How Much to Feed my Holland Lops?

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Little Lop Lover

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Hi there! I'm new to this site, and relatively new to rabbits. I had one who was an outdoor rabbit who passed away a the age of seven, she was a Netherland Dwarf named Little Bit. I can't remember what type of food that we gave her, but I do know that we gave her unlimited access to pellets, which upon reading now, is irresponsible. I feel horrible guilty that she passed away because I admitedly wasn't very attatched to her, though I shared some fun memories of her.

I've decided to get rabbits again, and am very serious about this. I have done a lot more research than I did with my Bitty Boo, and am super devoted to making sure that my bunnies will be healthy and love their life. They have a root cellar outside to themselves and a run connected to it. They'll be allowed outside for the most part of the day.

Anyway, getting to the real question, I'm getting two Holland Lop bunnies (buck and doe) come Sunday, who are between one month and two. I would really appreciate any advice on how much to feed each bunny, at what time of the day, and any recommended pellets would be marvelous! I know I am supposed to give them constant access to straw as well.

Thank you in advance! Any other tips are very much appreciated!
 

woahlookitsme

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People on here recommend sherwood forest or oxbow food. Bunnies younger than 6mos can be free fed. When they get older people recommend 1/4cup per 1lb. This is in addition to rabbit safe veggies and unlimited amount of hay.

Some people recommend giving alfalfa while their young and then transitioning to a grass hay such as orchard or timothy. We give ours a horse quality coastal.
 

ladysown

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An average sized holland lop will consume 1/2 cup pellets per day - give how ever you want.. 1/4 cup in the morning and at night, all at once or given as training treats throughout the day. This should be the base of their diet. Look for pellets that are JUST pellets.

Hay/straw can be given free choice IF that is your mind set. Many rabbits exist quite nicely never ever seeing hay.

Think like a rabbit NOT like a person when giving greens and treats. Rabbits are herbivores by design not vegetarians by choice (and yes, the distinction does matter).
 

lover4daisy

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I feed my bunny in the morning.I hear that you are to give veggies like I pile the size of thier head?? I just give mine a good ammount that I think is enough for her.
 

JBun

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You'll want to make sure to get a bag of transition feed(at least a weeks worth) from the person you are getting the bunnies from, so that you can slowly switch them over to their new food over a couple weeks, to minimize digestive upset. Baby bunnies need a plain alfalfa based pellet(preferrably without corn product in the ingredients). Also find out if and what kind of hay the bunnies are being fed, and if they will give you a bag of that, then get some to bring home, then you can mix it with whatever hay you are going to use, and give them a chance to get used to the taste of the new hay. Non grain grass hay doesn't need to be slowly introduced, but if you use alfalfa hay, it does need to be slowly introduced into the diet, as sudden introduction can cause digestive upset with some rabbits. I prefer to feed my baby bunnies twice a day, and not unlimited, but enough that they run out of pellets about 2-3 hours before the next feeding. I feed grass hay, but you can also feed alfalfa. If you do feed alfalfa, I would suggest also feeding a little grass hay too, as alfalfa can make them a little picky about their hay sometimes, and can make it hard to switch them to grass hay when they are full grown. It's best to wait til they are at least 12 weeks old before slowly introducing veggies. You start with one at a time and gradually increase the amount as long as there isn't digestive upset and soft poops. Watch for cruciferous veggies causing any digestive upset, as they can with some rabbits.

When full grown, you will switch to a grass hay and still feed unlimited, and reduce pellet amounts to approximately 1/4-1/2 cup pellets, per day, for every 6 lbs body weight. How much you end up feeding just depends on your rabbits. If they are chubby on 1/2 per 6 lb, then you would decrease the amount. If they are skinny on 1/4 cup you would increase the amount. You basically need to feed them as much as they need to stay at a healthy weight so they aren't boney at all. Diet isn't always exact with rabbits, so you just start out with the basics, but if you notice any digestive problems, like mushy poops or smaller than usual irregular shaped fecal poops, then you will need to change the diet a little, to correct any problems.

I don't know if you plan on keeping the bunnies together, but when they are around 12 weeks old, you will need to separate them, if you have a boy and girl, so she doesn't get pregnant. Then when they are about 4-6 mo.old, you can get them spayed/neutered, or keep separate if you don't plan on getting them fixed.

http://www.3bunnies.org/feeding.htm
http://rabbit.org/category/care/diet/
 
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