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Forum DIET & CARE Pellets

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    • Cinnimon&Ollie
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    • Wick & Fable
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      I doubt a timothy hay allergy would be triggered by pellets.

      Those Science Select pellets are actually fine. You just need to keep in mind that they are more protein and calcium dense due to the alfalfa, so be extra attentive to how much you are feeding.

      You can see here for a comparison chart and what parameters one recommends for rabbit pellets: http://www.therabbithouse.com/diet/rabbit-food-comparison.asp

      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.


    • LBJ10
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      Timothy-based pellets are unlikely to trigger allergies.


    • Cinnimon&Ollie
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      Okay. My rabbits are both 2.8 pounds, one is a netherland dwarf purebred, the other is a dwarf mix. I heard rabbits should have some Timothy in their diet, pellets or hay or whatever. Which my rabbits don’t. I tried finding if that is true or not but failed. Is it? Also would it help them get back to weight? They look healthy but the scale says they are a little overweight. Thanks 😊


    • Bam
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      Any grass hay is fine for rabbits. Rabbits in Australia cant have timothy hay, because timothy won’t grow in warm climates. As you probably know, wild  rabbits are considered a pest in Australia – they thrive a lot more than desired even though they never ever come across any timothy grass.

      Grass hay is important  though. It has the perfect nutritional profile for rabbits. Lots of fiber, low in protein and carbs, virtually no fat. There are many types of grass hay. In general, any grass hay that’s good for horses is good for rabbits. I myself am allergic to timothy (many people are), but I dont react to orchard or oat hay.

      Alfalfa is not recommended for adult buns due to its high content of protein and calcium. When alfalfa is a component of pellets, however, its balanced by the other ingredients so that the nutritent content stays consistent with the nutrient content claim on the the package.

      Science selective is considered a premium rabbit food. I have used it for my buns. I like that the pellets are big, because bigger pellets means less risk of a (greedy) bun choking on a pellet.


    • BZOO
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      The Oxbow is better, less fillers, but Oxbow Garden Select is even better.

      I don’t know about your local tractor supply, but ours is completely unreliable about what they have in stock at any given time.  I use Chewy for rabbit supplies.


    • DanaNM
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      I just wanted to reiterate that it’s important for them to have grass hay in actual hay form, not just in their pellets. Straight hay is important for the fiber it provides, as well as for the amount of time the rabbit spends chewing (good for the teeth and actually is enriching). I’ve heard the rule of thumb is a rabbit should spend around 4 hours per day chewing hay. And I agree that timothy pellets are very unlikely to be triggering allergies, it’s usually the hay itself that does that. Orchard grass is often much better for people with timothy allergies.

      I’ve fed both Oxbow adult essentials and Sherwood Forest Timothy Adult. My rabbits have done very well on both.

      This article shows what to look for in the nutritional info for rabbit 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.  


    • Cinnimon&Ollie
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      My rabbits have orchard grass hay 24/7. Thanks for the website. It’s good to hear that timothy in pellets shouldn’t cause any problems because my mother is really allergic to it.


    • Cinnimon&Ollie
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      I looked over all the ingredients and the article. I am leaning away from the oxbow one, and also sure about changing their pellets. I think this one is ok? What are your thoughts?

      Non-GMO, Soy-Free Rabbit Food Pellets


      • BZOO
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        I think anyone can find something “wrong” with anything. 🙂

        I’m not sure why the food you listed has wheat, but that is why I wouldn’t use it.

        Look at them all and find the one with the least amount of fillers that you are comfortable using.

        I will be adamant that you should not use any product containing soy, particularly for females.


    • Bam
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      👆 I took a screenshot of the nutrient values in the Non-GMO, soy-free pellets.

      In my opinion, the fibrr content is too low (should be at least 20%) and the protein is a little high (should be around 13%) for adult rabbits.

      Since at least 80% of a bun’s diet should be hay, and adult rabbits only should get a very limited amount of pellets, the somewhat low fiber content might not matter much.


    • Cinnimon&Ollie
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      Okay thanks. I am looking for a Timothy pellet with not a ton of ingredients and preferably organic. My bunny cinnimon can’t have any berries though it makes her tummy sick. Do you know any?? I didn’t go with the oxbow Timothy one because I found out the tractor supply near me closed down.


    • DanaNM
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      I know a lot of members who want a pellet with fewer ingredients go with the Oxbow Garden Select Formula. I’ve been feeding the Sherwood Adult Timothy for the last year or two and my bunnies are doing really well on it.

      I don’t think any high quality rabbit pellets contain berries or fruits at all.

      . . . 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 tried oxbow garden and cinnimon didn’t like it. (I only had cinnimon at the time) I wasn’t sure if berries in pellets are common but I know oxbow organic has some. I will take a look a sherwood. Thank you


    • DanaNM
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      Oh interesting. Unless she is extremely sensitive to them, I doubt they would be present in an amount that would cause tummy upset. Just a quick look at the ingredients shows blueberry and cranberry way down on the list, after salt and with the vitamin supplements, so there is likely just a tiny amount (just enough to claim them for advertising purposes lol).

      In any case, the Sherwood food doesn’t have any berries!

      . . . 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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      She is really sensitive to them. I gave her one before I knew and she was tummy sick for 4 days. I don’t want to take chance because I would feel bad then.


    • DanaNM
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      Awww yeah, better safe than sorry!

      . . . 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.  


    • LBJ10
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      I think the blueberry and cranberry may be added for “antioxidants”… as per the advertisement on the front of the bag. I agree with Dana, it would be such a tiny amount. But if your bunny had problems before, then it’s better to be safe than sorry.


    • BZOO
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      Another thought, if you are unsure what an ingredient really is….wheat middlings is a scary one…Google it.

      Research and education on your part will go a long way on your piece of mind.


    • Cinnimon&Ollie
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      I found small pet select rabbit pellets. What do you think of these, have you, or would you ever use these. I looked up the ingredients and I think they are okay. There are a few reviews where they found a piece of corn in the bag. Which makes me worried.


      • Wick & Fable
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        I like using this site to get a general sense of how pellet brands ‘stack up’ against each other: http://www.therabbithouse.com/diet/rabbit-food-comparison.asp?diet=adult

        It looks like SPS is great in terms of fiber and is lower on the Fat content, as well as a few other measures slightly. That is not necessarily “bad”, as even Oxbow isn’t all “green” on this chart either. It is one rabbit educator’s guidance, but not an end all be all.

        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.


    • BZOO
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      I’m gonna nit pick here, not trying to start a fight…

      %s don’t necessarily mean much if the food is full of junk.

      Ol’Roy dog food looks ok percentage wise, but one look at the ingredients (and the awful poops) will tell you there is no real, useable food in there.

      So, just saying that quality ingredients, less fillers, is far more important than sticking to strict “rabbits MUST have such and such percentage of this and that.”

       


    • DanaNM
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      I think it’s important to look at both the percentages AND the ingredient list. Without looking at percentages, you don’t know anything about the proportions of the various ingredients.

      Every bunny has a slightly different gut biome, so finding one that your bunny does well on can take some time if you have a particularly sensitive bunny. Some bunnies do best with no pellets at all.

      In the past, rabbit pellet formulations were created for getting rabbits to grow quickly and put on weight, not for a healthy long life as a pet. Current house rabbit formulas are in general much better, but that doesn’t mean they are all good.

      If you find that your bun doesn’t seem to be thriving on pellets, then you can talk to your vet about going pellet-free.

      . . . 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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      Since we are on a deep-dive discussion into rabbit nutrition, I thought I would share this talk by a professor of nutritional sciences from the HRS conference a few years ago:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91mSv1PqyY4&ab_channel=HouseRabbitSociety

      It’s pretty long, but she goes over the vitamins and minerals that are important in rabbit diets, how to read an ingredient list, nutrition myths, etc.

      . . . 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 have thought about going pellets free but how would I be sure they are getting everything they need? Also, do you know if it would affect the lifespan? I will watch the vid when I get time, Thanks.


    • Bam
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      15374 posts Send Private Message

      @DanaNM, great video! Thank you!

      @Cinnimon&Ollie, do watch the video! I watched it earlier today and I loved it 😃

      The lecturer doesnt advocate a pellet free diet, because a good pellet ensures that the bun actually gets all the nutrients it needs. She says a bun needs 12% protein per day. Since hay should be the bulk of the bun’s diet and hay is lower in protein, the pellet can have a little bit more protein than 12%. A good pellet should have 3% fat, at least 20% fiber and not under 0.6 calcium, for a healthy adult bun that’s not pregnant or lactating or very old. Long-haired breeds, especially angora, need more protein, because hair consists of protein.

       

       


    • DanaNM
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      There have been a few threads on going pellet-free over the years. The key is to providing a wide variety of veggies and really doing your homework on the nutrients contributed by each one. I’ve heard anywhere between 10-17 as the minimum of different greens and herbs per day, and a variety of grass hays, which is hard for many people to provide daily year round (depending on where you are and what’s available). I imagine it could also get very expensive! Hence why a pellet can be really helpful. I tend to think of pellets as a multivitamin for the buns, just to ensure they aren’t lacking in something really important. Plus pellets can be treated like a treat and used for training, etc. I only give mine a tablespoon each per day, and they have all been maintaining a healthy weight and good hay consumption. Plus the pellets are crucial for getting everyone back in their pens at bedtime. LOL

      Here are a couple of older threads where pellet-free diets are discussed in more detail:

      Pellet Free Diet?

      no pellet diet

      Pellet-less diet?

      . . . 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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      Thanks for the links. Pellets was a need to get them back when they were babies but now they are trained… finally. I give my rabbits 1/8 each which I thought was okay. Am I giving them too much?


    • LBJ10
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      Yes, you can give them less. Especially if they are getting greens every day.

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Forum DIET & CARE Pellets