Last Updated on December 23, 2022 by Rei Garnet
Most people underestimate the cost of owning a rabbit. People who are planning on getting one are often unprepared for the cost of all the proper food they need. That’s why rabbits are often short-lived.
If you’re reading this, it means you’re doing the right thing. You’re actually considering the most important factor when deciding to get a rabbit.
Before getting a rabbit, you should have a budget of $42–$147 for your rabbit’s food per month (depending on the breed size). This cost is calculated based on the required diet for a 1-year-old rabbit.
The price would also depend on whether you buy in bulk, which I recommend that you do. Buying hay on local farms would drive the price down by quite a lot.
Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail how much it costs to feed a rabbit per month:
How much does it cost to feed a rabbit per month?
Rabbits’ diet is actually quite simple. They only need four types of food to be healthy and content. Those foods are hay, pellets, vegetables, and treats.
To understand the cost of feeding a rabbit, we must first discuss the amount of food rabbits consume on a monthly basis:
How much hay do rabbits eat per month?
For hay, we can only estimate the price per month because your rabbit should be given unlimited amounts of hay.
About 80% of your rabbit’s diet should be hay. Without it, your rabbit could develop digestive conditions like GI stasis or diarrhea.
This is just a rough estimate. It’s actually hard to determine the right weight of hay you need to feed your rabbits. Most guides on rabbit diets instruct us to feed our rabbits “unlimited hay.”
A kilogram (2.2 lbs) of hay on Amazon costs $40. This price is expensive. To cut the cost, buy hay at local farms.
You can also try looking for bulk hay sellers on Craigslist, Etsy, or the Facebook marketplace. As an example, this seller on Etsy is selling a 15 lb (6.8 kg) bag of timothy hay for $42.95.
In my experience, a 15-pound (6.8kg) bale of hay should last you a few months if you have a small breed.
How much pellets do rabbits eat per month?
Be careful when buying pellets for your rabbit. Pick a reputable brand that has the standardized formula for rabbit pellets.
According to Dr. Mark Burgess, DVM of Southwest Veterinary Hospital in Beaverton, it’s hard for the average rabbit owner to feed their rabbits the right mix of food (vegetables, hay, etc.) to deliver the required amount of nutrients needed for long-term health.
Rabbit pellets are needed to deliver the right balance of nutrients to your rabbit.
Rabbits that are on a pellet-free diet are prone to nutritional problems like rickets (vitamin D deficiency).
Never cheap out on your rabbit’s pellets. Most cheap brands are high in carbs and have inadequate nutrients. Don’t worry too much about the cost; pellets should only make up 5–10% of your rabbit’s diet anyway.
A bag of pellets should last you a few months. So make sure it’s high quality.
The top results for rabbit pellets on Amazon are all reputable brands. The rabbit community favored these brands.
The average price per pound for a good-quality rabbit pellet on Amazon is $2.8. While rabbits would need 11–252 grams of pellets per day depending on their breed.
Based on the variables above, here is the estimated cost of pellets per month:
|Rabbit weight based on breed||Pellets per day||Pellets per month||Price per month(*$2.8)|
|Small breed (1.1–3.5 pounds)||11-73 g||0.7-4.8 lbs||$1.96-$16|
|Medium breed (6 to 10 pounds)||63-210 g||4.1-13.8 lbs||$11.48-$36.4|
|Large breed ( 9 and 12 pounds)||94-252 g||6.2-16.6 lbs||$17.36-$46.48|
How much vegetables do rabbits eat per month?
10% of your rabbit’s diet should be vegetables. Leafy greens are full of essential nutrients that your rabbits can’t get from eating hay.
The proper diet for rabbits should be a mixture of different vegetables. This complicates how we can determine the cost of vegetables per month.
Different vegetables have different prices. Some are more expensive than others.
The vegetables I’m going to use for this guide are the ones most recommended to get the most bang for our buck.
Based on my research, the average price per pound for spinach and celery is:
We can then add and divide these two (1+1.45)/2 = $1.22 in order to get the average price per pound for the cost of our vegetables.
You can, of course, buy cheaper or more expensive vegetables. This is just a rough estimate to give you an idea.
For rabbits that are 1 year old, the recommended daily amount of vegetables they should eat is between 46 and 504 grams based on their breed size.
You can use this diet portion calculator for rabbits to determine how much vegetables you need to feed your rabbit based on its age and weight.
Based on the variables above, here is the estimated cost of vegetables per month:
|Rabbit’s weight based on breed||Vegetables per day||Vegetables per month||Price per month(*1.22)|
|Small breed (1.1–3.5 pounds)||46-294 g||3-19 lbs||$3.66-$23|
|Medium breed (6 to 10 pounds)||252-840 g||16-55 lbs||$30-$51.24|
|Large breed ( 9 and 12 pounds)||378-1008 g||25-67 lbs||$30.5-$81|
How much treats do rabbits need per month?
Buying treats from pet stores is not necessary. You can give any fruit to your rabbits as long as it’s in moderation. If you eat fruits on a regular basis, you can share some with your rabbits.
But if you’re planning on buying treats from Amazon, the average price of rabbit treats is $10. One bag of treats should last you a month.
You should also choose treats that are natural or made from dried fruits. Be careful when buying rabbit treats from a non-reputable brand. You could end up buying treats that are too high in starch and sugar.
The total cost to feed a rabbit per month.
Based on the calculations I did above, here’s my rough estimate of the cost of your rabbit’s food per month:
|Total||$42–$147(Treats included $52 – $157)|
All in all, you should have a budget of $42–$147 for your rabbit’s food per month if you’re not buying treats. This price would depend on your rabbit’s breed and size, the quality of pellets, what veggies you feed, and if you want to buy dried treats.
The cost would also go down if you bought them in bulk, which you should do.
Cite this article:
Sources and further reading
- Patry, Karen, et al. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver: Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling. Storey Publishing, 2014.
- Understanding the Basics of Rabbit Care
- Basic Rabbit Care
- Rabbit Basics for the Beginner
- The importance of diet in rabbits
Image credit – “Hay is good for you!” by Lottie’s pets & stuff is marked with CC0 1.0, “gus eating pellets” by Keithius is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, “Bunn eating breakfast” by reconstructionist is licensed under CC BY 2.0, “Two small rabits eating an apple” by Ivan Radic is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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