The Best Rabbit Pellets
Having had pet rabbits for many years I have tried just about every rabbit pellet on the market. I have a deep love for my buns and only want the best possible nutrition for them. I can tell you that there are some terrible, terrible rabbit pellets out there. These “junk food” pellets can cause long term health issues and shorten your rabbit’s life span.
If you are here for a quick recommendation then look at these pellets by Oxbow, they are superior to most other manufactures in my opinion.
If you would like to know why I believe these are the best rabbit pellets, then keep reading. The knowledge here will help you maintain a healthy rabbit, make your rabbit happier and give you the confidence that you are feeding your rabbit only the best.
- 1 The worst rabbit pellets – Do NOT feed these!
- 2 How many pellets to feed your rabbit?
- 3 What makes a good quality rabbit pellet?
- 4 Rabbit pellet ingredients
- 5 Best baby rabbit pellets
- 6 Hay is important – Very important!
- 7 Timothy based pellets are best
- 8 The best diet for adult rabbits
- 9 About the Author
The worst rabbit pellets – Do NOT feed these!
Some 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!
How many pellets to feed your rabbit?
Most veterinarians recommend feeding adult rabbits 1/8 to 1/4 Cup of pellets for every 4 to 5 pounds of body-weight. I have had some rabbits where I could leave a full bowl of pellets out and the they would still eat plenty of hay while other rabbits hog them down. It is important that your rabbit eats plenty of hay in addition to his or her ration of pellets. Every bunny is different, and nobody knows your bun like you do.
More information on how much pellets to feed your rabbit.
What makes a good quality rabbit pellet?
There are a couple of key indicators of a quality rabbit pellet. Nutrition is obviously very important so let’s hit that subject first.
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. Here are the key components to look for:
- Fiber (25%-30%) – If your rabbit does not get enough fiber he or she will die. Look for a pellet that is Timothy hay based.
- Protein (15% or less) – Rabbits do not need a ton of protein as adults. Baby rabbits on the other hand require much more protein than adult. Check out best pellets for baby rabbits.
- Fat (equal to or less than 2%) – Just like humans’ rabbits should not eat a lot of fat.
- Calcium (Max of .8%) – If adult rabbits are allowed to consume to much calcium, they may develop bladder and kidney problems. Please keep in mind that baby rabbits do need more calcium than adults since they are growing rapidly.
Other honorable mentions are Vitamin A, D3 and Vitamin E that should be included in your rabbit’s pellets.
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.
- Timothy Hay/Meal – This should be in the best rabbit pellets, do not feed your rabbit pellets that do not contain Timothy in some way.
- Soybean Hulls/Meal – These hulls are an excellent source of fiber and some protein.
- Molasses – While 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 b6.
Best baby rabbit pellets
Baby rabbit pellets should be based from Alfalfa rather than Timothy for the first 4 to 5 months of their life. Alfalfa based pellets are higher, much higher in calcium and protein which is great for a rapidly growing rabbit. Never feed these pellets to adult rabbits.
My opinion is to start mixing in some timothy pellets at three months of age to prepare them and their digestive system for the change to 100% Timothy based pellets. You should also start mixing in some Timothy hay into their Alfalfa hay also.
I have a post about “The best pellets for baby rabbits” if you are needing more information.
Hay is important – Very important!
Here are some other helpful articles about hay:
Timothy based pellets are best
Why? This is mostly due to the amount fiber that is in timothy hay. Another reason is that timothy-based pellets are harder than most other types of pellets which is excellent for dental health. Here you will find an in-depth article about Timothy based pellets.
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.
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 like these Oxbow pellets.
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. here you can find great information on vegetables and rabbits.
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 these treats do not disappoint, they are a excellent balance between healthy 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.