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erinmoveit

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I got 12 lb of Sherwood Forest pellets today that cost me $25 (shipping included) and it shipped fast (from Utah to Michigan in 3 days). I was paying $11-14 for a 5lb bag of Oxbow at the petstore (and that's with the pet perks - without it was almost $16 at times).

THANK YOU for the reccomendation IMBRIUM!

Now, the question, what is the best way to transition Peanut and Stark to the new pellets. They have about 2.5 lb of Oxbow left over. They usually eat 1/4 cup 2x daily (but I think Peanut eats more of it than Stark does). They have both switched foods when I have brought them home without any GI issues. But i want to do this right.

What percentage of which pellets should I use until they are completely on Sherwood?
 

bunnyinabox

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That sounds great, I should probably try it for Meatloaf. Could you tell me where you get it?

I'd definitely be interested in how to change foods too. :3
 

bunnyinabox

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Thank you! :) We've been buying the best we can but most stores around here seem to have low end-ish food, so maybe buying online is a better bet.

On the site it says not to supplement the feed with anything else.... Does that mean no hay, also? Sorry, I'm just not all sure.
 

erinmoveit

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From what I have read through the site, that is the recommendation for show and breed rabbits because they have regulations on skin and coat conditions. Since we are feeding for pet purposes feed as you normally would. I feed mine 1/2 cups two times a day and 2 cups of greens 2 times a day.
 

whitelop

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For transitioning pellets, I started out with like 1/4 tsp of Sherwood into the old pellets. I stayed with that for like two days. I started to add more pellets in gradually, like just a few at a time. Every time I added more pellets into her old pellets, I would keep it at around the same amount for like days and I kept an eye on poops.
It should take about 2 weeks to switch them completely over.

Its been a little longer transitioning for me since my bun is a baby-baby. And now, I'm just prolonging the take away of the kaytee pellets, since she only gets like 20 a day, 10 in each feeding, lol.

When you start the Sherwood, don't be surprised if they love it for like two days and then they take forever eating it because its new and they pick out the old pellets first. I left her pellets in her bowl until they were completely gone, then I would refill. I think its happened to most people when they switch to Sherwood, because bunnies are like kids and they don't want to eat their veggies only the junk food!

And yes, still feed hay. Most pellets say they're a "complete" diet, but hay is still very necessary. :)
 

Imbrium

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Thank you! :) We've been buying the best we can but most stores around here seem to have low end-ish food, so maybe buying online is a better bet.

On the site it says not to supplement the feed with anything else.... Does that mean no hay, also? Sorry, I'm just not all sure.
they say not to "supplement" it because they want you to buy more pellets, lol. it may be nutritionally well-rounded and VERY high in fiber like hay, but it's nowhere near as good for the teeth and the variety (and less concentrated calories) of hay and veggies are good for bunnies, their teeth and their waistline. every pet owner I know who feeds sherwood feeds it in amounts that are in line with HRS recommendations (1/4-1/2c per 5 lbs body weight per day) as part of a diet that's about 80% hay and involves lots of veggies.

as for the amounts... when I transitioned mine onto sherwood, I started with about 10% new food/90% old food. every day or two, I'd increase the sherwood by about 10%. the entire transition should take about two weeks. don't be surprised if you find that the little brats pick out all the old pellets and leave the sherwood ones in the bowl (no matter how well you mix them together - I was adding sherwood to my tupperware cereal box of pellets and shaking vigorously each time I increased the percentage), waiting until the end of the day to finally get around to eating the sherwood. it took my girls a month to eat it as enthusiastically as they had eaten the pellets the breeder sent home with them.
 

BinkyBunny

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Why do show/breeders give pellets as a sole ration or complete diet without any hay or veggies? Is it just a money thing or how does it improve condition?
 

mochajoe

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I am not a breeder...but my daughter showed some of her bunnies for awhile. She is very shy and uncomfortable around people she doesn't know. This was a way to get her out of her shell...using something she loves and is very knowledgeable about. As part of this, we joined a local bunny club and were active members for nearly 3 years. I cannot speak to why some breeders/showers only feed pellets with no hay or veggies. I can however say some breeders/showers do in fact feed their bunnies hay and/or veggies.
 

OakRidgeRabbits

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Why do show/breeders give pellets as a sole ration or complete diet without any hay or veggies? Is it just a money thing or how does it improve condition?
The diets chosen by people who raise or exhibit rabbits are chosen for the overall health of the rabbit. You'll hear us talk about "condition" a lot, but all that really means is that the rabbit is well muscled, not flabby or fat, and has a shiny coat that is both even in length and color (no bald patches, rough or dry coat, dead or falling out hair, shedding, etc.) That good condition is called for and earns more points on the table because it's a sign of a healthy, well-cared for rabbit...not for cosmetic reasons.

So the diet chosen has little to do with money or "looks."

Some pellets are a more complete feed than others. There are people who choose to feed pellets only, and say that if supplements are needed, the food is no good. Those people look around until they find a brand of pellet that does exactly that- keeps their rabbits healthy with no additives needed.

On the other hand, I have known people who feed their rabbits only hay. The one breeder in particular raised his rabbits for personal consumption on his self-sustainable farm. So he was with the rabbits literally from conception until death. He experimented with different diets and said he found that adding pellets to the diet was fine (good health, good yield from his fryers), but he got the same results by feeding just hay. For him, cutting pellets out was just something to save money that he knew would not compromise the health of his rabbits.

A majority of people who raise and exhibit rabbits are somewhere in between. I feed a complete pellet, but also feed hay because it gives the rabbits something else to nibble on throughout the day.

Some people do feed veggie/green diets, but that is relatively uncommon. Those I know who have tried it said the rabbits didn't seem to thrive on a solely fresh diet. Many people do use fresh foods as a treat or even a regular supplement though, like hay. And others have said they had success feeding more natural weeds/greens (grass clippings or other wild harvest).

Hopefully that helps. :)
 

wendymac

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The pellets are a complete feed. That means it has all the protein, fat, fiber, minerals, and vitamins that rabbits need. If you start adding things, you screw up the ratio. So your bun may be getting a lot more fiber, but are forfeiting minerals. With that said, I feed mine mainly pellets. The pregnant/nursing does and those I'm showing also get Calf Manna once a day. They all get hay to nibble on, but not every day. When they want to chew, they have apple sticks at all times. In the summer they get frozen watermelon chunks, bananas, etc. And they get the occasional leaf of romaine. But those are treats, not their main diet. And I always get good remarks about the condition of my rabbits, so my program is working for me.

What many people don't realize is that pellets are complete...which means they don't need all the goodies that many folks insist on. If someone is feeding strictly veggies, they would have to weigh every single veggie, and make sure they included all necessary vitamins and minerals needed (like our food pyramid). And even then I'm not sure you could completely balance the diet. Pellets are mainly hay, just in an easy-to-handle form. I'm not sure where the "pellet hate" came in...maybe because some feel they're doing "better" by their animal by not feeding them? Because people can't believe that feeding a rabbit is really as easy as giving them pellets? I can say I've seen a lot of overweight bunnies being fed mainly veggies, as I'm sure there are with those eating pellets.
 

BinkyBunny

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Wendy I didn't mean to imply that breeders/showers feeding only pellets were doing so just for looks :peace I just didn't know how to word what I was asking. I just wanted to know why some people feed the way they feed. I know many pellets claim they are complete, so I wondered why people then continue to feed hay. Does that make sense? I also am trying to make the decision for my own bunnies, so I wanted to collect information. Right now I think I'm going to do measured pellets for Charlie, free for Bing and then unlimited hay for each and a cup of greens min. Bing isn't on greens yet, and he is still adjusting digestively to the move, so it may be a while! Thanks for the response Wendy! I didn't mean for it to seem that I was judging anyone or pellet hating! I certainly am not! I know we are all just trying to do what is best for the bunnies in the end :D
 

wendymac

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Oh, I didn't take offense. :) I think it would be cheaper if I could get the same condition on my animals with just hay. I just don't understand why so many are against pellets. I give mine hay on occasion for something different. But only a handful, because I want them chowing down on those pellets. It takes a lot of pellets for those Flops to keep their beautiful physiques. LOL Just know that you're not a "bad" bunny mom if you feed pellets. Just none of those ones with the stupid dried fruity things in them. haha
 

JBun

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I can understand some of the issue some people have with pellets. Though most of my rabbits eat pellets, I do have two rabbits that I can't really feed pellets to. One rabbit got GI stasis from the stress of being in a new home, and kept getting it repeatedly, until I took him off pellets. He had been with a breeder before me, and had always had pellets, but I think from getting the stasis so severely that first time, that it must have done some permanent damage, because I have tried several different kinds of pellets but he always starts to get sick again. So now he has to be on hay and veggies only. Another one of my rabbits was born with a genetic digestive disorder, so he is also really sensitive to pellets as well. So that's been my experience with pellets causing problems, but like I said, I still feed my other rabbits pellets. I just know how pellets can cause problems with some rabbits.
 

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