Can rabbits get overweight from too much hay?

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mollyisthecoolest

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My 10 month old out door rabbit has put on a noticeable amount of weight since the summer. My family say he looks bigger and his double chin has also gotten bigger. I’m not sure why and i’m trying to work out what i should be reducing safely.

I’ve increased his pellets to 1/3 cup a day and i’ve increased his veg slightly as well since i read that i should be increasing his food for the winter so he can build up a fat layer and keep warm.

He gets unlimited hay (i use it for his bedding so i’ve increased it for warmth) and i notice he does eat a lot of it so i was wondering if this could be causing him to get bigger?
Any advice would be great
 

Preitler

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I haven't really heard about that "winter fat layer" in context with rabbits. Actually, rabbits more easily build up internal fat. So I too would expect that the measures taken to fatten him up did exactly that ;), I would just go back to his previous amounts of pellets and veggies (which?).
There hays that are richer than others, like alfalfa or grass cut young, but I wouldn't cut back on normal, good grass hay. There always shpuld be more than the rabbits can eat.
About hay composition and stuff, that's more important with horses and seems to quite a science there:


How old is he, and is he neutered? The two of my 6 rabbits that are on the chunky side are my two spayed does. Could be a coincidence however since they both have some New Zealand in their line and those have a stocky body.
A dewlap is more common in females than males, but not too unusual.

To get an idea if your rabbit actually is overweight I would look at several sites to get an idea on how to check - like feeling for the spine, comparing with charts etc, and monitor his weight regularily.

Link:
 
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mollyisthecoolest

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I haven't really heard about that "winter fat layer" in context with rabbits. Actually, rabbits more easily build up internal fat. So I too would expect that the measures taken to fatten him up did exactly that ;), I would just go back to his previous amounts of pellets and veggies (which?).
There hays that are richer than others, like alfalfa or grass cut young, but I wouldn't cut back on normal, good grass hay. There always shpuld be more than the rabbits can eat.
About hay composition and stuff, that's more important with horses and seems to quite a science there:


How old is he, and is he neutered? The two of my 6 rabbits that are on the chunky side are my two spayed does. Could be a coincidence however since they both have some New Zealand in their line and those have a stocky body.
A dewlap is more common in females than males, but not too unusual.

To get an idea if your rabbit actually is overweight I would look at several sites to get an idea on how to check - like feeling for the spine, comparing with charts etc, and monitor his weight regularily.

Link:
Thank you! he’s about 10 months old and he is not neutered
 

Diane R

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No, they don't need to eat more pellets during the winter. If you're worried about his weight, cut down the pellets to 1-2 tbsp a day if he is a good hay eater. It's not the hay that is making him fat, it's the pellets.
 

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