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How much Food Should a Rabbit Eat?

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. October 17, 2016
How much Food Should a Rabbit Eat?

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Rabbits love food. If it was up to them they would spend the whole day eating, especially if the food is natural or has a touch of green. A good diet for rabbits is the cornerstone for keeping them properly healthy; many rabbits have intestinal tract problems and issues with their teeth and molars as a result of an improper diet.

To feed a rabbit properly, you need to know more than just the best foods. It's important to know their rhythms and daily feeding intervals. We want to give them enough to eat, but we should be careful that we don't overfeed them.

Stay with us at AnimalWised if you want to know how much food to give rabbits per day, because we will now give you all the necessary nutritional advice to keep your pet healthy and strong.

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General information about feeding rabbits

Remember that the rabbit's diet is based on pellets - they can made of cellulose or alfalfa, and should be a complement rather than the main food - constant vegetables, fresh oat hay, and lots of fresh water. The pellets must be of a good quality and high in fiber, at least 18%.

We suggest that you don't buy too much food in advance, since when the times comes to serve it it will no longer be fresh, won't contain the same amount of vitamins or will already be in a bad condition. Hay should be available to your rabbit 24 hours a day. The vegetables should have dark green leaves and should all be root vegetables, such as carrots. The wider range of fruit colors, the better, and they also really like apples and apple tree branches.

Rabbits eat according to their development and age. Below you can see the appropriate amounts of food for the different stages of the rabbit's life.

How much Food Should a Rabbit Eat? - General information about feeding rabbits

What to feed a bunny

During the first weeks of a rabbit's life, its diet should solely consist of breast milk. From the fourth week onward you can start feeding your bunny pellets and a little bit of alfalfa.

Between a month and a half and three months you can then give it unlimited amounts of hay and 2 to 3 tablespoons of pellets per day. From the fourth month on, start giving it small portions of vegetables a day (one type of vegetable at a time), such as carrots or endive leaves.

When it becomes a young rabbit at 6 months old, its daily vegetable intake should match 10% of its body weight, divided into two equal batches, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Vegetables are highly recommended on a daily basis, and they won't cause any problems. These could be rocket, lettuce, watercress, clover and those mentioned above.

How much Food Should a Rabbit Eat? - What to feed a bunny

Fruits are good, but in small portions

Fruits are good for rabbits, but in the right measure and proportion. Fruits should be introduced from three months old, and should also be offered three times a week at the most owing to its high sugar content. In large quantities, sugar could be dangerous for the animal.

The higher the vitamin content of the fruit, the more you need to keep an eye on it and monitor the quantity of food you're giving to your rabbit. The size of each portion of fruit should be no larger than an orange slice. Always make sure you take out the pips and seeds.

How much Food Should a Rabbit Eat? - Fruits are good, but in small portions

What to feed a rabbit from 8 months to 5 years old

You should only give a few handfuls of pellets a day to young rabbits. Vegetables will go up, while the dry food will decrease.

You can give your adult rabbit between 2-4% of its body weight or 25 g of pellets for every kilogram that the rabbit weighs. Meanwhile, green vegetables such as as radish leaves, endives and escaroles should be given in increasing quantities. You can also let it try fresh grass and reduce the quantity of alfalfa.

From one year old, your rabbit will then start to eat larger quantities. You can give it between 50-80 g of pellets per day, but keep giving all of its daily vegetables, accounting for 5-6% of its body weight. It should eat fruit three times per week for the rest of his life.

How much Food Should a Rabbit Eat? - What to feed a rabbit from 8 months to 5 years old

What to feed older rabbits from 6 years old

You can give older rabbits - 6 years old and more - the same portion sizes and types of food as before as long as they maintain their weight and physical condition.

Remember that you should give generous portions of hay, making sure that it is always fresh. If your rabbit weighs 2 kg, it's best to give it around 170 g of hay per day.

As for vegetables, the ideal amount will be 110 g per kilogram of its body weight. If your rabbit is losing weight - as it often happens - let it eat as many pellets as it wants. And if you see that it stops eating hay, don't hesitate to take it to the vet.

How much Food Should a Rabbit Eat? - What to feed older rabbits from 6 years old

If you want to read similar articles to How much Food Should a Rabbit Eat?, we recommend you visit our Healthy diets category.

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Lisa
What would happen to your rabbit if you only fed it pellets and rarely fed it vegetables.
Also will your rabbit live longer if he eats the right food and right amounts of it?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Lisa,

It is important to feed rabbits some fruit and vegetables because the pellets they receive don't have enough nutrition in the form of vitamins and dietary fiber. Feeding a rabbit pellets only can seriously damage their health as they may experience nutritional deficiencies. In this way, it can lower their life expectancy. Giving your rabbit the appropriate variations in their diet is important. There are other mitigating factors in a rabbit's life expectancy, so there are no guarantees. However, giving them the right diet will be one of the best ways to ensure you do what you can to keep them happy and healthy for as long as possible. Here are some more articles which can provide some more information on the subject:

https://www.animalwised.com/recommended-fruits-and-vegetables-for-rabbits-290.html

https://www.animalwised.com/what-to-feed-a-baby-rabbit-2537.html

We hope this answers your questions.
Pauline Allen
My rabbits has vegetables each day plus nuggets and hay but always seems hungry
Is he getting enough veggies
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Pauline

Thank you for your comment-
How big are the portions you are feeding your rabbit? Are they sufficient?

Regards

AnimalWised
Sarmad
How much alfalfa fodder to be given daily to a 2 Kg, 8 months rabbit?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Sarmad,

If you use the system detailed in the article, it should be about 50 g of pellets. You may give them a little more, but there shouldn't be much need to go above 75 g. Hope this helps!

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