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Video:Feeding Pet Rabbits

with Linda Thibault

Rabbits have very sensitive digestive systems, so it is imperative to feed pet rabbits a balanced diet consisting on hay, vegetables and pellets. Here's a brief guide on what to feed your pet rabbit.See Transcript

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Transcript:Feeding Pet Rabbits

Hi! I'm Linda Thibault with About.com, and today, I'm going to talk about feeding pet rabbits. We are at Hop Along Hollow Rabbit Rescue in Norwalk, Connecticut.

It Is Important to Feed Rabbits Hay

It is extremely important to have a well balanced diet for your pet rabbit. The digestive system of a rabbit is very susceptible to serious upsets if the diet if the diet is inappropriate. A healthy diet for your pet rabbit consists of hay, vegetables and pellets. Since fiber is essential to a rabbit's diet, hay and vegetables should be the main components, with smaller portions of pellets. Fiber is the most vital part of a pet rabbit's diet. Rabbits that have been fed only pellets before becoming your pet may not want to eat a lot of hay right away. Adding fresh hay a few times every day, while reducing pellets, will help your pet rabbit adjust to eating more hay.

Rabbits Should Also Be Fed Vegetables

Vegetables should make up a large portion of the diet. You will have to feed your pet rabbit one vegetable at a time when introducing new veggies to their diet. This will help you identify which vegetables agree with your rabbit's stomach and which ones don't. You should feed your rabbit 2 to 4 cups of veggies, depending on the size of your rabbit. Good vegetables to add to your rabbit's diet include dandelion, parsley, romaine lettuce, endive and collard greens. Avoid cauliflower, cabbage, potatoes and beans. Vegetables should be introduced to bunnies around 12 weeks of age, in small quantities and one at a time.

Do Not Let Rabbits Solely Eat Pellets

The addition of some pellets does add balance to the house rabbit's diet. However, a diet that consists mainly of pellets can lead to obesity and digestive problems, as pellets are designed for commercial use. They're very high in calories. Remember: for adult bunnies, use Timothy-based pellets; for youngsters under the age of 9 months, use an alfalfa based pellet. Be sure you are using a plain green pellet, and avoid the bags with fancy ingredients such as corn, seeds, nuts and carrots. These extra additions are eye appealing for you and tasty for the bunny, but not healthy for his digestive system.

Occasionally Feed Rabbits Treats

Anything other than hay, vegetables and pellets is considered treats. Treats should be limited, as they don't add much to a pet rabbit's diet. A tablespoon or two of fresh fruit is a great treat, as are twigs from apple trees. You must always be positive that your bunny is eating. Should your bunny go twelve hours without eating, it is imperative you get him to a rabbit-experienced vet immediately. Do not wait. If you follow these guidelines, you will have a healthy and happy pet rabbit.

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