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danakscully64 11-24-2008 09:01 AM

My rabbit needs a change to his diet, I think he's getting bored. I feed him pellets, cheerios, and only a couple different veggies. I want to cut the cheerios out and just feed him pellets and veggies (he won't eat hay, never has, never will). He doesn't have teeth problems, that's not why he won't eat hay.

I found this online: a while ago and tried some things, but he wouldn't eat them.

What would you say the best amount of veggies to give a rabbit in a day (large rabbit, he's about 6 or 7)? What are some veggies that no rabbit can object to?

I have a basil and parsley plant, should I avoid feeding him large amounts?

I think I know the answer to most of these questions, but I'm feeling uncertain for some odd reason.


danakscully64 11-24-2008 09:06 AM

Veggies I know he likes: Green/Red leaf lettuce, carrots, cilantro, and spinach.

Veggies he definately does not like: Mustard Greens and Kale (there were more on this list, I just can't remember)

GhostUser 11-24-2008 09:10 AM

I was going to say carrots, but he already loves those! When I adopted Luna, she hated all vegetables. The lady at the rescue told me, that at her first home (who brought her in because the kids got bored of her ), she never had fruits or veggies, only pellets or hay. She was 9months old, and not used to them. The rescue tried to get her used to eating more foods, but she wasn't there for long so they didn't have much progress.

Now she LOVES almost any veggie I'll put in there. I just had to keep offering over and over. When she liked something, I would offer other veggies with that. I put them in when her favorite treats, put them in when I gave her hay (she loves hay), ect. Her problem was mostly not wanting to try them.

Just don't give up, keep offering, and take advantage of the things he does like by mixing in other veggies with those.

danakscully64 11-24-2008 09:22 AM

I think I'm more afraid to buy things he won't eat than anything else. The local grocery store has expensive produce so I'd rather go to some place like Henry's and stock up on veggies. I just know he won't eat everything before it's gone. I may buy stuff we can both eat

How much do you feed Luna (in veggies) everyday? Do you feed her once or twice a day with veggies?

Tom 11-24-2008 09:29 AM

Rabbits are funny about hay. My first rabbit Sony didnt much care for it, and when I took her out into my yard with me, she focussed on things that werent grass/hay, like dandelions, violet, or plantain. She did like any leafy vegetable, like kale, collards, turnip greens, mustard greens, broccoli rabe; and also liked carrots and most fruit: apple, pear, peach, nectarine, plum, apricot, grape, cherry, banana. She recoiled the one time I offered her a big strawberry, and I never offered her any citrus fruit. Fruit is high in sugar, though, and I dont know if it would be good for a rabbit in large quantities. I usually give my rabbits no more than the equivalent of a tablespoon or so of fruit at one time.

My two boys, Hans and Franz, are easy to please. They like anything I listed for Sony above, plus timothy or orchard grass hay. They like white clover, red top, orchard grass, or fescue from my yard (or hay I make myself from any of those). But again, if I offer them dandelions or anything else at the same time as the grass or hay, they eat that first and go for the hay/grass last.

My rabbits havent cared much for summer or winter squash when I offered it to them. Also, I think alfalfa hay is too high in certain minerals to be good for rabbits as a main food, although they can eat it as a treat if they like it. Ground alfalfa is a main ingredient in the pellets I give my rabbits.

I think the approach Chelsea sugests above is good- keep offering him things which are good for him. I suppose it would be best to initially buy things that you like too so they won;t go to waste. But my rabbits are at the point where they crowd around my feet whenever I have something in my hands that looks like food.

GhostUser 11-24-2008 09:29 AM

She gets them once. The ones she likes the most are:

Carrots are her favorite, she can get a handful of baby carrots or if I have the big ones she gets one or two of those. She LOVES lettuce, but since it doesnt really have much of anything in it, I only give her a leaf or two of it since I know she likes it so much. and not everytime. Sometimes I give her a stick of celery, broccoli is really good for them, I give her a couple pieces of that, if I get the big carrots, I give her the carrot greens, too.

she eats alot other stuff, too, she LOVES leafy greens, pretty much eveything Tom's bunny Sony hated, lol. She'll eat mostly anything I give her. I just give her a few pieces of whatever vegetable it is, so it won't go bad before she can finish it. I give her around 3 or 4 types of veggies at a time.

I know what you mean about not wanting them to go bad, veggies can be so expensive! I would give him small amounts at a time of ones he doesnt like/isn't sure about, to try to cut back on them going bad.

My mom bought those green bags, and I keep my vegetables in those sometimes. They really do work!

Also, she LOVES fruit. Her favorite is slices of apples. But she will also eat some berries, pears, sometimes bananas, but she normally wont eat "squishier" fruits like banans, peaches, plums, ect. Like tom said, I don't give fruit as often because of the sugar.

danakscully64 11-24-2008 09:34 AM

Thanks Tom and Chelsea, excellent posts!

My Mom bought the green bags and containers, but HATED them. She got rid of the containers, but we still have the green bags. I'm going to give them a try

GhostUser 11-24-2008 09:36 AM

I've heard mixed reviews on them, but they seem to work for us! I've never even heard of the containers, though.

danakscully64 11-24-2008 09:52 AM

So I gave Mason a piece of broccoli, a stalk of celery, and some spinach. I pulled the broccoli out of his bowl and put it in front of him. He LOVED it. He nom-ed it almost all the way up before I left the room. I need to go upstairs to see if he ate the rest.

danakscully64 11-24-2008 09:53 AM

My list of things Mason likes and doesn't like:




Green/Red Leaf Lettuce




Mustard Greens

I will keep editing this list until I've tried everything This way, I won't lose my list.

Tom 11-24-2008 10:12 AM

Raw mustard greens are sometimes very hot and peppery-tasting, like the Chinese mustard you get in Chinese restaurants that sends a fiery sensation up your nose. Other times, they have a more delicate taste similar to how they taste when cooked. Maybe Mason got a taste of the hot, peppery kind and decided they're not for him.

I forgot to list Broccoli- all my rabbits have liked that too, in addition to the weeds, vegetables, and fruit I mentioned. I haven't given them celery or spinach yet, but they and I both eat a weed which is a relative of spinach- lamb's-quarters- when it's available. Lamb's-quarters and spinach might be high in oxalates, though, so I don't give them excessive amounts of those. I might be wrong.

Crabgrass is evidently edible for many grazing animals, as well. I came across a website mentioning it as fodder and have given it to my rabbits in moderate quantities.

You asked about basil. I don't know if a rabbit would like something so strong-tasting, but I don't know if it would make him sick or not.

danakscully64 11-24-2008 10:18 AM

I wouldn't feed my rabbit anything out of my yard (besides what I have in a pot) because we have a pest control company come and spray for bugs/spiders.

Mason hasn't touched the celery, but he ate most of the broccoli and almost all of the spinach.

danakscully64 11-24-2008 10:19 AM

I took a video!


Tom 11-24-2008 10:29 AM

Gak- thanks for mentioning lawn maintenance substances! I forgot to mention that I don't use them (I have a small yard) so foods from my property are "safe". As far as I know, my neighbors don't use yard maintenance chemicals either. I don't know that they are that bad, but a rabbit is so small that a little pesticide which wouldn't harm us might be a jolt to a rabbit.

Not that I haven't been tempted to use weed-killer on a crawling type of inedible mint in my yard... Creeping Charly, Gill-over-the-ground, or something like that.

Mason is cute! None of my rabbits have had lop ears, though.

danakscully64 11-24-2008 10:38 AM

We have a HUGE problem with black widows, ants, and tiny little unknown bugs, we have to spray. I make sure that when the guy comes, I move my potted herbs to the middle of the cement so they don't get contaminated. My herbs are organic.

I need to start using veggie wash for Mason's veggies

Mason is funny... one ear goes down, the other goes up (most of the time). My sister-in-law found him in her yard about 5 years ago and I've had him ever since. He may have been an escaped pet since he was so mellow. He wasn't safe running free in that area.

danakscully64 11-24-2008 10:41 AM

Waiting for YouTube to process another video

danakscully64 11-24-2008 10:48 AM

Celery went over well too


The key is to put the veggie in front of him. If it's in his bowl, he might not be as interested. Sleep is a top priority.

thalestral 11-24-2008 10:51 AM

Has the hay you've tried been good quality? Oxbow and Kleenmama's are the only brands I rate at all and I know my girls see other brands as only fit to pee on!

Veggie wise, some rabbits need to learn to love vegetables just like piggies do. The best way is for them to learn from their same species companions. Keep persevering, it took months for my first two guinea pigs to learn to love bell peppers for example.

danakscully64 11-24-2008 11:11 AM

I only buy Kaytee because that's all that's offered in the pet store I go to. I may check out those other brands though Mason won't even get near the hay, I doubt he'd try even premium hay


danakscully64 11-24-2008 11:12 AM

I want to volunteer here:

Minibean 11-24-2008 03:49 PM

Definitely give Kleenmama's hay a try. ( Kaytee barely even qualifies as hay. I don't blame him for not eating it!

I used Oxbow for my guinea pigs, because that's the best I could get (km doesn't ship to Canada). The Oxbow was hit and miss quality wise, so I'd go with km especially for a picky bun who's not into hay yet.

Mason is cute - I love the one ear up, one ear down buns!

GhostUser 11-24-2008 03:56 PM

Originally Posted by danakscully64 View Post

I only buy Kaytee because that's all that's offered in the pet store I go to. I may check out those other brands though Mason won't even get near the hay, I doubt he'd try even premium hay


Try ordering hay online.

danakscully64 11-24-2008 05:41 PM

Originally Posted by Minibean View Post

Definitely give Kleenmama's hay a try. ( Kaytee barely even qualifies as hay. I don't blame him for not eating it!

I used Oxbow for my guinea pigs, because that's the best I could get (km doesn't ship to Canada). The Oxbow was hit and miss quality wise, so I'd go with km especially for a picky bun who's not into hay yet.

Mason is cute - I love the one ear up, one ear down buns!

Originally Posted by animallover7249 View Post

Try ordering hay online.

Thanks I found a place locally that carries Oxbow, but can't find Kleenmama's. Do they even sell it at stores? I'll go check my local feed store... maybe right now

Tom 11-25-2008 07:07 AM

Originally Posted by thalestral View Post

Has the hay you've tried been good quality? Oxbow and Kleenmama's are the only brands I rate at all and I know my girls see other brands as only fit to pee on!

My local pet stores sell KayTee hay. So far, Ive had only my own home-made hay to compare it to, quality-wise, but KayTee Timothy hay has quite a bit of brown hay mixed in with the green. It does have a nice fresh hay smell, but possibly the brown hay was harvested when it had been past the ideal harvesting date, or else not dried as carefully as I dry mine.

I remember either a veterinarian or someone in the House Rabbit Society warning about mold on grass you give to your rabbits, but I dont think Ive had this problem.

danakscully64 11-25-2008 08:43 AM

I bought some Oxbow, but haven't been upstairs yet to see if Mason has tried it. I'll report back My chinchillas sure liked it. I'm glad because a small bag was $5.

Fromper 11-25-2008 04:43 PM

You should cut the celery into pieces before giving it to the bun. The strings can get stuck in their stomachs.

I'm surprised you mentioned that he doesn't like kale. That's usually a favorite for most bunnies. Flash's favorites are carrots, kale, parsley, and cilantro. He'll eat almost anything, though he always goes for those first when I give him his nightly salad. Celery's the only thing that's ever still been there in the morning when I left it in his bowl overnight. He'll also eat broccoli, romaine, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, and green pepper.

Generally, I give him 3-4 types of veggies every day for dinner, almost always including parsley and cilantro. Then he gets a baby carrot or two to lure him back into his cage when it's time for bed.

As for introducing him to new veggies, Flash can sometimes be reluctant to try new stuff the first time, but he'll eat it if I leave it long enough, then dive into it enthusiastically when he gets more the next day. You might want to try Mason again with some of the stuff he rejected the first time, and leave it in a bowl for him for a few hours, just to see if he'll change his mind.


danakscully64 11-25-2008 06:50 PM

Oops, I'll make sure I cut up the celery.

Thanks for the info! I may try green pepper next time. I'm going to [try] to make it to Henry's tomorrow. It's the day before Thanksgiving, I have a feeling it's going to be nuts!

danakscully64 11-25-2008 06:50 PM

Hay - that's a negative. He won't even touch the stuff.

Minibean 11-25-2008 07:02 PM

Do you always leave some hay in his cage? He might try it eventually.

danakscully64 11-25-2008 07:04 PM

When I first built him his cage (the one he's in now), I kept a container of hay in there for weeks. He wouldn't even get near it. I kept the hay in when I left for work today. I doubt he's touched it yet. I think he's just a rabbit who doesn't like hay. Odd ball

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