What should I be feeding my young bunny??

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BethM

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So, I took Opal and Benjamin to the HRS meeting last Saturday, it was a good bonding opportunity. The woman who was fostering Opal's brother and sister was there with them, and they were a fair size larger than Opal. I realized that I haven't been feeding Opal enough, and am a bit ashamed.

I have been giving her the same thing I give my adults, though I was always feeding her more than they were getting.
Since seeing that her brother and sister are larger, I have increased her food again.

She's getting a mixed salad, about 2 cups (same as I give my adults), and she's eating about 1-1 1/2 cups of timothy pellets per day. (Since Saturday, I have been making sure her pellet dish is never empty. Before that, she was getting twice the pellets my adults were eating.) Also unlimited timothy hay, of course.

So, I'm wondering, should I be giving her completely different food? Should I add in anything specific? She is about 4 months old now. Is it too late?

Should I be worried that maybe the last month of not-quite-enough-food has stunted her in some way? For some reason, I didn't even think that she might need something different than the adults are getting.
I am feeling really bad about this.

 

kirbyultra

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I doubt that she's stunted. She is still young, has plenty of time to catch up. She'll probably keep growing till she's 12 months-ish.

She's eating quite a lot of timmy pellets (1 to 1.5 cups right?) so I don't think you're starving her! Plus with the hay and veg she's probably quite fine. Though to keep it all relative, how many lbs is she now and what breed is she?

If you can afford to buy her a pellet that is exclusive for her as a young bun, try a type with alfalfa meal instead and gradually switch her to that. APD makes a nice alffy pellet that has 16.5% protein and higher fat content for her to burn all her adolescent energy :biggrin:
 

BethM

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Thanks, Helen!

Yeah, she's eating plenty of pellets, and a big salad, so she'd getting plenty of food. She's also energetic. I'm just worried that maybe she's missing some vital nutrients.

I was just checking out the Alfy pellets from APD, I will probably order a bag before I go to bed this evening. They usually deliver within a week. I've been reading the ingredients of stuff available at stores, but they all look terrible! I might stop tomorrow and get a pack of alfalfa hay cubes, though.

I guess I was just alarmed, since she was noticeably smaller than her siblings- Opal has grown, just not as much. I will weigh her tomorrow. (She's a mix, possibly Hotot-English Spot?) Now, every time I look at her I feel guilty, all I can think of is how small she is. I should have known better!

This week I've also upped her kale, for the calcium, and I've started slipping a bit of carrot into her salad for extra calories.
 

Amy27

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I fed Little Bunny the same adult pellets (timothy based) that I was feeding Chase when I got her. I just feed her more pellets, I free fed her. She never seemed to have an issue and she was about 2-3 months old when I got her. She is now probably larger then most lionheads.

I wonder if Opal is just smaller then her siblings? Do you know what her foster was feeding her?
 

BethM

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Good point, Amy, maybe Opal is just smaller. Her sibling look like young adults, but she still looks like a (big) baby. She's not bony, though.
I don't know what her foster before me was feeding, I do know he gives his bunnies a lot of cabbage, apples, and carrots, which I don't feed a lot of in my house. The siblings' foster feeds some variety of Purina pellets, I think, and she feeds a lot of assorted veggies and fruit from her garden. Again, more fruit than I normally feed.
I did order a bag of APD alfalfa pellets, better be good because it cost a small fortune! It's just 6 lbs, though, so I'll feed her the whole bag of that and then switch her back to Timothy. Maybe I'll give her a Timothy-alfalfa mix.
 

kirbyultra

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When Toby was a baby, at the rate that he was inhaling pellets, a 5lb bag of alfalfa pellets lasted him only a month! If you want to stretch it a bit, throw in a half cup of timmy pellets too.
 

dixonsrabbitry1

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If she is a meat breed mix, it will take her a few more months to reach the right weight. Sounds like you are doing everything right. Id cut back on the salad for awhile, its possible she may be picking that over the pellets. Cut back on that and see if she starts gaining weight. It could also be the pellets too. Not all rabbits do well on the same brand. How does her muscle tone feel? If she has great muscle tone, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. you can check it by running one hand over the shoulders, back, and rump. If the bunny feels nice and smooth, then she has good muscle tone.
 

BethM

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dixonsrabbitry1 wrote:
If she is a meat breed mix, it will take her a few more months to reach the right weight. Sounds like you are doing everything right. Id cut back on the salad for awhile, its possible she may be picking that over the pellets. Cut back on that and see if she starts gaining weight. It could also be the pellets too. Not all rabbits do well on the same brand. How does her muscle tone feel? If she has great muscle tone, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. you can check it by running one hand over the shoulders, back, and rump. If the bunny feels nice and smooth, then she has good muscle tone.
Thank you! I was not concerned with her size until I saw her next to her siblings, who have grown much more than she has. She is definitely eating all of her salad and large quantities of hay, but she is also eating a lot of pellets. (She ate more than a cup yesterday.)
When I pet her back, I cannot feel her spine at all. Her rump isn't very rounded, though.

I ordered a bag of alfalfa pellets on Tuesday, but it hasn't even shipped yet. This is irritating, APD usually ships within a day or two of when I order. Grrr.
I did pick up some alfalfa hay cubes, but Opal doesn't seem to like them, or she doesn't know it's food.

Having a little bunny eating a lot of pellets right now does work out for me- The rescue I volunteer with sells the APD hay, and I asked to get a 25lb bag of the Timmy pellets sent with their last hay order, but the woman who does the ordering randomly got a 50lb bag instead. When I told her I didn't really have room to store that amount, she then randomly gave me the whole bag, no charge. I don't think she'll be ordering the pellets from the distributer again, as they charged the same amount as I could have it delivered to my door. (There should have been a discounted shipping charge.) Anyway, I've been scrambling with all these pellets, and here comes Opal to eat them all up.
Hopefully the Alffy pellets ship soon, and I'll give her half-and-half.
 

kirbyultra

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LOL your rescue sounds more and more disorganized the more I read about it. How odd! I'm glad you have your own mini pellet vacuum at home to help with the accidental 50lb bag!
 

BethM

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kirbyultra wrote:
LOL your rescue sounds more and more disorganized the more I read about it. How odd! I'm glad you have your own mini pellet vacuum at home to help with the accidental 50lb bag!
Yeah. There are two of us who volunteer with the rescue who feed the APD pellets. Based on this, she decided to sell the pellets, but most people already have a favored brand. Plus, someone was supposed to break them into smaller bags and vacuum seal them, but the guys who distribute the hay showed up with the entire 50lb bag! I don't think anyone asked how much the pellets would be before ordering.

If they can get their distributor straightened out, I'll have them order for me again, otherwise I'll just order directly- costs the same.

I had to buy additional containers to store the pellets in, but I only have room in the freezer for so many at a time, right. Also, Benjamin will ONLY eat pellets that have previously been frozen (seriously, he acts afraid of un-frozen pellets, too weird), so I have to be careful to rotate them in and out of the freezer. (With the 25lb bag, I can just about fit them all in, between the regular freezer and mini-fridge freezer.)
 

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