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Thread: New home, losing weight

  1. #1

    Default New home, losing weight

    We got two new rabbits a few weeks ago that we bonded with our previous rabbit. Ever since the start the two new rabbits have eaten less than our first one, but I assumed it was largely because the two girls mostly sleep through the day while our boy is super active. Now I'm noticing that one of the girls are losing weight. This one is definitely the shyest one and she won't barge her way to get to the food like the other two. That being said, hay is available at all times and there is always room for all of them. The others are just a little tougher. The rabbits all went to the vet before coming here and I really don't believe there is a health problem. She has an appetite, eats and drinks, poops and pees, she is just less pushy. She will eat hay that I put straight in front of her, but not from the feeders. She'll finish her pellets and have treats, it's the hay she's not eating enough of. I don't know what to do because they live indoors with us so I can't have hay all over the floor in the long run.

    So... Can it be that she's still adjusting to a new home? Can things pick up eventually? Is there anything I can do for her? The rabbits came from a rescue and they said to watch out for her weight because the vet suspected that her sister ate from her pellets. So I sit with them and make sure everyone only eats their own portion. And now she's getting even thinner. Should I give her more pellets to get her weight up? I don't know how much pellets they used to get. I asked but they never got back to me on it. I give them all 1 tablespoon twice a day. I keep them in one room at the moment in order to adjust. Will more space help? Less? I really don't know what to do.

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
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    She might be at the bottom of the pecking order and is too shy to push in. Do you scatter the food as this might help her? Do you give them any other food?

  3. #3

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    I don't scatter the pellets because our boy will eat the majority. He is fast! I do give them various greens too and I always make sure she gets some. She is at the bottom of the pecking order for sure, but I'm not sure what to do for her. I can't sit with her 24/7. I worry she won't figure it out and get health issues due to eating too little hay. The others aren't pushing her out of the way or being mean to her, but even when I feed her hay directly, they might pull it out of her mouth and have it for themselves.

  4. #4
    Wise Old Thumper
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    It is a worry for sure. How old are the girls? She was like this at the Rescue you said and some Rabbits do eat faster than their - are you sure she is losing weight? Maybe she was overweight when you got her.

  5. #5

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    It is possible that they were overweight. They were at least much chubbier than our boy is. Now they are more similar in weight. So I don't think she is skinny as of yet. However, if she keeps losing she will be. They are all about 9 months. Even if she was overweight, she still eats too little hay. I only see her eating the hay I feed her on the floor, but that is not a long term solution.

  6. #6

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    I tried opening up an extra room for them where hay is available in both rooms in hope that maybe she'll find more time on her own and feel more comfortable eating. But any suggestions are welcome.

  7. #7

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    It's not ideal long term but could you section off an area for her to eat in while you supervise.

    It may be she doesn't like using feeders yet, my two still prefer a pile on the floor so my house is covered in it.

    If you could section off a feeder for her and distract the others to try and work out whether it's a hierarchy thing or that she doesn't like the feeder.

    Sent from my SM-A528B using Tapatalk

  8. #8

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    Thanks! I shut the door to the other room when she was in it alone, and I'll see how she does. She seems to draw away from the others now that she has the chance. I really want to avoid feeding hay on the floor. Our boy eats constantly The girls definitely eat less. But then they also spend most the day sleeping so I assume they need less food.

  9. #9
    Warren Scout HouseOfRabbit's Avatar
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    If you don't want to feed hay on the floor would perhaps using an underbed storage box work instead? I don't have feeders and that's what I have for my two with Auboise as the base under the hay (could use newspaper instead).

  10. #10

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    They have hay in the litter boxes but she won't jump in unless she needs to pee, and then she isn't eating any. I try to fluff up the hay on one side so she can sit outside the litter box which her sister often does, but she isn't doing that either. She seems to eat the hay I hand feed her, but that's it, and sometimes she'll turn away from that too...

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