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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Can't get Ruby to eat Timothy based pellets!
Last Post by lmais at 10/31/2012 3:32 AM (11 Replies)
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User is Offline lmais
272 posts Send Private Message
10/26/2012 1:24 PM

I have been trying to switch Ruby from her pellets that were recommended for her when she was a baby to some Oxbow timothy pellets, and she just won't eat them. I've been trying to mix them together, and at first she would eat a few of the timothy pellets here and there - but more and more she just eats around them to get to only the alfalfa pellets. 

She isn't overweight or anything so I don't think the calories will hurt. But I know that timothy is the healthier option for adult rabbits (She is 1 1/2 years). She gets all the timothy hay that she needs/wants and about 2-3 cups of veggies a day.

The pellets that she has been eating are "Little Friends Original Rabbit Food". The same company sells pellets with more Timothy content but she wouldn't eat those ones either. 

Are these pellets okay for a rabbit her age? And PLEASE, if anyone has tips on how to get them to switch it would be SO appreciated.


User is Online Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
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10/26/2012 2:43 PM
as long as the alfalfa are there, thats what she will go for.. its much tastier than timothy, like candy If you cant get her to switch gradually, and she just eats around them, try giving just the timothy, see if she eats them then.

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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10/26/2012 2:50 PM
All you have to do is remove the alfalfa pellets. If she wants pellets, she'll eat the healthy timothy ones
She has free choice of hay too though?
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User is Offline lmais
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10/26/2012 2:51 PM
I've tried them alone as well a few times. With the alfalfa pellets she gobbles them up as soon as I put them in the bowl for her like she's never seen food before lol, when I first tried I put the timothy pellets in the morning like I do with the alfalfa ones, and there was still at least 3/4 of it left when I got home at the end of the day. Is it bad for her if she goes a day without pellets until she gets hungry enough to eat the timothy ones?

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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10/26/2012 2:56 PM
lol and thus she learned, 'snub the timothy pellets, mom will put the good ones back'

She can definitely go a day or longer without pellets. As long as she has hay you can go ahead and remove the alfalfa pellets.

My mom used to say when we complained we were hungry to go eat an apple. If we declined she said we obviously weren't hungry then. Same applies, the alfalfa is yummy so she's eating more. Given no option she'll eat the timothy. Your not torturing her either, bunnies are picky about new things and have a sweet tooth so prefer high calorie stuff. It's definitely ok to remove the alfalfa and let her go to the timothy when she realizes she's lost the battle.
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User is Offline lmais
272 posts Send Private Message
10/26/2012 3:38 PM
Thanks for the info & input guys, time for some tough love!

User is Offline cactuspancake
Boston, MA
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10/27/2012 9:41 AM
Try mixing them together? Like maybe shake them together so the timothy smells like the alfalfa?

Just be careful with how you go about it because logically you would think that they will eat the timothy if they are starving and there's nothing else to eat, but it doesn't always work out well. Sometimes they will eat just enough and gradually lose weight over a few months because they really just don't like it and don't want to eat it. This has happened to me with Franz twice. If I don't supplement his diet enough with pellets, he will drop weight to where I can feel the sides of his spine, so even though it's not recommended I have to give him more to keep his weight up, and my vet agrees it's the lesser of the two evils if he does this. I think it's uncommon though, and your bunny will probably eat the timothy if he gets hungry, so definitely try it and be very stubborn about it for awhile. Maybe try a different brand, too. The oxbow ones smell soooo strong compared to my sweet meadow farms pellets, so I know they differ a lot in brand.

It's not just Franz, I have two other animals in my care that won't eat what I give them. I have a blenny who to this day has not eaten anything I have given him for over 6 months, and only will eat one fuzzy algae in the tank that doesn't grow much, and he is underweight. I will rehome him if he gets any more skinny. Also a bluegill at work will only eat worms and this has been true for 4 months (only one of over 60 fish who does this). I am stubborn with him and I haven't fed him anything but pellets during this time, but he will only eat like one or two every week, but he gets excited over live food.
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User is Offline lmais
272 posts Send Private Message
10/27/2012 1:07 PM
I tried giving her the timothy pellets today, little to no pellets are gone (I filled a small dish to the rim so that I would be able to tell, and it looks the same as when I left). She doesn't seem to have eaten any extra hay either, and she's in a VERY grumpy mood right now... not sure what to do in this case :S

I will be out tonight and won't be back until late tomorrow, my mom is going to come check up on her later this evening and tomorrow morning so that we are sure she is doing okay.

I'm seeing my vet on Tuesday so I will definitely ask about it then, but in the meantime does anyone know how long I should wait before giving in and feeding her the alfalfa pellets? I don't want my girl to starve herself out of stubborn-ness :p

User is Offline peppypoo
Texas
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10/28/2012 11:59 AM
Some people actually feed their bunnies completely pellet-free diets with plenty of hay and vegetables...while I wouldn't recommend it without careful evaluation, my point is just that she won't starve without her pellets as long as she also has other sources of food. Battle of the wills, haha.
Tammo (RIP), Milo (RIP), Peppy, Remi

User is Offline tobyluv
South Carolina
640 posts Send Private Message
10/29/2012 12:48 PM
Sweet Meadow Farm has a pellet blend that is a timothy alfalfa combination. I can't find the nutrition info on their website. I did buy a bag once and I remember that timothy was listed first, then alfalfa, but I don't know what the ratio is. My rabbits did like it, but I decided to go with Oxbow timothy pellets. The pellets were a little fatter, and shorter than Oxbow pellets. Maybe Ruby would like them, and they would be better for her than the straight alfalfa pellets.

User is Offline lmais
272 posts Send Private Message
10/29/2012 1:29 PM
Thanks tobyluv, I'll check it out! I'm taking her to the vet for a little check up tomorrow so I'm going to ask for some more tips on how to ween her from one to the other.

User is Offline lmais
272 posts Send Private Message
10/31/2012 3:32 AM
For anyone else who may be looking for the answer to this, for Ruby it was as simple as changing the brand of her Timothy pellets - cactuspancake was likely right about the smell of the Oxbow pellets. I waited two days and she still wouldn't touch them so I went out and bought Timothy pellets in the same brand as her alfalfa ones and fed those to her this morning. She was eating them by the time I left 😊 thanks for the info guys!
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