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What to Feed Your Rabbit

What to Feed Your Rabbit

An average rabbit’s diet should consist of unlimited hay and grass.  Also 1-2 cups safe veggies/greens, 2 tbsp. quality, non muesli pellets, tsp. of occasional fruit/treats.  This will  maintain healthy teeth and a healthy digestive system.

Always introduce new foods gradually to see if your bunny’s system tolerates it. Stop feeding the specific food immediately if your rabbit has runny poop. Only try something new once his stool is back to normal

Here is a basic safe food list to get you started:

Grass Hay types available in SA (feed unlimitedly):

Oat hay, teff (aka eragrostis), mountain hay, meadow hay, orchard grass. Do not mistake straw for hay – straw has no nutritional value (is dry and yellow).

Lucerne (aka alfalfa) is not a grass hay but rather a legume and should only be fed as a treat due to high calcium content.

 Safe veggies/ greens (1-2 cups per day)

Basil, Mint, Coriander, Rosemary, Thyme, Fennel, Oregano, Sage, Lavender, Carrot Tops, Dandelion leaves & flowers, Roses/Hibiscus flowers (watch out for pesticides), Lettuce (dark green/red leaf – avoid iceberg)

Click here and here for more comprehensive lists of safe plants.

Treats (1 tsp per day)

Remove all SEEDS before feeding, except strawberries:

Apple, Pineapple, Strawberry, Banana, Raisins, Carrot, Grapes, Papaya, Watermelon, Mango

Recommended (good quality) pellet brands (2 tbsp. per day)

Burgess Excel Nuggets (+- R300 p.pack)

Selective (+- R150 p.pack)

Verse Laga Crispy Snack (+- R85 p.pack)

 Budget Pellets:

Agri feeds (buy in bulk), Perky Pets or Marltons plain brown (+- R35 p.p)


Young rabbits (under 6 months) are still developing and have different dietary needs – their diet needs to be adjusted as follows: Unlimited alfalfa (aka lucerne) for bone development, increase pellet allowance and add rolled oats to the diet for weight gain. Babies that were separated from their mother too soon (4-7 weeks of age) need to be supplemented with Royal Canin kitten milk and Protexin (both available at the counter of most vets and vet shops).

 🐇 Limit pellets and do not feed muesli mixes.

Rabbits cannot properly digest corn, peas and seeds. Feeding these foods will jeopardize their digestive and dental health. In the long term it can shorten their life span. Muesli mixes also encourages selective feeding (picking out the good bits), which can lead to nutrient deficiency. Stick to the good stuff for a healthy happy bun. We highly recommend the following: Burgess Excel Nuggets (+- R300 p.pack), Selective (+- R150 p.pack) & Verse Laga Crispy Snack (+- R85 p.pack). If you are on a tight budget try Agri Pellets (buy in bulk), Bunny Chow, Perky Pets’ or Marltons’ plain brown pellets (+- R35 p.pack). Limit pellets to 2 tbsp. per day per bun.

Rabbit food pyramid.jpg

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