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Thread: Providing extra fibre?

  1. #1
    Warren Scout
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    Default Providing extra fibre?

    My bunny is always up and down with her eating and pooping. Once she picks up she always seems to go downhill again. She was seen by a vet not long ago as she completely stopped eating and pooping. After a week of meds she recovered only to go downhill again. She is again starting to eat less and her poops are small again.

    She is still young - 6 months old. Please advice me if Iím feeding her right.

    She gets pellets (small amount) and kale, spinach or basil in the morning and at 8pm.
    She has access to loads of hay and hay cubes and different types of hay because sheís a bit picky.

    She loves apple and banana and cucumber but I donít think these are great for her but when she stops eating well I give her more of these to encourage eating.

    Would it be wise to feed her fibre supplement? Iím particularly thinking about buying excel dual care which is 42% fibre plus some vitamins. Would it be wise to replace her pellets with that? Or is that risky?

    I really donít know what to do keep her guts going instead of fluctuating.

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
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    It's the crude fibre you need to be looking at. https://www.vetuk.co.uk/rabbit-suppl...achets-p-20934

    Burgess Excel does not have any more crude fibre than the other main rabbit pellets. See this comparison, which doesn't include the Burgess Excel, but you can compare the 'crude fibre' figure http://www.therabbithouse.com/diet/r...comparison.asp I'm not suggesting that there is anything wrong with the Burgess, but it's not a fibre supplement. It's usually used as a recovery feed.

    How much does your bunny weigh and what is the weight of the pellets she has each day? Your aim is to get her to eat around 85% of her diet as hay. Does she eat a lot of hay?

    I would cut out her apple, banana and cucumber. They will encourage eating, but only of those foods, which will mean she will eat less hay.

    If you are confident enough, when Spring arrives, I would feed her some wild forage in place of some of the Kale or Spinach.

  3. #3
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    Thank you! I didn’t know it was crude fibre I should be looking at.

    She has roughly 9-10g of pellets at a time (Twitch).

    I see her nibbling on hay quite a lot but I don’t know how much she’s having exactly. She’s definitely more interested since I started mixing in different types of hay and she also likes the hay cubes.

    What wild forage could I give her? She’s an indoor bunny and I don’t have a garden but I tried giving her some grass and she wasn’t interested at all.

    I really worry about her

  4. #4
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    She’s still small and weighs roughly 1.5kg

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper
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    I would say that 18-20g of pellets a day would be fine for her. I would certainly avoid giving her the apple etc though.

    She should be nibbling hay most of the day really, when she's not resting. Well done for mixing different types of hay for her. You could also maybe get some dried forage and mix a small amount in with the hay to encourage her.

    It's surprising that she didn't like grass. Perhaps try her again in a couple of months. The flavour of grass will change slightly during the year. Regarding forage, you could try first of all with some Dandelions. Btw whenever you give anything new to her, just feed a small amount to start with.

  6. #6
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    Thank you for your advice

    She gets around 18g of pellets in a day as she gets them morning and night 9g at a time.

    I will try giving her grass again. I was also surprised she didn’t want it she didn’t even touch it.

    I will try some dandelions when the weather improves.

    She is actually sleeping most of the day and whenever she wakes up she goes to eat hay and use the litter… she’s mostly active at night so I’m not very sure what she’s doing then.

    Thanks again for your advice

  7. #7
    Warren Scout AnjaSanja's Avatar
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    Sure there is no spurs in her mouth? I would risk anesthesia to have oral cavity and mouth looked. Could also be something with guts. How much hay does she eat anyway?
    Hazelnut leaves, dry dandelion, apple leaves, plantain leaves. Those have lots of fiber and most buns do eat them.

  8. #8

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    You've already gotten some good advice about her food from Omi, so I just wanted to mention that it could be worth asking the vet to check her poops for parasites. My Tom and Taz had the same symptoms shortly after I adopted Tom, always stopping eating and pooping and then getting a better again and then stopping again, and they both had coccidiosis. It's easy to treat. Some vets seem to think they can't have it unless they have diarrhoea, but that's not true. I hope you can find out why this keeps happening to your bunny and that she'll feel better. Sending her lots of vibes.
    (Pronouns: he or they)


  9. #9
    Mama Doe Scrappy's Little Helper's Avatar
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    Bramble leaves are an especially good source of fibre, and thankfully often in plentiful supply. Most bunnies don't mind the spikes on the leaves so you shouldn't have to worry about trimming them off.

  10. #10
    Mama Doe Scrappy's Little Helper's Avatar
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    Also, some bunnies can be particularly sensitive to certain veg. The brassicas in particular can make some buns a bit gassy. So it's possible the kale may be making her a bit gassy and therefore uncomfortable and a bit reluctant to eat.

    Fresh herbs are more gentle on their tummies, so it might be worth swapping the kale for coriander, dill or basil.

    I think the greens are the hardest part of a rabbit's diet as it differs so much for each individual rabbit. Some have concrete stomachs and can tolerate anything, whereas others will get gassy just looking at a cabbage!

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