Basic Nutrients for Rabbits

The general classes of nutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Each class fulfils a different role in the rabbit diet.

  1. Fiber is probably the most critical element in the rabbit’s diet. Too little fiber and their intricate digestive system gets out of whack. This can cause serous illness or even death.
  2. Carbohydrates are sugars that are mostly used for energy. Some carbohydrates are necessary in the diet, but too many carbohydrates will make bunny sick.
  3. Protein is the primary building block of muscle, bone, hair, eyes, in short, protein is required to make a bunny. Lack of protein will make a bunny sick, but too much protein may damage kidneys.
  4. Vitamins and minerals are important to make all the chemistry in a bunny work correctly.
  5. Water is essential for the health of the intestines and, along with fiber helps maintain intestinal motility and prevent ileus.

Basic Rabbit Requirements

Specific requirements for different ages of bunnies have been determined in growing and breeding rabbits. These are close to what a houserabbit needs, and in the absence of any information about houserabbits specifically, it gives an estimation of requirements.

  1. Young rabbits under one year are rapidly growing and require energy, vitamins, minerals and protein to support that growth.
  2. Adult rabbits have a lower requirement for calories, vitamins, minerals and protein because they are no longer growing.
  3. Breeding and lactating rabbits need to support their own requirements as well as those of their growing babies.
  4. Angora and other long haired rabbits have similar needs to adult short haired bunnies.