How to get my rabbit to lose weight??

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TheSketchyBunnies

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My rabbit is about 6-7 months old and she is a little overweight. On the scale shown below she is about a 4. She is definitely not a five. But she doesn’t have a dewlap.

I feed her unlimited bermuda hay, and sometimes as treats 1-2 tbsp of pellets. Other then that she gets her romain lettuce and I started introducing a little bit of kale today. How do I get her to lose weight if she can eat all of the hay that she wants?

Thanks so much! -Kaylor

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Apollo’s Slave

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Have her exercise more. You could scatter her veggies around so that she gets stimulation and hops around as she eats. You could make a maze with cardboard boxes! Fun interactive toys will make her move more. You could train her to do tricks too!
 

Blue eyes

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Hay will not cause weight gain (if it is a grass hay). Only alfalfa hay will do that.

If she is not getting pellets as part of her daily diet, then she really should be getting a wide variety of greens to ensure she gets all the nutrients she needs. Feeding a small amount of pellets daily serves to ensure she is getting the minerals, etc that make up a healthy diet.

If one goes pellet-free (or nearly pellet free) then that lack should be made up with multiple different types of greens.

Slowly introducing new types one at a time (like you are planning with kale) is how to work up to that variety.

She doesn't sound to be eating very much -- at least not enough to make her overweight. Perhaps she does just need more exercise???

Just FYI (not sure calorie counting counts so much with rabbits) but romaine and kale have twice the calorie amount of red leaf lettuce or green leaf lettuce, or cilantro or basil.
 

TheSketchyBunnies

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Thank y’all so much!! That is sooo helpful! I will be making more time & effort into getting her more active! I will be buying more pellets soon! (Because we don’t have red leaf lettuce & such at stores near us..) How much pellets should I give her per pound that she weighs?
 

Mariam+Theo

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What breed is she? How much does she weigh? This is how you can figure out how much she weighs: https://www.wikihow.com/Weigh-a-Rabbit-without-the-Correct-Scale. I give Theo 2 Tbs of pellets per day because he is a little overweight (he is a 3.5). Rabbits should get 1/4 cup of pellets for every 5 lbs.
Here is a link to the pellets I get: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/producers-pride-rabbit-feed-50-lb?cm_vc=-10005. I don't know how healthy they are, but a rabbit rescue that is registered with HRS uses them so I thought they were good.
 

Blue eyes

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I got Mazuri rabbit pellets last time I bought pellets and I want to get some pellets in bulk so I save money. Is this brand okay? Also what kinds do you guys buy for your rabbits? (Just trying to find the healthiest option!) :)

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/manna-pro-select-series-pro-formula-rabbit-feed-25-lb?cm_vc=-10005
No. Not those pellets. They will make her gain weight. Those are for breeding rabbits which need more protein because they are breeding. Fixed rabbits should have no more than 12-14% protein (closer to 12% would be better).

Even "expensive" pellets don't cost much if you are only feeding 1/4 c. per day (correct amount for a 5-7 lb rabbit). I figured one time that even buying the "pricier" pellets should end up being just $5/month. Don't skimp on quality of pellets. It won't save any significant amount of money.

Check here for a number of decent options. Those are in the 12-14% protein range. In your case, I'd lean toward the 12% since you are trying to watch her weight.
 

Blue eyes

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Here is a link to the pellets I get: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/producers-pride-rabbit-feed-50-lb?cm_vc=-10005. I don't know how healthy they are, but a rabbit rescue that is registered with HRS uses them so I thought they were good.
These are also higher protein (15%). If your rabbit is overweight, you might also want to find a pellet feed with lower protein. The higher protein would potentially be recommended for sickly rabbits or stressed rabbits. That is why a rescue might use them -- in addition to the fact that they are extremely inexpensive.;)
 
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Apollo’s Slave

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I got Mazuri rabbit pellets last time I bought pellets and I want to get some pellets in bulk so I save money. Is this brand okay? Also what kinds do you guys buy for your rabbits? (Just trying to find the healthiest option!) :)

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/manna-pro-select-series-pro-formula-rabbit-feed-25-lb?cm_vc=-10005
I think these are alfalfa based pellets (which is good for baby bunnies or breeding bunnies).
But at about 7months those will make her gain weight. Timothy hay based pellets are ideal (I get my usual ones from small pet select but they’re are many good ones).
Personally, I don’t use a lot of pellets, maybe 1-2 teaspoon a day.
I think the guideline is about 1/4 cup of pellets per 6lb.
 

Apollo’s Slave

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I got Mazuri rabbit pellets last time I bought pellets and I want to get some pellets in bulk so I save money. Is this brand okay? Also what kinds do you guys buy for your rabbits? (Just trying to find the healthiest option!) :)

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/manna-pro-select-series-pro-formula-rabbit-feed-25-lb?cm_vc=-10005
Also if you want to buy in bulk, smallpetselect has 50lb bags for £85 (which according to @Blue eyes calculations) A 50lb bag should last about 2 and a half years, although i don’t know how many bunnies blue eyes has, which is about £2.80 a month (I think...) which is great! I’m not sure when pellets go off though... :confused:

Also, I live in England and I can only find oxbow online (as I just checked). A 10lb of Oxbow adult rabbit food costs £11 online which is also very cheap -not on the oxbow website

A 10kg (23lb) bag of Science selective adult rabbit food costs £23

Definitely read the website blue eyes linked to: it answers most of your questions!
 
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Blue eyes

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Also if you want to buy in bulk, smallpetselect has 50lb bags for £85 (which according to @Blue eyes calculations) A 50lb bag should last about 2 and a half years, although i don’t know how many bunnies blue eyes has, which is about £2.80 a month (I think...) which is great! I’m not sure when pellets go off though... :confused:
I should have clarified - thanks! Those are calculations per rabbit.

When I bought 50 lb bags, I would divide the pellets into 1 gallon bags and place them in the refrig to keep them fresh. Then I'd just take out 1 bag at a time. Of course one probably needs a spare refrig for this.
 

Apollo’s Slave

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I should have clarified - thanks! Those are calculations per rabbit.

When I bought 50 lb bags, I would divide the pellets into 1 gallon bags and place them in the refrig to keep them fresh. Then I'd just take out 1 bag at a time. Of course one probably needs a spare refrig for this.
That’s so cool! I’m going to have to do that! I generally get the 10lb bags!!!
 

TheSketchyBunnies

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What breed is she? How much does she weigh? This is how you can figure out how much she weighs: https://www.wikihow.com/Weigh-a-Rabbit-without-the-Correct-Scale. I give Theo 2 Tbs of pellets per day because he is a little overweight (he is a 3.5). Rabbits should get 1/4 cup of pellets for every 5 lbs.
Here is a link to the pellets I get: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/producers-pride-rabbit-feed-50-lb?cm_vc=-10005. I don't know how healthy they are, but a rabbit rescue that is registered with HRS uses them so I thought they were good.
Thank you so much! I know her coloring is a Broken Siamese Sable and when I got her they said she was a Satin & a Silky... But one of those don’t exist... lol! She doesn’t look like a Satin to me at all. Her fur is just not shiny. We have a scale but I just can’t find it anywhere... We might get a new one!
 

zuppa

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I got Mazuri rabbit pellets last time I bought pellets and I want to get some pellets in bulk so I save money. Is this brand okay? Also what kinds do you guys buy for your rabbits? (Just trying to find the healthiest option!) :)

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/manna-pro-select-series-pro-formula-rabbit-feed-25-lb?cm_vc=-10005
As said above they are alfalfa based pellets and too rich for an adult imo. In my experience babies after about 4-4.5 months get fatter if they keep getting usual junior pellets with alfalfa and high protein, of course it's individual some are more active so burn more energy but still, they are on unlimited pellets until 4 months and getting fat. Maybe your rabbit got some extra fat because there were no changes made to her diet. I would recommend to look at pellets with higher fibre (like 19%) and low protein as Blue eyes said, I also second that with one or two rabbits if you buy pellets in larger bags you better have one week portion in a smaller container and other pellets keep well sealed and in a dark cold place. With one-two rabbits you don't really save much buying big bags as you want it to be fresh and as mentioned above even 2 kg bag lasts long enough.

Here is a link to the pellets I get: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/producers-pride-rabbit-feed-50-lb?cm_vc=-10005. I don't know how healthy they are, but a rabbit rescue that is registered with HRS uses them so I thought they were good.
There's no ingredients listed but I agree that protein is a bit too high. I also agree that rescues need to feed many rabbits and use affordable pellets, also I don't have statistics how long average rabbit lives at rescues but I believe it's just like transit time for them before they get proper home and good care, so it is important that they get food regularly, they don't get too much surely, it's just so they can survive. I don't say it's bad pellets just when you have 50 rabbits and when you have one or two rabbits you have more choice and as I said look fibre 19% and higher and less protein if your rabbit is not underweight and not a baby. Also best if it is not alfalfa based or some pellets have alfalfa as one of ingredients but not much.
 

TreasuredFriend

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Our rescued buns typically live to age 13 1/2 years. We stop alfalfa pellets right around 5-6 months, and add an alfalfa pellet when our seniors need the extra nutrition.

Our crew receive minimal pellets, less than 2 T. each day. Definitely tons of hay. (Our crew get out for daily exercise averaging 4-6 hours of playtime to run, binky, jump, et al.)

A clan of Overweight Rabbits was recently brought to our attention. When I visited the home the woman was purchasing PurinaFibre3 in 50 lb. bags and that's what they had since birth. Eeeek. Our DVM said, they are overweight -- and we could see that too! They didn't get out for routine exercise either, which didn't help along with sugary fruit items since they were young.

Thanks for the chart link, BlueEyes.
 
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