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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2008
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New Bunny.. not eating?

Okay heres the deal. We're not new to rodents. But, we do have our first bunny. He's doing well, we got him from a pet store, but a small local one that gets their bunnies from a local breeder, I imagine these are the bunnies they don't sell for show. I tried to go directly through a breeder but got fed up, at the (pardon me to breeders) slightly snotty attitude I was getting, I wasn't looking for a show bunny, I was looking for a friend. Anyhow...

We have our new friend, named Drizzt. He hops around happily, snuggles happily, drinks from his water bottle and eats his timothy hay, but... he won't touch his pellets. Any advice? We're just giving him the hay at night like we were told to do, but he doesn't seem to eat his real food. Any way we can get him to do this?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 11:31 PM
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first,Bunnies arent rodents they are Lagamorphs: (They have four incisors in the upper jaw -not two, as in Rodents),they are almost fully herbivores unlike rodents who are practically omnivores,and rabbits characteristically have long ears,short tail and strong hind legs to provide bounding locomotion..

As for the food issue,find out what the pet store fed him/her or what the breeder fed him.he's probably just being picky over the food.some rabbits wont eat cheap food,while others wont eat expensive stuff..A must have is something called "critical care for herbivores" which my vet gave me but you can buy online ,which contains essential nutrients required by the bunny if he's not eating right,stopped eating,or post surgery..if you cant get your hands on any ,bring him to the vet because its absolutley nessesary that your bunny eats pellets b/c you dont want him to become ill. id also recommend you bring him to the vet anyway b/c he might just be sick inside.good luck and keep us posted
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-14-2008, 05:40 AM
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First of all, any advice from the breeder, throw out the window. Bunnies should have hay 24/7, all day, every day, as much as they can eat. It's way better for them than the pellets anyway. Pellets should be a miniscule part of their diet.

Your bunny was probably getting something tastier at the pet shop, most likely an alfalfa based pellet. I had pellet strikes here with the latest pair I took in -- their mommy gave them alfalfa too (which has too much calcium for an adult rabbit). Keep at it with the healthier pellets.

Be sure to start teaching your bunny to eat greens as well, many breeders don't feed them because of the cost.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-14-2008, 01:59 PM
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I agree, pellets aren't that important. Hay is what is important. Unlimited timothy hay at all times. So long as he is pooping and eating fine, I am sure given time, he will come around to the pellet bowl. An adult rabbit should only be eating about 1/4 of a cup of timothy-based pellets per day, per 5lb of bunny.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-14-2008, 08:19 PM
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Congratulations on your first bunny! You have come to a great site to learn about bunnies. They have taught me so much here.
First of all - you should find a good bunny vet and get your new friend a check up. If you have rodents I would think that the same vet would see bunnies but be sure that he/she is an experienced bunny vet. You can find a listing on the House Rabbit Society's site. This is an excellent site for bunny information.
How old is your bunny? Baby bunnies should have alfalfa based pellets and hay. If they are adults (my vet said about 5-6 months old) they should be on a timothy based pellet and timothy hay.
Always, always have hay and water out for him. Bunnies are supposed to eat all the time. Bunnies should never be fasted - even for surgery. If the vet says to fast your bun I think you should find another vet immediately. Rabbit guts have to move constantly. As long as your bunny is eating hay he should be fine.
Once your bunny is old enough you should start adding fresh veggies to his diet. For a great list check the House Rabbit site. I also reviewed the list with my vet. He had some differences with the list there - mostly that spinach is fine to give them - but you should ask your vet.
Oh and a great pellet brand is Oxbow. Many pellets will have seeds and brightly colored things in them. Often bunnies will pick out the tastiest things and leave the rest behind. Typically the things they pick are not the best food for them. Companies often put things in to appeal to the person picking out the food - regardless of if it is healthy for the bunny or not.
Oxbow is boring looking but my buns love it. They have an alfafa based pellet for baby bunnies and a timothy based for adults.
And please, please have your bunny spayed or neutered - that is so important! Buns get cranky and miserable from all those hormones. Girl bunnies are a a very high risk of cancer if they are not spayed.
Good luck and please post picks!

mommy to
Tyler - kitty
Oscar - water turtle
Bean - kitty
Frankie - dachshund
Belle - dachshund
Oliver - bunny
Ophelia - bunny
Penelope - bunny
Teddy - bunny -ok I have given up on 4 of a kind and am willing to settle for 2 pairs.
8 fishes - RIP Little Guy and Greta
and Tabatha - October 11, 2006 - rest in peace our sweet angel bunny
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Thanks to everyone who replied. I am now MUCH more educated about my bunny. He was eating plenty of hay, and is now eating pellets. We have ordered some Oxbow after having it recommended constantly, and I have decided that the people at the pet store might have been morons. ;-) They gave me a LOT of wrong information. The little guy, named Drizzt, will be going to the vet in about a week for his first check-up and to get his nails trimmed. We'll be neutering him when he's big enough. I'm glad I've found a place where a new bunny parent can get some help! Ps- check out my new thread about the crazy pet fee problem!
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