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The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

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Forum DIET & CARE Free choice pellets or measured?

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    • my baby max
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      I need to buy my 7 month old rabbit timothy hay pellets and I’m confused whether to buy free-choice pellets or measured pellets? I heard free-choice is for babies and once they reach the age of 6 months they need to switch to measured. Is that right? I’ve also heard that measured is kind of useless for a reason I don’t remember. My brother is telling me to buy free-choice because they’re not concentrated and you don’t have to measure all the time. So, you can imagine how my brain is all over the place with this information.

      i’ll also be buying the Sherwood Pet Health pellets, but I see the measured is more popular. Any tips?


    • Wick & Fable
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      5140 posts Send Private Message

      As mentioned in the BB diet overview (https://binkybunny.com/infocategory/healthy-diet/), transitioning to limited daily Timothy pellet serving is recommended for rabbits older than 6mo.

      If I’m understanding correctly, you are looking at pellets that are advertised as free fed for serving. I and many others caution against that because for many rabbits, this can lead them to only eat pellets and neglect hay, which is the most important part of a rabbit’s diet.

      Please see here for information on distinguishing good vs. not good pellets: https://wabbitwiki.com/wiki/Pellets

      The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.


      • my baby max
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        Thank you for the response. The reason I want to free feed him pellets is because I’ve read that if you accidentally overfeed measured pellets the rabbit can die.


    • LBJ10
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      Some rabbits can be free-fed and there are pellets (like Sherwood) that are designed for that. However, this doesn’t work for a lot of bunnies. As Wick said, it can lead to not eating enough hay. So the answer really is… it depends. If your bunny is able to have the free-fed type pellets and still eats plenty of hay, then I don’t see any harm in it. But if they neglect to eat enough hay, then they should probably get the kind of pellets that are measured and the amount reduced to encourage more hay eating.


      • my baby max
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        I appreciate the response! For some reason, he’s already not eating enough timothy hay (prefers alfalfa hay). I’ve also heard that measured can kill a rabbit if accidentally overfed.


      • Wick & Fable
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        It is important to consider the consequences of our actions, and I recommend reading information with such direct, extreme consequences with caution, as they often are oversimplifying or simply not based on fact. Yes, there can be negative consequences to your rabbit’s health when not offering an appropriate amount of measured pellets, but that consequence is the same for any decision a rabbit owner makes which is not educated/well-informed, spanning lifestyle, environment, in addition to diet choices.

        The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.


    • DanaNM
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      I’m not sure where you heard that overfeeding measured pellets would kill a rabbit, but I’ve never heard that before. The concern with overfeeding pellets is that the rabbit will become overweight and not eat enough hay, not some sort of poisoning effect.

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


    • Cinnimon&Ollie
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      I am pretty sure that overfeeding pellets can’t kill them only make them overweight, and not eat hay as DanaNM said. I think that measured feeding is the way to go because they won’t become overweight, and there is a much better chance that they will eat their hay more. I had one of my bunnies since she was 2 months old and never free fed here, she is very healthy and never had any problems like poisoning, or dental, or pretty much anything. Of course, it is your choice but measured feeding can’t kill them by overfeeding them.


    • LBJ10
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      Yeah, I’ve never heard that either.


    • Bam
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      15398 posts Send Private Message

      If the bun gets into a bag of measured- type pellets and pigs out completely, it could kill the rabbit, same as getting into a bag of kibble could kill a dog.

      But if you measure up measured-type pellets the risk is more about long term health. The bun will get fat if the portion size contains more calories than the bun spends. The bun might lose interest in hay if it fills up on pellets, which can cause both dental and GI problems. GI problems can evolve into GI stasis or obstruction, which might be fatal.

      Grass hay should always be the main food for a bun.

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Forum DIET & CARE Free choice pellets or measured?