do recommend free feeding those pellets, but I wouldn't do it. I think all pellet manufacturers want you to free feed cause then you have to buy more of their pellets, but it's not usually good for the rabbit. Plus they need the hay to keep their teeth worn down and the fiber from it to stay healthy, and they don't usually eat enough hay on a free fed pellet diet.

:yeahthat: I feed the adult sherwood pellet and mine get the amount limited as per HRS guidelines with lots of veggies and hay. free-feeding = more pellet sales. while sherwood does have very high fiber and is probably a complete diet from a nutritional perspective even without hay and veggies, variety is good for them and hay and veggies benefit their teeth. plus, pellets are so easy to nom and provide such concentrated calories for an animal that loves to munch 24/7 that free-feeding can lead to weight issues.
 

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I was talking to a breeder friend of mine yesterday. We go to talking about feeding rabbits. She said that baby rabbits should NOT be fed alfalfa. She said that it is bad on their tummies. She said that baby rabbits do not need higher protein in their diets. They get that from their mothers milk. She has raised thousands of rabbits over the last 12 years on nothing but alfalfa pellets and grass hay. She grows her on local hay (can not even pronounce what it is called). She goes through 300lbs of pellets a week (she has over 200 rabbits and is one of the top breeders in the country). She has never led me wrong with any advice (about anything) so I trust her her completely. I also raised hundreds of rabbits over a period of 4 years on nothing but alfalfa pellets and timothy hay. So that is all that I would feed the rabbit if I were you.
 

whitelop

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I just ordered sherwood forest M/S food. Its alfalfa based with timothy thrown in. She gets mostly timothy hay with a handful of alfalfa twice a day, because she only gets a few pellets at a time. I haven't gotten the sherwood yet, so she's eating the kaytee forti-diet I have.
 

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