How to choose the best pellets for your rabbit
There is a big difference in the quality of the different pellets on the market. Here's a guide on how to choose the best pellets for your rabbit
Wild rabbits out in the wild eat a lot of different green plants every day. They eat themselves full in various grass species, which give them the fibers they need and supplement the diet with a lot of weeds, herbs, branches, seeds, flowers and leaves.
Rabbits do not eat cereals, soy and sweet fruits. At least only very rarely.
Today, fortunately, one can get pellets that resembles a wild rabbit’s diet.
Your rabbit should have a varied rabbit diet
Many house rabbits get an overly one-sided and wrong diet. They get hay with one grass species and pellets which, for the most part, consist of cereals and then maybe a carrot. It is not at all enough to satisfy your rabbit’s daily need for a good varied rabbit diet.
You have to look at the ingredients list of your rabbits feed though…. TURN THE BAG OVER AND SEE WHAT’S IN IT!
What to look for when you are out buying pellets:
1. Avoid muesli mixes
Muesli mixes can be purchased in most supermarkets and many pet stores. As a rule, they consist of various grains, maize, dried fruit, and some unknown flake like things with dyes in it. There are two problems with muesli mixes. The one problem is that most fats are in some of the parts, and most proteins in other parts, and the rabbit then sorts all parts with proteins, and thus does not meet its nutritional needs. The second problem is that all of the muesli mixes we have looked at contained too little fiber and too much grain. The rabbit pellets must be uniform.
2. First ingredient must be grass
There may be either grass, timothy, meadow hay, grass flour, herb grass, meadow fescue, meadow foxtail or alfalfa (which is not really grass but it is ok anyway). If it says “vegetable by-products” it is not a good product. It can be anything, and it is probably not something good and healthy.
3. Cereals, soy, corn, vegetable by-products – No thank you
It is not ideal if cereals, soy, wheat, feed oats, oats, soybeans, soybean shells, vegetable by-products, corn or rice are the first 3 ingredients. It is cheap and easy to procure for the manufacturer, but the digestion of rabbits is not built to eat it, and since there are better and more natural alternatives, it is not necessary to feed with it.
4. Several different grass species and herbs
A rabbit’s natural food is several grass species, herbs, weed and flowers every day, and today you can get this in rabbit pellets, so why not give them food that suits the rabbit. The more different grass species and herbs there are the better. It can stand in one word like “herbal grass”, or the producer can write all the different grasses and weeds on the ingredient list.
Here are the names of some grass species: Timothy, meadow foxtail, orchard grass, false oat-grass, meadow fescue, ryegrass, red fescue, orchard grass, etc.
Here are names of some herbs and weeds that can find in good rabbit food: cicorie, plantain, nettle, dandelion, milk thistle, clover, veneer, marigold and many others.
5. Fibre and fat
There must be at least 18% fiber in it for the rabbit’s intestinal system to work well, and that is the crude fiber analysis method you should look for. And the fat percentage should not exceed 5%, because rabbits can easily become overweight when kept as pets.
6. Calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D
Many know that rabbits can not tolerate too much calcium (however, they need some). The calcium content should be between 0.6-1%. If rabbits get an excess of calcium in the body, it can cause poisonings in the form of calcified internal organs and painful urine stones. This can be seen by thick creamy pee. Phosphorus should be 0.4-0.8%.
In addition, did you know that vitamin D promotes calcium uptake. Rabbits are very delicate to vitamin D poisoning and therefore too much can also lead to calcified organs. It is recommended that pet rabbits get between 600-1200 I.U. D-vit in the feed. And with an absolute maximum of 2000 I.U. and a minimum of 300 I.U. Poisoning symptoms have been seen in feed with as little as 2300 I.U.
Here are 4 different types of pellets which all comply with the above
These 4 rabbit pellets are so far the only feed types on the market that we have come across, all of which meet the above criteria. They all contain many grasses and herbs, and therefore give your rabbit a varied and natural rabbit diet. In addition, they comply with all the recommendations for the nutrient composition, have a high fiber content and do not consist of cereals.
- Fibres 25%
- Fat 3%
- 1000 IU D-vit
It contains timothy grass as the first ingredient and herbal grass as the second ingredient with 30 different grass species and herbs.
The Beaphar pellets are one of the 4 feeds with the lovest amount of different grasses and herbs in it. On the other hand, it is the food pellets that have the highest fiber content. So if you’re afraid your rabbit won’t get enough fiber, for example, if it doesn’t eat enough hay, it may be the ideal food for you. The pellets are quite coarse in the structure.
- Fibres 21%
- Fat 2.7%
- 700 IU D-vit
The pellets consist as the first ingredient herbal grass from unsprayed fields with 42 different grasses, weeds and herbs. They have also added 8 extra herbs.
Bunny Nature are the pellets with the most different plants and grasses, and therefore give your rabbit the most varied diet of these 4 different feed types. They also come from nature conservation fields, so they are also good for nature. It is the pellets that have the lowest fat content. So they may be good for rabbits tending to being overweight. The pellets are large and coarse in the structure.
- Fibres 21%
- Fat 3.6%
- 1200 IU
They consist of herbal grass as the first ingredient with 32 different grass species, weeds and herbs. There are also 11 extra herbs and some delicious berries and vegetables.
Grainless Health Complete is the only one of the 4 different pellets produced by extrusion. This makes the pills more biscuity (like burgess, for example). They are easier to eat and these are the pellets that our rabbits like to eat the most. If you have a picky rabbit it is perhaps the most ideal rabbit pellets for you. They also have the highest vitamin D content.
- Fibres 21.5%
- Fat 2.9%
- 1000 IU D
These rabbit pellets consist as the first ingredient of herbal grass with 32 different grasses, weeds and herbs. And there are another 6 herbs added.
Grainless Complete Dwarf Rabbit are the most affordable of these 4 different pellet types, although they still have a large selection of grasses and herbs in it. They are also low in fat. They’re rough in structure.