Natural raw food diet for buns?

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by TheMadMarchHare, Sep 17, 2014.

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  1. Sep 17, 2014 #1

    TheMadMarchHare

    TheMadMarchHare

    TheMadMarchHare

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    Does anyone have links, info or advice for getting my bun on a raw food diet, and what that consists of? Thanks :)
     
  2. Sep 17, 2014 #2

    Azerane

    Azerane

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    For me, a raw food diet for rabbits is simply cutting out pellets. Since everything else I feed Bandit just comes the way it's grown and cut (herbs, leafy greens, hay etc).

    Free feed as much hay as wanted, and in terms of leafy greens, I'm not sure how much you'd want to feed, at least two or three packed cups a day for a smaller rabbit, more for medium and larger breeds. You would need to be feeding a large variety of greens, with at least 4 or 5 types every day, and rotate things in out and out on a daily basis. It's actually something I would probably discuss with a vet, since you want to make sure that you're giving them all the nutrients they need (and not overfeeding others), so you need to be feeding the right amounts, and the right variety.

    As with any dietary changes for rabbits, progress slowly with one new food at a time.

    Googling pellet-free diets might give you a good starting point too.
     
  3. Sep 17, 2014 #3

    TheMadMarchHare

    TheMadMarchHare

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    My bun is very small - 3.5lbs. And I have asked the vet...she recommended minimal greens, fruits and veggies, and mostly pellets...
    She is the only local rabbit vet. Which is why I asked here.
     
  4. Sep 17, 2014 #4

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    Not all vets are very rabbit savvy. Some are also getting their knowledge from outdated sources.
    "Proper" diet is going to vary depending on the source.

    Rabbits only eat plant-based foods anyway. The term 'raw' tends to imply meat-related or cooked - neither of which is fed to rabbits. So not sure what you mean other than non-pellet. Though the pellets tend to be plant-based too --- just a bit more processed.

    As Azarene said, some people skip pellets altogether. This requires replacing those nutrients with a wide variety of fresh greens. So if you are desiring to skip pellets, then you'll need to increase greens.

    Otherwise, you can do what many on RO do, which is provide limited pellets (about 1/8 to 1/4 cup per day), with unlimited hay and about 2-4 cups of greens.

    You may notice I'm using the term "greens." It's best to differentiate between greens and fruits/veggies. Fruits and veggies(like carrots) are very high in sugar and are best viewed as treats only. As treats, they ought to be severely limited (like 1 Tbsp per day). It is the greens that can be fed more every day. House Rabbit Society recommends 2-4 cups of fresh greens daily. These can include herbs, and dark green lettuces (among others).
     
  5. Sep 17, 2014 #5

    JBun

    JBun

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    Well, that's not very good.

    I've fed a no pellet diet to a rabbit that couldn't tolerate them due to health problems, and he did just fine on this diet. Biggest thing is ensuring a good variety to make sure your rabbit is getting the nutrients it needs, and feeding a good grass hay that has both leaf and stem, but not too stalky as this won't have much nutrition for the rabbit. It's also important to monitor your rabbits weight when on a no pellet diet, to ensure they are getting the proper nutrition and staying at a healthy weight.
    http://www.suevet.com/bunny_health.html
    http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=3015&S=0&EVetID=0

    Another option is feeding a minimal amount of a pellet with high vitamin content, like oxbow pellets, to ensure your rabbit is getting the necessary vitamins, in addition to unlimited grass hay and veg/herbs/forage.
     
  6. Sep 18, 2014 #6

    TheMadMarchHare

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    Sorry, I did mean "raw" as in a raw plant-based diet, and no processed rabbit food.

    I would like to transition him to a diet that does not include pellets at all, or very minimal pellets. He gets greens every day, occasionally fruits and veggies, but I'm pretty sure the packaged rabbit food I'm feeding is the equivalent to "bunny McDonald's" and I do not want that.

    I prefer all of my pets to be on species-appropriate natural diets, with as little or no processed foods possible. So it's about time to transition my bun, too, but I didn't know how to go about it.

    He is my first rabbit. Thanks for the input I will google this also...House Rabbit Society had some great info, but they had a LOT of info on what to feed, what not to feed, what to feed on small amounts, etc.
     
  7. Sep 18, 2014 #7

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    Some here on RO have switched to Sherwood Forest Natural rabbit food. You can see more about their pellets here:
    https://www.naturalrabbitfood.com/

    Their food is considered to be far fresher and also healthy and natural.

    I feed a small amount of this brand, plus greens and hay.
     
  8. Sep 18, 2014 #8

    Aki

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    Pellets aren't necessary at all. I just give mine about 10g / rabbit each day to be sure that they have all the vitamins they need.
    If you give a small amount of pellets or no pellets at all, you should give a quantity of vegetables which is about equal to 8% of the rabbit's weight. Leafy greens should represent about 2/3 of the amount, and the best is to divide this in two and give half in the morning and half at night to respect their natural rythm. It sounds complicated the first few days, but it all becomes a habit really fast. I have a "rabbit veggies" shelf in my fridge and I weight, cut and wash my 200g of vegetables everyday. Easy. And I became the best client of the guy who sells vegetables at the market - he gives me carrot tops all the time :biggrin2:
    Just be sure not to give the same vegetables all the time. I try not to pick the same twice in a row and I buy four or five different vegetables each time and it works that way.
    Don't hesitate to look up lists of rabbit-friendly vegetables, like on the House Rabbit society website. I was looking it up all the time when I got my first rabbit because I was so scared of poisoning her...
     
  9. Sep 20, 2014 #9

    Geoff

    Geoff

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    The rabbit intestinal tract is quite efficient (if you call eating cecotropes 'efficient') and can extract an amazing number of vitamins and minerals out of what may seem to you a 'minimal' diet... A diet of grass hay and leafy greens (variety is good) is usually plenty to provide any rabbit with sufficient vitamins and minerals for proper nutrition, and keep their weight in check and teeth worn down properly as well. Pellets are certainly not normally necessary, and were never really designed to feed rabbits long term from the beginning. But then rabbits were not originally (historically) kept as long term pets, so that is understandable.

    Additional foods, such as fruits and non-leafy vegetable material are 'extra' and extra is not always a good thing (certainly not in us humans, either, as one can see by the huge percentage of obese people around these days). 'Extra' foods should be kept to a minimum in rabbits, though dinky 'treats' now and then may not end up doing much harm (but dont' help, either).
     
  10. Sep 20, 2014 #10

    tamsin

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    It's usually referred to as the 'hay and veggies' diet. Hay or fresh grass should make up about 80% of a rabbits diet, and the rest other fresh or dried plants. As long as you get a good mix of different veggies/plants you should manage a balanced diet. Weeds/forage/veggies/fruits/herbs all count, but leafy greens - particularly wild ones are the most natural option.
     
  11. Nov 3, 2014 #11

    Janine16rouge

    Janine16rouge

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    These are a creative, healthy treat for your buns!
    ImageUploadedByRabbit Forum1414987197.109872.jpg

    -One whole banana
    -Timothy hay powder or pellet powder
    -Raspberries
    -Apple
     

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