What to Feed Your Rabbit
Large, unlimited amounts of fresh hay should be offered daily. Young bunnies should be introduced to hay as soon as they can eat on their own. Mixed grass hay or Timothy hay is preferred because it is lower in calories and calcium than alfalfa.
Use a good quality, high fiber alfalfa or timothy based pellet as a small part of your rabbit’s diet.
Feed a minimum of 1 cup vegetables for each 4 lbs. of body weight. Select at least three types of vegetables daily. A variety is necessary in order to obtain the necessary nutrients, with one each day that contains Vitamin A, indicated by an *. Add one vegetable to the diet at a time. Introduce gradually and eliminate if it causes soft stools or diarrhea.
Limit fruits to 1-2 tablespoons per 5 lbs. of body weight (none if dieting) from the list below of high fiber fruits. Sugary fruits such as bananas and grapes should be used only sparingly, as occasional treats. Bunnies have a sweet tooth and if left to their own devices will devour sugary foods to the exclusion of healthful ones.
Alfalfa, radish & clover sprouts
Beet greens (tops)*
Broccoli (mostly leaves/stems)*
Carrot & carrot tops*
Dandelion greens and flowers (no pesticides)*
Lettuce: Romaine, Red or Green leaf (no iceberg or light colored leaf)*
Pea pods (the flat edible kind)*
(!)=Use sparingly or rotate. High in oxalates, vitamin A or goitrogens and may be toxic in accumulated quantities over a period of time
Please note that there is currently dispute within the scientific community regarding the levels of oxalates and goitrogens in kale. Many of our rescuers have fed kale daily, combined with other veggies, with no ill effects. Others have found that kale fed in large amounts on a daily basis may contribute to bladder sludge and other health issues. HRS encourages you to make your own decisions on how you feed kale to your rabbit based on this information, and when solid, undisputed research is found we will update this and other articles relating to feeding kale.
Orange (including peel)
Absolutely NO chocolate (poisonous!), cookies, crackers, breakfast cereals, bread, pasta, yogurt drops or other “human treats.” There is research to suggest these items may contribute to fatal cases of enterotoxemia, a toxic overgrowth of “bad” bacteria in the intestinal tract.