Rabbits need a balanced diet just like humans do. They need Fiber + Proteins + Carbohydrates + Fats + Vitamins + Minerals + Water.
FIBER: Essential for proper gut function.
PROTEIN: Necessary for growth, disease resistance, milk production, general heath and reproduction.
VITAMINS: A, D, E, K are the most important.
MINERALS: Necessary for bone development.
WATER: Controls body temperature and absorption. A thirsty rabbit will not eat.
Feed your rabbit on a regular schedule. Once or twice per day.
HOW MUCH FEED IS ENOUGH?
Small Breeds: 1/4 cup - 1/2 cup per day (2-3oz)
Medium Breeds: 3/4 cup - 1 cup per day (3 1/2-4oz)
Large/Giant Breeds: 1 1/2 cup - 2 cups per day (6-8oz)
RABBIT PELLETS - Use good quality commercial pellets. The pellets should be firm and not broken into small particles. The particles, or fines, will not be eaten and will be wasted.
Keep your feed dry, out of excess heat, and free from insects and rodents. This can be done easily by storing in a container (like a bin or garbage can), with a tight-fitting lid or a Tupperware container with a tight-fitting lid if you only have a pet rabbit or two. Feed loses its nutritional value if stored for longer than a month, depending on the date it was milled. About 4-5 months after the milling date, the feed will lose its nutrients. Do not let stale or moldy feed accumulate in feeders. If the feed is dusty, try to sift before feeding. The dust may harm your rabbit's respiratory system and make your bunny sneeze.
Find the greenest and healthiest rabbit pellet you can. Tan, very light green, or brownish pellets should be avoided. The pellet should be very dark green, which means it's fresher and filled with lots of healthy greens.
PROTEIN - Is the source of growth and energy in the feed. Choose a feed too low in protein and your rabbit will lack fleshing, too high and your rabbit could experience diarrhea or cause your rabbit to be flabby. Rabbits kept outside need a 2 percent higher protein level than rabbits kept in a heated area. NOTICE SOME TAGS ONLY SAY NOT LESS THAN A CERTAIN PERCENT. A GOOD QUALITY FEED SHOULD GUARANTEE IT TO BE WITHIN 1 to 2 PERCENT.
FIBER—Satisfies the bulk and forage requirements. A diet too low in fiber can cause sever diarrhea, lack of appetite, and increased chewing on objects.
FAT—Is the least important of the three factors. It is considered a conditioner. It adds luster and gloss to the fur.
HAY—Feed a small amount of good, clean hay every day. It should not be dusty or moldy. Roughage, especially hay, will reduce problems with hairballs and other blockage. Grass or timothy hay is best for rabbits over 6 months of age. Hay can improve your rabbit’s life expectancy.
WATER—Is the most important item in your rabbit’s diet. If adequate water is not supplied, your rabbit will not eat like it should, will not gain/grow adequately, and could become dehydrated. Fresh water is extremely important—Never let your water sit more than a day without changing it. This keeps it from stagnating. Fresh clean water should be supplied to your rabbit 2 or 3 times per day. Remember to keep your water crocks and bottles clean. You can disinfect them with diluted vinegar.
~Check occasionally to see if your rabbit is being fed enough or too much. Feel the skin covering its ribs and backbone. If it feels too thin, increase its food.~