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Last Post by Monkeybun at 7/22/2011 10:23 PM (11 Replies)
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User is Offline EmilyL
94 posts Send Private Message
7/22/2011 5:53 PM

Ok, so I have a bunny named Abby and she's approximately 2 or 3 years old (she's a rescue so I'm not exactly sure) and I love her SOOOOO much!!!! I think she is really getting way too fat and I'm not really surprised by this because I have free fed her pellets this whole time thinking she would self regulate but I don't think she is very well. Also, she doesn't eat much hay because she eats so many pellets. She gets veggies and cilantro and those (very unhealthy) blueberry yogurt treats (she's addicted to those).

I want my Abby Bunny to be around for a good long time so I've decided to gradually (and greatly reduce) her pellet intake and completely eliminate the yogurt treats, and also change her main food intake to hay (I read on the House Rabbit Society page that this is the healthiest diet). The only problem is right now is that I don't have a very good hay system. I buy the Kaytee timothy hay (and it's really long) since I don't have much selection in my local stores and can't really afford to spend the extra for the oxbow stuff. I currently put it in her litterbox but that's not really going very well and it's difficult to refill. 

She likes throwing stuff (including hay) and making a mess... I have tried a hay rack that hung on the outside and she hated it. She would not touch it. And I don't really like putting it on the floor of her cage because she gets it EVERYWHERE and most of it ends up outside of her cage anyway. Has anybody figured out a different way to give hay? That is not so messy? Thanks for reading and please help!! 


User is Offline LoveChaCha
Rabbit Warren
6655 posts Send Private Message
7/22/2011 6:17 PM
Hi there

It looks like the HRS website has helped plenty!

It looks like you have a dutch rabbit, correct? Are you going by the diet regulations? Also, what type of pellets are you giving her? Timothy based should be for adults, no colored additives. Those are bad for bunny.

Not all bunnies will self regulate, in fact, if I could (but I do not) my rabbit would just eat pellets all the time, but she doesn't She gets a tablespoon in the morning. She literally runs to me and binkies for her pellets. I treat pellets as a vitamin supplement.

What is going on in the litter box? A lot of rabbits will waste hay that is in their litter box, but it highly enourages them to eat lots of hay. I get my hay from american pet diner (via amazon) and my bunny scarfs up the hay.

Do you have any feed stores in your area? Just a warning, there maybe baby rabbits there.. so *must resist the temptation* They tend to sell hay by the bale for really cheap. Storing it in a huge rubbermaid container helps contain the hay

My rabbit is a messy bunny as well. I put the hay in a willow basket and an empty shoe box as much as possible, but still the floor gets messy. At the end of the week, I pick up the big pieces, and use my shop vac (VERY GOOD for picking up hay!) to clean up the mess!
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User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10511 posts Send Private Message
7/22/2011 6:22 PM
MOST buns won't self regulate. The more food, the better, for prey animals. It helps keep their numbers up in the wild. In house bunnies though, you need to regulate for them

User is Offline EmilyL
94 posts Send Private Message
7/22/2011 6:31 PM

 Right now she gets Nutriphase rabbit food. It was the cheapest plain timothy pellet food my store had that still seemed semi decent. I had to buy the cheaper stuff because thats such a large part of her diet. But if she was getting only a tablespoon a day I'd buy the good stuff. At my petstore the good stuff is the "Timothy Complete" and it's supposed to be a great food. Right now, I just fill her bowl when it runs low and she free feeds with the pellets. And she loves that stuff so she eats a lot. And those yogurt treats, I think those are the two culprits with her weight gain.

I will still put hay in her litter box since she does tend to eat it when it's in there. But since I want to start setting out a large amount I want another place to put it. I wish I had a shop vac... that would be aweeeeesome!! I know I'm going to break my vacuum trying to get up all the hay she puts everywhere. I do what I can with picking up the big pieces but it takes foreverrrrrrr. Is it hard for your bunny to reach the hay in the shoe box without tipping it over? I know my bunny will love trying to pick up the box and throw it around haha. Maybe if it's big enough she won't be able to tip it... I have heard about feed stores and their bulk hay. I've never actually looked at it though... I'll definitely look into that and into buying it online. I don't know why I haven't already, I buy everything online hahaha. 

Must throw this out there since I have a rare opportunity to gush about my bunny without people thinking I'm weird. But she is the cutest freaking thing EVER!! I even giggle just watching her munch on lettuce. The way her nose twtches is just SO adorable. Gah!! I love my Abby bunny!!! 

If anybody has any additional hay mess containment ideas please let me know!

 


User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10511 posts Send Private Message
7/22/2011 6:41 PM
Cut out the yogurt treats too, they are not at all good for buns. Adult bunnies should never get any kind of dairy product.

For hay, I just put it int he litter boxes for my buns. yes, it makes a mess, but I bought a wonderful carpet sweeper that picks it all up like a champ. Saves my vacuum from dying I bought it off the target site, BB actually recommended it to me when I asked about it Its the shark carpet sweeper, about $40 i think i paid for it.

Definitely cut down the pellets. My buns get about 1/8 cup each per day, except for Squirrel, but he's only 4 months old.

User is Offline EmilyL
94 posts Send Private Message
7/22/2011 6:45 PM
Monkeybun... what is a carpet sweeper? What kind do you use? is it expensive?

User is Offline EmilyL
94 posts Send Private Message
7/22/2011 7:07 PM
Wait, duh, I just saw you said 40 dollars. Does it pick up hay easily on thick carpets or just the flat, barely there kind of carpet? I would love to have something like that not only just because I have hay all up on my floor, but my bunny is so scared of the vacuum and it's a big hassle because I have to put her in the carrier and put her in another room.

User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10511 posts Send Private Message
7/22/2011 7:40 PM

It does not replace a vacuum. It is good at picking up hay, but doesn't get the dirt and fur very well. But it does save on time for picking up the hay. So bun would still get scared of the vacuum occasionally.

The one I have is www.target.com/Shark-Folding-Handle...ref=sr_1_1 and it looks like it went down to $35. So good deal


User is Offline EmilyL
94 posts Send Private Message
7/22/2011 7:46 PM
Great thanks Monkeybun... do you have any ideas for how to contain the hay better in the first place? Or anybody else?

User is Offline LoveChaCha
Rabbit Warren
6655 posts Send Private Message
7/22/2011 7:50 PM

Miss Chacha does knock over her hay. I just emptied a tissue box (due to seasonal allergies) and I filled it with hay. She hasn't knocked it over yet.

It does not matter what brand of pellets you get (just none with colorful things as I stated above), you need to restrict her pellets. Do it slowly. Rabbits will look like they are starving when you give pellets, but in fact, the main staple is hay and that is what a huge portion of their diet should be. My bunny was free eating before she was spayed, and after the spay, I started slowly limiting pellets until it got to a tablespoon. As I said, the amount fed to bunny depends on the weight of the rabbit, but if you want her to lose weight, you will have to decrease it

I have an IKEA plastic bag holder that I got for 1.99. Chacha loves it. I like finding stuff at stores that can double as a rabbit toy or dispenser. I also look at the bird toy section at pet shops for ideas.

As for treats, I give my bunny a craisin 2 times a week. She definitely loves her sweets, but I don't want her to become chubby bumby :3

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User is Offline EmilyL
94 posts Send Private Message
7/22/2011 8:39 PM
Oh my gosh, those are great ideas!! Both the tissue box and the bag holder. That is why I love these forums... sharing of good ideas! lol

Oh, and yes, definitely... I know I'm going to start reducing her pellets until she gets to that tablespoon. She's been spayed too... It will be really hard. I've been doing so much research on it because I'm afraid I'm going to starve her. My Abby loves to eat. And omitting the yogurt treats is going to be SO hard. Every time she hears plastic crinkling, she starts freaking out and standing up tall on her hind legs and running in circles in stuff. My poor bunny is going to have such a hard time with it lol.

User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10511 posts Send Private Message
7/22/2011 10:23 PM
Try raisins, or dried papaya. My buns go nuts for them. Just a little bit though, not alot or they could get chubby

Your bun may try to convince you she is starving, but with hay 24/7, she's just playing you
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