What should a rabbit's diet consist of?
Your rabbits’ diet plan should include clean water and at least one bundle, about the size of your pet, of high-quality hay per day. On the side, you can also provide a controlled portion of leafy greens and commercial pellets. An adult-sized handful of washed, dark leafy greens and between one or two egg cups of pellets a day depending on your pet’s size is appropriate. Plus, your rabbits’ should have access to growing grass for grazing. Additionally, the occasional small amount of carrot or apple can also be given as an occasional treat!
Our guide gives an overview of a good daily diet for healthy adult rabbits:
Fresh clean water 24/7
Ensure rabbits have constant access to fresh clean water.
- Provide water the way they are used to (e.g. heavy ceramic bowl/drip-feed bottle). Rabbits prefer water bowls.
- Ensure water is algae-free in summer and doesn't freeze in winter. If using bottles, check daily that rabbits can access the water and the end isn’t blocked.
Hay and grass daily
Rabbits need at least one bundle of good quality hay that’s as big as they are every day!
- Good quality, fresh hay should be available at all times and, ideally, rabbits should have access to growing grass for grazing, or kiln-dried grass.
- Don’t feed lawnmower clippings; these can make your rabbits ill.
Leafy greens daily
Rabbits must have an adult-sized handful of safe washed leafy green vegetables, herbs and weeds daily.
- Feed a variety of greens daily, ideally 5-6 different types, such as cabbage/kale/broccoli/parsley/mint.
- Introduce new types of greens gradually in small amounts to avoid potential stomach upsets.
See: rabbit safe plants, vegetables, herbs and fruits Vets can advise about rabbit-safe plants. If in doubt leave it out!
Feed your rabbits a small amount of good quality pellets/nuggets daily.
- Measure 25g (an eggcup-full) of pellets per kg of your rabbit’s body weight; for a medium-sized rabbit (2kg) feed a maximum of two full eggcups.
Muesli-style foods aren’t recommended for rabbits. See: muesli is unhealthy for rabbits and how to slowly transfer rabbits onto a healthier diet.
Feed part of their daily ration of greens/pellets/nuggets, as treats and rewards during training.
- Feed carrots/apples, in small amounts as occasional treats.
- Don’t feed any other treats as these may harm rabbits.
- Note your rabbits’ weights. Adjust their food to ensure they’re not overweight or underweight.
- Young/pregnant/nursing/ill rabbits have different needs. Ask your vet for advice on suitable diets.
- If you’re unsure about providing the best diet for your rabbits, talk to your vet.