Alfalfa Pellets for Rabbits
Alfalfa pellets, as stated above are a great option for baby and young rabbits. Pellets provide your young rabbit with the energy it needs to grow quickly. Keep in mind that hay should make up 80% of your rabbits’ diet and not pellets.
- 1 What is Alfalfa
- 2 The best Alfalfa Pellets
- 3 Alfalfa pellet hardness and dental health
- 4 Why feed alfalfa Pellets
- 5 How many Alfalfa pellets to feed your young rabbit?
- 6 The best diet for adult rabbits
- 7 FAQ about Alfalfa pellets for rabbits
- 8 About the Author
What is Alfalfa
Alfalfa is a legume hay rather than a grass hay like Timothy or Orchard. Alfalfa is grown in a field until mature, is cut and then allowed to dry before harvest. It is then stored in a dry are with plenty of air circulation. Alfalfa hay has a lot of calcium and protein when compared to other hays. This is why it is suggested for only young rabbits that are growing rapidly.
The best Alfalfa Pellets
I have had many rabbits over the past 20 years including a few baby rabbits. I trust most of Oxbows products and I have found that their Alfalfa pellets for rabbits are just as good as their Timothy pellets. I can assure you that these pellets are the best quality you can find. Oxbows pellets are recommended by many veterinarians and house rabbit societies.
Alfalfa pellet hardness and dental health
It is important that whatever brand of alfalfa pellet you buy is hard. You should be able to press your nail into a pellet as hard as you can and not break or crumble it. Dental health is very important for rabbits since their teeth grow continuously throughout their lifespan. If a rabbit’s teeth become overgrown or wear unevenly, they will suffer from malnutrition and related health issues. Having a pellet that is hard and coarse will help keep your rabbits teeth in good shape.
Why feed alfalfa Pellets
The only reason you should be feeding alfalfa pellets is if you have a baby or young rabbit under 5 months of age. Alfalfa pellets have a lot more calcium and protein in them than Timothy hay-based pellets which is great for young, fast growing rabbits. If they are fed to adult rabbits it can cause bladder and kidney problems.
How many Alfalfa pellets to feed your young rabbit?
Most veterinarians recommend feeding young rabbits 1/8 to 1/4 Cup of alfalfa pellets. I have had some young rabbits where I could leave a full bowl of pellets out and the they would still eat plenty of Alfalfa hay while other rabbits hog them down. Every bunny is different, and nobody knows your bun like you do. You can find more information about how many pellets to feed your rabbit here.
The best diet for adult rabbits
Lengthening your rabbit’s lifespan, preventing illness and improving their behavior can be accomplished by providing your rabbit with the best possible diet. After your baby rabbit reaches maturity at 4 to 5 months old it will be important to switch over to an adult diet.
Hay is the most important food that your rabbit needs and should make up about 80% of your bunnies’ diet. Offer hay in unlimited quantities. Your rabbit should consume a large handful of hay each day.
There are a multitude of approved hays for adult rabbits including the following.
It can be difficult to keep your rabbits hay free from contamination in his or her cage. It is best to use a hay feeder to keep the hay up and out of the way of urine and poop pellets. Here are some of the best hay feeders I use for our pet rabbit, Mr. Bunny.
Most veterinarians recommend feeding your rabbit at a rate of 1/8 cup to 1/4 Cup per day for every 5 pounds of body-weight. Make sure that the pellets you feed are of excellent quality and Timothy based for adults and Alfalfa based for baby rabbits.
Rabbits need vegetables daily to maintain their health and happiness. Root vegetables like carrots should only be fed as a treat. Leafy, darker greens should account for most of the vegetables that you feed your rabbit. Kale, romaine lettuce and cilantro are excellent veggies that your rabbit will love. More information on rabbit vegetables here.
Rabbits love fruit, particularly bananas and should be fed in very small, limited qualities. One or two teaspoons per 4 pounds of body weight is an ideal target. You can find information about rabbit approved fruits here.
The best rabbit treats should not be overly unhealthy and NEVER contain nuts or seeds. Stay away from “yogurt” treats or anything that looks delicious or gourmet. I love oxbow products (for the most part) and have these treats to be an excellent balance between health and unhealthy. Mr. Bunny, our pet rabbit goes nuts for these treats!
Interested in making your own homemade rabbit treats check this out.
FAQ about Alfalfa pellets for rabbits
Q. Are alfalfa pellets good for rabbits?
A. Yes, but Alfalfa pellets should only be fed to young rabbits under the age of 5 months due to the amount of protein and calcium in them.
Q. Should I feed my rabbit Alfalfa hay and Alfalfa pellets at the same time?
A. Yes, but only if your rabbit is under 5 months of age. I suggest mixing in Timothy Pellets and Timothy hay though starting at 3 or 4 months of age to make their transition easier.
Q. Are Alfalfa pellets bad for rabbits?
A. No, Alfalfa pellets are not bad for baby or young rabbits if they are of good quality. Some pet rabbit owners make the choice not feed to Alfalfa pellets to their rabbits. This is acceptable if their rabbit consumes enough baby Alfalfa hay and vegetation to make up for the lack of fiber and nutrients in the pellets.
Q.What are rabbit pellets made of?
A.The main ingredients in in rabbit pellets are some type of hay, either Alfalfa for young and baby rabbits or Timothy for adult rabbits. It is important to choose a high-quality pellet that is hard in order to promote good dental health.
Q. Should rabbits eat pellets every-day?
A. Yes, Adult rabbits should eat about 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup per 5 pounds of body weight. Be sure to offer fresh hay in unlimited qualities and fresh leafy greens every day in addition to pellets. It should be noted that some owners do not feed their rabbits pellets and subsidize with more vegetables.
Q. What is the Best rabbit pellet?
A. I think that these are the best pellets available. I have been feeding my rabbits these pellets for years and I have no complaints. They are hard it texture, nutritious and packed full of fiber.
About the Author
My name is Vanessa and I love my buns. My current house rabbit is Mr. Bunny, he is a black and white Dutch that just turned 9 years old.
I believe that rabbits are a magnificent animal that make great pets for SOME people. My mission is to share what I have learned about rabbits over the past 20 years to improve the relationship between our pets and us. Please contact me or comment if you have any questions or comments.