What does a rabbit eat?
Your rabbit must have a good diet to live in good health throughout its life. His digestive system, very sensitive, needs a fairly strict diet despite some possible deviations. We guide you in the nutrition required for your animal.
Your rabbit does not eat only to satisfy itself. Eating is also a way to prevent possible dental (malocclusion), urinary and digestive conditions . A good diet therefore contributes to maintaining good health.
Basic ingredients for your rabbit
This lagomorph is a strict herbivore. In particular, he must have continuous hay , which allows his digestive tract to work as much as his teeth , by cutting them. Your rabbit will also appreciate the grass left available. Together, hay and grass make up 90% of its diet. He eats it continuously and can eat about twenty small meals a day. Note that he prefers to snack at night.
- The hay must be of excellent quality. Thus, we will favor more crau hay , which is a PDO, proof of its richness. Quality hay is visually recognizable. It stays green and makes no dust. Above all, it has a good smell . If it has a few dandelion flowers , it’s a significant asset.
- The grass must be fresh and always present in your rabbit’s bowl. He must be able to use it to cut his teeth.
Pellets for your rabbit
Your rabbit eats 90% hay and grass. However, his needs are not all covered. It needs a rich supplement . Pellets can help, provided you don’t overdo it, cereal was not ideal for the rabbit . Attention, do not take the pellets intended for guinea pigs. Those for your rabbit are very specific because they contain the vital minimum in fiber (20%). They also have protein to fill the nutritional gap in hay and grass. Finally, pellets don’t give your rabbit the ability to choose their favorite seeds like they might with cereal.
Vegetables for your rabbit
Their diet should also include vegetables. Not many of them enter into the composition of the menus of your protege. This list will make him happy, provided you give him in very small quantities:
- artichoke leaves
- Swiss chard
- Cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower
- Spinach (occasionally and in very small quantities)
- Very green radish leaves (especially not the radish itself which is toxic) and sunflower leaves
- Green beans
- parsley, dandelion
- Jerusalem artichokes
Fruits are also to be given sparingly because, being sweet, they tend to make your rabbit fat more than necessary .
Your rabbit’s droppings
Your rabbit is a coprophagous animal . It therefore lacks its rather soft excrement which is called caecotrophs. They are rich in minerals, proteins and vitamins . This is a second obligatory passage after the initial absorption of hay and grass. During this first passage, the digestive tract does not have time to analyze everything. For his good health, it is essential to see him eat his own droppings.
Water for your rabbit
Staying hydrated is essential for your rabbit. This allows him to maintain his body temperature around 39°C. This is especially valid in the summer, when during the hot weather, your pet will never sweat. It must therefore ingest water-based foods such as cucumber, watermelon or seeded tomatoes that will lower its internal temperature. He must always have water available in his cage.
Your rabbit is a strict herbivore. It feeds mainly on hay , grass and vegetables . He can also have a few pellets which will provide him with the food supplements necessary for his good health. Note that it is a coprophagous animal and therefore, therefore, it lacks its excrement. Also be sure to hydrate it well, especially during periods of high heat.