Feeding

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Lucky_2017

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Hey guys I feel like a bit of a hypochondriac, about my rabbit as it is my first. But I don’t have a regular feeding time I just always make sure that his food bowl has food in it. He isn’t obese or overweight, so I don’t worry to much about things like that.
——————————————————Do you recommend a regular feeding time? He is a Dutch/Holland Lop and i was told he is about 18 months old.
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Second question, the pet shop I got it from, didn’t even know it’s gender, do I went about thinking Lucky was a girl for a week or so (good job I picked a unisex name). So I doubt that they will know his age, because they didn’t know his gender. Is there any way to tell a rabbits age?
 

Aki

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Depends what you call food... He is supposed to have hay at all time, renewed several times a day. But I give very few pellets on the morning and vegetables on the evening at regular times. I wouldn't leave the rabbit with pellets at all times, not only because of your rabbit's weight but because what he eats in pellets he doesn't eat in hay - your rabbit isn't a baby anymore, pellets should compose a very small part of his diet. Pellets are supplements, they don't wear down teeth or help the guts to do what they are supposed to do (rabbits' guts lack muscles to help push the waste down, which is why when long fibers are insufficient guts stop working - that kind of trouble tend to appear more the older the rabbit gets so it's important to establish a good diet early on). Moreover, very few of them are actually all that great compared to hay and vegetables...

There is no way of knowing a rabbit's age by looking at them once they are adults. I don't know where you live but in France, a petshop selling a 18 months old rabbit is very unusual. I wouldn't trust a petshop about anything.
 

lilnaugrim

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18 months is a year and a half, that's very old for a pet store to sell a rabbit at.
Do you mean 18 weeks? That's more believable. My bun was originally purchased at 12 weeks of age from a store before I rescued him from his awful parents.
 

Blue eyes

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Rabbits are considered adults at 6-7 months of age. At that age, their pellet amount should be limited to encourage plenty of hay eating. A 5-7 lb rabbit only needs about 1/4 cup of pellets each day.
 

samoth

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Regarding feeding: Mine like having set breakfast and dinner times. They're often waiting for me in their feeding spot around 7am and 7pm. (Actually, I just checked -- they're there right now waiting for me!) Rabbits tend to like structure and doing the same thing at the same time and place on a daily basis... but also appreciate new things and occasional change.

One thing I can't stress enough for you and your rabbit: HAY. It is the most important food for a rabbit, and must always be available and fresh. I refill hay areas twice a day, and dump the "old" hay (anything sitting for half a day is old to them) into their litter box so they can munch on it during bathroom time.

My Dutch had two molar spurs when I adopted her. She didn't have the best diet before I got her, and I was very worried -- rabbit dental work is VERY EXPENSIVE! She didn't care much for my timothy hay, so I tried a few others. It turns out she loves the orchard medley (orchard hay with clover) from Small Pet Select. Even though it's their most expensive hay, it's still far cheaper than dental work; plus, it's far healthier for her to have a good hay that she actually eats. And the molar spurs were gone by her next checkup!
 

Lucky_2017

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Thankyou for the advice, it’s just my rabbit ran out of hay on New Year’s Day and of course all the shops are shut then. I’m gonna go out today, and him some
 

lilnaugrim

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Yeah, for those who may not know, Rabbits chew in two ways. When they eat pellets, it's an up and down motion primarily. If they eat too many and that's mostly their diet, their teeth start to grind only in the middle. This leaves very sharp spurs on the edges which can cause wounds to their cheeks if they aren't filed down.
The second way is when they eat hay, they chew in a circle like a cow or horse does. As their teeth move round and round or side to side, the whole tooth is ground down. This is one of the reasons why hay is so important to them besides digestion. Wood blocks and pumice stones are okay for front teeth grinding (though, they can chip them as well), but it doesn't help the back teeth. So, best you can, make the hay the primary diet source, then veggies, and then pellets is how I look at it.

And yeah, he's probably 18 weeks when you bought him. I seriously doubt they'd be selling a year and a half old bunny unless through an adoption/rescue.
 

Lucky_2017

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Oh they did say that it was under special circumstances, his owners were moving abroad
 
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