BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > how much *should* he be eating?
Last Post by LittlePuffyTail at 10/12/2012 1:51 AM (5 Replies)
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User is Offline rileymai
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10/10/2012 10:23 PM

I've been wondering if my guy Tumnus is eating enough hay.. and honestly, I don't feel like he's a huge eater.  Is that normal for some rabbits to be not-so-big eaters?

Tumnus is right about 3 1/2 lbs, and is almost 7 months old.  When he was neutered about 2 weeks ago, and recovered from it FABULOUSLY, which I was ever-so thankful for!  The vet that did his neuter said he was perfectly healthy and a strong little bun.  I have just noticed since his neuter, he's less interested in his hay.  I've increased his veggie intake since his neuter (after advice from my first post, I realized I probably was giving him about a 1/2 to 2/3 cup less than I was advised) and I put out 1/2 cup of pellets every day, plus his unlimited access to hay.  He does not normally eat the entire 1/2 cup of pellets in one day - usually there's about a 1/4 cup or little bit less in the bottom of his bowl when I go to refill it. 

As for his hay, I feed Tumnus the same hay I've bought and he loved before - mainly timothy with a couple very small handfuls of alfalfa mixed in and a couple  "normal sized" handfuls botanical mix of herbs/grasses.  I like mixing the three grasses together, and he seemed to enjoy all of it before his surgery.. but seems to have been less interested in eating any of the hay since his neuter.

Tumnus is still eating his veggies (and I make sure he gets his nutritional requirements each day, and he's not really picky when it comes to veggies), although he never seems to eat the full 2 cups a day as I'm always picking up something that he couldn't finish or didn't seem to want (and it's never the same thing, so I guessed it's not because he's being picky about a certain veggie).

As for his health wise, he's still very active, playful, pooping, eating, drinking.. everything completely normal.  I just have noticed since his neuter, he doesn't seem to eat nearly as much as he did before (and he was a bit of a chow hound at times!).  I spoke with my exotics vet and she doesn't seem very concerned as long as he's still eating, drinking, pooping, etc.  Should I be worried, or am I just being a nervous bun mom?  Are some buns not big eaters and don't over-indulge?

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
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10/11/2012 2:17 AM
Well, I wouldn't worry too much about him if the vet checked him over and said he was healthy. It's possible he's just taking some time to be 100% back to normal from the surgery.

3 lbs is a small bun so he's probably filling up on veggies and pellets and not leaving room for hay. My buns always eat pellets, then veggies then hay last. It will soon be time to decrease pellets. This is from the House Rabbit Society Diet Guidelines:

What quantities of food should I feed young adults? (7 months to 1 year)

introduce timothy hay, grass hay, and oat hays, decrease alfalfa

decrease pellets to 1/2 cup per 6 lbs. body weight
increase daily vegetables gradually
fruit daily ration no more than 1 oz. to 2 oz. per 6 lbs. body weight (because of calories)

I would probably start the gradual decrease of pellets. Is he getting Timothy or Alfalfa pellets?

Does he have access to hay at all times?
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
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10/11/2012 8:44 AM
Did the vet check his teeth? Molar spurs can cause slow eating, though it could be perfectly normal for him and it sounds like he's eating a reasonable amount. I had a slow eater and found out that she had some mild molar spurs - now that they're fixed she eats food like it's going out of style. Haha

Decreasing his pellets as he's getting older will help him eat more hay. Many rabbits with access to that quantity of pellets will fill up there and not be too excited about hay.
- Elrohwen

User is Offline rileymai
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10/11/2012 9:06 PM

I already have Tumnus eating only 1/2 cup of pellets per day (have been for about 2 weeks now, started slowly cutting back when he turned 6 months to be as gradual as possible), so should I give him less pellets since he's not even 4lbs, or should I continue doing the 1/2 cup pellets every day? He's getting Timothy pellets, Oxbow Bunny Basics/T Rabbit Food. And yes, he has access to have 24/7.


Yes, I should have added that - the vet did check his teeth as well while he was under, and said everything appeared just fine.

So, I tried changing the position of his hay rack - I had been using a small wire basket zip tied to his cage to where the basket's top was against the cage side, so he would have to pull the hay between the basket's wires (much like a hay rack, which he had eaten out of before without problems). I think maybe he didn't like having to put any effort into getting his hay! Because tonight, I moved it so the basket is now position at an angle right side up, so the basket's opening is face-up and where he can put his whole face in and chow down if he wants to.. and he basically has been doing that. Obviously, he didn't like having to work to get the hay out from between the wires - lazy bunny!

User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
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10/11/2012 11:09 PM

My buns get 1/8 cup of pellets each, and plenty of veggies. With hay available 24/7, they definitely will not starve My largest buns is just 4lbs, and the vet says he needs to lose a bit too, so his food amounts are nowhere near starving him heh. Lowering the pellet amount will probably help with the hay eating.

Also, maybe it helps, but I just have all of their hay in the litter box, my buns seem to prefer it there. Easy access, and they can rummage around in it as they go potty. Works for them

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
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10/12/2012 1:51 AM
I would gradually start cutting back the pellets. Maybe just a little less than 1/2 cup for a few weeks. There's no rush to decrease the pellets so it's best to take it very slow.

Glad you may have found a better solution for your lazy bunny! 
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > how much *should* he be eating?