Varied feeding in rabbits, including Oxbow rabbit food, among other specially designed food types, is part of a balanced and nutritious diet. Whether we are referring to pet rabbits or farm rabbits that are bred for production purposes, a healthy lifestyle is ensured by balanced daily menus and roomy and clean cages.
Being that rabbits are rodents, special attention should be paid to their continuously growing teeth. Every now and then the caregiver should closely inspect the length that a rabbit’s teeth have reached. On a day to day basis, hard chewy foods help to keep their teeth at a manageable length. If, however, they grow too long, they will prevent the rabbit from eating, making it ill.
Having such a fast metabolism, almost continuously eating is very important for rabbits. That’s why if overgrown teeth prevent the rabbit from eating for a couple of days, he will lose a lot of weight and his blood sugar level will drop significantly. If the problems remain unnoticed for an even longer period of time, the condition may become fatal to the rabbit.
What should a rabbit eat?
Hay is an absolute must in rabbit feeding. It has to be of very good quality, so either grass hay or lucerne hay is advisable to be offered twice a day. One can also use timothy hay. The high fiber content is essential to a rabbit’s good health and development. One thing to be absolutely avoided is improper molded hay because of its high bacterial and toxins charge.
Pellets are always a good choice for rabbits, especially when you want to somehow balance their diet. Due to their structure, they make selective feeding almost impossible. Also, their high mineral, calcium and vitamin content makes them a very good choice for pregnant females or baby rabbits that are just now learning how to eat. Special formulas are available for babies.
Grains are advisable for rabbits in small amounts. Corn and corn products should not be given on a daily basis, rather two maybe three times a week. Overfeeding grains to rabbits may lead to health issues including obesity. They are more widely used in large meat rabbit farms, where production rates increase when feeding grains.
Vegetables are important for bunnies. Of course, not all vegetables suit rabbits, because some of them could make rabbits gassy and lead to bloating. Keeping veggies on the menu in small amounts is key. However, veggies like dill, cilantro, Chinese broccoli, and Boston lettuce are always welcomed in the daily menu.
Tasty fruit treats should only be offered in small amounts and not a daily basis, mainly because of their high sugar content, that is not good for bunnies. Always make sure to wash fruits very well with plenty of clean water. Any pesticides on the fruits would be harmful to rabbits. Also, if conditions allow it, it is good to leave the fruit skin on.
Is celery good for rabbits?
Celery is a veggie belonging to the same family as carrots (the Apiaceae family). Both celery leaves and stalk are suited for rabbit feeding. Due to its high water and sugar content, celery becomes an immediate all-time bunny favorite. The crunchy texture makes eating celery a real “rabbit being spoiled” moment.
Most rabbits love celery, and luckily, it seems like celery is very healthy for them. The high vitamin A, E and K content makes celery a well-chosen treat for rabbits. However, just like with any new food, celery should be introduced gradually into the daily diet, while closely watching the stool for a few hours after feeding the new food.
The benefits of eating celery for bunnies include the crunchy texture that helps keep the ever-growing teeth under control, the high content of vitamins, minerals, calcium, folic acid, and many other precious nutrients, all of which are important to the rabbit’s health, and last, but not least, the delicious taste.
Some of the reasons celery is not all that great for bunnies include celery strings which, in seldom cases, can get stuck in the rabbit’s digestive system, causing blockages, or in between his teeth causing infections. Another reason is that given in large amounts, celery can give your bunny an upset stomach. And, also, the quite high sugar level of celery is not to be forgotten.
What foods or treats should be avoided?
Yogurt drops are not good for your bunny, as recent studies have shown. According to researchers, yogurt drops contribute to an abnormal multiplication of bacteria in the rabbit’s intestines, leading to a state of enterotoxemia that can become fatal. Choosing safe treats is a sure way of keeping your rabbit happy and healthy.
Foods that are high in carbohydrates, like bread or crackers, are not good for the rabbit’s health. Because of their special digestive system, rabbits are sensitive to foods they cannot quickly digest, and any type of food that will stay in the colon for long could lead to diarrhea due to bacterial reproduction. Artificial ingredients found in these types of foods are to be avoided.
Avocado is a big no-no to rabbits. Although the average person would never think so, apparently if ingested by a rabbit, avocados could turn out to be lethal. Because of its high-fat content, the digestive illness it will produce to the rabbit could prove to be irreversible. Walnuts and peanut butter fall pretty much in the same category of no-no’s as avocados.
Chocolate should never be fed to bunnies. Just as with other animals, like dogs the extremely high levels of sugar and fat will not be tolerated well by the bunny’s body. Since they cannot digest so much sugar and fat all of the possible consequences can be extreme. It can go as far as chocolate poisoning syndrome.
Other veggies that are not good for bunnies include iceberg lettuce and silverbeet because it makes them gassy and bloated. Rhubarb, although it is quite a common garden plant, can be poisonous to animals if ingested raw. It is not advisable to feed your rabbit any of the human food we are used to since our digestive system is so different from that of a rabbit.
Can baby rabbits have celery?
Since the digestive system of a baby rabbit is quite sensitive, it is not a good idea to give celery to very young rabbits. A bit older ones, quite close to being adults, may have a little bit of celery in the beginning, just to try it out. Close feces inspections throughout the process are a must, to ensure that getting kid rabbits used to celery is a success.
Just like with any other new food, gradually introducing celery in the bunny’s diet is very important. Any excess or overfeeding can lead to digestive problems that could prove difficult to balance back. As with other baby animals, thinking twice before acting is a wise thing to do. Prevention is key in the healthy development of baby bunnies into strong adults.
After reaching the weaning age, which depending on the type of rabbit you have could take place between the age of 4 weeks old up to 9 weeks old, extra care is to be given to a baby rabbit’s diet. Given their natural curiosity, offering rabbit mothers food that is not suitable for babies could give them the chance to try it out, and get digestive problems.