12 week old bunny diet
My bunny is 12 weeks old and is a dwarf lop x Netherland.
Right now I'm giving her unlimited pellets, fresh veggies and a bit of fruit in the morning and a handful weeds and grass around tea time. Is this right and ok? And when shall I cut down her pellets? I heard it was when they stop growing and to give them about 1/2 cup (which I'll give to her when the weeds go in) when will she stop growing?
P.S. I want to get this right because in about 3 months time I'm going to be breeding her with a friends rabbit for a school project and believe me, I've done my research and looked at nearly every site I could find! But will this diet be ok for mum and kits or do I need to change it??
Thanks :)***** Karen Sez *****
There are lots of ways to feed bunnies. You're doing a great job for a growing rabbit.
To add to your info: We hesitate to give people-food to our rabbits. In my barn, we give pellets, grass hay, weeds and grass, twigs from safe trees, and the trimmings from the vegetable garden, say carrot tops, and undersized or marred veggies. No apples. No bananas. An occasional carrot.
Fruit is a sure way to an obese pet, though you did specify you only give a 'bit.'
Dwarf rabbits typically begin arriving at their adult size somewhere around 5 - 5 1/2 months of age. The minute you find more leftover pellets than usual, that is the point to begin feeding a lot less. In fact, 1/2 cup might be enough pellets if that was ALL you were feeding.
You don't want to leave food in front of an adult rabbit 24/7. That is very unhealthy and could lead to diarrhea. If it's not cleaned up in an hour's time, take it away till the next day.
When you've bred your rabbit and she kindles the babies, that is the time to add an extra source of fat to the doe's rations. Black oil sunflower seeds is a great way to do this.
Another way is to coat a few cups of pellets in a couple teaspoons of wheat germ oil. Lactating does should be free-fed pellets. Keep the oil-coated pellets in the freezer so the oil doesn't go rancid.
Hope this helps. Let us know if you need any clarification.