Readers of Meat Rabbit News send me questions on a regular basis to find help and get answers to their questions. I recently received the following question which you may have been wondering lately yourself. If you’d like to learn more about raising meat rabbits, sign up for my free weekly updates.
I was just wondering if you have approximate measures as to how much feed babies need to optimize growth… I don’t measure but put as much as they can eat and a little left over in case one of the babies doesn’t get access as quickly as the other ones and I do that twice a day… i supplement with hay and table scraps allowed in your ok list!! I was just wondering if i give them to much or not enough… I seperated the moms a few days ago and i wonder how much i should give them individually… i used to free feed them but read it’s dangerous for them to get fat… they are inside and well protected from the elements in a heated ( +5-15 celcius) since it’s very cold right now in northern ontario… -29 celcius this morning anyway do you have suggestions as to how i can feed them enough without starving them in other words getting as much results for my money as possible
Thank you very much i find all your emails very interesting and useful!
Thanks for your email and sorry for the delay in getting back to you.
In general, an adult rabbit will eat about 1 ounce of food per day for every 1 pound of body weight. Usually large-sized pregnant does, lactating does with litters and growing fryers (1-3 months old) can be fed as much as they will eat (until they begin leaving food behind). This should be about 12-16 oz. for 3-5 days following kindling and will increase as the doe produces more milk and the litter puts on weight.
Large and giant replacement rabbits and bucks being used for breeding should be fed about 6-8 ounces of pellets a day. Dry does and bucks which are no longer reproducing have lighter needs of about 4-6 ounces a day. Medium breeds would get about 3 ½ – 4 ounces per day; small breeds 2-3 ounces. Just for reference, a tuna can holds about 5 ounces of pellets.
The easiest way to tell if you are giving your rabbit the right amount of food is to stroke its backbone regularly. If the ridges of the backbone feel pointed and sharp, increase the food offering. If the ridge is present but feels rounded, your rabbit is receiving the right amount of food. If you can’t feel the backbone, decrease your rabbit’s intake. A quick weekly check while you are inspecting feet and other parts is recommended.
Hope this helps!