Rabbit Nutrition

Water

  • Rabbits must have access to fresh water at all times.
  • Rabbits eating lots of fresh grass and greens will drink less, whilst those eating mostly hay will drink a greater amount.
  • Bowls are preferable to bottles as they are easier to drink from (particularly in hot weather) and they will not get blocked, but they may get spilled or knocked over so it’s a good idea to provide a bowl and a bottle if you can.
  • Change your rabbits’ water daily, and clean bowls and bottles regularly.

Hay

  • Good quality feeding hay and fresh grass should form 85-90% your rabbits diet every day (equal to their body size in hay).
  • Good quality hay and/or grass have to be always available, you can judge the quality by the feel, smell and appearance. Always make sure the hay is not dusty or mouldy. Bedding hay can be low in quality and is only suitable for rabbits to sleep on, whereas feeding hay is much more tasty and specially grown for eating.
  • Rabbits graze, naturally eating grass/other plants for long periods, mainly at dawn and dusk.  
  • Feeding hay or fresh grass is good for dental health as the grinding action needed by the rabbit to eat them helps to wear down teeth. Rabbits’ teeth are constantly growing and overgrown teeth can be the cause of very serious and potentially fatal problems.

Healthy diets


  • Ideally, your rabbit’s concentrate food should be an all-in-one pellet or nugget type diet, to prevent selective feeding.
  • Avoid muesli-style foods: The primary reason muesli-type food is not recommended is because of the risk of selective feeding, rabbits can select the bits they like the most and leave the rest.  Not eating the right diet results in serious gastrointestinal and dental diseases.
  • Root vegetables (e.g. carrots) or fruit should be given only in small amounts as treats. Don’t feed other treats as they may harm your rabbits. 
  • Take care – some plants are poisonous such as:  azalea, poppies, daffodils, bluebells and foxglove.
  • Avoid sudden changes in diets and do not feed lawnmower clippings as both these upset rabbits’ digestive systems causing illness.  
  • By mantaining a healthy diet it prevents them from becoming underweight/overweight.  
  • Monitoring food and water intake. If these habits change, droppings gets less/stop, or soft droppings stick to their back end, talk to your vet immediately as they could be seriously ill.  - Rabbits produce two dropping types – hard dry pellets, and softer moist pellets( Caecotrophs) they eat directly from their bottom and are dietary essentials.