It is very important to make the right diet for your pet. Products that are not suitable for rabbit can cause the development of various diseases of the gastrointestinal tract or even be fatal.
The most important components in the proper nutrition of the rabbit are drinking water and hay, which is necessary to maintain the tone of the intestinal muscles and ensure that the rabbit is swallowed from the body.
Hay – the most important element in the diet of the rabbit. It is issued daily in unlimited quantities throughout the year both to rabbits and adults. The best option is fresh grass hay. High-quality hay – dry, fragrant, pleasant greenish color. It can be harvested on its own, but it is necessary to strictly ensure that in places where you collect grass, no poisonous plants are found, and also that the grass is not treated with pesticides and fertilizers.
The stock of fresh hay in the house should be constantly. For summer, hay is usually replaced with a mixture of herbs dried in the sun. Very useful for rabbits, yarrow, hogweed, starlet, which remains fresh until the onset of winter.
In a drinking bowl, a rabbit should always have fresh water. Rabbits consume a lot of fluid, which is necessary for their normal functioning. It is noticed that the rabbit is more willing to drink from an open bowl than from an auto drinker. However, in a bowl, the water is quickly polluted, in addition, the bowl can be easily knocked over. In any case, no matter what your rabbit drinks from, water is changed every day, and a bowl or drinker is rinsed with hot water so that bacteria do not multiply in it.
Currently on sale there are a variety of factory-made dry feed of both Western and domestic production.
They contain the necessary substances, vitamins and minerals that the rabbit can not get if it eats only hay and vegetables.
However, it is possible to issue them to a rabbit only in very limited quantities, since a rabbit that eats mostly dry food can get obesity, especially for neutered and spayed individuals. In addition, a rabbit that is used to getting a lot of dry food can refuse the hay it needs, which then leads to very serious problems.
Quality rabbit feeds are usually green alfalfa-based granules. The feed should not contain dry fruits, grains, nuts.
In nature, rabbits are herbivores and almost do not receive such a variety of food.
Some experts generally advise feeding rabbits only natural products, and using dry food as a treat.
Muesli-type foods (a mixture of cereals, corn, dried vegetables and fruits, nuts, oatmeal, etc.) are too fat for rabbits. Such a diet can end for them fatty liver, leading to death.
Good quality feed should contain at least 22% unrefined fiber, no more than 14–16% protein, about 1% fat and less than 1% calcium.
Carefully read what is written on the package before buying food. Rabbits and young rabbits need to be given more feed, protein and calcium are necessary for the development of bones and muscles and proper growth.
However, adult rabbits should be limited in consumption of factory feed to avoid obesity and disorders of the digestive system. When the rabbit reaches the age of 7-12 months, the amount of dry feed given to it is gradually reduced. The daily rate of dry feed for an adult rabbit should not exceed 15–20 g. If your rabbit refuses to eat hay, it means that he gets too much dry food. In this case, the amount of dry feed should be urgently reduced and more hay should be given instead.
Vegetables and fruits
In addition to hay, the rabbit needs vegetables for normal digestive organs.
You can give him broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, parsley, carrots (with tops), chicory, dill, basil, mint, spinach, tomatoes, chopped celery.
If you notice that some vegetables cause stomach upset in a rabbit, give them in very modest quantities or do not offer them at all. Vegetables containing vitamin A (carrots, parsley) are especially useful for a rabbit.
Rabbits are accustomed to vegetables gradually from 4 months of age. To get started, try giving carrots, cabbage, lettuce. The rate of vegetables for an adult rabbit is about one and a half full cups of vegetables per kg of weight per day. Vegetables should be washed and wiped. Rabbits can begin to get vegetables in the specified proportion from the age of 7 months, bring them to this norm gradually and carefully.
Usually the animal itself knows how much and when to eat it, so it always has a supply of food, grass and water. But there are also real gluttons, then you need to feed your pet by the hour, strictly observing the daily ration of food to prevent obesity.