Long time no post, was wondering about our girl Queenies overall diet as I recall reading somewhere greens should be cut down for older rabbits? Shes around 6 now (was given her back in 2012 fully grown and apparently a year old but age was unknown) we've had her on Helmes Hay, Science Selective pellets (standard, should I buy the elderly one?) and any leaves and herbs we can find reduced. Is there any greens we should be avoiding/reducing as well in an older bun? Don't want to stress her organs etc.
Thanks for reading,
6 is not really old for a Rabbit, but it is always good to be mindful of any dietary changes our Rabbits may need. As Rabbits age they may become less active and thus their calorie requirements would be less. Conversely some older Rabbits struggle to maintain weight and thus would require a higher calorie intake.
The best way to monitor the situation is to weigh your Rabbit regularly so you can have an ongoing accurate record of their weight. Hay will always remain a very important part of the Rabbit's diet and depending on the individual Bun's calorie requirements a pelleted feed made specifically for 'Senior' Rabbits may be useful.
Some Rabbits may develop a few Dental issues when in their twighlight years (8-9), even if they have never had Dental problems before. So this is something to bear in mind if an OAB starts to selective feed, loose weight, have episodes of GI tract slow down.
As far as what veg to feed, there is no need to make any real changes as long as the Bun is not having a large amount of carrots and/or fruit. Both have a high sugar content and can lead to a less active OAB putting on too much weight.
There is some useful information about diet available on Tamsin's 'The Rabbit House' site
I'd have a browse around the whole site if you have time
Can you offer Rosie and Lucy a Forever Home, they have been waiting for so long ? The girls are beautiful, Rosie has a bit of 'Hare' about her and Lucy has a little mane and tufty bum fluff !.
Thank you both! Shes never had large amounts of sugary foods (as researched when we had her given to us) thankfully she's been mostly healthy. Vaccinations done, teeth never needed any assistance but vet checked when vaccined, weights stayed regular (I weigh everyone monthly) of course always got the unlimited supply of hay and the usual necessary care. Will have a look at the links now.
Not at all, shes been stable for years, just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to be feeding her anything that could over-cumber her organs being a little older or the likes hence my post.
If she's not losing weight, then I think the best food for rabbits is that which is easiest on their digestion.
Brambles, dandelions, nettles and other forage/free food is very easy for rabbits to eat and digest, and contains lots of fibre to keep the gut moving and the teeth well worn down. Some ideas here .....
And a very good book written by Twigs Way called 'Foraging for Rabbits' which can be purchased from the RWAF bookshop
There's a good diet recommendation here: