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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > How to fatten up a rabbit?
Last Post by angelicvampyre at 6/29/2010 1:12 PM (16 Replies)
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User is Offline angelicvampyre
757 posts Send Private Message
6/24/2010 1:38 AM

I need to fatten up Rufus.  he is not a big hay eater and he does like his pellets.  However I do need to get him fatter.  So what would you suggest to feed him (in the hope that he will eat it) to get him nice and fat!

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User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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6/24/2010 2:54 AM
Why do you need to fatten him up?
A lean bunny is not necessarily unhealthy, but a fat one usually is. Sometimes they haven't fully reached their adult growth, or they are a mix with a breed that makes them naturally smaller. I would just continue to give him a healthy diet, plenty of hay, and make sure he gets lots of greens. Balanced nutrition usually puts on the lbs. naturally, with exercise to build up his strength and muscles.
 photo CarrotCrop100x500BBSiggy_zps0f2147e4.jpg Have your people call my people. We'll do carrots.

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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6/24/2010 4:12 AM
I agree with Pam. He's had a rough life so far, so I think as his dental issues are corrected and he gets a consistent diet, he will begin to feel more comfortable in your home, and he'll start to slowly (and "healthily"!) put on weight, IF necessary.

And as it is... seeing as you're in Australia, I know alfalfa-based pellets and alfalfa hay are pretty much all you have readily available... unless you special order timothy? So if he's already on alfalfa, I certainly wouldn't add anything more fattening. Maybe if you have oat hay, you could try that?
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline angelicvampyre
757 posts Send Private Message
6/24/2010 1:42 PM
Thanks guys, the issue is that he really needs to put on weight. On a scale of 0 - 5, 0 being dead and 5 being over weight he is a 1 according to the vet. He does not eat hay, out right refuses. I think this is due to the fact that he does not know he can eat hay as he was never given it, the hope is that if I can bond him to my other two then he will watch them eat hay and give the idea. I give him the baby bunny oxbow pellets as they are higher in fat and the vet has said that is fine. He also gets about 2 cups of veggies a day but again not really sure what they are so plays with them more then eats them. I mix in Oaten chaff and lucerne chaff into his pellets but not sure he is eating alot of them. His hip bones are so sharpe and I have been weighing him and giving him lots of time out of the cage to build up muscles and we are putting on a bit but no where near what either the vet and I would like. I am worried that we get him over all the other issues only to have him starve to death.

The big issue is that he has had 5 years of supermarket bought rabbit mix so everything else is strange to him. The only veggie he really likes is boy choy but if I give him to much of that then he gets a messy bum.
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User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
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6/24/2010 10:27 PM
Does he manage ok with his pellets? Maybe you can give these unlimited quantity for a while. I think the oxbow 15/23 still has good fibre. It's upping the protein that will really help. The oaten and lucerne chaff is a good idea.
It's weird his weight is so low when he was on a low quality commercial pellet as this normally contributes to weight gain. Did he have a fecal test done? There are some pellets available through feed stores that are reasonable - have slightly higher protein than oxbow 15/23, and lower fibre but the fat is still in good range under 3%.

There's a thing you can do with pellets for enticing them onto them if off feed due to stasis. I'm wondering if it would help Rufus too. You just cover pellets with water and microwave for 15-20 seconds. Then fluff the mix up with a fork and let it cool before serving. You could add a bit of juice with the water.
You could add cooked pumpkin to his diet. Rolled oats too but not too much.

Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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6/25/2010 1:03 AM
I see. That is odd that his weight is so low on the other kind of pellets. Maybe he didn't eat much ever. I am concerned that he eat too much too fast, so he doesn't gain weight so much as he stresses his weak digestive system. I like the Oxbow pellets you're using now, and think that more of them might do the trick gradually.

I don't want to suggest a steady diet of sweets, but I'm thinking that a couple of banana slices a day, or every other day, for a little while might not be bad. Most bunnies are crazy about them, fruit being sugary, but the banana also has good potassium, which will help his muscles. If a 1/2 inch slice is appealing to him, you could cut it into little pieces and dot it among the greens, so it's tastier, but gets more greens into him, or do that with the hay. Kind of like sprinkling sugar on a kid's healthy cereal to get them to eat it. If he has a taste for fruit, try a carrot slice and an apple slice for some variety. Unsweetened pumpkin is even better. Do you have pix of him?
 photo CarrotCrop100x500BBSiggy_zps0f2147e4.jpg Have your people call my people. We'll do carrots.

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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6/25/2010 1:31 AM
It sounds like his diet is good and varied and he's taking food in. I would really just give him more time. If you "bother him" with hay, will he munch on it? (I've used this method with new veggies that weren't going over too well... kind of tickle their nose with it until they get annoyed and take a bite.)
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Ahvo
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6/25/2010 4:40 AM

When I got Ponyo he wouldn't eat anything but the mixed, museli style food he had at the place he came from, even when we mixed our food in gradually he ignored it, and wouldn't touch veg.

So I pretended to eat his things around him all the time. Like Hay and Broccoli, Pellets and such. Eventually he got curious and jealous, and started eating it with me. Have you tried that? :]

When my mother wanted to fatten up our cats she would give them kitten food instead of normal food. Perhaps that would work? I'm not sure if rabbit and babbit kitten food is different in the same way cat and kitten food is though, so hey...


User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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6/25/2010 4:54 AM
Ahvo: Babies and teenager rabbits are typically fed alfalfa-based pellets, whereas adults are fed timothy-based pellets. So that's similar to what your mother did with the kitten food. That's what AV is feeding, the alfalfa pellets.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Ahvo
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6/25/2010 5:15 AM
Ahh, I see. Sorry, I wasn't sure as Ponyo is still on the baby bunny Beaphar care+ until next month.

Pam's idea of banana is great though. I wonder if Rufus'll eat banana.

User is Offline Petzy
Northern AB Canada
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6/25/2010 6:42 AM
Posted By Ahvo on 06/25/2010 07:40 AM



So I pretended to eat his things around him all the time. Like Hay and Broccoli, Pellets and such. Eventually he got curious and jealous, and started eating it with me. Have you tried that? :]

 

that's dedication! good for you!

Photobucket "what happened? did something happen or can I just go back to my hay?"

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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6/25/2010 8:11 AM
Posted By Ahvo on 06/25/2010 08:15 AM
Ahh, I see. Sorry, I wasn't sure as Ponyo is still on the baby bunny Beaphar care+ until next month.

Pam's idea of banana is great though. I wonder if Rufus'll eat banana.


No, don't apologize, it was a very good suggestion!  Some people will start feeding their senior bunnies alfalfa pellets and hay again once they start getting older and losing weight.  It's the same basic idea.  The extra fat and calcium is good for them to keep weight on.

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline angelicvampyre
757 posts Send Private Message
6/26/2010 11:04 PM
thanks guys. I tired the bananna and that was a huge hit we like that! The issue with his weight is from his teeth as he could not eat with his spurs so I would say that he has been starving himself and only eating enought t o survive over the past year.
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User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
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6/27/2010 2:52 AM
so sad.

I guess you'll have to go about this slow and steady. Is he managing to eat better now? If so, a fairly normal diet should get the weight on him anyhow. Be careful not to bring in too many new foods to his diet if he has been so limited in the past. I imagine his body can't take too much at once.
(((Rufus!)))
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline angelicvampyre
757 posts Send Private Message
6/27/2010 3:06 AM
Yeah we are introducing things slowley but the issues is not that so much as he has not clue what to do with these new strange things. Like mint, we tried that for the first time last night and he did not even try and eat it, in fact he ran his butt over it and his body and all his fur smelt like mint (it was sort of nice). Carrots he will eat, and pellets are fine. We are getting better with pasley and we now have bananna but anything other then that he sees as a toy or something to rub his body on which is just strange within its self
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User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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6/27/2010 5:01 AM
Ugh. I hate situations like this. His previous owner's treatment of him basically amounted to full-blown abuse. Thank goodness he has you now to look out for him. He wouldn't have had much longer had you not come along.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline angelicvampyre
757 posts Send Private Message
6/29/2010 1:12 PM
Thank Beka, the vet say another 4 months top with the rate he was going. We have to go back in a month to check this teeth again but other then that he is going really well
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