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Switching to 100% Organic Pellets!

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Happy Hollands

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I am thinking of switching my rabbitry to 100% organic pellets. I know this is a big shift, so I am nervous & excited to see what changes this will make in my herd!

The pellet brand I'm thinking of using is Modesto Milling. A few of my breeder friends use this, and can't recommend it enough. My main holdback is that it is over double the price I am paying now for pellets, and I want to make sure it is worth the extra money.

  1. What health benefits do pellets with less fillers provide?
  2. Is there any other breeders on this forum who uses these pellets, and can tell me the pros / cons of them?
  3. Lastly, I can only find 25 lb bags online. Where can these be purchased from, and are they sold in bigger quantities (such as 50 lb)?

Thank you!
 

zuppa

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I've no experience with these pellets just reading description now and wanted to ask what pellets you use and why you think they will be better than yours.

Product description
Versatile organic feed for both Rabbits and Chinchillas. Feed for all stages of life and for show animals. Fur development shows enhanced density, sheen and color. Modesto Milling manufactures only Organic, Non-GMO feeds and we are farmer owned since 1974. We pride ourselves as an alternative to commercial and corporate agriculture. GUARANTEED ANALYSIS: Crude Protein Min. 17.0% Crude Fat Min. 4.7% Crude Fiber Min. 13.0% Crude Fiber Max. 16.1% Ash Max. 10.7% Calcium Min. 1.0% Calcium Max. 1.4% Phosphorus Min. 0.48% Salt Min. 0.60% Salt Max. 0.78% Sodium Min. 0.23% Sodium Max. 0.33%, Vitamin A Min. 5200 IU/lb INGREDIENTS: Organic Sun-dried Alfalfa Pellets, Organic Oats,whole, Organic Peas, Organic Wheat Millrun, Organic Sesame Meal, Organic Sunflower Seeds,whole, Organic Flaxseed, Monocalcium Phosphate, Salt, Organic Kelp,dried, Ground Limestone, Diatomaceous Earth, Sodium Aluminosilicate, Hydrated Sodium Calcium Aluminosilicate, Organic Flavors(Garlic, Thyme, Anise Oil, Cinnamon,bark,Ceylon, Anise, Rosemary Oil), Organic Yucca Schidigera Extract, Extracted Citric Acid Presscake, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Dehydrated Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Product, Zinc Oxide, Niacin Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, d-alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Menadione Nicotinamide Bisulfite, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Folic Acid.
 

Happy Hollands

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Thank you! What I am mainly focusing on is finding a natural non-corn non-soy feed. I use Payback brand currently, it is about $20 compared to the $40 Modesto Milling pellets.

The breeder I originally bought the majority of my stock from used it. It is definitely an improvement from Oxbow (what I was using before breeding). My rabbit's coats improved, and health problems disappeared. Then again, Payback isn't organic and I would love to make that switch if it has enough benefits!
 
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In the ingredients I saw cinnamon, I know itโ€™s know itโ€™s not harmful in small doses,
but I donโ€™t think it should be fed purposefully.



I think itโ€™s just a marketing trick, like
oohhh organic.


(I will admit Iโ€™ve fallen for that) ๐Ÿ˜…

This pellet brand is recommend by HRS and many others and
you can sample it, to see if you and your rabbits like it. ๐Ÿ˜Š

This is natural non-corn and non-soy,

But it didโ€™nt say the price (leads me to believe itโ€™s expensive)
 

Happy Hollands

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In the ingredients I saw cinnamon, I know itโ€™s know itโ€™s not harmful in small doses,
but I donโ€™t think it should be fed purposefully.



I think itโ€™s just a marketing trick, like
oohhh organic.

(I will admit Iโ€™ve fallen for that) ๐Ÿ˜…

This pellet brand is recommend by HRS and many others and
you can sample it, to see if you and your rabbits like it. ๐Ÿ˜Š

This is natural non-corn and non-soy,

But it didโ€™nt say the price (leads me to believe itโ€™s expensive)
Thanks for pointing that out! Yes, it is very expensive, about $80 for a 50 lb bag that would last me a month or two. I was hoping somebody else had used this brand before, and could tell me if it was crumbly or good quality!
 

Blue eyes

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Thanks for pointing that out! Yes, it is very expensive, about $80 for a 50 lb bag that would last me a month or two. I was hoping somebody else had used this brand before, and could tell me if it was crumbly or good quality!
Are you asking about the Sherwood food that @Lucas the Bun ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ‡ mentioned?
If so, I use that - have for years. I don't think you'll find a fresher pellet anywhere else. It is very very green and fresh.
 

HoppyRabbits06

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I am thinking of switching my rabbitry to 100% organic pellets. I know this is a big shift, so I am nervous & excited to see what changes this will make in my herd!

The pellet brand I'm thinking of using is Modesto Milling. A few of my breeder friends use this, and can't recommend it enough. My main holdback is that it is over double the price I am paying now for pellets, and I want to make sure it is worth the extra money.

  1. What health benefits do pellets with less fillers provide?
  2. Is there any other breeders on this forum who uses these pellets, and can tell me the pros / cons of them?
  3. Lastly, I can only find 25 lb bags online. Where can these be purchased from, and are they sold in bigger quantities (such as 50 lb)?

Thank you!
Like @Lucas the Bun ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ‡ said it has cinnamon she also recommended the Sherwood rabbit pellets. I personally use them and they are amazing. I see that you want them in a larger size; they sell them in a 40lb bag for $109. It is a bit pricey but they are the best pellets I have ever used for my rabbits. You can see the timothy hay inside the pellets. That's how fresh they are. My rabbits poops have been much more healthier since I switched them to Sherwood!
 

Jaimeh761

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Like @Lucas the Bun ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ‡ said it has cinnamon she also recommended the Sherwood rabbit pellets. I personally use them and they are amazing. I see that you want them in a larger size; they sell them in a 40lb bag for $109. It is a bit pricey but they are the best pellets I have ever used for my rabbits. You can see the timothy hay inside the pellets. That's how fresh they are. My rabbits poops have been much more healthier since I switched them to Sherwood!
Can i ask which one of Sherwood brand you feed them? There's the basic timothy hay pellets and a premium hay pellet. Wondering which one is better? My bun eats hay but never a lot. Hes always more interested in his grass mats more than his hay so im wondering if the premium pelle would be optimal?
 

HoppyRabbits06

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Can i ask which one of Sherwood brand you feed them? There's the basic timothy hay pellets and a premium hay pellet. Wondering which one is better? My bun eats hay but never a lot. Hes always more interested in his grass mats more than his hay so im wondering if the premium pelle would be optimal?
I feed them the Sherwood pet health brand. I feed then the green bag Adult Rabbit Food - Timothy Pellet
you should try limiting pellets so he can eat more hay. how much pellets do you feed him? How much does he weigh?
 

Nuage

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I don't think Modesto Milling would be the best, as @Lucas the Bun ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ‡ said, it includes cinnamon which isn't the greatest. Also a lot of reviews said it was crumbly, and Hooks Holland (a holland lop breeder) on YouTube said that when she used it, it was very crumbly. I'd recommend Sherwood.
 

Mariam+Theo

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I would not suggest getting the Modesto Milling pellets because it is an Alfalfa based pellet. It also has lots of ingredients that a rabbit should not have. Organic Peas are the third ingredient, which is not good. Peas should not be fed to rabbits. HRS says: "Foods that are notorious for causing rabbit GI problems when fed improperly are grains of any kind and legumes (beans, peas, etc)."
Most people are suggesting Sherwood which is a great rabbit food! I highly suggest it for anyone who owns pet rabbits, but if you own breeder rabbits it is going to be super expensive since you have to feed a lot of rabbits. I'm not saying that breeder rabbits don't deserve high-quality food, but you would have to be rich to buy Sherwood for a herd of rabbits.
 

Happy Hollands

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I would not suggest getting the Modesto Milling pellets because it is an Alfalfa based pellet. It also has lots of ingredients that a rabbit should not have. Organic Peas are the third ingredient, which is not good. Peas should not be fed to rabbits. HRS says: "Foods that are notorious for causing rabbit GI problems when fed improperly are grains of any kind and legumes (beans, peas, etc)."
Most people are suggesting Sherwood which is a great rabbit food! I highly suggest it for anyone who owns pet rabbits, but if you own breeder rabbits it is going to be super expensive since you have to feed a lot of rabbits. I'm not saying that breeder rabbits don't deserve high-quality food, but you would have to be rich to buy Sherwood for a herd of rabbits.
Thank you very much for this info! You're right - it gets expensive feeding a lot of bunnies and for this reason I'm not sure I can afford Sherwood at this time. It would be $100+ / month if I went that route. I will definitely keep it in mind, though!
 

majorv

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Thank you very much for this info! You're right - it gets expensive feeding a lot of bunnies and for this reason I'm not sure I can afford Sherwood at this time. It would be $100+ / month if I went that route. I will definitely keep it in mind, though!
maybe I missed it, but how many rabbits do you currently have and do you plan to enlarge later?
For intact rabbits used for breeding and/or showing there is nothing wrong with an alfalfa based pellet. If you arenโ€™t on a budget then go for what you think is the best. Many breeders canโ€™t afford to buy the most expensive pellets when theyโ€™re feeding a lot of rabbits. We had 25 and they did fine on Purina Show 50# bags.
 

Happy Hollands

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Coming back to the subject... Covid has put a hold on switching brands, but I am definitely actively searching for bulk Modesto Milling pellets! I found a better deal (but still almost double the price) for a 25-pound bag but can't seem to find the 50-pound bag in organic pellets. As much as Sherwood is ideal, it is way too expensive and I would have to give up other parts of my rabbitry budget in order to afford these.

I do still have a few questions, as I want to make sure the transition goes smoothly and will not cause any tummy issues for my sweet buns!

1. Is it possible to successfully transition a doe with a newborn litter to new pellets, or should I wait until the litter is older / weaned to make the change?
2. Besides improvement in coat, what benefits will organic feed bring my rabbitry? Anything breeding related (less stillborns, etc.)?
3. Modesto Milling pellets are made with alfalfa hay I believe, which is great for my breeding herd. However, I still have a pet bun who is around 5. Will these pellets be all right for her to consume if she is also fed unlimited Timothy hay?

Thank you!!
 

majorv

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As to question 1, if theyโ€™re newborns you possibly could transition the doe over the course if a week or two. The kits will start nibbling on the pellets by week 2-3 so changes should be done slowly. Kits are at their most critical time health wise during weaning and for a period right after weaning. Diet changes then can really affect them. Ideally, transitioning is best done when youโ€™re just dealing with adults.
#3, is your pet neutered? If not, then they should be okay. If so, you might consider feeding something different. We had a retired show rabbit which we kept as a pet. Though not neutered, he was older. We fed him something different than the regular feed for our others.
 

Happy Hollands

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As to question 1, if theyโ€™re newborns you possibly could transition the doe over the course if a week or two. The kits will start nibbling on the pellets by week 2-3 so changes should be done slowly. Kits are at their most critical time health wise during weaning and for a period right after weaning. Diet changes then can really affect them. Ideally, transitioning is best done when youโ€™re just dealing with adults.
#3, is your pet neutered? If not, then they should be okay. If so, you might consider feeding something different. We had a retired show rabbit which we kept as a pet. Though not neutered, he was older. We fed him something different than the regular feed for our others.
First off, thank you for your reply! I have decided to wait until the babies are weaned to transition pellets. Any other bunny who is not pregnant or nursing babies will be transitioned to this new brand over the span of a few weeks.

Yes, the doe is spayed... would it be better to keep her on Timothy pellets?
 

majorv

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If sheโ€™s spayed then I would recommend the Timothy pellets.

We found that the critical times when they are most susceptible to gut issues is when they're up to about 1-2 weeks. Then again during weaning and right after (4-6 weeks)...then around 10-11 weeks for a few. It may vary some between breeders.
 

Happy Hollands

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We did it... our rabbitry is now fully organic! We decided to go with Modesto Millings Organic Rabbit Pellets, we are going to give them a try because, after talking to many local breeders, this is the pellets they use and recommend. They are non-soy and non-corn, with an alfalfa base like we were using before. They are noticeably bigger than normal rabbit pellets, and smell very fresh like hay. It is, though, more than double the price of the pellets we were using before so I want to make sure they are worth it and really do provide benefits. I will update this thread with anything different I notice in my herd! It's been about a week since all of the bunnies were fully transitioned to these pellets. So far, the only thing I notice different is a larger quantity of poops (no change in size, though, kind of weird why they would be pooping more since they are getting the same quantity??). Thank you all for helping me along the way in making this decision!
 

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