A French Lop Rabbit's Diet
Animal file: Lop Rabbit
These floppy-eared rabbits have become common pets in many homes. However, many people are unaware that French Lops are very delicate and need specific care. Caring for their fur or making sure they have the space and exercise they need are aspects that should always be considered before adopting one of them.
French Lops are generally quiet and sociable, but they also need room to move around as well as an appropriate cage. Their diet is no different to any other domestic rabbit, but there are some specific guidelines that will make their overall welfare better.
This AnimalWised article will discuss a French Lop Rabbit's diet. If you would like to know more about the general care for this rabbit breed, we also recommend reading about caring for a French Lop.
Rabbits are herbivores; besides eating fruit and vegetables, they also need to ensure a proper daily intake of fiber so that their intestinal flora transit functions properly.
Furthermore, much like cats, rabbits can suffer from hairballs. Fiber will help get rid of these and prevent blockages from occurring. To resolve this problem you can also give your rabbit malt.
Fresh hay is a good source of fiber. Your French Lop rabbit must have plenty of hay to eat whenever it wants so that its intestinal tract functions properly. A lack of non-digestible fiber in its diet can cause constipation and in extreme situations, even death. When this lack happens, rabbits reduce their water intake and they don't produce as many stools. Keep your eyes open!
Of course, you should choose good quality hay, free from dust or pesticides and with a high fiber content. Water is also very important and should always be available for your rabbit to drink.
You should always avoid food for farm rabbits because in many cases it is meant to fatten them up. This would not be adequate for your pet rabbit; you need to feed it a balanced diet to prevent it from getting obese. You should not feed your French Lop rabbit food that's not specific for rabbits.
In specialist shops you can now find food for domestic rabbits as well as more specific food for smaller breeds like the French Lop. When looking for suitable food you should take note of following:
- It must have a high fiber content.
- It should contain a greater proportion of cellulose than protein.
- Avoid giving your rabbit food containing seeds.
- Look for one with a low fat content.
The food is usually in the form of pellets. This should never be the only form of food for your rabbit; rather, it is a supplement to its diet, which should always include fresh and varied products.
On the other hand you should know that pellet food is not suitable for rabbits of all ages. When they are young, rabbits should have this kind of food in abundance, but as adults they should have only about 30 grams per day. Feeding your rabbit excessively will lead to obesity and will harm their organism.
Vegetables for French Lop rabbits
Vegetables should always be included in a pet rabbit's diet. They should make up approximately 50% of their diet. A rabbit that is only given pellet food, even if it's good quality, may have nutritional deficiencies. After all, rabbits eat small amounts of food throughout the day.
You should provide fresh vegetables cut into small pieces so that your rabbit can eat them. This is especially important during the early months, when it's a bunny. Vegetables that you can give to your French Lop rabbit include:
- Radish leaves
Remember that every time you introduce a new food into its diet you should watch your rabbit to see how it reacts. Introduce each food individually so you can see if it gets sick and remove it from its diet.
Some vegetables are not recommended because they cause heavy digestions and can make your rabbit ill:
- Iceberg lettuce (too much water)
Fruits for French Lop rabbit
Fruit should only be occasionally given to your pet rabbit, as it contains a high percentage of sugar. You can give your French Lop small amounts of fruit once or twice a week.
Melon or watermelon skin and peel can be eaten without problems. Fruit that you can give to your rabbit includes:
Avoid fruit seeds and pips. Some fruit should be avoided because they contain elements which are toxic for your rabbit or that can lead to digestion difficulties:
- Citrus fruit
Forbidden foods for rabbits
Many foods in a human's diet are harmful to your rabbit. They are herbivorous animals, so other kinds of food (like meat or fish) should be avoided. Although they would eat it if you offered it to them, you should never feed your rabbit the following foods:
- Dairy products
- Packaged cereals
- Fruit in syrup
- Ornamental plants
- Bread (too fattening)
If you want to read similar articles to A French Lop Rabbit's Diet, we recommend you visit our Healthy diets category.