Best baby rabbit pellets
Baby rabbits need many more calories, nutrients and calcium than adult rabbits do. The best baby rabbit pellets will provide your young rabbit with a healthy start to his or her life. It has been proven that proper nutrition can significantly increase your pet rabbit’s lifespan. Young and baby rabbits need a pellet that is made from Alfalfa hay while adult rabbits must only have timothy based pellets. Want to know the difference check out this post, Alfalfa vs Timothy.
After looking at a number of other websites that have a list of “the best baby rabbit pellets” I found that most of these sites are giving dangerous opinions. Basically they are listing the most expensive pellets at the top in order to make a higher commission from your purchase if you buy through their link.
It is not possible for me to give a list of the “top ten” pellets for baby rabbits because in reality there are not that many options. In my opinion there is only one company that I truly trust to produce the best baby rabbit pellets and adult rabbit pellets.
- 1 What makes a good quality baby rabbit pellet?
- 2 How many pellets to feed your baby rabbit?
- 3 The worst baby rabbit pellets – Do NOT feed these!
- 4 Baby rabbit diet information
- 5 The best diet for adult rabbits
- 6 About the Author
1) Oxbow Animal Health Pellets
I can’t say enough good things about Oxbows products, particularly their pellets for young and adult rabbits. They have a proven track record of manufacturing healthy and nutritious baby rabbit pellets. They do not add in anything harmful like corn, seeds or nuts. These are the pellets I feed my baby rabbit rabbits when I have them.
If you would like to know why I believe these are the best baby rabbit pellets, then keep reading. The knowledge here will help you maintain your rabbits health, make your rabbit happier and give you the confidence that you are feeding your rabbit only the best.
What makes a good quality baby rabbit pellet?
There are a couple of key indicators of a quality baby rabbit pellet. Nutrition is obviously very important so let’s hit that subject first.
Baby rabbit pellet nutritional information
When you are looking for the best rabbit pellets it is important to look on the bag of the bag for nutritional analysis. If there is no nutrition information, then you are not looking a quality pellet. Oxbow has a complete listing on their package. Here are the key components to look for:
- Fiber (22%-25%) – If your baby rabbit does not get enough fiber he or she will die.
- Protein (15% or more) – Adult rabbits do not need a ton of protein as adults. Baby rabbits on the other hand require much more protein than adult.
- Fat (equal to or more than 2%) – Just like humans’ adult rabbits should not eat a lot of fat but baby rabbits need the fat for energy and growth.
- Calcium (Min of .6% to 1.1%) – If adult rabbits are allowed to consume to much calcium, they may develop bladder and kidney problems. Baby rabbits on the other hand need the extra calcium for bone development.
- Other honorable mentions are Vitamin A, D3 and Vitamin E that should be included in your baby rabbit’s pellets.
Oxbows baby rabbit pellets meet or exceed these requirements.
Baby rabbit pellet ingredients
Okay so you know what type of nutrients need to be in your rabbit’s pellets but what sources should they come from. Here are a few examples of approved ingredients to make pellets from that are good for your rabbit.
- Alfalfa Hay/Meal – This should be in the best rabbit pellets, do not feed your baby rabbit pellets that do not contain Alfalfa in some way.
- Soybean Hulls/Meal – These hulls are an excellent source of fiber and some protein.
- Molasses – While somewhat high in sugar molasses is used as a binder that helps hold the pellet together. It also has several vitamins and minerals in it like iron, magnesium and vitamin b-6.
How many pellets to feed your baby rabbit?
There is a debate within the rabbit community about how much Alfalfa based pellets to feed young rabbits. Some rabbit owners feed pellets to baby rabbits in unlimited quantities while other restrict the amount they can eat.
My opinion is that it is best to restrict pellets to prevent bad eating habits down the road. Hay should make up 80% of a rabbit’s diet and you do not want your baby rabbit to get hooked to eating only pellets. Therefore, I choose to limit how many pellets my baby rabbits eat even as a baby.
If you would like more in-depth information check out this post, how much pellets to feed a rabbit.
The worst baby rabbit pellets – Do NOT feed these!
Some baby rabbit pellets are absolutely awful for your bun. Here is what you want to avoid.
- Soft pellets – Pellets that are soft or crumbly should never be fed to your pet rabbit. Rabbit pellets should be very hard in order to improve dental health. Your rabbit’s teeth will never stop growing and need to be worked as much as possible. A rabbit’s mouth is designed to consume coarse foods like hay/grass and plant matter. It is imperative that your rabbit’s teeth are used like nature intended. If you can dig your nail into the pellet it is too soft!
- Corn – Some rabbit pellets have corn as an ingredient or have corn kernels mixed into the bag. Rabbits are not made to eat or digest corn period. Corn is high in sugar and has very little nutritional value in it. It is possible for a rabbit to suffer sever health issues from eating corn.
- Nuts and Seeds – This is another big no no. Again, rabbit’s digestive tract is not made for nuts and seed. Many rabbit pellet manufacturers add nuts and seeds to their pellets or mix them in. I will admit it looks great from a marketing standpoint, but it should never be fed to your pet bunny.
Here is a terrible product!
Notice the words in the packaging, “Gourmet – Fruits and vegetables”, then the asterisk (*) on dental health. Then they claim it’s great for digestion. OMG this food is not good for your rabbit in any stretch of the imagination.
- Gourmet – Nothing but a marketing move. “Gourmet” simply means bad stuff is in this food for your rabbit.
- Fruits and Vegetables – Rabbits only need a tiny bit of fruit as a treat and they do not need compressed, dried vegetable matter in their pellets.
- *Dental Health – The asterisk on dental health means “by chewing action.”
Baby rabbit diet information
Baby rabbits are delicate creatures that are cute as it gets. It is important to keep in mind that their digestive tracts are very sensitive and will go through a number of changes as he or she grows older.
0 – 2 weeks old
Baby rabbits 2 weeks old or less eat nothing more than mothers’ milk. It is important not to bother the rabbits while they are eating and to always wash your hands before you touch them or the mother. It is possible to spread bacteria and virus to the new rabbits from your hands.
2 – 3 weeks old
Most baby rabbits will start eating little bits of hay here and there at this age. Often this hay comes from around the nest.
3 – 4 weeks old
This is when baby rabbits will start eating a lot of solid food in addition to mothers’ milk.
6 – 8 Weeks old
This is when baby rabbits will be weaned from mothers’ milk and will switch over to all solid food. This is a vulnerable time for baby rabbits since their digestive tract is undergoing major changes. Baby rabbits should never be taken from their mothers unless they are at least 8 weeks old.
8 weeks to 5 months (Adulthood)
This is where you will really start to sculpt your rabbit’s dietary habits and future health. It is important that you are consistent with your young rabbits’ diet. What I mean by this is that you should not give new food to your baby rabbit every day.
Vegetables for baby rabbits
Go easy on vegetables to start with. I suggest starting with dark leafy greens like kale or romaine lettuce. Carrots and other root vegetables are hard to digest for young rabbits and should only be used sparingly in adult rabbit diets.
Hay is important – Very important!
Hay is more important than pellets. Hay provides lots of fiber and is also critical for dental health. Baby rabbits as well as adult rabbits are made to chew up and digest tough grass/hay. Hay should make up 80% of your baby rabbits’ diet.
Alfalfa hay should be fed to young rabbits under 5 months of age. My opinion is that it is best to mix your Alfalfa with timothy or orchard grass, so your baby rabbit is used to eating it. After your rabbit reaches the 5 month mark you will have to switch him or her over to 100 percent Timothy or another adult hay. Mixing hays at a young age make the change over easier.
Here are some other helpful articles about hay:
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.
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.
- Timothy Hay
- Orchard Grass Hay
- Meadow Hay
- Oat Hay
- Bermuda Grass
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.
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.
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 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.
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.