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Muesli is unhealthy for rabbits

Rabbit Muesli

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).