Really? Is Oxbow Necessary?

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BerkleeAjax

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I'm adopting a rabbit from a rescue who requires I feed my rabbits Oxbow. I checked Amazon and for a FIVE POUND BAG it is $30.00. :eek: I currently feed the one bunny I have Dumor brand pellets and it costs me approximately $10.00 for a 20 pound bag. The difference between the two is completely staggering!!! That's 1/3 of the cost of the food of Oxbow. And you have to buy Oxbow online, you can't just go somewhere and get it so you are killed with shipping as well. I cannot believe that Oxbow is THAT much better. Is there a middling brand that is better than Dumar but won't break my bank in cost and shipping simply on a word of mouth reputation?

Apparently Oxbow is allegedly better because "veterinarians recommend it." Well, I happen to know veterinarians, like doctors, are paid a kick backs for pushing expensive food brands, so I have a little skepticism on the issue.

Does anyone have any insight? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
 

Blue eyes

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Oxbow is a decent brand of pellet food but not the best available. Dumar, on the other hand, is not a good food. It doesn't even list hay until 3rd. Wheat middlings and soybean hulls are the top two main ingredients -- neither great for rabbits.

That said, there are a couple factors to consider. One is that your location determines what is locally available. I don't know what country you are in but what is available in the US isn't the same as in the UK. The following chart compares pellet foods commonly available in the UK (some available here in US). This could be a good resource to show the rescue:
http://www.therabbithouse.com/diet/rabbit-food-comparison.asp

Second, if you are in the US, Oxbow is carried by Petsmart but not by Petco. Petco carries Science Selective which actually has better ratios than Oxbow.

Third, the cost of the pellets -- even the expensive ones -- is the least costly of rabbit maintenance. Since rabbits over 6 months of age should only get limited pellets, the monthly cost is really low. An average size rabbit should only get 1/4 cup of pellets per day. I calculated once that even at the higher price of the top brands, it averages just $5 per month per rabbit. A 5 lb bag can last awhile!

Here are some of the other costs (hay, greens, etc) for comparison.
 

BerkleeAjax

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Thank you for your reply. I just did some research and am likely going to purchase Small Pet Select Pellets, which are almost exactly the same nutritionally as Oxbow, with the exception of Vitamins A, D and E which don't contain as much as Rabbit House Society lists as requirements necessary. I've deemed Pet Select good and I can purchase 25 pounds of it for $1.99 a pound. Oxbow is literally $5.90 a pound. Comparatively, with the nutritional elements being almost exact, the Oxbow cost is insane. The Pet Select certainly excels over Dumar.

I understand what you are saying regarding cost of pellet food, but the upfront immediate cost, it is substantial. The veggies I buy weekly and are budgeted in with my own household food and per week I might be spending $7.00 on veggies. I have two rabbits and two guinea pigs. I buy first cut hay directly from a local farmer. I need to get my current rabbit to eat more hay, but he just doesn't. :( Not sure how to get him to do that.
 

Blue eyes

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You may find that your rabbit eats more hay once he transitions to a healthier pellet. The wheat and soy in the prior brand may have been too rich which can discourage hay eating.

How much pellets are you feeding daily? If they are getting more than recommended, that can also discourage hay eating. With daily greens, these are the amounts recommended (just in case you weren't already aware ;)):
5-7 lb of body wt. 1/4 cup daily

8-10 lb body wt. 1/2 cup daily

11-15 lb of body wt. 3/4 cup daily
 

lavendertealatte

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hey Berklee, I found better prices for Oxbow on Chewy.com and for bulk. Unfortunately I think I may have bought way too much. Sites geared towards pets seem to have better prices than even Amazon.
 

BerkleeAjax

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That's good to know, thank you! My bun is small. 5 lbs? I suspect we've been giving too much pellet. Certainly not an exact science but I bet we've been giving about a 1/2 cup. My other bun who passed away recently was even smaller. She was a dwarf lionhead. My current bun is a lionhead/lop mix, male, so he's a little bigger. I'm eager to transition to a better pellet for sure!
 

BerkleeAjax

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hey Berklee, I found better prices for Oxbow on Chewy.com and for bulk. Unfortunately I think I may have bought way too much. Sites geared towards pets seem to have better prices than even Amazon.
Thank you for the heads up! :)
 

Blue eyes

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I used to buy Oxbow in bulk. To keep it fresh you can put it in ziplock bags and store in the refridge (if you have room).
 

Thumperina

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I think you can promise anything they wish... you can even start them on Oxbow (with cheaper options available) but then switch for a healthier option... like Sherwood forest pellets for example
 

Blue eyes

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doodlebugger

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We use Oxbow for one of our rabbits because she was overweight and that is what our vet recommended to help her lose weight (and it worked). If you want to buy Oxbow, the cheapest way is to either order online (we have ordered from Fosters and Smith when it's on sale, or Amazon because we have prime), or you can price match online at Petsmart. I'm not sure which stores they will price match with, but their website prices are almost always cheaper than the store prices.

As for the rescue, if the rabbit is on Oxbow, you are going to have to transition the rabbit anyways, so you will have to get the Oxbow and then do the transition where you increase the new food a little at a time, as you decrease the old food.
 

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