Can rabbits eat plums
Many diseases in our rabbits are caused by incorrect feeding. Unfortunately, a large part of the commercially available feed is unsuitable for feeding rabbits appropriately.
What do rabbits eat in the wild?
Rabbits are "herbivores". This means that in nature they feed on grasses, herbs, leaves and vegetables. Cereal grains such as oats, barley, rye and wheat do not belong on the natural menu. However, grain products can be found in almost all ready-made products for rabbit nutrition. Unfortunately, the trade has a great commercial interest in recommending this ready-made feed to you, because it is precisely with these products that enormous profits are made.
What happens in the event of incorrect feeding:
TEETH: Both the rabbit's front teeth and molars grow 1-2mm per week for life! That means, they grow about 10cm a year! This is what nature has arranged because the rabbits normally (as described above) feed on plants that are rich in crude fiber and low in energy. In order to be able to live on this food, they have to ingest and chop up large amounts of food from morning to evening. This is the only way they can meet their energy needs.
Many rabbit owners think that teeth wear and tear is caused by biting and chewing particularly hard foods. This is wrong! The wear, especially of the molars, is achieved through the continuous "grinding" of the feed (feed intake time). Rabbits that are fed ready-made food are so saturated by the cereal grains it contains that the time they need for daily food consumption is significantly reduced. We struggle with the consequences of this feeding every day in practice. The constantly growing teeth are not worn out enough. Over the years they lose their normal position and begin to grow past each other. Terrible wounds develop in the mouth, jaw abscesses follow and it is not uncommon for the animals to die because they can no longer eat.
DIGESTION: Not only the teeth suffer from the wrong diet. The problems continue in the digestive organs. Rabbits have a relatively large stomach with a very thin stomach wall. The food in the stomach is not actively "pressed" by the stomach into the intestine. The stomach contents only slide into the intestines when new food reaches the stomach.
The contents of the stomach are pushed into and through the intestines by the newly added feed. If we now feed highly satiating feed, the amount and duration of feed per day decrease significantly. The feeding breaks, in which no “replenishment” reaches the stomach, are longer. The intestinal bacteria suffer from these stoppages as well as from the wrong foods (grains or even yoghurt drops, etc.). Diarrhea often follows.
IMPORTANT: Never change your rabbit's diet quickly. Reduce the amount of your grain feed very slowly! The animal should not or hardly lose weight. Animals that have been fed incorrectly for a long time can now be switched from grain-containing to grain-free dry feed.
- constant access to fresh water
- Hay is the staple food! It should be available in a rack 24 hours a day
- Straw is the ideal bedding material (also a source of raw fiber)
- Green and wet food at least twice a day (see table)
- Fruit tree branches should always be available as a gnawing material + source of minerals
- Do not offer calcium stones (risk of urinary stone formation)
The animals have to be accustomed to every new green fodder (small amounts), and after getting used to it, give them regularly. The fresh food should consist of 4-5 components daily in order to keep the fluid intake constant. Vegetables and grass can be fed wet, but not kept wet (spoil immediately).
VEGETABLES: Chicory, carrot greens, iceberg, endive, field, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, zuccini
HERBS: Thistle, basil, savory, plantain, watercress, tarragon, coltsfoot, chervil, caraway, marjoram, lemon balm, oregano, yarrow, ribwort, chickweed, black peas.
Suitable as a treat (not too large quantities):
VEGETABLES: Chinese cabbage, carrot, parsnip, cucumber, asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke
FRUIT: Apple, pear, grape, blackberry, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, currant
Conditionally suitable as it contains a lot of calcium (small amounts):
Parsley, dandelion, alfalfa, kohlrabi leaves, clover
Conditionally suitable (only in very small quantities):
Nettle, rose hip, lovage, peppermint, mushrooms
FRUIT: Apricot, banana (stuffs), peach, raisins, pineapple, tangerine, kiwi, pumpkin,
GRAIN: Barley, oats, corn, wheat, rye
Unsuitable (as harmful or too high in calories):
Artichoke, eggplant, cauliflower, bean, broccoli, pea, kale, potato, garlic, Swiss chard, radish, radish, Brussels sprouts, spinach, beetroot, savoy cabbage, daisy, rosemary, sage, chives, avocado, plum, rhubarb, coconut, dates , Nuts, sunflower seeds
Source: Medical Small Animal Clinic of the LMU Munich "Feeding recommendation for rabbits" Senior physician Dr. J. Hein
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