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Feed And Cage Requirements For Rabbits

by American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA)

Feed Requirements

You should use rabbit pellets from a reputable source that has been supplying rabbit feed for many years. Each day, a rabbit will eat approximately one fluid ounce of feed per pound of weight. There are 8 fl oz in one cup. So a four pound rabbit will eat about 4 oz or 1/2 cup of feed. An eight pound rabbit, about 1 cup. Do not feed a rabbit more than one day's supply of feed at a time unless you will be gone the weekend. If you allow your rabbit to get fat, it will not breed very well, the judge will disqualify it in shows, and the rabbit will have a much higher risk of dying.

Every now and then supplement the rabbit's diet with alfalfa hay. This will supply it with good roughage. You can also use the hay to line the nest boxes when they are ready to give birth. Make sure the rabbits have fresh water in front of them at all times. Never feed your rabbits lettuce or cole family vegetables such as cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, or broccoli. They can get enteritis and possibly die. Never feed them meat. The safest thing to do is to just stick to rabbit pellets and alfalfa hay.

Cage Requirements

All rabbits should be raised in hutches that have 1/2" x 1/2" or 1/2" x 1" galvanized wire mesh bottoms. This will allow their droppings to fall through. If they stay on any other type of surface that allows their feces to accumulate, it will cause disease because of the bacterial and possible parasitic build up. It is usually best to surround the rabbit with wire or metal because the rabbit will chew threw wood or plastic that they can get at. Be sure to protect the rabbit from the sun, wind, rain, and extremely hot or cold temperatures. Use an automatic feeder that can be filled without opening the cage. Also, I like to use feeder bottles with nipples pointing into the cage. This type prevents contamination and overturning that bowls experience. It's also OK to use large tin cans tied with wire to the sides of the hutch.

I find that it's better to purchase cages from a cage maker. They usually do a good job for not much more than the materials would cost you. But if you want to make your own cages, allow 0.75 square feet of space for each pound of adult weight. For instance, if a rabbit's adult weight is 10 pounds, multiply 0.75 by 10. This gives 7.5 sq ft. This can be attained by building a cage 3 ft x 2.5 ft (3 x 2.5 = 7.5). The height should be 18 inches. If the adult's weight is 3 pounds, multiply 0.75 by 3. This gives 2.25 sq ft. You can build the cage 1.5 ft x 1.5 ft (18" x 18"). Its height, because it is a small rabbit, can be 15".

Never make the hutch more than 3 ft deep or the sides more than 3 feet from your grasp. Otherwise, you'll have trouble getting the rabbit out when you need to.

Do not put rabbits together after they are 3 months of age. The ones of the same sex are territorial and will fight. The ones of opposite sex will attempt to breed. This can lead to unexpected results.

Should you have a concern regarding the health of your Beagle(s), you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is presented solely for educational and informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving veterinary care for your Beagle(s).