If you wonder how much to feed a rabbit (adult rabbit, baby rabbit or young rabbit) you are in the right place. Getting the right quantities is a matter of experience that you gain with time and knowledge. The guidelines you should follow depend on the age and weight of your pet rabbit.
A rabbit should be fed twice a day, in the morning and evening.
The daily diet of an adult pet rabbit should consist of:
- Unlimited access to hay;
- Fresh food: leafy vegetables, non-leafy vegetables and a little amount of very high fiber fruit (optional);
- A small amount of proper and good quality commercial rabbit mix or pellets.
I. First and foremost, your pet rabbit's diet should be made of 80% hay
The most popular types of grass hay are meadow, timothy, and orchard. Also great for your rabbit is oat, wheat, and barley hay. You should give your bun unlimited access to these types of hay. Alfalfa (Lucerne) is not a healthy choice for your adult rabbit. Since it has a very high protein level, it's suitable only for growing youngsters or as an alternative when it comes to putting weight on an underweight rabbit. Between 4 to 7 weeks besides his mother’s milk, the young rabbit gets full access to alfalfa and pellets.
II. Then, you have fresh food that should be of around 10 - 15% of your pet rabbit's diet
The majority of fresh food include:
1. leafy fresh food (about 75% of the fresh part of the diet);
2. non-leafy fresh food (15% of the fresh part of the diet);
3. high-fiber fruits (10% of the fresh part of the diet - none if dieting).
- for young adults (7 months to 1 year) - no more than 1 oz. (1 TBL) to 2 oz. (2 TBL) per 6 lbs. body weight;
- for adults (1 to 5 years) - no more than 2 oz. (2 TBL) per 6 lbs. body weight.
Leafy and Non-Leafy vegetables:
- for baby rabbits, vegetables should only be fed to after 12 weeks of age and introduced one at a time in quantities under ½ oz.
- for adults, an approximate amount to feed would be around 1 cup of greens for 2 lbs of rabbit body weight. You may need to test your buns individual limits. You may also see great results with 2-4 cups of fresh veggies per 6 lbs of rabbit body weight.
Feed your rabbit at least three types of vegetables daily, with at least one vegetable being high in Vitamin A (link). Those from the Oxalates List (link) should be fed sparingly to your bunny. A mixture is necessary in order to get the essential nutrients. For example, if you feed spinach this week, then leave it out of the diet for next week and use something else that is low in oxalate.
Introduce new vegetables to your rabbit’s diet one at a time to prevent digestive upset, even though your rabbit is already familiar with other veggies. Some rabbits may not react well with greens at all. Rabbits can thrive on a pellet/hay only diet. It's not that big of a deal. What you should check is that he drinks plenty of water.
TIP: The quantity of fresh food should be twice the size of the rabbit’s head: chop the vegetables coarsely and gather them snuggly (but not squeezed tightly) into your hands.
Find out here what you need from a veggie in order to be an excellent veggie for your rabbit.
III. How much to feed a rabbit with pellets?
How much pellets for rabbit? Pellets are specially designed for breeders richer in protein to make rabbits grow quickly. Still, what you need for your pet rabbit is a long lifespan. Pellets can make young rabbits eat little or no hay and that's definitely not a good habit. Good eating habits are formed early in life.
- 4 to 7 weeks – still on mother’s milk; full access to alfalfa and pellets;
- for juveniles (7 weeks to 7 months) - 25g per 1kg of expected adult weight for high protein pellets and a little more if you are feeding low protein pellets (adult pellets); In addition, calculate the quantity according to the other foods they are eating (e.g. alfalfa) and their activity levels. Reduce the quantity if he's producing soft droppings or not eating much hay;
- for young adults (7 months to 1 year) - eliminate alfalfa; decrease pellets to ½ cup per 6 lbs. body weight;
- for adults (1 to 5 years) - ¼ to ½ cup pellets per 6 lbs. body weight (depending on metabolism).
Are baby rabbits easier fo feed? Maybe, but they are the cutest! 🙂
- until 3 weeks – only on mother’s milk;
- between 3 to 4 weeks – on mother’s milk + little amounts of alfalfa and pellets;
- between 4 to 7 weeks – on mother’s milk + full access to alfalfa and pellets.
1 pound (lbs) = 0.45 kg
1 cup = 75 g = 2.6 oz
2 cups = 150 g = 5.3 oz
1 oz = 28.35 grams