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  • Newnham Court Vets Editor

Thoughts about feeding Rabbits

Rabbits eat grass.

They also eat leaves and shoots at low levels.

I know that sounds obvious. However, when they’re not living wild, we have to give them the grass.

Most of a rabbit's diet should be grass & good quality hay (e.g. Timothy hay), which should always be available. You can pick fresh grass from the garden to feed, but you should not store grass for feeding as it will start to ferment. Neither should you feed grass clipping from mowing the law. Fresh water should always be available, either in a bottle or bowl. Rabbits often prefer to drink out of a bowl but trying to keep water clean in a bowl in a rabbit's environment can be tricky, so we often resort to a bottle.

A small amount of high fibre commercial diet can be fed in addition to the hay & grass. Feed the nugget type food, NOT the muesli type food.

Wild plants & weeds are fine (e.g. bramble, chickweed, dandelion) and rabbits will often eat the weeds in a lawn. Also, small amounts of vegetables are fine (e.g. kale, cabbage,


watercress, root vegetables & their leaves, (not potatoes)). Sugary & succulent, fruit & veg should be kept to a minimum & only used as occasional treats.

In general, the more stalky the better. Stalky is better than leafy, and leafy is better than root vegetables and fruit (so carrot tops are better than the carrots themselves).

If you look at a vegetable & think I couldn't chew that up raw (e.g. kale, broccoli stalk), then it's probably OK for a rabbit.

However, if you could chew it up easily (e.g carrot, apple, tomato) then it should only be fed to a rabbit as a treat.


Dave Cocker

MA VetMB GPCert (SAP) MRCVS

Newnham Court Vets

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