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Timothy Hay, wheat and soy are one of the most appreciated ingredients in rabbit food products. Read the article to find out more about these ingredients and the benefits they offer.
There is no secret that fibers are important for both animals and humans. As such, they are included in many animals’ diets, especially rabbits. Timothy hay is a grass rich in fibers, which are an essential part of bunnies’ diet. Fibers help bunnies prevent certain health problems, such as gastrointestinal stasis, which can be fatal. The grass is also good for their continuingly growing teeth, by preventing the growing of spurs. Nevertheless, it improves the health of digestive muscles. When it comes to the amount of Timothy Hay your rabbit can eat, there is no limit. It should form about 80% of a bunny’s diet. The grass is available in three types of cuts that you can offer your rabbit according to their age and preferences, as follows:
This type of cut is recognized for its bigger seeds and leaves. It is recommended for improving the functioning of the digestive tract, because it is rich in fiber and low in protein. You should choose it especially if you want to maintain a proper health of your rabbits’ teeth.
Medium Timothy grass is perfect for aging rabbits, because it is softer and easier to choose. Rabbits fed with this type of grass will get all the nutrients necessary for healthy teeth and digestive tract.
This is perfect for small rabbits which are pickier with their food. While it almost has no seed heads, it offers plenty of nutrients that bunnies need for their digestive tracts, as well as teeth health.
Alfalfa is a rich source of amino acids , including tryptophan and lysine, but also contains C and K vitamin, thiamine, calcium, copper, iron and folate. Due to the rich amount of nutrients found in its composition, alfalfa is a good food for rabbits. You can offer it especially to younger rabbits, as well as to skinny, lactating and pregnant rabbits, because it contains plenty of proteins. This grass is recommended especially to younger rabbits because they need high amounts of proteins and calcium. Therefore, it is best for baby rabbits between the ages of 3 weeks and 7 months.
Incorporating soy product into rabbit food is considered controversial. Soybeans are an excellent source of antioxidants and phytonutrients that are beneficial to rabbits. They provide important nutrients, such as:
• Folic Acid, which is an important vitamin for rabbits that is involved in cell production.
• Vitamin K, which is essential for maintaining a proper blood health.
• Cooper, which is important for supporting cardiovascular functions.
• Thiamine, which is necessary for improving the functions of the nervous system. Due to the estrogenic effect of some compounds found in soybeans, there are some concerns regarding including them in rabbits’ diet. However, it is proven that low concentrations of soybeans are beneficial for rabbits. This is why rabbit food contain soy. These offers fiber, protein and healthy fat in proper amounts that are completely safe for the rabbits to consume. They are recommended especially for rabbits that need to gain weight.
When looking for the healthiest rabbit food you can add to your rabbit diet, pellets can draw your attentions. People fed their rabbits pellets for decades, because they are specially formulated to include all the ingredients necessary for a balanced diet. Because rabbits are herbivores, they rarely consume nuts and fruits. Therefore, a good rabbit pellets should contain minimum 18% fiber. Pellets can be offered mainly to younger rabbits. As rabbits grow, they should make up less of their diet.
The best pellets for younger rabbits contain alfalfa, because of its high calcium and proteins content, which meets their needs at this stage of their growth. As rabbits grow Timothy hay represents a better choice, precisely due to its lower protein and calcium content. Starting with 3 weeks, you can include alfalfa in rabbits’ diet. Hay is suitable from 7 weeks to 7 months, while vegetables can be offered from 12 weeks, one a time.
It can be introduced starting with 7 months. In this period, you can also include grass hay and oat hay, but reduce the amount of alfalfa. When you add vegetables, make sure you do it gradually to see how they are tolerated. From 1 to 5 years rabbits can eat as much Timothy, grass and oat hay they want. Make sure you give them ¼ cup to 1/2 cup of pellets, depending on their weight and metabolism. Rabbits at this age can also eat 2 cups of chopped vegetables per 6 lbs. of body weight and 2 Tbs. of fruit daily per 6 lbs.
Not all the foods are healthy for rabbits. Therefore, there are certain foods that cannot be fed to rabbits, such as avocados, iceberg lettuce, mushrooms, raw potatoes, processed foods, house plants, rhubarb, raw onions and garlic, fruits seeds, meat, eggs, broad beans and kidney beans. If your rabbit ingested one of these foods, it is important to call your veterinarian as urgent as possible. These foods have compounds that can put their health at risk. Although it may seem complicated to choose the best rabbit food, it is easier once you get used to it. Keep in mind the list of foods they cannot eat, as well as the food recommended for each of their growth stage. As long as you have alfalfa, Timothy hay, oat hay and pellets, you can offer your rabbit a diversified diet, rich in all the nutrients they need.