Pellets’ Place in the Mature Rabbit’s Diet

Jul 10, 2011 by

Print Friendly

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.  (Of course one way to cut down on calcium and calories is to use timothy pellets instead of alfalfa pellets, which is a very simple switch.)

MARINELL HARRIMAN IN CONSULTATION WITH CAROLYN HARVEY, DVM


Maintenance Pellet Products (alphabetical)

Product: Producer (State) Phone
BR Big Red Rabbits Choice: Agway, Inc. (NY) 315-461-2724
B16 Bunny 16 Pels: Blue Seal Feeds, Inc. (NH) 800-367-2730
DD Double Duty: Manna Pro Corp. (CA) 800-350-1986
EGM EGM Rabbit Feed: Elk Grove Milling (CA) 916-684-2056
ER Evergreen Rabbit: Land O’ Lakes (WA) 206-282-2451
FDK Forti-Diet: Kaytee Products, Inc. (WI) 800-669-9580
ML Mazuri Lagomorph: PMI Feeds, Inc. (MO) 314-768-4592
LD PMI Lab Diet HF: PMI Feeds, Inc. (MO) 800-227-8941
PRC Purina Rabbit Chow: Purina Mills Inc. (MO) 800-227-8941
RR Royal Rabbit: Leach Grain & Milling (CA) 310-869-4451
SSP Sun Seed Pellets: Sun Seed, Inc. (OH) 419-832-1641
SHR Sweet 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
BR B16 DD EGM ER FDK ML LD PRC RR SSP SHR
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

Ideal BR B16 DD EGM ER FDK ML LD PRC RR SSP SHR
% PROTEIN (min.) 13-14 15.0 16.0 16.0 16.0 16.0 17.0 16.0 14.0 16.0 15.0 18.0 16 .0
% FAT (min.) 3.0 2.0 2.5 2.5 2.0 2.0 3.0 2.0 1.5 1.5 2.5 2.0 2.0
% CRUDE FIBER (max.) 14-16 18.0 18.0 21.0 26.0 25.0 18.0 18.0 25.0 20.0 18.0 20.0 20.0
ENERGY (Calories/lb) 953 1400 1260 1500 993 949 1350 1099 974 1075 1140 - -
% CALCIUM (max.–as fed) 0.6 1.0 .9 .9 1.0 .4­1.0 .6­1.1 0.96 1.2 .6­1.1 .9 - -
% ASH (max.) * 6.5 7.5 9 9 8.5 7.5 9 10 10 10 - 10

? = NO INFORMATION

House Rabbit Journal Volume III, Number 4, Winter 1995

Related Posts

Share This