Choosing from a wide range of stackable rabbit cages could prove to be quite difficult. However, knowing exactly what you need comes from understanding what is best for your pet rabbit. The rabbit’s basic feeding needs, behavior or housing requirements are all aspects of caretaking of a pet rabbit.
Since rabbits have ever-growing teeth, providing proper food on a daily basis is key to maintaining a rabbit’s optimum health. The right kind of food will also help to keep a rabbit’s teeth at a manageable length. Taking a close look at the rabbit’s front teeth is a must because overgrown teeth could prevent your rabbit from feeding.
The environment they live in is very important to rabbits, as well. Bunnies enjoy a quiet space, since sudden loud noises frighten them, and that space should also have a steady temperature, and out of direct sunlight. Giving rabbits enough space to roam around and freely go on with their daily routines is also important to pet bunnies. Avoid keeping them in overpopulated areas.
What should a pet rabbit eat?
The first thing that comes to mind when you talk about rabbit food is hay. Thanks to its high fiber content, hay is one of the most important parts of any rabbit’s daily diet. Good quality hay is essential to a bunny’s well-being and it should be given in large daily amounts. The amount of hay given on a daily basis should be equal to the rabbit’s size.
Pellets are another key ingredient in the rabbit’s daily menu. Given their structure and texture, pellets are the best option to prevent selective feeding and, thus, reduce losses of food. Pellets are enriched with much-needed vitamins, minerals, and calcium, and are high in fiber content. They usually come in age and size balanced formulas.
Vegetables are another important part of a pet rabbit’s diet, as long as they are fed in small amounts. Rotating vegetable mixes might be a very good idea, keeping your pet bunny interested in new things, as well as ensuring a varied diet. Make sure you always feed your rabbit fresh and very clean vegetables.
Fruits can be given to rabbits as treats. They should not be more than 10% of the total daily amount of food given to a pet rabbit. There are some fruits that are suited for bunnies like apples, pears, and plums, while others are to be totally avoided like avocado. Make sure you always give fresh, clean fruits to your pet rabbit.
The right way to feed any new vegetable or fruit to a rabbit is to gradually introduce that food to their diet by giving a small piece first. Since a rabbit’s metabolism is very fast, you will need to watch the stool for any changes but will take just a couple of hours after feeding the new treat.
What types of hay are good for rabbits?
Timothy hay has the advantage of being high in fibers and low in proteins which makes it one of the best types of hay out there. Since it also has a low calcium level, this type of hay is more suited for adult rabbits than youngsters and should be available to the pet rabbit at all times. Fresh drinking water should be available all the time, too.
Orchard hay has a sweet smell and taste, making it very appealing to any rabbit. Is it also low in proteins and high in fibers, but because it is a lot softer than timothy hay, younger rabbits will also benefit from eating it. It works very well for the sensitive digestive system of young rabbits due to its high fiber content.
Meadow hay is actually a mix of different types of grasses, kiln-dried together. Because the types of grasses found in meadow hay can vary so much, so do the fibers, nutrients, and calcium levels it contains. It is not advised to be fed “free of choice” or in unlimited amounts, such as timothy hay is. The mixture of different grasses gives it a unique, nice flavor.
Oat hay is usually harvested just before the oat seeds ripen, which means there are lots of crunchy parts left for the pet rabbit to enjoy. Also low in proteins and high in fibers, oat hay is also rich in vitamins. It can be mixed with other types of grass hay. Rabbits usually eat oat hay very well thanks to both nice texture and nice taste.
Herbal hay is basically any type of grass hay to which some herbs like dandelion and chamomile have been added. This type of hay is ideal for rabbits that are being kept only indoors, not having the freedom to forage outside. If you own a small piece of land or garden, growing it yourself and drying it for the winter could be less expensive and more rewarding.
Alfalfa hay or lucerne hay is one of the most common types of hay available on the market. Thanks to its high fiber content and high nutritional value, lucerne hay is very good for raising young rabbits and helping them put on weight. Lucerne is actually a legume and it is also used as a richer type of animal food.
What about wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass is a type of grass that is usually grown for its cereal grain. It is typically harvested before the seeds have ripened and can be served as green grass or as wheatgrass hay. However, after the seeds have ripened and the plant’s stalks turn golden-brownish in color, all nutritional value is gone and the plants turn into straws, which are used as bedding.
The fun part of feeding wheatgrass to your pet bunny is that you can actually grow it yourself. All you need in order to do that is wheat seeds, soil, water and plenty of direct sunlight. Wheat is one of the fastest growing cereal plants, and given the right temperature conditions, it will thrive. Growing your own pet food can be both rewarding and safer for the pet rabbit.
Wheatgrass hay is an excellent way of preserving grass-based food over a longer period of time. By doing this, you make sure your pet rabbit has plenty of good quality food over the winter time when no green food is available. Due to its high level of fibers and nutrients, it is a very good rabbit food choice.
In order to keep all its nutrients and vitamins, hay should be stored in an area that is out of direct sunlight, dry and not airtight. Properly storing hay ensures it keeps its value and quality over many months to several years. Good quality hay must be sweet and fresh smelling, without any trace of a musty smell, and free from excessive dust.
Out of all hay types available, the one less suited for adult rabbits, but best suited for youngsters, is alfalfa hay due to its high protein and calcium levels. However, if your bunny is a fussy eater, you can mix lucerne hay with timothy or orchard hay. This way, you may find the right balance between advised food and tasty food for your furry friend.