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Feeding hay and hydration

Did you know that at least 85-90% of a rabbit’s diet should consist of feeding hay, and fresh grass – about the size of a rabbit’s body? However, according to the PDSA Animal Wellbeing 2017 report, 31% of rabbits are not fed this amount each day.

Why do rabbits need hay?

Feeding hay and fresh grass are vitally important to make sure your rabbits’ teeth are worn down correctly and that the gut is kept healthy. Rabbits should be offered hay as much as they want, which should be clean, not dusty and should smell fresh.

What hay should I feed my rabbit?

Not all hay is the same, some is suitable for bedding only while other varieties are just what your rabbits need to eat. The right hay for rabbits is high in fibre and promotes digestive health, stimulates chewing, which is great for dental health, and encourages foraging, which is ideal for emotional health. Burgess Excel Feeding Hay is a great source of fibre and is ideal for keeping teeth in check.

Do rabbits need any other food?

Rabbits also need a small amount of rabbit nuggets each day (not muesli). Find out more about the right type of hay to feed your rabbits and rabbit nuggets from the Rabbit Awareness Action Group.

In addition to hay, you should offer your rabbits a variety of fresh leafy greens every day. If your rabbits is young and has not yet been introduced to green food, you must do this carefully and offer a small amount of greens daily, slowly increasing the amount over 10-14 days to avoid diarrhoea.

Approximately 10-20% of your rabbits’ diet should be fresh greens. Most people like to give their rabbits a variety of greens (vegetables and herbs) and several different types of greens can be offered in one sitting. Avoid very sugary or starchy vegetables such as carrots and other root vegetables, these can be used as treats instead. Ensure that you wash the greens before feeding your rabbits.

Rabbits need access to fresh water

And of course, rabbits must have fresh water available in a bottle or bowl constantly. If you have two rabbits, two bottles is a great idea as they do need to drink a lot.

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