Store bought vs fresh food

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Aug 11, 2023
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I just got a rabbit from someone. Everything I read online says to only feed your rabbit a little bit of store food.

The lady told me that's all she feeds him. I've put a carrot in and a couple peices of fruit. The rabbit hasn't touched it. Does anyone know if it'll eventually eat fresh food or if I'm stuck with a store bought food now.. I'm not very pleased. Someone please help.
Welcome :)

A quick, and good read about feeding rabbits. It all depends on your options, and what works for you:
There are several ways to feed rabbits right so that they get old healthy. Fruit and carrots can be a small part of their diet, a very small part, just treats essentially. Rabbits evolved for a meager diet - hay is a good staple food, there are quite good pellets out there, and greens can be a great addition. I, personally, am convinced that a diverse diet helps to avoid problems, but lots of people do perfectly fine with a more convinient approach.

But one of the major points about adjusting diet is: DO IT SLOWLY. Introduce new stuff gradually over the course of 1-2 weeks. And wait until the rabbit is old enough, i would say 4 months or so. Their digestion relies on bacteria, and when new food is introduced they need time to grow the right bacteria to be able to digest it. Rabbits have the instinct to just nibble or ignore new food, that's there to save their lives, mostly because of possible toxins I guess, but if it is too tasty or nothing else available they will eat it and that can cause serious problems.

There is stuff that is more safe than others, high sugar stuff like fruits and carrots should be avoided, only as regular treat once a normal diet is established. Hay is a great, safe staple food. There is a huge difference in store bought food - better avoid colourful mixes and mueslis if possible.

I feed fresh forage, whatever grows on the meadows and along ways whenever available, Pellets as treats, and in winter hay and same veggies. But I'm rather privileged in regard of resources.
For now, remove the carrot and fruit. Both are loaded with sugars that can overload the rabbit's sensitive gut flora. Hay is the first thing you'll want to get for your rabbit. Any grass hay will do. (Skip legume hay like alfalfa.)

The hay will make up the bulk of his diet (as noted in the links referenced above). After that you can slowly introduce leafy greens and/or herbs. HOW TO introduce those greens safely is explained at the weebly site. Rabbits have very sensitive digestive systems and GI stasis -- a too common, potentially deadly condition -- is often caused by something amiss in the diet. So, as mentioned, diet changes must be done slowly and gradually (other than hay -- hay can be added immediately).

Once you've taken a few weeks to add hay and introduce various greens, only then should you consider offering anything sweet like fruit or carrots. The weebly site explains the safe types and quantities of fruits/carrot.

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