Thursday, 4 April 2013

The bunny challenge Your rabbits fibre step 1 diet post 2

This post is part of the bunny challenge diet plan.
Rabbits are herbivores, they need a lot of fibre in their diet. 

Rabbits need to keep their digestive systems busy with a mix of two kinds of fibre, moving through the gut at all times (these types of fibres are called digestible fibre and indigestible fibre).  
Rabbits don't get enough nutrition from fibre when it passes through their gut the first time, so they pass it through a second time by eating their droppings !!!

Indigestible fibre is moved through their digestive system and excreted as separate, round, hard droppings. This type of fibre keeps the digestive system moving and their appetite stimulated.

Digestible fibre is moved up into an organ called the caecum.
Good bacteria in the caecum ferment the fibre, making it easy to digest. This emerges in the form of clumps of sticky droppings – we call these droppings caecotrophs. Rabbits then re-eat the caecotrophs and their systems extract the essential nutrition when the digestible fibre passes through for the second time.
If rabbits don't get the right amounts of both digestible and indigestible fibre, it can rapidly lead to serious health problems.

Hay! Glorious Hay!

I can't stress enough how much rabbits need lots  of hay. Hay is the most important component of this diet plan. So finding the right hay makes all the difference.

(Q)What hay should I feed my rabbit ?

(A)Timothy Hay or Meadow hay are best for daily feed. Occasionally, I also like to buy my rabbits  what I call " treat hay" with dandelions and mixed herbs. Don't feed your rabbit too much alfalfa as it can be fattening.
As your rabbits munch their hay, the chewing action required by the rabbit to eat his hay helps to wear down his teeth.The rabbit teeth are constantly growing and overgrown teeth can be the cause of potentially fatal problems.

(Q)How can I tell if I've got good hay?

(A) The hay should be slightly green and smell sweet. When you buy your hay sniff the bag, it shouldn't smell musty but sweet  and it should not look dry or powdered. 

(Q) How much hay should I feed my rabbit?

(A) You should feed your rabbit the same amount as the rabbit size.

(Q) When should I change my rabbit's hay , once a week or more often?

(A) I change my rabbits hay EVERY DAY. Every time  I didn't change their  hay daily, I have noticed that they  ignored it and stop eating it .  Changing your rabbits hay will ensure that your rabbit  will eat it.

 Rabbits need a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits. During the winter months, PARSLEY should be given to your rabbit every day since the rabbit is not getting as much fresh grass. Parsley will help the rabbit's digestive system and as always if your rabbits can't tolerate parsley don't feed it to your pet . This is only a guide some rabbits can't tolerate some fruits or vegetables so finding what works for him will be on an individual basis.Your rabbit should get a tiny portion of  fruit ( my rabbits love bananas!) and  larger portion of green veggies and herbs. 

Here is a list of  vegetables and fruits safe to feed  your rabbit with.

 Brussels Sprouts
 Carrots (only feed occasionally – they are high in sugar. The leafy tops are OK)
 Celery leaves
 Dandelion (in moderation – can make your rabbit go to the toilet more than usual)
Green beans 
Radish tops

Fresh water should be available at all times and changed daily.


I hope that you enjoyed this post and as always suggestions, feedback are always welcome.


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