Muesli is unhealthy for rabbits
Recent research shows muesli-style foods are associated with teeth and tummy problems. Don’t feed rabbits muesli-style foods.
If you feed muesli, gradually transfer rabbits onto a healthier diet.
What’s muesli? Why is it unhealthy?
It’s commercial food containing many components e.g. flaked maize/peas/pellets/grains/seeds.
A new study shows muesli-style foods aren’t good for health. Muesli can increase the risk of developing serious teeth and tummy problems, which cause terrible suffering. See: the problems associated with feeding muesli.
What should rabbits eat?
We recommend mainly hay and/or grass, with some leafy green vegetables/herbs/safe weeds. A small, measured ration of good quality pellets/nuggets can be fed daily.
See: meal planner.
My rabbits eat muesli, what should I do?
Gradually transfer to a healthier diet over several weeks, to avoid serious digestive upsets.
Speak to your vet about safely transitioning onto hay/leafy greens/nugget/pellet diets, ideally over 14–28 days.
Mix some pellets/nuggets with muesli, gradually reduce the muesli and increase the pellets/nuggets, until pellets/nuggets completely replace muesli.
Use good quality pellets/nuggets, designed for rabbits; high in digestible and indigestible fibre.
Good quality hay and/or grass must constitute the majority of the diet. Hay/grass/clean water must be available continuously.
Ensuring rabbits stay healthy during dietary changes
Monitor your rabbits frequently (at least twice daily) to ensure they:
- eat plenty of hay
- eat sufficient commercial food
- pass normal droppings (quantity, size)
- eat caecotrophs (soft moist droppings eaten directly from their bottom). You may not see this directly, but sticky droppings in toilet areas/bedding/stuck to fur around bottoms can indicate uneaten caecotrophs/digestive problems, and can lead to flystrike.
Ask your vet immediately if concerned during dietary transition; serious digestive problems can occur rapidly.
Encouraging rabbits to eat more hay
Some rabbits are reluctant to eat hay. Early stage/low grade dental disease can result in discomfort when chewing so rabbits are less likely to eat hay/grass. When rabbits are reluctant to eat, take them to the vets to check there are no underlying health problems.
If your rabbit’s healthy, and still reluctant to eat hay, see: hay feeding tips.
Check out our Rabbit Muesli Q&A (PDF 396kb).