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Article: Rabbits and Diet- Feeding your Truly Vegan Pet Properly: Good bunny Mommie, YES or NO?

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vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

September 24, 2012
1:01 PM

Post #9285063

Palmbob, I treausure you. I greatly enjoyed this article as I have a pet bunny. I adore him, he's so gentle and friendly, a black mini satin.

I did not know there was such a thing as Timothy pellets. I get Newman's alfalfa pellets at the feed store, and hope they are fresh enough. Feed him 3/4 cup daily. The pic shows contents of the brand I get. Is it good enough? I will look, but kinda doubt I will find timothy pellets, so need to know that what I'm feeding him now is good.

I get Timothy hay at WM b/c that is the only place where I can find it. It is KayTee brand, and I try to select packages with "green hay". It sells so quickly that I never see packages w/ dried up hay. I give him what I call a generous handful daily, but if I needed to give exact amounts, I'd say 2 cups.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Kaytee-Natural-Timothy-Hay-24-oz-Birds/10818459

Wousld greatly appreciate your comments re: pellets. In the meantime, thanks for a great article about a most wonderful pet.
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

September 24, 2012
1:03 PM

Post #9285066

oops, forgot the pics. here we go


ps: Edited to add that the brown timothy you see is stuff he doesn't eat and I just leave it as bedding of sorts. He eats about 90% of they hay I give him daily, but there's always a little bit left. Speaking of cleanliness, should I remove it or OK to keep as bedding.

This message was edited Sep 24, 2012 2:05 PM

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palmbob

palmbob
Acton, CA
(Zone 8b)


September 24, 2012
4:51 PM

Post #9285334

Well, ideally you would feed him NO pellets of any kind and just feed him hays and some fresh greens (a good variety)
grapeleaves
Pleasant Hill, CA

October 16, 2012
2:11 PM

Post #9307290

Dear Vossner,

Since Geoff's reply was a little short I thought I would mention a couple of things.

First, it shouldn't be too difficult to find Timothy pellets, although that might depend on where you live and how much access you have to pet supply stores. Oxbow is a great brand that sells Timothy pellets with good nutritional balance. If you are going to feed pellets, it is a highly recommended brand. I see it in some but not all of the pet supply stores around where I live (Northern California), but if you cannot find it, buying it online is still an option and a bag should last you quite some time. My vet recommends feeding no pellets like Geoff does, so I haven't bought any in a long time.

Regarding Timothy hay, if you take another look at the article, you'll see that it's recommended by Geoff (and most rabbit vets/experts) that you feed rabbits a lot of grass hay throughout the day. In fact all the rabbit people I know make hay available to their rabbit at all times, replenishing their supply a couple of times a day. For this reason you want to have access to a lot of hay. I used to buy KayTee hay as well, but the bags are too small (and expensive!) for how much hay my bunnies should eat. When I began volunteering with a rabbit rescue I started taking advantage of a hay co-op and now get a huge bag of hay (several times the size of a large KayTee bag) for only $5 (I get a discount for volunteering, but it's only $10 for everyone else). This bag allows me to give my two rabbits unlimited hay for 2 weeks. I would recommend finding a feed supply store that lets you buy bigger quantities of hay for cheaper so that you can give your little guy more hay than you currently are. Also don't forget the fresh leafy greens.

I would recommend removing the leftover hay, since once damp (from water, pee, etc) it can develop mold rather quickly. I'll share with you what I do: I line a large litter box (my rabbits are indoor only and litter box trained) with absorbent pellets (the bedding kind, not the food kind) and I put a pile of hay over it. My rabbits eat and "go" in their litter box (they are good at separating what they eat from where they go). I keep replenishing the hay when it's low or when they are no longer eating what's left (you're right, they leave some behind and won't eat it). Every other day I dump the dirty litter box contents and replenish it with clean pellets and keep topping off with hay.

Finally, I would keep an eye on your little guy's feet, since wire bottoms can make them sore. If you can, line the bottom of his habitat with a solid floor. Some people prefer wire bottom to let the pellets fall through but at the cost of your rabbit's feet, it's not worth it.

For whatever my opinion's worth, I think you're a good bunny mom because you're asking questions. :) A resource that really helped me when I first got a rabbit was the House Rabbit Society's Facebook page. It's a community where you can benefit from being in touch with many other rabbit owners. For expert opinions, Dana Krempel's articles online are top-notch sources.

I'm sorry for the long post, but I hope this information's been helpful. My experience comes from 4 years with rabbits, my bunny-savvy vet (Dr. Ruth Adams), and my work with a local rabbit rescue. Cheers to you and your handsome little guy!

This message was edited Oct 16, 2012 2:14 PM
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

October 25, 2012
11:50 AM

Post #9315157

first, my apologies for not responding sooner. I had computer problems and this posting is one that required careful reading. I finally made time for it.

I have contacted Oxbow & Kaytee to find out retailers in my area who carry timothy pellets. He seems to love his pellets so I probably won't totally eliminate but will reduce from 1/2 cup to 1/4 or maybe even less. I have access to all kinds of hay so Newmie is well stocked in that dept. Also, on nice days we take him out of his cage and put him in a really big cage where he can forage all he wants. I bought it from my neighbor who use to keep two large dogs in it. It is big! I also give him leafy greens from my veggie garden. I do container veggie gardening so the supply is not large.

My bunny is an outdoor bunny. I used to have a litter box, which he used well, but it was too much work for me to empty/clean/refill. So I removed and let poops fall to the ground. I do have a fairly large croc were I put the hay and that seems to work well.

Newman is a happy, healthy little guy and I want to keep him that way. Information like that provided by Palmbob and you make that possible. I appreciate it very much.
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

October 25, 2012
12:05 PM

Post #9315164

http://www.petco.com/product/14643/Kaytee-Timothy-Complete-Rabbit-Food.aspx

I found that petco carries a timothy pellet and tere's one close to me. Pricey! Then Oxbow replied already and gave me name of a not too far feed store who carries it @ $20/10 lbs. However, after re-reading Bob's article, I do need to definitely reduce (if not eliminate) the pellets.

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