In case you haven’t spotted (it’s everywhere at Lowesmoor!) but it’s Rabbit Awareness Week, with this years theme being ‘move away from muesli’. Being told to change their rabbit’s food can be a confusing idea for many owners - it’s sold in many pet stores and is marketed as good nutrition for bunnies so what’s wrong with it?
Imagine feeding a child a plate of salad, with some sweets added in. I’ll take a bet that they will eat the sweets but leave the salad. Bunnies in a similar way will selectively feed when they eat muesli – eating the high starch and high sugar pieces (the coloured pieces in the mix), leaving all the boring, fibre rich pieces.
But is this really bad for rabbits?
Well, the answer is simply yes. A recent study by Edinburgh University showed that feeding muesli can have serious effects to your rabbit, predisposing them to dental disease, obesity, gut stasis and flystrike. I would like to also mention that all these diseases can be potentially fatal - highlighting how important diet is for us buns. Here’s a link if you want to read up some more on the study:
Are you one of the 25% that still feeds muesli mix to your rabbit? Well time to switch me thinks!
Instead of muesli I eat a complete pelleted nugget which means that I receive all the correct nutrition. This doesn’t mean I have access to an unlimited supply – nuggets should only be a supplement to a rabbit’s diet, so I stick to an egg cup full. If you are going to move your rabbit over from muesli to nuggets then I suggest going for a gradual change (over a period of 1 month). Make sure you don’t increase the overall portion size over this period and most importantly, as always make sure your rabbits have access to unlimited high-quality feeding hay. I am a huge advocate of hay and grass to stay healthy and hoppy!
If this is making you think about what you feed your furry friend, then why not book in for a chat to discuss diet with one of the nurses at Lowesmoor.