Pellets!?

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n.parker40419

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I have a 3 month old flemish whom only weighs around 4 lbs.

She gets unlimited hay and 1/4 cup pellets per vet and breeder recommendations.


But others say give her UNLIMITED PELLETS!!

But I worry about bloat...how do i.know what is right!
 

John Wick

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"Unlimited pellets" is not actually unlimited -- the majority of the diet should still be hay, but it is believed that younger rabbits can benefit from pellets because the boost in nutrients helps with growth.

I think 1/4 cup of pellets is fine.
 

BunBun71

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You should not give your rabbit unlimited pellets. Hay you should have all the time
 

BunBun71

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Your rabbit will get overweight. How old is the rabbit?
 

BunBun71

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I was not saying that you were. I was just saying not too
 

n.parker40419

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Oh no i understand and appreciate the info, i was just confirming that im not, because thats exactly what i worry about, her get fat and bloated, but she is small for her age correct?
 

Blue eyes

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How much hay does she eat? What kind/brand of pellets are you feeding?

If she is eating plenty of hay, then it is fine to give her more (healthy) pellets. Flemish Giants take longer to mature and so they typically can stay on a juvenile diet until 9-12 months of age.

A juvenile diet will normally be unlimited hay and can include "unlimited" pellets ...IF... the rabbit continues to eat large amounts of hay (does not decrease hay consumption) AND the pellet type/brand is a healthy one.
 

Watermelons

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Just because she should be that weight for that breed does NOT mean you need to fatten her up. She may be small for her breed or be a mix and could grow to any size. Small may just be her normal and that is fine.
She looks good in that photo. I would not be trying to add weight.
 

SableSteel

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Flemish use a lot of energy to grow (moreso than other rabbits their size, with their thick bone and fur) and at that age shouldn't be at risk for getting overweight. I used to breed them. I personally would feed unlimited pellets to it.
 

JBun

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Those aren't really a good quality pellet in my opinion. They're made with cheaper ingredients for bulk or mass feeding. I would suggest going with a reliable pet brand like oxbow, sherwood, science select, etc, as they have better quality control and generally are a higher fiber lower carb pellet, which is preferable and better for rabbits digestive function. The pet brands are more expensive, but the better quality and reliable safety factor is worth it to me.

To me pellets aren't a necessity but just a supplement, to ensure a rabbit is getting the needed nutrients, like a multivitamin. As long as your rabbit is maintaining a healthy weight and isn't getting too lean, I would keep with the diet you're feeding. If you feel your rabbit is getting too lean or losing weight, increase pellet amounts. Though I wouldn't increase the ones you currently have, but get a good brand, alfalfa based for young growing rabbits since your rabbit is still a juvenile, and start transitioning those in for the increased amount of pellets. With changes of pellet brands/types, it's usually best to transition from the old pellet to the new, gradually over a couple weeks to minimize gut upset. Except in cases where the current pellets are causing serious health issues.

There are general feeding recommendations for rabbits, but every rabbit's nutritional needs are going to vary based on individual metabolism, growth rate, and specific health needs. So what might be fine for one rabbit, won't work well for another. I base my feeding on each rabbits output, the poop and the urine, any specific health needs, and if they are maintaining a good weight on their current diet. If they are producing excess cecals, likely they need less protein in their diet. If they are producing small dark fecal poop, they likely need less pellets and more fiber from hay. If they have urine that is full of calcium sediment, they likely need less calcium in the diet. If they aren't maintaining a healthy weight and there is no health cause for this, they likely need more protein. If they're overweight, less protein and more fiber.


So it's just getting to understand the signs that indicate a healthy rabbit or one that isn't, and if the problem is diet related, to know how the diet needs to be adjusted accordingly to correct the issue.
 

LizzyMayHarvey

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When my Flemish baby was little I fed her unlimited pellets cause that's what I had heard to do. I then slowly decreased the amount of pellets until she was having the correct amount for her size. She is a very big girl now, I don't know if that has anything to do with feeding or if she was destined to be a big girl but I think that not having enough nutritious food especially for a Flemish could stunt their growth? You don't want her to get fat but you also want her her to fill out because girls are a bit weightier anyway. She looks good in the picture and she is super cute!😍
 
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