In the wild rabbits feed on high levels of fibrous grasses. Their digestive systems are designed to be kept in constant motion to get the most out of this diet. It’s important that you feed your rabbits a balanced diet that gives them the nutritional and emotional benefits they need to live a happy and healthy life. Find out more about your rabbits’ diet below.
The Excel Feeding plan is a complete feeding plan developed with veterinary experts to help ensure your rabbits get a balanced diet.
High-quality, dust extracted feeding hay should make up 85-90% of your rabbits’ diet. You should make sure it is freely available and replaced with fresh hay every day.
Should be fed as a supplement to feeding hay or grass to ensure your rabbits get all the minerals they need. You should look for nugget products appropriate to your rabbits’ life stage. Make sure you follow feeding guides and don’t feed too many nuggets or your rabbits may become obese.
Nature snacks can be fed in small amounts either by hand to help bonding, left in housing to keep your rabbits occupied or sprinkled through feeding hay to encourage foraging.
Can be fed as a treat to add variety and provide additional nutrition. Have a look at our guide to feeding greens below to find out what can be fed to your bunnies. Click the link below to download our guide to what fresh greens you can and can’t feed your rabbits.
Fibre from feeding hay and fresh grass is really important for:
When offered muesli diets rabbits are likely to select the high starch and sugary elements of the food leaving the higher fibre pieces: this is called selective feeding and results in rabbits eating an unbalanced diet.
Selective feeding can increase the risk of Dental Disease, Gut Stasis and Fly Strike.
If you take the challenge to move your rabbits away from muesli you should transition their diet slowly over a four week period, as depicted in our visual guide below. Make sure you don’t overfeed and increase the overall portion size over this period and make sure your rabbits have access to unlimited high-quality feeding hay.
Often cheaply manufactured and can remain packaged for long periods
Comfortable to sleep on and provides insulation in the winter
Unknown nutritional value
Usually less tasty – reduces rabbits’ hay intake to a level insufficient to support dental and digestive health
Can be yellow or brown and dusty and can contain mould spores
Grown specifically for feeding rabbits
Should be cut at full bloom for a lush, green hay ideal for enrichment
High fibre for a healthy gut
Barn-dried and dust-extracted to help maintain respiratory health
Dental disease is one of the most common health problems found in rabbits and is associated with feeding a muesli based diet. Dental disease is caused by a lack abrasive foods in a rabbit’s diet, the affected rabbit’s teeth become overgrown making it too painful for them to eat properly.
If you notice one of your rabbits is eating less than usual you should take them to your vet as soon as possible. In order to help prevent dental disease you should feed your rabbit the appropriate diet with 85-90% feeding hay, supplemented by a small portion of nuggets. You should also check your rabbits’ teeth regularly.
Gut stasis is a condition where a rabbit’s digestive system slows down or stops. This can result in a build-up of gas and toxins which can be fatal to the affected rabbit. An increased risk of gut stasis is linked to selective feeding.
Grasses (not lawn chippings), dandelion leaves, plantain, herb robert, rose bush leaves, nasturtium, wild geranium, strawberry and raspberry leaves, hazel tree leaves and branches, willow tree leaves and branches, apple tree leaves and branches, Hawthorn, brambles, goosegrass, blackthorn, nettle (dried), cauliflower leaves, celery leaves, green pepper, kale, mint, romaine lettuce, spring greens.
Apple (pipless), banana, savoy cabbage, turnip, carrot tops, swede, spinach, parsley, basil, dill, oregano, coriander.
Apple pips, avocado, potato, potato tops, rhubarb (leaves & stalks), tomato leaves, locust pods and beans, any plant that grows from a bulb, bluebell, yew, foxglove, garlic, onion, shallots and chives, hemlock, buttercup, dock, ivy, poppy, privet, primrose, ragwort.