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Pellets' Place in the Mature Rabbit's Diet
MARINELL HARRIMAN IN CONSULTATION WITH CAROLYN HARVEY, DVM
 
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The Ingredients and Guaranteed Analysis of Various "Maintenance" Pellets

We try to keep our animal companions alive and well as long as possible. Our dogs and cats are switched to "senior" or "maintenance" diets as they mature. In a search for the same options in rabbit pellets, we contacted some large and small pellet manufacturers around the country to ask about their best non-breeding "maintenance" diet.

Nutritional requirements are more than adequately met in all of the pellets listed. Two things, however, are of great concern to people who have elderly rabbits--calories and calcium.

Most of us are calorie conscious and try to prevent obesity in our rabbits. We avoid feeds with fatty treats, yet few of us realize that prolonged excess calcium and vitamin-D is risking damage to our rabbits' kidneys. To reduce calcium intake to the recommended .6% level, we're forced to do some mathematical calculations and limit currently available pellets to a much smaller portion of the diet. We then need to add a larger portion of lower calcium foods so that the total daily intake averages .6%.

It would be easier if true "senior" rabbit pellets were available--with consistently low calcium as well as reduced protein and calories. This special pellet doesn't exist yet because the feed manufacturers are unsure of this market. It's up to us to let them know that there are many of us--who welcome rabbits into our homes and who plan to keep them there for a long, long time.

maintenance pellet products (alphabetical)

Product: Producer (State)Phone
BRBig Red Rabbits Choice: Agway, Inc. (NY)315-461-2724
B16Bunny 16 Pels: Blue Seal Feeds, Inc. (NH)800-367-2730
DDDouble Duty: Manna Pro Corp. (CA)800-350-1986
EGMEGM Rabbit Feed: Elk Grove Milling (CA)916-684-2056
EREvergreen Rabbit: Land O' Lakes (WA)206-282-2451
FDKForti-Diet: Kaytee Products, Inc. (WI)800-669-9580
MLMazuri Lagomorph: PMI Feeds, Inc. (MO) 314-768-4592
LDPMI Lab Diet HF: PMI Feeds, Inc. (MO)800-227-8941
PRCPurina Rabbit Chow: Purina Mills Inc. (MO)800-227-8941
RRRoyal Rabbit: Leach Grain & Milling (CA)310-869-4451
SSPSun Seed Pellets: Sun Seed, Inc. (OH) 419-832-1641
SHRSweet Harvest Rabbit: Kaylor Made (CA)800-535-5399

Comparisons

The table below compares National Research Council (NRC) guidelines with several pellet products. The manufac-turers listed have cooperated in supplying information-- not to be viewed as advertising or HRS endorsement in any way.

Ingredients may vary by region.

INGREDIENTS

NRC
Rec
BRB16DDEGMERFDKMLLDPRCRRSSPSHR
ROUGHAGES
DEHYDRATED ALFALFA ** *******
SUNCURED ALFALFA ***
OAT/RICE HULLS * *
SOYBEAN HULLS * **
BEET PULP *
GRAIN SCREENINGS *
ENERGY
BARLEY * * ******
OATS OR OAT GROATS ******* **
OAT MILL FEED ***** **
CORN, HOMINY OR MILO * ****** *
WHEAT / WHEAT FLOUR * * ***** *
GRAIN PRODUCTS * ******* *
RICE BRAN * **** ****
WHEAT BRAN * ***** **
WHEAT MIDDLINGS ***********
SOYBEAN MILL RUN /FEED * * *******
WHEAT MILL RUN / FEED * **** ****
CANE MOLASSES *** **** **
PROTEIN
COTTONSEED MEAL * *** ****
SAFFLOWER MEAL * *** ****
SOYBEAN MEAL ******** ***
WHEAT GERM MEAL ** *** **
PLANT PROTEIN PRODUCTS ********* *
WHEAT PROTEIN **********
DRIED WHEY *** ** ****
ADDITIVES
FEEDING FAT (ANIMAL) **** ***
OILS (ANISE AND WHEAT) **** *****
OILS (SOY OR CORN) ** *******
PLANT STEROL (D2) **********
ANIMAL STEROL (D3) *** ** ** **
VITAMIN/MIN. SUPPLMENTS ************
PROBIOTICS/BREWER YEAST *** * ***

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS

IdealBRB16DDEGMERFDKMLLDPRCRRSSPSHR
% PROTEIN (min.)13-1415.016.016.016.016.017.016.014.016.015.018.016 .0
% FAT (min.) 3.02.02.52.52.02.03.02.01.51.52.52.02.0
% CRUDE FIBER (max.) 14-1618.018.0 21.0 26.025.018.018.025.020.018.020.020.0
ENERGY (Calories/lb)953 1400 1260 15009939491350109997410751140--
% CALCIUM (max.--as fed)0.61.0.9.91.0.4­1.0 .6­1.10.961.2.6­1.1.9--
% ASH (max.)*6.57.5998.57.59101010-10
? = NO INFORMATION


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