About Us!

Welcome to our page! We do our best to provide to-be and current bunny owners up-to-date info on the best care for their house rabbits. When we adopted our first bunny in 2005, there was almost nothing on the internet to tell us how to care for him. Just in the past few years, information has exploded online, and now it can be confusing! We try to simplify it by posting weekly articles on current issues, daily care, concerns, proper feeding, and other info so you can enjoy your house-bun! If you are just finding us, feel free to look through the older posts also. Please email us if you have any questions! Happy bunnies make happy hearts!
Email: thebunnyhut101@yahoo.com

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Learning About Pellets

Since pellets are manufactured and marketed primarily for breeders, and since most breeder rabbits are subject to more stress than house rabbits, many brands of pellets are labeled as "performance" feeds. These brands contain a high level of protein (16-22%), which is probably necessary to keep alive a rabbit who lives in an environment without climate control, is bred as often as possible, or is nursing most of the time. Physical, environmental, and psychological stresses require high energy levels for survival. A healthier protein percentage for spayed or neutered house rabbits is approximately 12-14%, a level at which it is possible to find pellet brands that contain no animal fat and list at least some actual ingredients on their labels. Unfortunately, one well-known manufacturer recently increased the protein in their maintenance diet to 16%. Although the food still contains no animal fat, this is more protein than a house rabbit needs.

 Clearly, when "production" is the goal there is considerable pressure for weight gain and maintenance, and very little concern with geriatric matters. Needless to say, no house rabbit lives under these conditions. Most are spayed or neutered, live indoors with minimal environmental stress, and can expect to make it to six to twelve years of age. In these rabbits, the concentrated nature of pellets can lead to obesity and its attendant medical problems.

A good quality rabbit pellet should have at least 22% crude fiber, no more than approximately 14% protein, about 1% fat and about 1.0% calcium. Check the label on the rabbit pellets before you buy. Most commercial pellets are alfalfa-based, which means they're higher in calories and lower in fiber than timothy-based pellets.  

 A good quality rabbit pellet DOES NOT contain dried fruit, seeds, nuts, colored crunchy things or other things that are attractive to our human eyes, but very unhealthy to a rabbit. Rabbits are strict herbivores, and in nature they rarely get fruit, nuts or other such fatty, starchy foods. The complex flora of the cecum can quickly become dangerously imbalanced if too much simple, digestible carbohydrate is consumed--especially if the diet is generally low in fiber. The result is often "poopy butt syndrome," in which mushy fecal matter cakes onto the rabbit's behind. This a sign of cecal dysbiosis, which can foment much more serious health problems.

The proper amount to feed your bunny is:

5-7 lb     of body wt. 1/4 cup daily
8-10 lb   of body wt. 1/2 cup daily
11-15 lb of body wt. 3/4 cup daily

We have found that Oxbow pellets meets all the recommendations of correct percentages of fiber and protein for a house rabbit. Recently we found out the Kaytee brand began adding alfalfa to their pellets, so we will be changing than information in our care-kit booklets since bunnies over 6 months do not need the alfalfa. 

This can be found in local pet stores on bought online through
Foster & Smith in various sizes.

* http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/diet.html