It is possible to feed rabbits without using pellets, but is it healthy?
I believe that it is easier and healthier for a rabbit to have a good supply of pellets in the diet. Without feeding pellets, more supplements need to be used to see that the rabbit gets all the vitamins and nutrients it needs.
Rabbits are herbivores, and their diets should primarily be based on herbs, dark greens and veggies. However, because Hollands are such a small breed, their tiny bodies don't take the richness of the fruits/veggies very well. Babies absolutely need the pellets to support their rapid growth. Baby bunnies should never be fed fruits or veggies.
Pellets were designed to provide the rabbit with all the necessary nutrients and vitamins without you having to provide a lot of other supplements.
Pellets aren't very expensive either. I can buy a 50lb bag for only $20 at my local feed store. Also, some feeds have all the necessary fiber and hay in the pellet so that you don't even need to give the rabbit hay. Albers Rabbit Feed says that hay doesn't need to be fed, but I still feed it because it helps prevent boredom as well as keep the teeth neat and trim.
Rabbits shouldn't be fed only pellets; this can lead to obesity and problems elsewhere. Too many pellets can also cause digestive problems and runny poop. If you have a rabbit that frequently has poop sticking to its butt, decrease the amount of pellets that you feed and give the rabbit more hay. Also give the rabbit a bit of oats daily. The dry, rolled oats help to dry things up.
I feed half a cup of rabbit food per day. All my rabbits have done well on this. Some rabbits will need more then others, depending on how active they are, their age, and their size (some Hollands are bigger/smaller then others), but I find that half a cup usually works for everyone. Babies still living with mom get as much as they want to support their rapid growth.
Buy a good pellet. Don't buy the cheapest thing out there; often that isn't the best. There wouldn't be a point in giving our rabbits pellets if the pellet wasn't good for them or was missing essential nutrients.
What's your opinion on this subject? I'd love to hear your thoughts!