What is the best/healthiest brand of rabbit food? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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What is the best/healthiest brand of rabbit food?

What is the best/healthiest brand of rabbit food? I have two rabbits. One is a female (spayed) Holland lop mix about 5 ˝ years old. And the other is a female Mini Rex about 3 ˝ years old.

Thanks for any help!!!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 10:48 AM
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Hi and welcome!!! I love love love love love mini rexes!!!

I feed Martins Little Friends timothy formula but I hear even better than that is Oxbow. For the time being I would make sure they are getting unlimited good quality timothy hay and meadow mix hay (for variation) and a full pellet formula high in fibre. **links below for analysis. Pick a timothy hay formula bc healthy adults should only be eating timothy (not alfalfa). And avoid the packages which advertise "complete nutrition" but contains seeds and colorful bits of mystery.

If I'm not mistaken a rabbit is considered "senior" at 6 so you would want to start supplementing her timothy hay with alfalfa when that time comes and maybe even a year after (since spayed bunnies can live up to 11-12 yrs). The only problem with that and I think you would have to talk to dragonrain or sasami (who have bonded bunnies of differing ages) is that a younger adult shouldn't eat alfalfa but the older ones would. I don't know how to separate them for that. Anyway, hope this helps!
http://www.martinmills.com/smallPets...mothyAdult.asp
http://www.oxbowanimalhealth.com/pro...il?object=1536
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 10:56 AM
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I use Oxbow, and Smudge goes nuts for it.
Sweet Meadow Farm is also a great food, but you can only order it online:
http://www.sweetmeadowfarm.com/products.html


And about the alfalfa for seniors... They can have some if they are having problems keeping on weight, but if their weight is consistent then they are fine on just timothy.



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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 10:58 AM
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Thanks for clearing that up Jess!!
I was comparing oxbow to martins just then and I noticed a couple differences, Martins has higher salt content and lower fibre. . . I'm thinking I might change Acacia, she takes a month or so to go through a bag of pellets anyway and this one is half gone.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 11:51 AM
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There isn't really a "best" brand since most are basically the same and it depends on your rabbits/what's available in your area . That being said, you want to look for a timothy-based pellet without added sugar or tons of fillers. None of the foods out there are amazing but some decent brands are Oxbow and Sweet Meadow Farm (available in NE U.S., otherwise you'd have to order it online). Martins, Marshall, and Pet Diner (or whatever it's called, I forgot) also have timothy-based foods.

There's no need to supplement with alfalfa unless your senior is losing weight. I was briefly giving some to Elvis (my 10+ year old bun) because he wasn't keeping weight on but he doesn't need it anymore . He had really slowed down last summer (and almost died, I believe, but that's another story) and then perked up again in fall...I like to think it was the diet change (switched from Oxbow to Sweet Meadow Farm pellets/hay, started mixing herbs and flowers into the hay to encourage foraging, and gave more wild plants and fresh vegetables...practically replacing the pellets). He's doing great again now .




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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 02:42 PM
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I use Sweet Meadow Farm timothy/alfalfa blend for Linus (he's only 6 months old; I'll be transitioning to their timothy pellets once he's nearing a year). It's easier for me to get it though because it's actually offered in a local pet store (the farm itself is actually located right here in Mass).

A rabbit-savvy vet can recommend a good food specifically for your rabbit better than any of us, but generally, you want timothy-based pellets that are high fiber, low-protein, and have absolutely NO mix-ins like seeds, dried fruits, nuts, etc.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 10:20 AM
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I'm not totally sure I trust vet's nutrition advice. I mean, sure if the pet has an obvious problem such as diabetes they can perscribe a good food but my experience with vet's and nutrition has always been sub-par. They made Coco sick with vet senior food when he was 10 (even now he's 14 and eating holistic/non senior/senior mix). My bunny vet asked once what I was feeding Akina and when I told them they didn't acknowledge it at all, so I wasted my breath bc they obviously had no idea.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple-Hops View Post
I'm not totally sure I trust vet's nutrition advice. I mean, sure if the pet has an obvious problem such as diabetes they can perscribe a good food but my experience with vet's and nutrition has always been sub-par. They made Coco sick with vet senior food when he was 10 (even now he's 14 and eating holistic/non senior/senior mix). My bunny vet asked once what I was feeding Akina and when I told them they didn't acknowledge it at all, so I wasted my breath bc they obviously had no idea.
Ugh, that's sad. The vet I go to is really knowledgeable having owned house rabbits herself in addition to specializing in their care, but I'm very aware of how lucky I am to have such a good vet only 15 - 20 minutes away. I have a friend who owns two rabbits, and the nearest rabbit-savvy vet to her is almost 2 hours away, so she's stuck going to a nearby animal clinic for all "routine" care.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 10:08 AM
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Yes, unfortunately that's the thing. Many vets do not own rabbits, or if they do they feed Purina rabbit stock for show rabbits. I know I take the advice of a vet with a grain of salt, I ALWAYS come home after the vet and research more on their conclusions. It's not because I don't trust them, but because I want to learn more about it and be able to treat some things without the vet's aid. I have so many drugstore products which I use as first aid and preventative care so I save from running to the vet every sneeze/cough/ or hiccup!! A trip to the vet costs me about 20$ cab fare BOTH ways so I like to save when I can. Not to mention I got ripped off totally last time my dog was there bc the lady was playing "Dog Whisperer" and recited word for word what Cesar would say then slapped me in the face with a 300$ bill. Needless to say, I'm not that fond of some the vets here.
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