Dear Rabbit Owners
Yesterday we had a huge cloud burst which lasted pretty much the whole afternoon and evening. We were out in the afternoon celebrating Dylan, our son’s second birthday, so was worried about Marge who was somewhere in the garden. Before we had left to go out, I had locked up Pillsbury and Chelsea Bun, so I knew they would be dry, but couldn’t find Marge. When we got home I searched for her, but still, she was no where to be found. She is now about 8 years old, so I really don’t like the idea of her being drenched by the rain. Often during the hot summer evenings she stays out and I just leave the gate for the picket fence open, also with her house door open, so she can at least have access to her food and water. So once again I did this and went to bed. This morning when I went outside to check on her, I found her lying on her towel in her house albeit saturated. She is a strong willed bun and when her day comes when she goes to the rainbow bridge, I will have peace of mind that she has had a fantastic life!
Today’s newsletter will cover the importance of fresh fruit and vegetables in your rabbit’s diet.
Along with a high fibre pellet and hay, vegetables make a wonderful addition to your rabbit’s diet. The high water content helps keep the intestinal tract hydrated and moving correctly. Carrot tops, fennel, dill, parsley, coriander, basil, red and green peppers and turnips are all suitable to feed to your rabbit. Contrary to belief, carrots are not very good for rabbits because they are far too high in sugar and carbohydrates, but if you must, feed your rabbit only small amounts. Rabbits love apples and pears but again the high levels of sugar will stimulated the growth of the wrong kind of bacteria in the intestine, predisposing them to gas, which is very painful and can be life threatening. Again only feed fruit in small quantities, preferably once a week. The bottom line is be consistent in the vegetables you feed your rabbit. Cabbage, lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower should be avoided as they are all gas forming and never feed potatoes, tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, nuts or anything containing sugar.
Do’s and don’ts
Uneaten fruit and vegetables should be discarded. The same goes for the hay. Keep it in a rack or bowl so it does not get soiled.Always give a variety of vegetables, so that your rabbit can have a nutritious diet.
Fruit and vegetables should be washed thoroughly.
Never give food directly from the refrigerator.
Canned, cooked or frozen vegetables should never be given.
Always refrain from using chemicals in your own vegetable and herb garden. For this reason be careful when picking wild plants or letting your rabbit eat grass that has been sprayed with insecticide.
Never feed your rabbit sugar, as it increases the bad bacteria in the intestines and can cause disease resulting in diarrhea and loss of appetite.
Each rabbit should eat approximately 1 cup of fresh food a day, but this should be divided into two meals. One in the morning and one at night.
A good diet, together with good excercise will help your rabbit live a long and healthy life.
Before I finish off, there is a beautiful neutered bunny called Chocolate needing a good home in the Cape Town area. He is litter box trained. If anyone is interested, please email me.