How Many Times A Day Should You Feed Your Rabbit?

Categorized as Bunny Diet Tagged
how many times a day should i feed my rabbit

Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by Rei

According to a study funded by the British rabbit council, the best diet for your pet rabbit should mimic what they do in the wild.

Rabbits born in the wild typically eat at dusk and dawn. Many rabbit owners reported noticing the same pattern. What this tells us is that you should do the same and feed them two times a day.

But a few factors should be considered before following this number. First, growing rabbits should eat up to two times the amount you normally feed a fully grown adult rabbit.

Another is that lactating or pregnant rabbits should eat three times as much as you would feed them normally.

Another factor that should be considered to assess the amount of food you should give your pet rabbit is how much energy it uses a day.

Typically rabbits in the wild are free to roam wherever they want, so they tend to use up a lot more energy than your typical pet rabbit thus needs to eat more.

What’s important is that you maintain a good feeding habit. According to this study done by Utah state university. Rabbits that are free-fed, meaning that they are left to eat whenever they want, tend to overeat and be overweight.

A great template to follow is you feed your pet rabbit grass and hay in the morning and a proper commercial feed in the evening. Doing so would save you both time and money because feeding them a balanced meal is equally important in maintaining overall health.

To know whether or not you’re feeding your rabbits enough food, try to weigh them regularly and check if they are within the normal weight range based on their breed.

Another thing you can do to check if your rabbit is too thin is to feel the ribs and backbone. It should be rounded and not protruding in any way.

What time should you feed your rabbit?

how many times a day should i feed my rabbit
What time should you feed your rabbit?

In the wild, rabbits typically eat at dusk and dawn. This is because rabbits are nocturnal animals meaning they like to eat at night. But I don’t think anyone would want to wake up in the middle of the night just to feed their pet rabbit.

To keep both you and your pet rabbit happy, what we recommend is that you feed them at night before you go to bed and in the morning after you wake up.

This would keep your pet rabbit happy as they like to eat at night just like they do in the wild. You should also provide them a steady supply of water that should be maintained regularly.

According to the study done by The Veterinary Nurse. Most rabbits prefer to drink in bowls compared to a sipper bottle. So consider testing out what your rabbit prefers.

It’s also important that you keep your pet rabbit’s food clean and pest-free. If your pet rabbit is not eating the food you left the last time you feed them, you should replace it with a fresh batch.

Here’s a list of vegetables and leafy greens that are recommended for rabbits.

Alfalfa, radish & clover sproutsGreen peppers
BasilMint
Beet greens (tops)Parsley
Bok choyPea pods (flat edible kind)
Brussels sproutsPeppermint leaves
Carrot & carrot topsRadicchio
CeleryRadish tops
CilantroRaspberry leaves
CloverSpinach
Dandelion greens and flowers (no pesticides)Watercress
EscaroleWheatgrass
Source: Basic Rabbit Care

Can you overfeed a rabbit?

You definitely can. In fact, many rabbit owners over-feed their bunnies and sometimes even feed them the wrong thing. (Did you know that cabbages and iceberg lettuce cause diarrhea to rabbits?)

So be careful when feeding them because it’s better to feed them less than to overfeed them because rabbits have a very sensitive stomach.

To properly assess how much you should feed your bunnies, first you need to know what breed it is. The larger the breed the more you should feed them.

Here’s a guide to help you determine how much to feed your bunnies.

Small BreedsMedium
Breeds
Large Breeds
•2-3 ounces of
pellets per
day
3 ½ – 4 ounces
of pellets per
day
4 – 8 ounces of
pellets per
day
Source: Understanding the Basics of Rabbit Care

For small breeds, it’s recommended that you feed them 2-3 ounces of pellets per day. But note that you should mix the variety of food you feed your rabbits.

We like to feed them pellets at least once per day and Grass Hay to help with digestive problems.

For medium breeds, it’s recommended that you feed them a balanced meal of 3-4 ounces of commercial pellets once per day and grass hay once per day.

For large breeds, it’s recommended that you feed them 4-8 ounces of commercial pellets per day. And they should have a steady supply of hay to eat thru out the day.

Another thing to consider when deciding how much to feed your pet rabbit is its age.

Here’s a table to guide you on how much you should feed your rabbits as it gets older.

AgeHayPelletsVegetablesFruits
7 weeks to
7 months
Unlimited alfalfaUnlimited
12 weeksUnlimited alfalfaUnlimitedIntroduce vegetables (one at a time) in small quantities < 1/2 oz (15 g)
7 months
to 1 year
Introduce grass
hay, decrease
alfalfa
Decrease amount fed
to ½ cup per 6 lbs
(2.7 kg) BW
Increase vegetables
fed daily gradually
No more than 1-2
oz (30-60g) per 6
lbs (2.7 kg) BW
Adult
(1-5 y)
Unlimited grass
hay, oat hay, straw
¼ to ½ cup per 6 lbs
(2.7 kg) BW
1-2 cups per 6 lbs (2.7
kg) BW
No more than 2
tbsp per 6 lbs (2.7
kg) BW
Seniors
(>6 y)
Increase alfalfa hay
fed to frail, older
rabbits but monitor
calcium levels
Continue adult diet if
weight is okay; frail,
older rabbits may fed
unlimited pellets
Source: Basic-Rabbit-Care

Do rabbits stop eating when they are full?

how many times a day should i feed my rabbit
Do rabbits stop eating when they are full?

In the wild, rabbits are natural grazers, meaning that they eat a lot of hay just like cattles and other livestock. They usually know when they are full, but because they are a natural prey, they are used to eating a lot quicker and then hiding to survive.

Because of this they usually doest know that they’ve eaten enough food. So make sure that you’re monitoring how much you’re feeding them.

One exception to this is hay, they need a constant supply of the stuff. It’s the food that moves their bowel. So make sure that they have a constant supply of hay all the time. Because without it, they could develop intestinal blockage that is fatal to rabbits.

Can you feed your rabbit once a day?

how many times a day should i feed my rabbit
Can you feed your rabbit once a day?

Yes. You can feed them once a day. But make sure that you’re giving them the right food with the right amount of nutrition a rabbit needs.

Rabbits need a balanced diet that contains protein, fiber, fat, and other vitamins and minerals to stay healthy.

When selecting the feed that your planing to buy for your pet rabbit consider looking at the back and check if it has adequate nutritional value.

Here are the recommended nutritional facts according to the American Rabbit Breeders Association.

FiberFatCalciumProtein
•12% to
22%
•Not less
than 18%
•3% or less•Less than
1%
•14%-18%
Source: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2973&context=extension_curall

Another important thing to remember is that rabbits need to have a constant supply of hay. Because without a constant supply of hay, rabbits can develop intestinal blockage that can be fatal to them.

Conclusion

Feeding your rabbit should be limited to two times per day. It’s important to remember that they are natural grazers. Meaning they like to eat a lot. Because of that, most of the time, rabbits are unaware that they have eaten enough food. So owners need to be aware of how much food they give their pet rabbit.

One exception to the rule is hay. Rabbits need a constant supply of hay. They need to eat at least one serving of hay a day, or they could have digestive problems that could be fatal.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (November 14, 2021) How Many Times A Day Should You Feed Your Rabbit?. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/how-many-times-a-day-should-i-feed-my-rabbit/.
"How Many Times A Day Should You Feed Your Rabbit?." Bunny Horde - November 14, 2021, https://bunnyhorde.com/how-many-times-a-day-should-i-feed-my-rabbit/