A rabbit’s dietary needs are quite sensitive. With bodies that small, every extra morsel can make a difference.
How many times do you feed a rabbit in a day? Read on to find out!
How Many Times Do You Feed A Rabbit Daily?
It’s recommended that you feed a rabbit twice a day. You can adjust this based on individual schedules and needs, but the recommendation stands. Rabbits should also have access to unlimited amounts of certain kinds of food, mostly hay.
Does It Matter How Often You Feed Your Rabbit?
It’s generally recommended that a rabbit be fed twice a day for more unique foods. Most rabbits will have 24/7 access to hay, but things like pellets and vegetables will be fed in moderate amounts.
These veggies and pellets are usually fed in two “meals” spaced out during the day. This is to give your rabbit the chance to digest food properly without overloading it with a lot of any specific dietary components in one go.
But is this compulsory? Technically, what matters more is ensuring that your rabbit gets the right amount of nutrients in its daily diet.
Calculate how much your rabbit needs to eat in a day and you can divide that amount in a way that works for your schedule within reason.
It’s not the most recommended way to feed your rabbit, but if it’s necessary and consistent, your rabbit can live with a different feeding frequency.
What Times A Day Should I Feed My Rabbit?
Rabbits in the wild prefer nocturnal activity, though they are occasionally crepuscular. This means that they prefer to eat at dusk, during the night, or at dawn. Their instincts often lead to them eating once at twilight and a second time as the sun rises.
Luckily, you don’t need to follow this exact schedule when you feed your rabbit at home. What matters more than the exact time of the feeding is making it into a reliable routine that your rabbit can get used to.
It’s recommended that you feed your rabbit twice a day: once shortly before you go to sleep, and once shortly after you wake up. This allows you to cater to a rabbit’s typical needs without interrupting your own schedule too much.
You can also opt to feed your rabbit just once a day, but you have to make sure that it’s getting enough nutrients from that single meal. However, this is not recommended, as it gives your rabbit a large amount of food to digest at once.
Rabbits also like to graze throughout the day, which you should consider when preparing their food. You’ll likely want to lay out a rabbit’s grazing fodder at the same time as its night-time meal so that it can graze during the night like it naturally prefers.
How Much Should I Feed My Rabbit Each Time?
The amount that you feed your rabbit depends on its size and its age. An adult rabbit, or one between the ages of one and five years, should receive a mix of hay, pellets, vegetables, and fruits every day.
Adult rabbits will have an unlimited supply of chewing and grazing foods like oat hay, grass hay, and straw. These foods will likely not be provided during meal times, as they are always present.
If you choose to feed your rabbit twice a day, then each time, you should feed them between an eight and a quarter cup of pellets per 6 lbs of their body weight.
This is mixed with half a cup to one cup of vegetables per 6 lbs of their body weight. In other words, for every 6 lbs of your rabbit’s weight, you’ll be feeding it a total of a quarter to half a cup of pellets and one to two cups of veggies daily.
But what about at a younger age than that?
Up until the age of 7 months, young rabbits should be allowed unlimited access to both pellets and alfalfa hay.
At the 12-week mark, you’ll likely start adding less than half an ounce of vegetables to their daily diet. At the 7-month to 1-year age range, you’ll be slowly increasing vegetable intake while decreasing pellet intake to half a cup per day per 6 lbs of weight.
Will A Rabbit Stop Eating When They Are Full?
Rabbits are grazers. They can literally eat for between six and eight hours a day, and that’s healthy for them when the food available to them is suitable for such activities.
But these grazing habits also mean that rabbits don’t really know when they’re full. They’re content to just keep eating and eating. So if you give your rabbit too much food, chances are that it’ll eat even if it’s too much for them.
What Are The Consequences Of Overfeeding A Rabbit?
The clearest consequence of overfeeding a rabbit is obesity. The problem here is that an overweight rabbit is at risk for numerous health conditions, including heart disease, joint issues, diabetes, and more. It’s important to keep your rabbit within a healthy weight to promote long life.
In addition, certain types of foods have components that can be dangerous to rabbits in excess.
For example, the high calcium content of certain vegetables can cause toxicity, or the excessive fiber in another vegetable may lead to severe digestive issues. Taken to an extreme, this can cause fatalities.
How Often Should You Feed A Rabbit Treats And What Treats Are Best For Them?
Treats should make up only a very tiny percentage of a rabbit’s daily diet. Before adulthood, most treats that a rabbit will have will be in the form of a few pieces of introductory vegetables.
The best treats for a rabbit are pieces of fresh fruit, dandelion flowers, or even just more leafy green veggies.
You can even use pellets as treats if your rabbit’s dietary needs require that you restrict other foods. Work them into your rabbit’s daily dietary needs to ensure moderation.
Do note that, when it comes to fruit, rabbits must eat in moderation. At adult age, rabbits can have about two tablespoons of fruit per 6 lbs of their body weight every other day or so.
They should eat no fruit at all until they reach 7 months of age. This is because of the high sugar content of fruit and the many other components found within the food group.
Rabbits should eat twice a day and have specific dietary requirements that must be followed for the sake of their health. They will graze on hay throughout the day and enjoy breakfast and dinner full of veggies, pellets, and maybe a bit of fruit!