As mentioned prior, rabbits have extremely sensitive GI Tracts. Fruits, vegetables, and processed sugar-based treats in excess can cause issues such as GI Stasis: A condition where the gut motility slows or stops, causing severe blockages often resulting in death. Is feeding the occasional fruit or vegetable detrimental to your rabbit’s overall health? Probably not, as long as it’s in moderation. But feeding a diet high in fiber, a pristine pellet regimen, and few “extras” will be beneficial to your rabbit’s health long-term.
We rarely feed fruits and vegetables, and our English Lops’ treats are grain/seed based – This has kept our Forever Bunnies’ digestive systems running smoothly, and their immune systems strong. Treats fed at HGL Haven generally double as coat-conditioning supplements, and are just that – Supplements. Extras should not be fed in place of a strict pellet/hay routine.
Below are some of the supplemental treats our rabbits enjoy here at HGL Haven.
Please Note: Serving size is based on our English Lops. Pick ONE treat per day if you must feed your rabbit “extras”. Moderation is key.
1. Black Oil Sunflower seeds (BOSS) – 1 small handful/day. Aids in coat condition, eases rabbits out of tough molts. Oils preserve coat sheen.
2. Old Fashioned Rolled Oats – Straight out of the container – 1 small handful/day. Helps digestion and weight maintenance. Good for young, growing rabbits (but our adults love them too)!
3. Calf Manna – 1 tsp/serving. Should not be fed in excess, only during a deep molt, or as a rare treat. Aids in weight maintenance, but is high in protein & calcium. Too much Calf Manna can cause calcified urine/bladder stones.
*4. Banana – A few slices/serving, peel and all! Our rabbits either love it, or hate it. Most go crazy for bananas, but I think the texture throws them a bit. Nothing is cuter than a bun loudly smacking his banana-filled lips. Potassium hardens stools, so do not feed in excess.
*5. Parsley, Kale, Basil, etc. – 1 green sprig/serving. Greens contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which can be beneficial to your rabbit in the long run. We only feed greens on occasion, as diarrhea/softer stools and even GI Stasis can arise from feeding them in excess.
* = Fed sparingly, monthly.
We’ll be making some Holiday Biscuits in the upcoming weeks, containing mainly ground up pellets, banana, and even canned pumpkin. The buns seemed to enjoy them immensely last year, and the ingredients are familiar and all natural. Stay tuned!