Feeding bunny veggies throughout the day?

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lilac

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Hello!
I am getting my first bunny this week (I'm really excited!) and have her meals planned out - 1/2 cup veggies and a little pellets in the morning, and the same in the evening, with hay accessible throughout the day. However, I live with 2 sisters and my mom wants to be able to feed the rabbit some vegetables throughout the day, when I will be at school. (scraps from meal prep) I didn't really like that idea, just because I don't know how many and which veggies she will be getting, and I'm concerned that she might get too many/the wrong veggies and get a bit sick.
Should I be worried about that? And is it unreasonable to not allow my family to feed my bunny a bit of vegetables when I'm away? Assuming she is being fed safe veggies, is it okay for my family to feed some vegetables to my bunny while I'm away?
I was also thinking of measuring out the day's pellets in a container and allowing people to feed her what was in the container throughout the day. Is that okay as well?

Thanks! :)
 

zuppa

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Where she comes from and what is her diet now, what is her age? You should ask many questions and keep her diet same for the first few weeks at least. If her diet is completely bad you can change it but normally you should follow advise of her owner.
Depending on her age as well so how old is she?
 

lilac

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She's from a very nice, reputable breeder and she is on a pellet-free diet. (I will be mostly using pellets as treats, and I will be gradually introducing them after a while) And she is coming to us 8 weeks old :)
 

zuppa

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Do you know what is her diet then? What hay, she must be on alfalfa diet then? I usually feed babies high protein pellets unlimited until 4 months, then reducing pellets to 40 gram a day, they are on normal grass hay since birth (start nibbling on it from 3rd week), I don't feed alfalfa hay. With greens/vegetables, usually bbies start getting them from 4-6 months and introducing one type at a time and in small amounts, it's not like feeding scraps from your table because you don't like to waste, that would be very unhealthy diet I believe.

But here are people feeding only fresh gasses and vegs/greens without pellets so maybe you will get comments from them. Also I know here are some breeders who don't feed greens/vegs at all, there are breeders who only feed commercial pellets with no hay, so they could probably comment as well. I think my diet is good and healthy and I see no need in changing it to more vegs. There can be more opinions on that of course I will follow this thread to learn more
 

John Wick

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If they are veggies your rabbit is already accustomed to, it shouldn't be a problem, though I would wait until she is older to do a veggie-involved diet. That being said, being fed veggies throughout the day may heavily dissuade your rabbit from eating hay throughout the day, and hay is the #1 most important thing your rabbit should be eating, at the largest quantity (~80% of all food eaten in the day). It is always good to instill good hay/grass eating habits, as if the rabbit becomes accustomed to not eating hay, dental and GI health maintenance will be more difficult.
 

NYAngela

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She's from a very nice, reputable breeder and she is on a pellet-free diet. (I will be mostly using pellets as treats, and I will be gradually introducing them after a while) And she is coming to us 8 weeks old :)
My vet advised to not introduce veggies until he was 4mos and very sparingly. For example he might get just a few small leaves of Romain Lettuce (no more than what fits in the palm of my hand) in the am & pm. We use his pellets as treats. I would check with your vet as I’m sure opinions/advice may differ and amounts might vary based on size, my boy is a 2lb dwarf. She indicated to me that overdoing the veggies/fruits could cause stomach problems especially those prone to GI Stasis.
 

lilac

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The breeder said her rabbits are used to eating veggies already, but I'll have to look into this a bit more :)
 

lilac

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Romaine lettuce, kale, bok choy, and herbs like oregano and basil. The breeder feeds a wide variety of vegetables.
She didn't say whether the bunnies were still on their mother's milk but as they are nearly 8 weeks I doubt they are. Do you mean pics of the bunny?
 

zuppa

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Romaine lettuce, kale, bok choy, and herbs like oregano and basil. The breeder feeds a wide variety of vegetables.
She didn't say whether the bunnies were still on their mother's milk but as they are nearly 8 weeks I doubt they are. Do you mean pics of the bunny?
Yes if you have some that would be nice to see her. Babies usually on mother's milk until 8 weeks, sometimes even longer, but sometimes they can be weaned earlier, if mother has an unexpected litter for instance and has to nurse two litters the older babies are weaned earlier.

This is interesting, how they survive on just timothy and vegs when they need so much stuff for growing. Do you know if mother had milk and if there's more younger babies around?
I feel she could be underweight I would be happy to mistake on that but at that age babies are just always hungry it is hard for me to imagine that they only eat grass hay and lettuces, kale and basil and happy with that.
 

lilac

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I sent you a pm with some info :)
I will also add some photos on Thursday as I do not have any of my own photos yet.

Mother had milk, and this is their mom's only litter at the time. Maybe they're still nursing- that's my problem, I assumed they stopped having mom milk earlier than 8 weeks.
 
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zuppa

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Got your messages and replied. As per conversation I would suggest when you bring her home on Thursday take pics, weight her, and post here, also hoping that some professional breeders will give you their opinions as well, I know some feed mostly fresh food and very little pellets so maybe they can share thoughts on how to transfer her to her new diet. From pics you've sent me I think she is underweight and weak, as I said first few days you feed exactly what she had at breeder and then probably start adding rolled oats to her diet very carefully, and watch how's her poos, then get good junior pellets and start from just 1-2 pellets then increase that amount, I don't want to recommend too much since I don't know if she is still on mother's milk or not and how she will react to the changes.

In my opinion getting her as your first rabbit will be a challenge, you have no experience so just be really careful about changes, I would say definitely ask your family do not feed her anything additionally, keep her diet very simple and be responsible for it, don't let your family feed her scraps.

Hoping that @SableSteel @majorv @Preitler @JBun and other people with real experience raising babies and underdeveloped babies will see your thread and comment as well.

Good luck anyways, keep us updated
 

lilac

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To anyone seeing this, it turns out the breeder isn't feeding her buns a proper diet and they are underdeveloped and weak. I will still be getting the bun (this Thursday) and once I get her I will post a thread with photos, her weight and more info :) Hopefully some experienced people with add in.
 

Preitler

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Small rabbit breeds don't really need pellets, or alfalfa. Or even vegetables if diverse forage is fed. All those pellet brands and formulations is mostly clever marketing, a spinoff from meat and fur production - they are not bad, but not really necessary.
Not getting the max. growth rate is not "underdevelopment", unless your goal is to get to butchering weight asap. Healthy rabbits are rather lean. Mine are in the 10lbs range, and I feed 90% forage, offer hay that gets mostly ignored, and pellets at treat level, except for nursing does. Normally the kits aren't weaned at 8 weeks, but somewhen between 8 and 16 weeks the doe has enough of that and quits, 8 weeks is the min. recommended time to nurse although in a pinch it can be done at 4 weeks.

I would not make too drastic changes in diet now, weaning puts their system at stress anyway. Kits can eat everything their dam does.

What is propagated and repeated all over is most of all a convinient proper diet that pet owners can handle easily, that doesn't mean that there aren't equally good, or depending on circumstances better ways to feed rabbits.

Only did a glimps at the breeders site, raising pet rabbits like this sounds pretty ideal to me.
 

JBun

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If the bunny has grown up with it's mom, used to eating a variety of veggies, then I can't see you continuing to feed those greens and veggies being a problem. Though if you do introduce any new veggies that the bunny hasn't ever had before, especially high starch ones like carrot, then those should be introduced into the diet one at a time and starting first with a small amount before gradually increasing if it doesn't cause digestive upset.

I personally would not add oats. I've had oats cause mushy poop in sensitive rabbits. It's a high carb food and can lead to an upset of the microflora in the gut, particularly in a newly weaned bunny that may be stressed coming to a new home.

I would stick with the same diet it's used to for the first several days to a week. You could probably feed a few pellets a day as a treat, then after that first week gradually increase the amount of pellets. But you don't want to over do it and primarily stick to the foods the bunny is used to eating.

Like Preitler said, your bunny could still be healthy on this diet, but is lean. Basically your bun will just gain weight more gradually and will reach full weight more slowly than other bunnies that are on a high protein/pellet diet.

If you want to change the diet, I would at least give the bunny a week or two on it's same diet, to settle in. If after a week the baby isn't at all stressed being in a new home, then it may be ok to make gradual changes. But if the bunny is still nervous or stressed after a week, making diet changes with a stressed rabbit is never a good idea unless absolutely necessary due to health issues.

 

lilac

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Okay, thanks! That makes it sound a lot easier :)
 

lilac

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I'm going to tractor supply to get these pellets today. Is there any other brand of pellets at tractor supply that could be better?
 

Mariam+Theo

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I'm going to tractor supply to get these pellets today. Is there any other brand of pellets at tractor supply that could be better?
That brand is perfect! It is one of the best rabbit food brands in the US and by far the best brand you could get from tractor supply.
I hope your bunny gets better ❤
 

JBun

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Those are perfect. The only other high quality options would be online, like sherwood or science select. But those oxbow ones are really good too.
 

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