The Complete Rabbit Care Guide
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"Discover Everything You Need To Know About Your Pet Rabbit!"
by Andrea Austin
Substances for Your Rabbit to Chew On
As you will quickly learn as a new rabbit owner, bunnies love to bite and chew on things. This is actually essential for good dental health, but the trick is to give them good substances to chew on so they will not be tempted to eat up your furniture or other, more dangerous substances, like wires or electrical cords.
A dog chew toy (on the smaller side) can be a great alternative, one which most rabbits seem to enjoy a great deal. Two more natural options are a large bone from a piece of boiled meat, with the bone marrow taken out, or some apple tree branches (the twigs are great roughage and help keep the bunnys intestines clean).
How Much, How Often
Since hay is all-natural and an essential part of a rabbits diet, you should make it available to your rabbit at all times by leaving it in his cage. Many rabbit owners find it easy and practical to cover the floor of the rabbit cage with hay. Make sure to change it as necessary to keep sanitary conditions within your rabbits home.
Green foods, also all-natural and important for a rabbits health, should be given daily. Aim to provide about three different vegetables per day, with one veggie containing vitamin A. As a general rule of thumb, rabbits can consume about 1 cup of packed (pressed down) greens/veggies per 2 pounds of body weight per day. So for a 4-pound rabbit, for example, you should give a minimum of 2 cups of packed veggies on a daily basis.
As for fruits, these are considered treat foods and should not be a major component of the rabbits diet. Give them in small portions ... for each 2 pounds of body weight, about 1 tablespoon of fruits (in any combination from the list above).
What Should You Feed To Different Ages?
As you can guess, what you feed, and the amount you feed, varies as a rabbit goes from bunny-hood to adulthood.
Young rabbits drink mothers milk, but unless you are a breeder yourself, you will probably not have to worry about this. (If you are a breeder, see the chapter on Breeding later on in this book.)
However, as a bunny reaches about 4 weeks of age, small quantities of solid can be introduced gradually. Pellets can be given to bunnies, as well as bites of hay and grass. At about 3 months of age, rabbits can start eating small amounts of vegetables and have unlimited access to pellets.
When your bunny is about half a year old, you can start introducing fruits, but again, do so gradually and in small quantities. Around the same time, you can give your bunny unlimited access to hay and more veggies. Since you do not want to overfeed your rabbit and wind up with a fat rabbit, cut back on the amount of pellets your provide, since they can lead to obesity.
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