Bunnies love to eat!!! A healthy bunny produces about 300 droppings a day. Early in the morning they also produce special droppings called cecotropes that look like little clusters of grapes that kind of stink. Your bunny needs to eat them to stay healthy!! These cecotropes are nutrient dense and are essential for a healthy gut. If your bunny does not eat at breakfast or dinner, you have a sick bunny and it should be considered an emergency.
For a bunny to stay healthy, it is essential that she eats a very healthy diet comprised of:
- 75% of diet: grassy hay such as Timothy, Orchard and Bluegrass. They are low in protein and calcium (this is good) yet provide roughage to keep gut moving and keep teeth worn down. Bunny teeth continuously grow!
- 2 small salads a day comprised of at least 2-3 different varieties including: Romaine, Green Leaf, Red Leaf, Butter, Escarole, Chicory endive, Cilantro, Bok Choy, Spring mix, Swiss Chard, especially Dandelion (no pesticides please!) and Parsley. Kale should be given only in small quantities since it can cause painful gas. Bunnies also enjoy fresh herbs such as basil, mint, lemon balm, rosemary and dill.
- Timothy pellets (such as Oxbow or Selective Naturals) are also given in small quantities. Pellets were created as an easy way to feed meat rabbits. It is not a “natural” food for bunnies. Sugars are used to bind the ingredients making it very desirable to the bunny palate (bunnies are carb crazy!!) The pellets do provide essential vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in a more natural diet. Therefore, an average sized bunny (5 lbs.) should get about a 1/8 cup a day but divided into 3 portions: breakfast, dinner and “night night time.”
Treats should be given very sparingly. Only trouble comes from sugary treats such as apple, grapes, bananas and (yes) carrots. Just about every new bunny parent I have met has had the dubious experience of rushing to the emergency vet because the bunny has stopped eating and pooping (called GI Stasis, known as the silent killer.) Oxbow also makes treats that can be given with ingredients providing health benefits. Fresh water should always be available.
Some of our favorite brands are:
Oxbow Animal Health
Supreme Pet Foods