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pellet free diet

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katnanw

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Wow i havent been online since FOREVER. hows everyone doing?? Cookie and Donut say hi with lotsa loveeee :}

So anyway, ive been hearing a lot about pellet free diets for rabbits and how its supposedly better for them? Can someone enlighten me about this?
And if you have tried it, is it good? or tiring to constantly get bitbit a wide array of vegetables? Thanks in advance!:)
 

1357bunnylover

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Well pellets/muesli was made for rabbits that were being bred fur meat to make them fat. If you feed them properly with exercise then they shouldn't get fat. Anyways I think its just healthier to give lots of different hays and veggies an no pellets but I don't know for sure.
My bunnies don't get pellets everyday, maybe 3 times a week, but I only do tat because my oldest bunny Alice wouldn't eat her hay she would just scoff her pellets up and not eat anything else, so giving pellets only 3 times a week is better for her do I just did the same with all my other bunnies. They get different types of hays like meadow, Timothy, orchard, readigrass, ect and different veggies and herbs everday too. My bunnies seem healthier having less pellets as they make less cecals and are more active :)
 

Imbrium

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with a good quality pellet, there's nothing wrong with feeding a small amount of pellets each day (HRS recommends 1/4-1/2 cup per 6 lbs body weight, depending on metabolism and veggie amounts) as a nutritional supplement.

that said, a bunny can also be perfectly healthy on a pellet free diet. they'll need a LOT of variety in their veggies and they need to eat a TON of veggies (since the nutrients in pellets are very concentrated whereas veggies aren't)... it can also be good to offer a variety of hays.

if you're interested in doing a completely pellet-free diet, I recommend messaging whitelop - she has a lot of experience with pellet-free diets.
 

katnanw

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Hi and thanks for the prompt reply guys! That said im giving one and a half tablespoon of pellets to my mixed breed boys, both who are about a year and two months old. I've heard the negative effects pellet has on poo and it seems like Donut is startng to get runny poo sometimes due to pellets and it sticks on his butt.
What kind of mixed vegetables shouls i feed, and who is whitelop? Kinda lost havent been oj here for about 4 months or so :( thank you so much :3
 

Imbrium

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pellets don't normally cause runny poo... if anything, that's more likely to be caused by a certain veggie (or veggies in general). you might try putting him on a hay and pellets diet for a few days to see if the poopy butt clears up. if it does, then veggies were to blame.
 

whitelop

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I totally agree that if there is a poopy bum problem, then it might be from the veggies. I see that you're in another country, so I assume that you have a hard time finding good quality pellets. Do you have to get the stuff with the corn and the different things in the with the pellets?

BUT I only suggest doing this, if your bunnies can handle the greens. If there is a poopy bum problem, then put them on a hay and pellet diet for a few days to see if that helps. If it does help, then re-introduce the greens one by one and slowly so you can rule out what is making their poop soft. If its most of what you feed them for greens, then you shouldn't take them off pellets; you should give them more hay.

As for a no pellet diet, you have to give a lot of variety in greens and hay. The rabbit that I had that was on a no pellet diet, got about 4-6 cups of greens a day, all mixed. Then she got about 5 times her body size worth of mixed hay in a day. She ate all of that. She maintained a really good weight. I only gave her fruit once a day and it was always the same.
On a daily basis, she got cilantro, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce. She got parsley 3 times a week one week, then the next week, she got a spring mix salad that had a bunch of different things in it, things that were higher in calcium, 3 times a week.
You have to watch out for things that are high in calcium or oxalates. Just make sure there is enough variety.

I also gave her like 3-4 different hays a day, all mixed together. She really enjoyed her hay.
 

LakeCondo

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In Rabbit Nutrition etc, Lucile Moore says that a pellet free diet is sure to lead to medical problems. because it is virtually impossible to get the right nutrition from veggies. Wild rabbits of course don't have the advantage of pellets, but they die of other things before they get to our pets's ages. Just don't overdo & feed so many that your pets get fat. What pellets were first developed for isn't relevant. After all, tape recorders were developed by Nazis, but we still all used them.
 

whitelop

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My vet just told me that he prefers rabbits on a pellet free diet. He's an ARBA licensed judge, a rabbit owner and show-er. We just talked about my rabbits diet and he was ALL for it, because he said she was very healthy, other than having a possible heart problem(thats how she passed). He said that giving her the foods I was giving her and all the hay I was giving her, was the best diet he could think of.
 

JBun

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Too many pellets can definitely cause poopy bums with some rabbits. A few of my rabbits will start to get soft poops if I don't limit their pellets to a very small amount.
 

MiniLopHop

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Personally I don't think there is one RIGHT way to feed every rabbit. I feed a small amount of pellets (1/3c), moderate veggies (2c), and lots of hay. It works well for my rabbits in my experience, but sometimes a particular rabbit may have helth issues that push a person to another type of diet. The only one I really disagree with is the limited hay for angoras because it gets stuck in their fur. Yes I know it is a pain to keep them clean, but I think they need more hay, not less because of the possibility of furrballs. My angora eats tons of hay and gets very grumpy if his hay bin starts to get low.:twocents
 

Chrisdoc

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LOL yes, it does get stuck in their fur but I would never limit Bandy´s feeding because of that, he just has fun with me chasing him round the room trying to pull it off. I also try and limit the pellet amount for mine but they do get some as they enjoy them. They always have loads of hay and eat lots of mixed veggies; cilantro, parsley, tarragon, sage, basil, red and green chard, watercress, rocket, carrot tops, beet greens, radish tops, broccoli and greens, red and green chicory and cauliflower leaves; I think that´s all. I mix them around so they get variety every day. I also feed fruit sparingly; banana, apple and pear.

Touch wood, I´ve not had any serious problems with runny poops yet and they all seem healthy and happy with lots of energy.
 

wendymac

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My rabbits live on pellets and hay. Nursing/pregnant does get a bit of Calf Manna, but that's it. And no poopy bottoms here. Pellets are a complete feed, containing all the vitamins and minerals needed. If you're going to go without pellets, then you'll need to make sure they're getting a big variety of veggies to get all the things they need.
 

katnanw

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We do have oxbow here in my country and thats what im feeding them, plain oxbow pellets
My vet says the runny poop is caused by the pellets . I dont understand because the both of them, adults, are only sharing one tablespoon worth of pellets between them. He told me to cut down abd hence i started this thread to know more. Its almost impossible to cut down i mean, one tbsp is already very very little :(
 

ladysown

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if you do a pellet free diet you need to make sure you offer some grains, some fats (aka black oil sunflower seeds), and a mineral block. Also think like a herbivore NOT like a vegetarian (there is a difference). Rabbits are HERBIVORES.
 

JBun

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We do have oxbow here in my country and thats what im feeding them, plain oxbow pellets
My vet says the runny poop is caused by the pellets . I dont understand because the both of them, adults, are only sharing one tablespoon worth of pellets between them. He told me to cut down abd hence i started this thread to know more. Its almost impossible to cut down i mean, one tbsp is already very very little :(
I have a rabbit that kept getting GI stasis, and I had to cut pellets out of his diet completely. When I did, the stasis problems went away completely. Some rabbits are just very sensitive to some foods. It may be the carbs and sugars in the pellets, or it could be just one specific ingredient in the pellets that is causing the problems. You could try a different kind of pellet. Try cutting pellets out completely and see if that solves the poop problem. If it does, then you know that it's the pellets. And maybe try a different kind of pellet if you want to after this.
 

wendymac

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It sounds to me like it's something in their diet (either a fruit or veggie you're giving them) that isn't agreeing with them. 1 tbs of pellets isn't even enough to call a snack. When did the poopy bottoms start? Forever? Or just recently?
 

katnanw

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It sounds to me like it's something in their diet (either a fruit or veggie you're giving them) that isn't agreeing with them. 1 tbs of pellets isn't even enough to call a snack. When did the poopy bottoms start? Forever? Or just recently?
For about a year :( I got them at two months old :S
 

katnanw

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I have a rabbit that kept getting GI stasis, and I had to cut pellets out of his diet completely. When I did, the stasis problems went away completely. Some rabbits are just very sensitive to some foods. It may be the carbs and sugars in the pellets, or it could be just one specific ingredient in the pellets that is causing the problems. You could try a different kind of pellet. Try cutting pellets out completely and see if that solves the poop problem. If it does, then you know that it's the pellets. And maybe try a different kind of pellet if you want to after this.
Thanks Jenny , will try . I'll see if the same thing happens with bother type of pellet. So far they don't like burgess excel, but I heard Kaytee isn't any good :/
 
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