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Need to "fatten" up my bunny?

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matt71tx

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I was told that it is a good idea to give an adult rabbit some oats on a regular basis to fatten them up a bit so if the rabbit gets sick and stops eating they can have a better chance of survival by living off the fat they have stored on their body. Can anyone confirm if this is true or is this a bad suggestion? My bunny is about 6 years old and she is a little on the slim side. She is mostly a dutch breed with some lionhead in her.
 

Imbrium

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If a rabbit stops eating, that condition is called gi stasis and is a medical emergency. Fat reserves won't help - rabbits have a digestive tract that needs to be constantly moving.

Too many carbs/excess fat on a rabbit puts them at risk for things like diabetes and arthritis.

If your bunny is a little under weight for her breed, try increasing her daily pellet ration slightly until she reaches her ideal weight.

Oats can be fed to rabbits, but should be given in strict moderation to pet bunns (I've heard varied advice when it comes to show/breeding) because of the high carb content.
 

Diane R

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Bunnies should be slim. Most are overweight, not good for health. Body scoring charts like the one below can help in assessing whether your bunny is too thin. Oats are not good for bunnies. And 'fattening' is generally not a good idea; if a bunny is underweight on a normal diet there is a cause and the bunny needs a good rabbit vet so the cause can be addressed.
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Hermelin

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With older bunnies I can give them more food to help them keep their weight up but it depends on if they will need the help and I can also fatten them up a little if outdoor bunnies. Specially when heading into winter, so they have a bit more fat which will help them keep warmth and they will need more energy.

So having a reserve of a bit of fat is good during winter period, but I keep it reasonable. My bunnies will only go up a few grams, for example my holland lop will weight around 2,20 kg during winter but summer he go down to 1,85 kg again. So I let them gain 1-3% more body fat 😊

If it was a dog, humans or cat etc. What you stated could be a bit of truth but bunnies when stopping to eat will go under in less than 2 days, if you don’t manage to get them to eat.
 
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