Is Burgess Excel really the best rabbit feed?
Burgess vs Grainless
Burgess Excel rabbit pellets, are these really the best pellets on the market? It is no secret that there is a hype around Burgess Excel rabbit food here in Denmark. It is often recommended as being some of the best feed for rabbits. But are Burgess rabbit pellets really that good? In this article will review the list of ingredients and the composition of the nutrients in depth and we will compare them with some other pellets, Grainless Health Complete, pellets for dwarf rabbits. Read along and see who wins.
First, we make a comparison of the nutrients in the two products. Next, we make a comparison of the ingredients in Burgess Excel Adult Mint and Grainless Health Complete,respectively.
According to the Textbook of Rabbit Medicine (1), a recognized book used by veterinarians worldwide that bases its knowledge on the basis of clinical trials and research, the composition of good rabbit food should look like this:
- Crude fiber should be at least 18%
- Crude protein should be between 12% – 16%
- Fat should be between 1%-4%
- Calcium content must be between 0,6%-1%
In addition, it is recommended by many that the dominant ingredient in a pellets for rabbits is grass, since rabbits naturally eat a lot of grass, and their intestinal system is built to digest grass, green leaves, and a bit of wood.
Is an analytical method that measures some of the fibers in the feed. It doesn’t really say much about the entire content of fibers in the rabbit pellets, as it doesn’t include all different types of fiber. But it is this method of analysis that has been adopted to be mandatory on pet food. In Danish, it is also called raw fibre.
Fiber is incredibly important for rabbit digestion, the health of teeth and the well-being of the rabbit. The higher the fiber content, the better it is. Have you also heard or read that Burgess has a very high content of fiber compared to other brands of rabbit feed?
Is a method to analyze the protein content of rabbit feed, and it is also always the same method to be used, so that one can compare the different types of feed and know that it is comparable. In Danish, it’s called raw protein. For ordinary feed, the protein content should be at the low end for 12-14% ideally. The 16% is for cubs growing and long-haired rabbits.
Since house rabbits do not move as much and even often get too many treats it is best if the fat content is at the low end of the 1-4%.
Rabbits need a little calcium from the feed every day to maintain healthy teeth and bones. But they can also get too much, it provides a thick creamy urine and will eventually cause serious kidney and bladder problems.
Comparison of the nutritional composition
Below we show the composition of nutrients in burgess excel rabbit mint and in Grainless Health Complete, respectively.
|Burgess Excel Adult Rabbit Mint||Jr Farms Grainless Health Complete||Recommended values|
|Crude fibers||19%||21%||Min.. 18%|
From the chart it can be seen that both types of feed are good in relation to the composition of fiber, protein, fat and calcium. There are many other brands on the market that have an excessively high fat content and an excessively low fiber content. Since Burgess contains 19% fibre and Grainless contains 21% fibre and Grainless even has a slightly lower fat content than the Burgess rabbit pills, here we must declare Grainless Health Complete to be the winner based on the nutritional composition.
Burgess has something in their nutrition analysis called Beneficial fiber which is at 39%. The name beneficial fiber is something they have come up with, and in fact refers to another analysis of the fiber content called NDF. This method of analysis includes some more different fibers than crude fiber, and says more about the right fiber content in the rabbit feed. The fact that Burgess writes this analysis on their nutritional composition leads people to mistakenly believe that there are more fibres in it than in other types of feed (and they know it). However, this analysis cannot be compared with the crude fiber content of other brands. If other feed types would do an NDF analysis, their fiber content would also be correspondingly higher. One can only compare Crude fiber with Crude fiber. Grainless contains more fibers than Burgess.
Burgess Excel does NOT contain more fiber than Grainless or other types of feed.
It’s a publicity stunt they’ve done here that misleads the consumer.
Comparison of ingredients
Now we look at the ingredient composition of the two brands.
Burgess Excel includes:
Grass, wheat, oats, soybean shells, peas, yeast, mint, Soybean oil, Dicalcium phosphate, salt, short-chain Fructo oligosaccharide, raw lime, minerals.
Grass is the first ingredient, which of course is good, but you do not know what grass it is and whether there is only one kind of grass (which there probably is, otherwise they would have probably said that there were more).
Wheat, oats soybean shells are not really rabbit food, and all cheap to produce and do not contain enough calcium. It is also not good for digestion. They are added in quantities that provide the right nutritional composition.
Soybean oil to provide the right nutritional composition.
Dicalcium phosphate added to add calcium, which is not enough of in the feed naturally.
Fructo oligosaccharide is a sweetener and stool stabilizing substance, which partly gives the rabbit more desire to eat the feed pellets and helps the digestibility of the non-beneficial ingredients such as wheat, oats and soy shells.
Grainless Health includes:
Meadow grass, fox tail, oat grass, dog grass, red clover, meadow buttercup, rye grass, woolly honeygrass, golden oats, narrow-leaved veneer, black medick, dandelion, plantain, primula, daisy, bellis, large burnet, hedge bedstraw, parsnips, sorrel, germander speedwell, chickweed, German raigrass, soft heron, wicker, three-toothed orchid, pea flakes. Vegetable fibre, carrots 3.9%, flaxseed 1.9%, beetroot, hemp seed, black cumin, turmeric, marigold flower, elderberry, pomace, FOS, hippophae, blueberries, raspberries, bean plant, marjoram, anise, basil, fennel, elderflowers, lavender flowers, rosemary leaves, sage leaves, thyme, yucca;
Here we see a composition of many different kinds of grass, green leaves, weeds and flowers. No added grains, oils or sweeteners. There are no laxative stabilizers here either, because there is no need for that.
It doesn't take a genius to see which list of ingredients is most natural for a rabbit. The clear undisputed winner is .... Ta daaa.... GRAINLESS HEALTH COMPLETE
(1) Textbook of rabbit medicine by Molly Varga