Ultimate Guide to Rabbit Foods


Ultimate Rabbit Food Guide

Rabbit food is a very Vital Part of Rabbit Farming. According to the University of Michigan account for 75% of Costs associated with rabbit Farming. An adult rabbit will need 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Rabbit pellets per 6 pounds of body weight per day

History of Domesticating Rabbits

According to Dr. Greg Larson from Oxford – Earliest written records of Romans raising and Building Hutches for Rabbits . All Through Time Rabbits were Used and Hunted as a meat source. Tradition says that Fransciscian Monks were Raising them for Meat ( Domesticating them ) during Lent in 600 AD – But this tradition lacks supportive Documentation

If you look at today’s Commercial Rabbit Farms. It is amazing the Technology and Science that has been added. From the time the Bunny Hopped around Munching Grass. To the Science-Based Diets that are now available for growing Strong, Quick and Healthy Rabbit Herds

Rabbit Farming Today

According to 2002 Census of Agriculture NASS – there were 4,300 Farms – Selling 890,000 Rabbits Annually. Top producer in the US was Pennsylvania with 298 Farms with a production of Selling 112,00 Annually

Today Rabbit Farming is becoming more popular as an Animal on Small Family Farms. Being able to start a small rabbit Farms reasonably. We did it as a Kid. My Father was Raising Rabbits on our small 5 Acre Farm. We built Hutches and Had small litters having about keeping about 30 Rabbits in Rotation to provide the meat for our Family and friends. As Kids it was a great Learning Experience and Responsibility Growing Up. We Raised them and then as 12 – 14-year-old boys we would Put them into Freezer. We loved Rabbit Meat. When we had friends over they didn’t have a clue to the type of Meat. they just knew it Tasted Delicious.

Smallest Operations to be considered a herd – 20 Does and 2 Bucks

Current Part-Time Farms consist – 50 – 100 Rabbits

Full-Time Farms Consist – 600 Females – 60 Bucks

Each doe will produce 25 – 50 Rabbits per Year – Which Yields 125lbs – 250lbs of Meat.

These are the most popular Breeds That are Currently Being Farmed

BreedsSizeUseMature Weight (lbs)
Angoramediumwool; meat9-12 lbs
American Chinchillamediumfur9-12 lbs
Californianmediummeat8-11 lbs
Champagne d’Argentmediummeat9-12 lbs
Checkered Giantslargefur11+ lbs
Dutchsmalllab3-6 lbs
English Spotmediummeat; lab9-13 lbs
Flemish Giantslargemeat13+ lbs
Himalayansmalllab2-6 lbs
New Zealandmediummeat9-12 lbs
Polishsmalllab3-4 lbs
Rexmediumfur8-11 lbs
Silver Martensmediumfur6-10 lbs

What Rabbits Eat Naturally

As we begin looking at the subject of Rabbit Feeding – Let’s begin with Looking at what Rabbits eat in Their Natural Habitat. Wild Rabbits have always been a hunted Food Source. In Part of the United States, we live they are called Cotton Tails – Because when they are running away usually all you can see is their white Puffy Cotton Tail. In Ohio, there is a Scheduled Hunting season Every Year. Looking at what they eat Naturally in the wild is below.

  • In the Summer – Weeds
  • Grasses
  • Clover
  • Flowers
  • Vegetables
  • In the Winter – Twigs
  • Bark
  • Pine Tree Needles
  • Any Plants that remain Green in the Winter

Homemade Rabbit Food

You may want to Feed Your Rabbit farm Homemade Rabbit food so you can better control what they are getting. You can use the freshest ingredients. It is more labor-intensive – we will share a couple of Recipes we found during Research – Checking with a Veterinarian follow these guidelines – for Rabbit Foods

  • 85% Grass – Fresh Greens
  • 15% Commercial Feeds that have 16% crude protein Levels

Recipe 1

  • 6 Cups of Rolled Oats
  • 3 Cups Golden Wheat Berries
  • 3 Cups Barley
  • 3 Cups Hard Red Wheat Berries
  • 3 Cups Split Peas
  • 3 Cups Sunflower Seeds

Recipe 2 – This Link has several Rabbit Farmers Homemade recipes – this one looked great and the Farmer said it has produced strong Healthy Rabbits on His farm – if You look at Herbs he has included you can see, Natural Antibiotics, Parisite control, Natural Immunity Builup, Better Absorption ingredients.

  • 50 KG of Barley
  • 50 KG of Corn
  • 20 KG Smooth Lentiles Hay
  • 20 KG Bran
  • 5 KG Soybean Powder
  • 200 Grams Tumeric Powder
  • 50 Grams Salt
  • 200 Grams Mugwort powder
  • 200 Grams Onion Powder
  • 200 Grams Garlic Powder
  • 100 grams Fenugreek Powder
  • 100 grams Black Pepper

Building your own Homemade Foods is that it allows you to add many natural Herbs that help promote immunity, parasite control, General Health of the Rabbit. Gives you More control for your Rabbit farm

Inexpensive Rabbit Feed

Home-mixed Feed – Our Starting a Rabbit Farm – Article

Rabbits can feed almost any food that is not sour, spoiled, or greasy. Some exceptions are meat, potatoes, peeling potatoes and large amounts of cabbage. Thus, rabbit food can be supplemented with many things, including vegetable trimming, fruit peeling, bread scales, sun-dried remaining rice, and leftovers milk.

Rabbits can be fed almost any food that is not sour, spoiled, or greasy. A few exceptions are meat, potatoes and/or potato peelings, and large amounts of cabbage.

Thus, the rabbit’s diet may be supplemented with many things, including vegetable trimmings, fruit peelings, bread crusts, and sun-dried leftover rice and leftover milk.

Do Rabbits Eat Pineapple

Yes, Rabbits can eat small amounts of Pineapple. Pineapple in large amount are not healthy for rabbits. In Nature they normally do not eat Pineapple, and the high Sugar Content of Pineapple is not good for your Herd. Resulting in sugar problems and possible obesity.

Vitamin C is a Benefit that comes from Eating Pineapple, but there are also Green Sources that would be closer to the Bunny’s Natural Food Sources.

Suggested Feed Recommendations Michigan University

Here are some of the basic ingredients you can use in your feeding formulas. These are Fresh main staples for your Rabbit Feed – These basics are from Michigan University.

  • Green Feeds
  • Root Crops
  • Cereal Grains
  • Milled Feeds
  • Hays
  • Protein Supplements
  • Salt

Best Rabbit Feed Formula

These are some of the factors that can vary in determining the best Rabbit food for your Farm. These 6 variables Change according to Breed and Environment.

  • Amount Rabbit Feed is dependent on several factors –
  • Composition of Feed
  • Temperature Being Raised in.
  • Breed of Rabbit
  • Size and Age of the Rabbit
  • Stage of Rabbits Life Cycle
Feeding Meat Rabbits

Rabbit Feed Ingredients

Checking Research on Rabbit Feed Producers ( Penn State, Michigan University, Organic Rabbit Farmers. the Main Ingredients in Rabbit Pellet Production are the Following, they are made into Rabbit Pellets and Bagged for Sale.

  • Wheat
  • Maise
  • Sorghum
  • Bran
  • Pollard
  • Hay
  • Grass
  • Lucerne crumbles
  • Vegtable Protein Meals
  • Vegatable Oil
  • Animal Oil
  • Limestone
  • Salt
  • Cohline Chloride
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Vitamin C
  • Mold Inhibitor
  • Riverina Vitamin
  • Mineral Pre Mix

Feed Composition for Rabbit Feed

The main Item for Rabbit Pellet Production is Hay. Rabbits have only one stomach. So the best Feed Provide the Bunny with the Nutrients. rabbits also eat their own poop – giving it second pass through the rabbits system this is called cecotrophy. Also Called their Night Droppings. They Digest it back again the second time – Rabbits Eating their Rabbit droppings are described as Hind – Gut Fermentors – Lagomorphs

Rabbit Farming Feeding

Below is a Table for approximate Feed Levels for your Rabbit Herd. It is based on Bodyweight of the Rabbits, on a per-day basis. This can help you calculate amounts of Feed you are going to need according to the amounts of rabbits you have.

ItemApproximate body weightQuantity to be fed per day
ConcentratesGreen grass
Bucks4 – 5 kg
8lb – 10lb
150
.33 lb
600 g
1.32lb
Does4 – 5 kg
8lb – 10 lb
150 g
.33 lb
600 g
1.32lb
Lactating does200 g
.44 lb
700 g
1.54lb
Weaner (6 weeks)600 – 700 g
1.32lb – 1.54lb
50 g
.11 lb
200 g
.44lb

Frequency of Rabbit Feeding

Rabbits need to be fed twice a day – with unlimited access to grass and Hay. Small amounts of Fruits and leafy plants. many farmers do it at 5 AL and 7 PM – rabbits will also munch all night. Rabbits are naturally active at night.

What to Feed Pregnant Does

This is a Formulation for your does while they are pregnant. It will Help in Infant formation and producing Healthy litters. They are pregnant 27 – 30 days so you will need to maintain better feeding during this time period

Gestation 
Barley25 %
Oats25 %
Linseed meal17 %
Alfalfa meal28.05 %
Salt0.2 %
Vitamins and minerals2.75 %

What to Feed Baby / Growing Rabbits

Baby Rabbit

These Are the Diets fed to Baby Rabbits for Best Growth. The baby rabbits will nurse until they are 6 weeks – 8 weeks old. They can start nibbling on hay at 2-3 weeks, plus Milk. 3 – 4 weeks they will be eating the same as mother plus Milk. Completely weaned at 6 – 8 weeks old.

  • 12 to 15 percent crude protein.
  • 2 to 3.5 percent fat.
  • 20 to 27 percent fiber.
  • 43 to 47 percent nitrogen-free extract (carbohydrate).
  • 4 to 6.5 percent ash or mineral.

Creep Diets from Zambia AgriBusiness SocietyCreep Diets from the research results in faster growth – but the studies show increase feed cost-reducing profitability

Oats (ground)19.0 %
Wheat (ground)10.0 %
Barley (ground)10.0 %
Wheat bran6.4 %
Soybean meal12.0 %
Rapeseed meal2.5 %
Fish meal3.2 %
Dehydrated alfalfa meal23.7 %
Dried brewers yeast3.0 %
Dried distillers solubles4.0 %
Dried whey4.0 %
Molasses1.0 %
Salt, iodized0.5 %
Vitamin, mineral premix0.775 %
DL-methionine0.07 %
Feed flavor0.05 %

What to Feed Nursing Rabbits

Does that are Nursing will have their own diet to help them with Milk Production. They have extra nutrient needs considering they are feeding themselves and up to 14 baby bunnies.

  • 16 – 20 % Crude Protein
  • 3 – 5.5 % Fat
  • 15 – 20 % Fiber
  • 44 – 50 Nitrogen Free Extract
  • 4.5 – 6.5 % Ash or Mineral

Diet to Feed Lactating Does

Alfalfa meal40.0 %
Ground barley20.25 %
Wheat mill run20.0 %
Soybean meal14.0 %
Molasses3.0 %
Fat1.5 %
Dicalcium phosphate0.75 %
Salt (trace, mineral)0.5 %
Alfalfa meal30.0 %
Ground oats26.5 %
Ground barley23.0 %
Soybean meal16.0 %
Molasses3.0 %
Dicalcium phosphate1.0 %
Salt (trace, mineralized)0.5 %

What to Feed Meat Rabbits / Maine Organic Farmers Ass

The Formula for Raising Meat Rabbits is that it Takes approximately 20 LBs of Pellets to have 5lbs of Rabbit Meat.

Growth
Barley 24
Oats 25
Linseed meal 20
Alfalfa meal 28.05
Salt 0.2
Vitamins and minerals 2.75

Ready for Freezer

what to feed older rabbits

This is a Diet Formulation for Maintaining Older Rabbits

Barley32 %
Oats31 %
Linseed meal9 %
Alfalfa meal25.05 %
Salt0.2 %
Vitamins and minerals2.75 %

Once Rabbits become older it is wise to watch their weight so that they do not become Obese. Rabbits in the Wild live 1-2 Years, in Pet Situations they can live up too 12 years of age.

What We Wish We Knew

Family Rabbit Farm – What we wished we Knew

Our Suggested Rabbit Feeds

Recent Content