Food & Feeding

There is some truth to the myth that rabbits will eat just about anything and that they can be fed on any old scraps from the kitchen It is true that the domestic rabbit will eat as much green food as is placed before it, but that does not mean that the rabbit will be in perfect condition or that what it eats is the correct diet. If the rabbit fancier wants to succeed in breeding good, strong, healthy stock, he must feed his animals properly. Good feeding is the foundation upon which the fancier must build; without it, there is less chance for success.

The fanciers of bygone days had to be content with the foodstuff available. They fed whole grains, roots, hay and as much leafy greenfood as they could gather. Mashes were sometimes made of vegetable scraps, grassmeal and bran. Although this method of feeding was wholesome, it was a tedious and time-consuming business.

The greatest revolution in the rabbit world came with the production of the rabbit pellet. This was the answer to the fancier’s prayer-a complete rabbit diet rolled into a tiny hard pellet. The early rabbit pellet was basically grassmeal with added vitamins and minerals. After years of constant research, the modern rabbit pellet contains all of the above plus some roughage, animal proteins, milk fat and trace elements.

The nutritional requirements of the rabbit cannot be reduced to a formula, because the rabbit requires different amounts of each factor at different stages of its life. For example, does that are not breeding require less protein than does that are suckling young, and a doe that has a litter in the nest requires more protein, because she has to provide enough to feed her young and maintain her own body in good condition.