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Rabbit Awareness Week 2024

By June 28, 2024 Greenbay Vet News

This week is Rabbit Awareness Week, and the theme is “Healthy Diet, Happy Bunnies!”.

What should you feed your rabbit?

  • The latest PAW Report found that 13% of owners feed muesli mix as one of the main types of food their rabbits eat – these diets have been implicated in a variety of health problems – and only 73% of owners feed hay as one of their rabbits’ main foods; inadequate hay provision is associated with rabbit obesity.
  • Feeding your rabbits high-quality, dust-free feeding hay or fresh grass should make up about 85% of their daily diet. Picture a hay pile the same size as them each day. And, of course, keep it fresh nobody’s a fan of stale snacks!⁠
  • What’s Up with the Hay? It’s all about fibre! This nutrient is essential for rabbits’ dental and digestive health.
  • Did you know wild rabbits spend up to 70% of their time foraging? By providing plenty of hay and grass, you’re helping your rabbits fulfil their natural behaviour!
  • Feeding nuggets rather than muesli can help your rabbits thrive and avoid potential health problems.
  • Always provide fresh water.
  • Leafy greens can be great for your rabbit to munch on throughout the day, but do not overload with sugary vegetables such as carrots as these can cause dental issues if consumed too often.

Let’s talk poo!

Rabbits should produce 2 kinds of poo..
  1. Caecotrophs: This the poo that rabbits eat- most often nibbling them directly from the bottom. They eat these because they have a high nutritional value and contain beneficial bacteria that can aid in the digestion process. Sounds horrible but totally essentially normal for rabbits. To look at they look like sticky pellets all gathered together in a grape-like cluster. They tend to be black and shiny. You shouldn’t see too many of these around, if you do there may be a problem!
  2. Pellets: These are the second type of poo. This is the single pellet you commonly see in hutches and runs- they tend to be light brown, smaller and drier than a caecotroph.
Keep their bottoms clean! Soft or sticky poo can get stuck around your rabbits bums. This can attract flies that may lay eggs that later hatch out as maggots. This causes a serious condition called flystrike. If you see maggots call your vet ASAP. If there are no maggots give their bottom a gentle clean with warm water and speak to your vet for advice.
If you don’t see ANY poo around the hutch this is an EMERGENCY and your bunny might be in gut stasis! This needs an urgent visit to the vet!

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