Fussy bunnies

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by whiskylollipop, Jun 5, 2013.

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  1. Jun 5, 2013 #1

    whiskylollipop

    whiskylollipop

    whiskylollipop

    Laura the Bunsnuggler

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    I'm curious, does anyone here have to sit with their bun while he/she eats? Merlin won't eat his pellets unless I'm sitting down with him - if I put them down and walk away, he'll take a disdainful sniff and come bobbing after me begging for something tastier. He's not too keen on the taste of Oxbow! The only way I can get him to eat them is if I'm petting him and repeatedly directing pellets towards his general mouth area. He's like me when I was young, a scrawny wee thing with far better things to do than eat my dinners.

    Doesn't help that his piggy sister Rose keeps trying to poach all his pellets the second he leaves them. She has a remarkable sixth sense for food.

    Anyone else have to "force feed" their bunny this way?
     
  2. Jun 6, 2013 #2

    whiskylollipop

    whiskylollipop

    whiskylollipop

    Laura the Bunsnuggler

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    On a more serious note, he is really very thin. I can feel his spine and all, very clearly. He's extremely active and doesn't seem to have much appetite for hay or pellets, so I'm at a loss as to what to do to help him gain weight. He'll eat, but if something distracts him he'll just forget about needing sustenance. Greens and fruit are the only things he'll eat happily. I considered getting supermarket rabbit food to see if he likes them better than Oxbow, but the kinds they have here are truly ****ty, of the 17% protein and 11% fibre variety, full of corn and seeds. I want him to have a long healthy life! Even if I have to drive 45 minutes to score a pack of Oxbow.

    Basically I'm hoping someone will tell me he's fine and healthy the way he is. Should I just accept that he'll forever be one of those "skinny bunnies" (like how some people are naturally skinny and can't gain weight)? He's a preteen bun, so... lanky awkward stage maybe? He's so special to me, I just don't want to wake up one day to find he died of malnutrition.
     
  3. Jun 6, 2013 #3

    Tauntz

    Tauntz

    Tauntz

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    I still consider myself new to bunnies but if it were me I would call my bunny vet and talk to him/her. Perhaps some of our more experienced bunny owners can give you better advice but whenever I get concerned about one of my animals I call our vet & seek their advice. Often without having to bring them in unless the vet considers it serious & needs to check them. I'm sure our more experienced members will be here soon to offer their wonderful advice. This forum & its members have been a big help to me with their advice as a first time bunny mom! Hope all is or will be well with your little guy.
     
  4. Jun 6, 2013 #4

    ladysown

    ladysown

    ladysown

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    Have you given his teeth a thorough check over?

    He may need a higher protein percentage and if you are feeding hay you don't need to worry on the fibre amount. But seriously, if he's that boney get him checked out.

    I'm assuming you are actually feeding him enough?
     
  5. Jun 6, 2013 #5

    Azerane

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    Azerane

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    I would get the teeth checked, also if hes not a fan of his hay or pellets, I might try buying a different brand of hay to see if he simply doesnt like that one, the same with the pellets. Otherwise its possible he could have worms, but usually an animal with parasites will eat quite well and it sounds like your bin isn't. Bit there could be an underlying cause.
     
  6. Jun 6, 2013 #6

    whiskylollipop

    whiskylollipop

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    Laura the Bunsnuggler

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    I actually feed both of them nearly twice the Oxbow recommended amounts, because they're very active buns and in my opinion, slim for lops. Merlin is especially boney though. I can't get him to stay still enough to check his teeth, but he seems to eat without pain or difficulty. He'll wolf down four or five pellets, sniff the rest and then decide it's more fun trying to catch my skirt hems or something. He gets through the rest of his pellets rather distractedly, only if I pointedly put them right under his mouth. But he gets through them eventually.

    He'll also eat hay just fine (I spy on him), but only if there's absolutely nothing else to look at or nobody around to beg for head scritches. And he gobbles down his daily parsley sprig like nobody's business. It just seems to me like a lack of interest in eating boring ol' healthy pellets, kinda like if you fed a kid only health food every day.

    Do you really think it's something serious?
     
  7. Jun 6, 2013 #7

    sparkly

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    as a vet nurse said to me, if they won't eat what you want, main thing is that they eat. if i were you, since he is so bony, i would take him to a vet. and i would feed him what he would like. we don't have oxbow in australia pretty much(my vet has the critical care though) and i never hear it on the news that that is a problem.
     
  8. Jun 6, 2013 #8

    JBun

    JBun

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    Is his poop and pee ok? No sludge, no soft poops? Also, how old is he and what kind of hay and pellets is he getting(alfalfa or grass based)?
     
  9. Jun 6, 2013 #9

    TinksMama

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    Do you happen to know how much he weighs? This would greatly help me properly answer your question. If you dont, Do you have a bathroom scale? You can weigh Merlin by weighing yourself then weigh yourself while you are holding him, and subtract the difference.

    When I wanted to put extra weight on my buns, I fed them a small handful of old fashioned oats, extra greens, and tons of hay. What kind of hay do you feed? Mine were very picky with their hay, and would only eat Grass Hay. I know it sounds silly, but I guess rabbits have preferences too. Lol As far as food, have you ever tried Sherwood Forest brand? I've never used it personally but I've heard lots of good things about it, it's also corn and soy free. :)
     
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  10. Jun 6, 2013 #10

    sparkly

    sparkly

    sparkly

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    that isnt silly, tinks, it's true. i also feed oats and the odd bit of mueslli, anything to get them interested.
     
  11. Jun 6, 2013 #11

    whiskylollipop

    whiskylollipop

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    Laura the Bunsnuggler

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    His pees are fairly clear, no sludge. His poops are solid and round but a bit small (I've made a thread about this some time back), they seem to vary in size based on how much he eats - if I get him to eat more one day, he poops nice and big in the evening. If I don't have the time to make sure he buckles down and finishes his food, then he has tiny poops the next day.

    He's 3 months old, minilop mix, I don't have scales but I would estimate he weighs about 1.5lbs. He's a runt, so he's small-framed. His sister is about 20% bigger than him and would weigh well over 2lbs. Here's a pic of Merlin:

    [​IMG]

    Keep in mind he's quite fluffy. He feels boney beneath it. I can't get alfalfa hay here in lil New Zealand, so I feed them unlimited ryegrass hay with plantain and some other grasses in it. Pellets are alfalfa Oxbow and sometimes if I'm desperate to get him to eat more, I bring out some timothy Oxbow, which he seems to like better.

    You guys figure I should get the supermarket stuff then, see if he'll go for that? They sell the stuff in 5kg bags, so I'm just worried it'd go to waste if he doesn't.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  12. Jun 6, 2013 #12

    Azerane

    Azerane

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    I should think you should be able to get a smaller than 5kg bag from somewhere. Usually places sell bags of 1/2 -2kg, at least that I've seen over here. I suppose the other option is to cut him off from greens for a bit, considering he's only 3 months old, he really should be getting unlimited pellets and since you say he's not eating too much, that could be what it is. Otherwise, there might be something going on internally that isn't upsetting him, but may be limiting his hunger or nutrient uptake etc.
     
  13. Jun 6, 2013 #13

    Bunnylova4eva

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    Ripley was like this until a few weeks after he was neutered. From the time he was a baby until then, he never cared. Now though, he'll do literally anything for food-learning new tricks and things all the time because he wants to find some way to get extra food.
     
  14. Jun 6, 2013 #14

    whitelop

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    whitelop

    Morgan

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    Ellie was a little thin when she was younger, then I changed her food and now she's put all the weight back on. She was also an incredibly active baby bunny. But she still only weighs about 2 lbs being fully grown.

    I think you should take him to the vet though, seriously. If hes bone thin then there is something going on, either with his teeth or something else. I think it could be teeth because you say he eats a few pellets then he stops, maybe it hurts.

    I also think that you should get some of the supermarket food. I know it isn't great, but its better than him starving to death. Most rabbits like the more junkie foods because they have molasses in them and all rabbits have a huge sweet tooth. Just try to find something that doesn't have the seeds and stuff in it. If you can't find anything without the seeds and other stuff, then you'll have to pick all the seeds out! You could also try a pinch or two of steel cut oats/old fashioned oats that could help, but just a little pinch at a time.

    I hope you get it figured out though!
     
  15. Jun 6, 2013 #15

    TinksMama

    TinksMama

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    1.5lbs is quite small for a 3month old ML. I would definitely give him some extra things like the ones I mentioned earlier, however I would not feed the junky type foods. At this point he needs good quality food, and should maybe cut down on exercise until he starts gaining weight. You want him to gain weight by eating good foodstuffs, not by eating a bunch of extra sugary junk food.

    If you are really worried about him, I think a trip to the vet would be a good idea. Also keep in mind YOU are best able to judge the situation, because he is your bunny, so go with your gut and do what you think is best. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  16. Jun 7, 2013 #16

    whiskylollipop

    whiskylollipop

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    Laura the Bunsnuggler

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    What weight should I aim for? Is his sister being maybe 2.2-2.4lbs a good weight? She's physically longer than him, still quite slim though.
     
  17. Jun 7, 2013 #17

    TinksMama

    TinksMama

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    He should be at least 2lbs, preferably closer to 2.4lbs.
     

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