BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Young rabbit diet - second opinion?
Last Post by Mimzy at 9/25/2012 3:19 PM (8 Replies)
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User is Offline Memarie
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9/24/2012 4:52 PM

I took Luna for her first vet visit last week.   She checked out with a clean bill of health (yay!) and before I left the vet gave me some diet recommendations.  Namely that I reduce/eliminate her pellets, start giving her veggies, and switch her to Timothy hay.  This would all make sense to me if my bunny wasn't so young.  Luna is just over 7 weeks old (I got her at 6 weeks, and yes I know that is quite young but it's a long story) and checks in at around 0.74 kg (~1.6 lb).  Everything I have read so far says that a rabbit that young should have access to unlimited pellets (I'm feeding her the oxbow alfalfa pellets for young rabbits) and alfalfa hay.  I have no problem switching her diet up but am just worried if it is too soon since this recommendation is contrary to what I have read elsewhere, and because she is still pretty young.

 Any thoughts?


User is Offline TH004
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9/24/2012 4:56 PM
Can you call and ask the vet his thinking behind the recommendation?

User is Offline Memarie
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9/24/2012 5:09 PM

Good suggestion! I probably could. I asked a ton of questions during the appointment about other things but got the vibe he doesn't like to be questioned. I didn't ask about diet though, I think I got to intimidated at that point. I figured I would do some more reading on the subject and then call him back within the next day or two with a bunch of info and sources of my own, this way he might take me more seriously.

 Edit: I thought on it and I did ask my vet at the time about his recommendation.  He said that pellets and alfalfa hay were too rich and I should wean her off of them and on to a mostly veggie diet.  I agree completely, my previous bunny was on a 95% veggie diet.  I am aware that pellets and alfalfa are rich, higher in protein, etc, but I thought this was needed for young rabbit growth..


User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
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9/24/2012 7:21 PM
A good grass hay should be 80% or more of their diet... followed by veggies than pellets and treats.

My Monkey has been fed timothy pellets and hay since she was 7 weeks old, so switching away from alfalfa isn't a problem at all.

User is Offline Mimzy
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9/24/2012 9:52 PM
Mimzy never had alfalfa hay either, simply because they don't sell the large bags of oxbow alfalfa around me, only the oxbow timothy. So I agree that switching to timothy hay is no problem. The rest of what the vet said does sound a little strange, I haven't heard of that diet for a 7wk old. I just went to look up the links that binky bunny posted on here in the diet section.

You should find this quite helpful: http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/...tml#babies

It says they shouldn't get veggies until they are 12 weeks, and even then, it's just introducing the veggies & I believe this is because any younger than 12 weeks, there is a possibility of upsetting their tummies.

I didn't agree with the diet my vet recommended either, he wants Mimzy on a fiesta diet that has seeds & other fun stuff in it & then to give her a vitamin block. Oxbow has vitamins though & she will only eat the junk in the food and leave the healthy stuff haha.
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User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
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9/25/2012 2:22 AM
If it were me, I would feed the diet recommended by the House Rabbit Society (the link Mimzy posted). Most people eventually switch young bunnies from unlimited alfalfa pellets to a controlled amount of Timothy pellets. Switching pellets must be done very gradually.

I suggest you look for another vet. You want a vet you feel comfortable discussing things with and his diet recommendations make me question his rabbit knowledge.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless
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User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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9/25/2012 11:58 AM
Posted By LittlePuffyTail on 09/25/2012 04:22 AM
If it were me, I would feed the diet recommended by the House Rabbit Society (the link Mimzy posted). Most people eventually switch young bunnies from unlimited alfalfa pellets to a controlled amount of Timothy pellets. Switching pellets must be done very gradually.

I suggest you look for another vet. You want a vet you feel comfortable discussing things with and his diet recommendations make me question his rabbit knowledge.

I agree with this point completely.  You definitely need to be comfortable with your vet (any doctor actually!) and if you don't feel like you can ask questions or inquire about alternatives, this may not be a beneficial working relationship for your rabbit.

I also recommend following the HRS guidelines.  When your bun is full-grown, limit the pellets, or look into a pellet-free diet, but for now, the extra nutrients are very important.  Veggies can be started now, in a limited quantity, and introduced slowly over several days.

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User is Offline Memarie
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9/25/2012 2:58 PM
Thanks everybody (and thanks Mimzy for the link)! HRS is where I have always gotten the bulk of my rabbit info. I have heard/read similar recommendations elsewhere and when I got my first bunny I followed a similar plan - which is why my vet's recommendation seemed so off to me.

I brought home some Timothy hay today and started mixing it with her alfalfa. As for veggies, right now I use those as "treats" and give them in very small amounts since she's young and I don't want to upset her tummy (I'm a protective bunny mom). Eventually I'll cut back her pellets as I introduce more veggies but she has a ways to go yet.

As for a vet, I'm on the lookout for a new one. I don't trust his advice and I don't feel comfortable talking to him (good point guys!). I definitely don't trust him to do her neuter either. I know I'll have a TON of questions but I don't think I'll get many answers. I've had a few rabbit-savvy vets recently recomended to me who I plan to follow up on.


User is Offline Mimzy
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9/25/2012 3:19 PM
Good luck on the vet search! Hope you find a really good one
 photo KenMimSig_zps025abf4b.jpg Bunmom since June 4, 2012<3

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Young rabbit diet - second opinion?

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