Last Updated on December 12, 2022 by Rei Garnet
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 going by 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 normally feed them.
Another factor that should be considered to assess the amount of food you should give your pet rabbit is how much energy it uses each 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, and thus need 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 become overweight.
A great template to follow is that 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?
In the wild, rabbits typically eat at dusk and dawn. This is because rabbits are crepuscular 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, we recommend 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 with a steady supply of water that should be maintained regularly.
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 fed 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 sprouts||Green peppers|
|Beet greens (tops)||Parsley|
|Bok choy||Peapods (the flat edible kind)|
|Brussels sprouts||Peppermint leaves|
|Carrot & carrot tops||Radicchio|
|Dandelion greens and flowers (no pesticides)||Watercress|
Can you overfeed a rabbit?
You definitely can. In fact, many rabbit owners over-feed their bunnies, sometimes even feeding them the wrong thing. (Did you know that cabbage and iceberg lettuce cause diarrhea in rabbits?)
So be careful when feeding them because rabbits’ stomachs are extremely sensitive. It’s better to feed them less than to overfeed them.
To properly assess how much you should feed your bunnies, first you need to know what breed they are. The larger the breed, the more you should feed them.
Here’s a guide to help you determine how much to feed your bunnies.
|•2-3 ounces of|
|3 ½ – 4 ounces|
of pellets per
|4 – 8 ounces of|
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 throughout 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 bunnies as they get older.
|7 weeks to|
|12 weeks||Unlimited alfalfa||Unlimited||Introduce vegetables (one at a time) in small quantities < 1/2 oz (15 g)||—|
to 1 year
|Decrease amount fed|
to ½ cup per 6 lbs
(2.7 kg) BW
fed daily gradually
|No more than 1-2|
oz (30-60g) per 6
lbs (2.7 kg) BW
hay, oat hay, straw
|¼ to ½ cup per 6 lbs|
(2.7 kg) BW
|1-2 cups per 6 lbs (2.7|
|No more than 2|
tbsp per 6 lbs (2.7
|Increase alfalfa hay|
fed to frail, older
rabbits but monitor
|Continue adult diet if|
weight is okay; frail,
older rabbits may fed
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 cattle and other livestock. They usually recognize when they are full, but as natural prey, they are used to eating quickly and then hiding in order to survive.
Because of this, they usually don’t know whether 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 bowels. 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?
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 you’re planning to buy for your pet rabbit, consider looking at the back and checking if it has adequate nutritional value.
Here are the recommended nutritional facts according to the American Rabbit Breeders Association.
|•3% or less||•Less than|
Another important thing to remember is that rabbits need a constant supply of hay. Because without a constant supply of hay, rabbits can develop intestinal blockages that can be fatal to them.
Feeding your rabbit should be limited to two times per day. It’s important to remember that they are natural grazers. This means 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 rabbits.
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:
- Can Rabbits Eat Asparagus? 9 things you need to know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Tomatoes? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Watermelon? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Grapes? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Broccoli? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Apples? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Cabbages? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Strawberries? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Bananas? What You Need To Know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Oranges? 9 things you need to know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Blueberries? Here’s Why.
- Can Rabbits Eat Spinach? Your Questions Answered.
- Can Rabbits Eat Cucumbers? Here’s Why.
- Can Rabbits Eat Celery? What you need to know.
- Can Rabbits Eat Radishes: Everything You Need To Know
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