Welcome to rabbits 101!
In this website you will be able to find bunny tips and tricks! If you have any questions, suggestions on what to add to the website, or need any help feel free to email me at [email protected] or dm me over Instagram. Keep in mind that I will continue to add on to this website in the future!Let us know what you want to see added!
Why is hay so important in a rabbits diet?
The main source of a rabbits diet should be hay but, why is it so important? Hay provides fiber to keep the digestive system healthy and motile! Their digestive system is super sensitive and anything that disrupts it can cause gastrointestinal (GI) stasis. This is a condition where the contents of the digestive tract becomes compact and the rabbit has difficulties passing the mass through, this is very deadly. Feeding your rabbit unlimited fresh hay can help prevent GI stasis. It will also help prevent fur blockage, this is especially important for longer haired breeds.
Providing hay can also help in keeping your rabbits teeth nice and healthy! Rabbits teeth never stop growing which can lead to having sharp hooks if not worn down. This can be super painful to your rabbit and cause them to stop eating, leading to GI stasis. The repetitive, rapid chewing movement of eating hay helps wear down their teeth, as well as satisfying natural chewing urges.
What type of hay should I get?
Baby bunnies, 6 months and under, should be eating alfalfa hay. Alfalfa hay provides high caloric content necessary for their development. Once your rabbit is 7 months old, you can start to transition them over to timothy, orchard grass, oat hay, etc.
For older rabbits, 7 months and above, you can feed them bluegrass, brome, fescue, marsh, orchard, timothy, oat and ryegrass hay. Keep in mind that grass hays are the best because they are low in protein and calcium. Also note that having multiple different types of hay is important nutritionally. Having a variety can also desensitize your rabbit in small changes in texture and smell. Just find what works best for you!
You can buy hay from any of the sites linked below as well as pet stores and local farms. I personally like the brand oxbow and small pet select hay!
Small Pet Select
Hay bales & Oxbow brand
Zoey and Lilo's Toy Box
Price is in Canadian dollars but can be converted into USA dollars!
A Rabbits Diet
What should a rabbits diet includ?
Your rabbits diet should include pellets, a variety of veggies, and lots of hay!
Hay should be 75-80% of their diet. Hay provides fiber, calories, stimulates gut motility, and controls cecal fermentation. Hay is extremely important to keep your rabbit healthy. I recommend using the Oxbow brand for hay. You can get hay at the pet store, binkybunny.com, smallpetselect.com, and houserabbitssocitey.com.
There are many different types of hay and any bunny under the age of 7 months should have alfalfa hay. Any age above 7 months can have any other type of hay.
High Fiber Pellets are 20% of their diet. They provide calories, protein, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Pellets should be limited. Pellets lack the benefits of hay and veggies and should not be fed in isolation. Bunnies that are 3 to 4 weeks can have nibbles of alfalfa and alfalfa pellets. Bunnies that are 4 to 7 weeks should have access to alfalfa and alfalfa pellets. Bunnies that are 7 weeks to 7 months should have unlimited alfalfa pellets as well as unlimited alfalfa hay. Once they are 7 months start to switch to Timothy pellets and Timothy hay.
5-15% of diet should be leafy greens. Greens provide vitamins, minerals, and water. There should be at least three different leafy greens in your bunnies salad as well as a variety. At 12 weeks you can start to introduce vegetables. Make sure they are given only one at a time, quantities under 1/2 oz. Also supervise your rabbit after any new veggie. At 7 months to a year old, increase daily vegetables gradually. Make sure your rabbit can tolerate them. Rabbits that are 1-5 years old have a minimum of 2 cups chopped vegetables per 6 lbs. body weight. Again always introduce vegetables and greens slowly to make sure your rabbit can tolerate them.
Treats should be 0-5% of their diet. Fruits, carrots, and anything beyond that is a “treat.” Avoid sugary treats and also avoid over feeding treats. Too many treats discourage the consumption of healthier foods. A diet high in sugars causes an overgrowth of harmful bacteria resulting in painful gas or GI Stasis.
• Alfalfa sprouts
• Anise Hyssop
• Apple twigs, leaves, and fruit, but not the seeds!
• Beet Greens
• Bell Pepper, Sweet Green
• Bell Pepper, Sweet Red
• Blackberry fruit, stems, leaves
• Blueberry fruit
• Bok Choy
• Carrot roots
• Carrot tops (II)
• Collard greens
• Cucumber peels
• Dandelion greens and flowers (no pesticides)
• Daylily flowers
• English Daisy
• Frisee Lettuce
• Green peppers
• Grape fruit, leaves, and vines
• Jerusalem Artichoke
• Lemon balm
• Lemon grass
• Lettuce: Romaine, Red or Green leaf (no iceberg or light colored leaf)
• Mint Varieties
• Mustard greens
• Orange (no peel)
• Peas, snow (no dried or sweet peas)
• Peppermint leaves
• Radish tops
• Raspberry leaves
• Squash fruit and flowers
• Sweet woodruff
• Swiss chard
• Tarragon, french
• Turnip Greens
• Wheat Grass
Beans, raw: lima, kidney, soy
Coffee beans and plant
Whole corn kernels (can get stuck in intestines)
Potatoes, including peels
Most house plants (toxic)
Here are some different types of cages to look at. The good thing to remember is that your cage should be a minimum of
4 x 4. A good way to check of your cage is to small is to see if you can comfortably lie down in their cage. If not, it is most likely to small for your rabbit. They should be able to binky, flop, and do zoomies in their pen. Make sure to include in your cage a litterbox, at least one hidy house, water bowl, lots of toys, hay, and a blanket or a warm spot for them.
Free roaming a bunny is one of the best things to do for your bunn! It may not be the best for all bunnies though. It takes lots of work to free roam your bunny. I will have a different slide for tips for free roaming! Make sure to always bunny proof before jumping into free roaming, good luck!
X- pens are one of my favorite type of cages! I love that they are easy to collapse and are able to be moved around. The minimum cage size is a 4 x 4 but that is still a very small cage. If you decide to get an x-pen still make sure your bunny gets plenty of free roam time!
Home built cages
Home built cages are amazing! I love the creativity in these type of cages! If you would like to build one, I recommend using chicken wire for the sides of the cage and wood for the base. Good luck!
C & C Grids
C & C Grids are a great option for a rabbit cage! You can make it how ever you want it, you can even make a second level if you wanted too. Have fun and get creative!
Lucidium pens are one of my favorite pens! They have a more modern look to them and there are many different shapes and colors to choose from. They can be on the more expensive side though.
Litter box training
If you didn’t know, rabbits can actually be litter trained just like cats! Here are a few tips on how to do this.
First thing is to get a big enough litter box. Do NOT use the corner litter boxes you see at pet stores because these are way to small for your rabbit. Instead use a cat litter box, and make sure your rabbit can do a full 360° spin in their litter. Having a big enough litter box will also help when trying to litter train.
Once you have a big enough litter box, place it in the corner of their cage, room, etc. Bunnies like to go to corners to do their business so by putting it in the corner of the room, it will tell them to go “here”. Sometimes it will help to even have multiple litter boxes in different areas. You can go back down to one litter once they are litter trained though!
As rabbits eat, they poop. So by placing a hay rack above the litter, it will help contain their poop. You can also place their food bowl in the front corner of the litter as well! I also like to put hay in the litter box as well as having a hay rack.
As you probably have noticed, your rabbit might have had a few accidents already. If you see any loose poops, pick them up and put them in their litter. This will tell your rabbit that they should go “here” instead of on the floor. If your rabbit pees outside of the litter, take a small piece of paper towel and soak it up, then place it in their litter. Then make right away remove any smell of the pee and make the area neutral.
Most rabbits are being territorial when they do their business outside the litter. This is why you will need to remove any smell of pee right away. This tells them that this is not your space to go to the bathroom. I recommend using a half and half mixture of water and half vinegar to help remove any smell.
If your rabbit is still not using the litter, it is probably because they are not nurtured or spayed yet. Once they become fixed, it will help a LOT with litter training.
Make sure to be patient with this process and good luck!