Nutrition for rabbits on a pellet-free diet

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ilikerabbits

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I've decided to make the switch to pellet free (eventually once I know what replacements to feed) and wondered how to replace the vitamins and minerals that pellets contain. I have been considering sprouted grains and a variety of vegetables, fruits, weeds, fresh grasses and their hay. They get all of this regularly , the only different thing would be the sprouted grains. I have heard that the sprouts are very good for vitamins and minerals, but there really is not much information I have been able to find.
I know many people would disagree with me on taking away the pellets, but I have my reasons that I believe. I agree to disagree. I am looking for info and opinions on a pellet free diet on this thread, not the pellets.
I am not taking my guys off the pellets until I know how to give them complete nutrition though :)
 

JBun

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I don't disagree. I used to have all of my rabbits(12 at one point) on a pellet free diet because of two rabbits with megacolon that couldn't tolerate pellets, and they were always very healthy. I did this for probably 4-5 years. One megacolon rabbit passed after two years after surgery complications due to a separate health issue, and the other passed at 5 years from his megacolon catching up. But for most of those 5 years until the last few months before his death, he stayed really healthy with no complications. Though now I can't feed pellet free anymore because of aging rabbits with specific health needs.

For my rabbits pellet free diet, I fed different grass hays, though usually second cut timothy(easiest for me to get and store), and a variety of leafy greens and forage. I couldn't feed the megacolon buns any sugary/starchy veg/foods. I based my choice in part on what I had available to me outdoors in my area, and also some rabbits specific needs like ones that were prone to bladder sludge. I would feed green leafy lettuces, cilantro, narrow leaf plantain, apple and willow leaves, parsley and carrot tops to the non sludge prone buns. But other than that I didn't really strictly design their diet like some others might when doing a pellet free diet. I never tried sprouted grains, but I imagine they would be fine and a healthy addition. Though remember to always gradually introduce new foods one at a time.

I would say just research what you can, have a basic understanding of some common health issues that can occur in relation to diet, keep a close eye out for health and behavior changes, a close eye on poop and urine in particular which can often indicate the first sign of a health problem, and go from there. I originally went to pellet free because of my megacolon buns needing that specific diet, but I was happy with how all of my rabbits did on a pellet free diet and wish I could still feed that way.

 

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