What amount of greens do you feed to your small rabbits?

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Jenk

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I'd like to know what approximate amount of greens you feed your small rabbit--i.e., a bun weighing 5 lbs. or less. How does your rabbit do on this amount/type of greens? (Does his/her fecals noticeably change a few hours' after eating them?)

My Mini Rex, Emma, weighs between 3.85 and 4.50 lbs. (Her weight fluctuation has to do with stasis issues, which cause her to lose weight at times.)

Emma's fecals change depending on what she's eaten in the last few hours', which is not the case with our larger bun, Pinkerton. (His fecals remain consistent in appearance, whether he's eaten pellets, greens, or hay.) The fecals Emma passes after eating greens--typically Italian parsley, green-leaf lettuce, and Romaine--are often small and dark. For this reason, I've long feared that her body doesn't digest greens properly; so I've been feeding her a treat-sized amount of them--maybe about a 1/4 C.--nightly.

One of the vets who sees Emma stresses that I should feed her much more leafy greens; I'm concerned about gas-related issues and, thus, stasis problems. Also, Emma doesn't always drink enough water and drinks even less of it, the more greens she eats. I know greens provide a decent amount of water--and, yes, I wet them--but I suspect it wouldn't be enough water to keep her system hydrated.

Thank you,

Jenk
 

MiniLopHop

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I feed my buns (all between 3.5-5.5 pounds) 1 cup leafy greens and vegetables per rabbit per evening. They get all sorts of things, basically everything on the safe list. Favorites they get frequently are green/red leaf lettuce, romaine, dandilions, cilantro, parsley, spring mix. Cilantro is good to help prevent gas, so perhaps that should be a staple? Things like broccoli can cause gas so should be avoided. Normally on safe food lists they mark the ones that are more prone to cause gas.

I guess the poops are a bit smaller and darker after dinner, but nothing allarming. Wetting the greens is an excellent way to add water. Are you using a dish or a bottle for water? I have found that my kids drink much much more when given a dish. I use a heavy crock from the dog section so they can't tip it over. Granted my mini rex tends to like to jump in it, but I also see him drinking it so the mess is a small price to pay.

I don't have experience with chronic stasis though. Thank goodness the only time I had to deal with that was when Cindi knocked down the treats and spilled them. Becky ate half a bag of dried papya and ended up with a tummy ache. Now all treats are in screw top containers.

Best of luck.
 

LakeCondo

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I'm still using what the shelter where I got Honey last Saturday, which is a cup of greens morning AND night for my 4.5 pound lionhead. But I'm going to slowly cut down on the greens & have already added pellets, which they didn't believe in.

I remember reading years ago in a book about human nutrition that out-of-season produce doesn't have as much nutritional value as it does when it's in season, due to losses during storage &/or shipping longer distances. So as soon as I get a chance I'm starting some plants in the windowsill. And I have a plant light as well. I plan to increase gradually the amount of greens she gets next growing season, then reduce them again in the fall. And I'll be feeding her then some dried grass & other greens [dandelion etc] from my untreated yard.

For Emma, I wonder if giving her half her greens in the morning & the rest in the evening would be a good idea.
 

Jenk

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MiniLopHop wrote:
I feed my buns (all between 3.5-5.5 pounds) 1 cup leafy greens and vegetables per rabbit per evening. They get all sorts of things, basically everything on the safe list. Favorites they get frequently are green/red leaf lettuce, romaine, dandilions, cilantro, parsley, spring mix. Cilantro is good to help prevent gas, so perhaps that should be a staple? Things like broccoli can cause gas so should be avoided. Normally on safe food lists they mark the ones that are more prone to cause gas.
My original post states the greens that I feed Emma: Italian parsley, green-leaf lettuce, and Romaine. I often slip in a tiny amount of cilantro most nights, too. (It's such a tiny amount that I didn't bother to mention it initially.) Still, I wonder if the less fibrous herbs/greens--such as parsley and cilantro--don't move through her digestive system well enough.

It seems like Emma needs higher fiber than the average bun. If she eats 2nd-/3rd-cut timothy hay, her fecals also turn small and dark. They only retain a normal size if she eats 1st-cut timothy hay and plenty of it.

I guess the poops are a bit smaller and darker after dinner, but nothing allarming. Wetting the greens is an excellent way to add water. Are you using a dish or a bottle for water? I have found that my kids drink much much more when given a dish. I use a heavy crock from the dog section so they can't tip it over. Granted my mini rex tends to like to jump in it, but I also see him drinking it so the mess is a small price to pay.
I state in my original post that all greens are fed wet. (I rinse them under the kitchen faucet and, then, rinse/soak them in bottled water. I do the second rinse because our water is very hard.) I also often pour extra bottled water over them.

Both of our buns drink from ceramic dishes. (Pinkerton literally drinks from dog dishes. :biggrin:) Normally, Emma drinks at least half of her water dish--about 150 mL's--in a 24-hour period. But since her latest stasis issue, which is ongoing, she's not been drinking nearly enough water; I've been syringing her water (flavored with some Critical Care), Critical Care (to boost her food and fluid intake), and giving her sub-Q's.


Jenk
 

Jenk

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LakeCondo wrote:
For Emma, I wonder if giving her half her greens in the morning & the rest in the evening would be a good idea.
I've considered splitting Emma's small pellet ration into a morning and evening feeding. (I haven't done so yet because she gets such a small amount of pellets, but I suppose she could get 2 tsp. in the AM and 1-2 tsp. in the PM.)

I could try splitting up Emma's greens, as well. Maybe ingesting greens and pellets in shifts--rather than in one lump sum--would prevent her system from getting dried out and/or blocked up for whatever reason that it does....


Jenk
 

Nancy McClelland

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Our small buns get 1/2 cup in the morning and the same in the evening. Our 18 pound Checkered Giant gets a whole cup twice a day. Size does matter.
 

Jenk

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Nancy McClelland wrote:
Our small buns get 1/2 cup in the morning and the same in the evening. Our 18 pound Checkered Giant gets a whole cup twice a day. Size does matter.
Tonight, I bit the bullet and gave Emma approximately 3/4 C. of wet greens--emphasis on the Romaine. I guess my next move is to bite the bullet again and start feeding her the same amount that you do per each feeding: 1/2 C.

Sometimes, I wonder if I could get away with feeding Pinkerton--our 9.25-lb. Californian--less greens than I do. I've not actually measured the amount, but I suspect it's closer to 4-5 C. If your Checkered Giant does well on 2 C., I'm guessing Pink would likely do fine on fewer greens, as well.

BTW, if you feed your buns pellets, at what time do you feed them in relation to the greens? (Do you feed them at the same time as the greens? And do you feed them twice daily, as well?)

Thanks,

Jenk
 

Jenk

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I want to note that since Emma is still dealing with stasis-related symptoms, her fecal size and quantity are not up to snuff. (Her fecals, though moist enough, vary widely in size right now--from teeny-tiny ones to almost-normal-sized ones.)

I'm still nervous about increasing her greens, since her system has been accustomed to a very small amount for so long. Still, it's been difficult getting extra fluid into her via syringe. (She doesn't fight the process but, at times, doesn't want more fluid forced on her.)

Of course, if the small fecals continue, I'll wonder if the greens aren't contributing to them--i.e., aggravating the current stasis issue. *sigh* Why can't rabbit ownership be simple? Egads...


Jenk
 

Hazel-Mom

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Maybe her pellets are just naturally small and dark? I know Hazel's were all her life, and she lived to be 8 1/2. She had very few bouts of stasis, except the last year.
She ate mainly greens, they were the staple of her diet, but she got a at least 7-8 different ones a day. (I live in California, and could supplement store-bought produce with home-grown herbs etc nearly all year.)
She hardly drank any extra water, though she did drink more in winter, when she had less fresh greens and more dried.
So I don't think small fecals necesarily equate stasis.
 

funnybunnymummy

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Rabbit poops tend to be fluffier when they eat more hay and smaller and darker when they eat more pellets and veggies. However, I've never noticed a difference in Gus's poops on an hourly basis. It usually takes at least a day of him going without hay before his poops start to shrink down (and vice versa).

Have you tried cutting out the veggies and seeing if her poops stay fluffed up? Rabbits can live quite happily on just pellets and hay.

Hope that helps!

Rue
 

Jenk

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Hazel-Mom wrote:
Maybe her pellets are just naturally small and dark? I know Hazel's were all her life, and she lived to be 8 1/2. She had very few bouts of stasis, except the last year.
She ate mainly greens, they were the staple of her diet, but she got a at least 7-8 different ones a day. (I live in California, and could supplement store-bought produce with home-grown herbs etc nearly all year.)
She hardly drank any extra water, though she did drink more in winter, when she had less fresh greens and more dried.
So I don't think small fecals necesarily equate stasis.
When Emma's fecals became smaller-than-normal two weeks' ago, I knew something was up. When the vet examined her, she found Emma's stomach distended and, thus, started the typical medical protocol: motility drugs, pain med., and sub-Qs.

She's normally a good hay eater and water drinker, but she's greatly decreased her consumption of both in the last few weeks' time. In fact, she's maybe touched 10 mL's in her water dish yesterday--which was the first day in two weeks' that I gave her no sub-Q's; I'd have expected her to drink a bit more water on her own.

My biggest problem now is not knowing when to jump in with sub-Q's again, if necessary. (I won't be here all day to syringe her extra water throughout it. And, honestly, that starts getting a bit old. I really thought she'd be drinking more water on her own by now, that she'd be pulling through the stasis issue.)


Jenk
 

tamsin

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Scamp weights 1.45kg (which is about 3lbs), he has approximately 1-2 mugs of greens per day, plus hay or grass and about 10-20g of pellets (<1oz).

What sort of greens are you feeding? Natural leafy greens are best such as dandelion, blackberry, thistle etc. things like root veg are less good.

I don't wet greens, Scamp has a water bowl available if he wants it but rarely drinks from it. Remember wild rabbits get virtually all the water they need from eating grass. Greens are about 90% water.

Here's Scamp & greens, he got the pile on the floor, the bowl was the spare I tried drying out for another day (although he'd probably quite happily have eaten both lots).



His poops vary in colour depending what he's been eating, remember though it takes hours for food to pass through the gut. Poops you see a few hours after eating will be from food eaten 6-20hrs before. With hay being the quickest mover. Dark pellets are normal after eating fresh greens/grass. It's only hay that gives the gold brown colour.
 

Jenk

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Emma was doing okay with the increased greens. Her fecals weren't quite 100% normal in size but were better than they'd been. She also had been passing an okay amount of them.

Then, this morning, I saw that she'd passed smaller/fewer fecals overnight. Still, I fed her 1/2 C. of Romaine this morning. And unless something really funky occurs with her, behavior-wise, I intend to give her another 1/2 C. of greens (Romaine, green-leaf lettuce, Italian parsley, and cilantro) tonight.

For all I know, she could be eating less hay at times, which, I suppose, would lead to the formation of smaller, darker fecals. At this point, I'm exhausted from trying to figure it out and, so, will feed more greens to see what happens. After all, what I was doing previously wasn't cutting it, either. :(


Jenk
 

john.p

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MiniLopHop wrote:
I feed my buns (all between 3.5-5.5 pounds) 1 cup leafy greens and vegetables per rabbit per evening. They get all sorts of things, basically everything on the safe list. Favorites they get frequently are green/red leaf lettuce, romaine, dandilions, cilantro, parsley, spring mix. Cilantro is good to help prevent gas, so perhaps that should be a staple? Things like broccoli can cause gas so should be avoided. Normally on safe food lists they mark the ones that are more prone to cause gas.

I guess the poops are a bit smaller and darker after dinner, but nothing allarming. Wetting the greens is an excellent way to add water. Are you using a dish or a bottle for water? I have found that my kids drink much much more when given a dish. I use a heavy crock from the dog section so they can't tip it over. Granted my mini rex tends to like to jump in it, but I also see him drinking it so the mess is a small price to pay.

I don't have experience with chronic stasis though. Thank goodness the only time I had to deal with that was when Cindi knocked down the treats and spilled them. Becky ate half a bag of dried papya and ended up with a tummy ache. Now all treats are in screw top containers.

Best of luck.
You can feed bunnies water from a dish? I always thought there was a chance of drowning, due to their noses being so close.
 
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