I have four rabbits of my own all about 2 years old, I also have a fosters of the same age and and an older foster slightly disabled bunny who has neurological issues and can't hold his pee when he gets too nervous.
My question about pellets is, is it absolutely necessary I give all my rabbits including my fosters pellets? Or am I ok to take them away from their diet for good? Is there a specific group of rabbits that'll benefit from them vs a group that wouldn't benefit from pellets?
Answer Dear Liz,
Some rabbit vets recommend removing pellets from the diet of rabbits who have obesity problems. Others suggest switching to timothy-based pellets instead of alfalfa-based, as they are lower in calories. Some rabbit nutrition experts say that completely removing pellets is NOT a good idea, as a good-quality pellet will provide micronutrients that are difficult to provide without pellets. In short, the jury is still out.
Is there a specific reason you would like to remove pellets from their diet? The older, disabled bunny is not a good candidate for this, as he will likely have trouble keeping his weight up without them (unless he's already overweight).
In short, if you plan on removing pellets, you should be ready to substitute an incredibly wide variety of alternative fresh foods to be sure the bunnies are getting the vitamins and minerals they need. To me, it's a little risky. I would rather reduce their pellets to a very small amount and concentrate on fresh food and hay than remove pellets completely.
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:
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If your rabbits is LETHARGIC
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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)
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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