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Five things to feed your rabbits when you've run out of rabbit food

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It's that Sunday morning feeling: the rabbit food bin is empty and the feed store is closed. What to do?

There's a good chance that you will have one or more of the following items on the homestead, so you can make it through until Monday without having hungry bunnies!

  • Hay or grass: You might be deficient in the latter during the winter months, but you've probably got some of the former. Stuffing rabbit cages with hay when it is cold will help them to stay warm overnight, and hay is slow to digest in their stomachs, so it will also help to keep them warm from the inside out. Many people offer free choice hay alongside regular rabbit food to their rabbits.
  • Alfalfa pellets: These tend to be fairly hard - much harder than rabbit food - and some rabbits may not like this. However, if they're the only thing on hand, they're better than nothing!
  • All stock / livestock food: This is much lower in protein than rabbit food and isn't the healthiest option for them, but again, it's better than going hungry. It is not advisable to feed this for any length of time.
  • Old fashioned oats: Great source of fat and protein, and often offered to rabbits that need to put on weight, or who are lactating. Generally, they love them!
  • Vegetables: Small amounts of carrots, broccoli, apple, kale, collards and other vegetables are fine for rabbits, but no more than a small handful. Too much can upset the rabbits' stomach and cause diarrhea.

Note: None of the above should be used in exclusion to replace the feeding of a properly balanced specialist rabbit ration.

Katy Light has a 44 acre homestead in North GA, where she raises goats, bunnies and chickens. Find her blog at www.poppycreekfarm.com. She can be reached at katy@poppycreekfarm.com.

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