The rabbits we pet at home today were originally wild animals. There is very little difference between a domesticated rabbit and a wild one in terms of their digestive system and nutritional needs. However, there is a huge gap in the kind of food that they eat as a result of our influence and our love for processed dry food.
I mean don’t get me wrong – rabbits also need they supply of pebbles but many of us are guilty of giving them too much of pebbles beyond their requirement.
Just like the wild rabbits, your rabbit’s diet also needs a good supply of fresh grass, tree barks, herbs, dry grass, sprouts, shrubs, fruits and leaves. Natural food should be your first choice.
NATURAL FRESH INGREDIENTS FOR YOUR RABBIT’S DIET
Ideally, your house should have a healthy combination of dry food, fruits, vegetables, herbs, hay and grass. This will not only provide for them their daily nutritional requirement but also satisfies their bunny taste buds with the plethora of flavors and textures which will keep them entertained.
We will talk about other advantages later.
Here is a percentage graph about how a bunny’s diet should look like
- Pellets/ dry food – 5 %
- Healthy treats – 5 %
- Fresh vegetables – 10 – 15 %
- Hay/ grass – 75 – 80 %
Let’s take a look at all these food in detail
HAY OR GRASS
If you are an urban dweller, getting access to fresh grass would be near impossible. This is why grass hay is your next best option. Hay or grass hay is the dried form of grass and it has a high nutritional content and makes an excellent choice for those rabbits which cannot find fresh grass to feed on. Dry grass or hay contains trace amounts of protein, calcium, vitamins D, A, and a whole load of other nutrients.
HERBS AND VEGGIES
Herbs, vegetables and fresh foods, in particular, provide rabbits with the moisture they cannot get from dry hay. They will not only love it but will also have a healthier bladder and kidney function. Make sure that almost 75 percent of the fresh vegetables you feed them consists of green leafy vegetables. Here are some great options you can give them – watercress, lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, dill leaves, wheatgrass, cilantro, mint, cucumber leaves, bok choy, etc.
As per the recommendation of the USDA, rabbits need to eat about 5 – 7 fruit servings on a daily basis. However, this is not actually intended for the rabbits. The truth is that fruits come loaded with natural starch and sugar which are a great option for treats but not for their daily form of diet. You need to give a moderate amount of these sweet treats but not too much.
Dry food is actually designed for caged bunnies that are used to feeding on meat. Dry food is a highly concentrated nutritional form which offers a higher level of nutrition that your rabbit needs on a daily basis. This does not mean you have to keep feeding them dry food because it lacks fibre.