You are here:

Rabbits/Confusion about the MINIMUM recommended amount of veggies for rabbits

Advertisement


Question
I am a Forum Leader on Binkybunny.com (a site dedicated to improving the daily care of house rabbits).  Recently, we have had a lot of confusion regarding the minimum amount of veggies a rabbit should receive each day.  So many sources have conflicting information, but the general consensus seems to be 2 cups per day for every 6 pounds of rabbit.  I've heard that 2 cups is the minimum and we can safely feed up to about 4 cups daily (or whatever the rabbit will eat) as long as hay consumption is not reduced.  My two rabbits (4 pounds and 6 pounds) each get between 3 and 4 cups per day, along with unlimited grass hay and very limited timothy-based pellets.  We have members who are insisting that 2 cups is too much for a smaller rabbit and that 2 cups should only be given if the rabbit is over 6 pounds.  I understand the 2 cup rule to be the minimum for ANY rabbit, regardless of size.  

What are your thoughts on rabbit size and quantity of fresh veggies?  Should veggies be fed on a graduated scale: 1 cup for 3 pounds, 2 cups for 6 pounds, 3 cups for 9 pounds, or is it 2 cups for everyone, with more for medium (6+ lb.) and large rabbits (10+ lb.)?

Thank you so much for reading!
Beka

Answer
Dear Beka,

I'm afraid my opinion here isn't going to help much.  My answer would be:  It depends on the individual rabbit!  

I have had very small bunnies devour way more than 2 cups of greens per day and be completely healthy.  I'm not sure there is a "minimum" amount you could measure in cups.  It's a sort of gestalt thing:  whatever combination and quantity of pellets/hay/greens results in the bunny having general good health and nice, normal poops and cecotropes are right for that bunny.

It can change over the course of the bunny's life.  I've noticed that older bunnies sometimes get cecal dysbiosis more readily than younger buns, but this is not always related to diet.  

We feed our buns in pairs, and each pair of buns gets a plate of greens that's equivalent to about 6 cups.  Big buns get a little more.

Not sure that helps, but there it is. :)

Dana  

Rabbits

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience

I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Organizations
Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Publications
Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.