What do rabbits eat?
Raising meat rabbits is not all that different from raising a regular pet rabbit. Meat rabbits can be given the same garden waste, vegetable scraps, twigs and so on as pet rabbits and will continue to grow on this diet. But meat rabbits will really thrive when given more protein and amino acids to help them achieve optimal weights and speed up growth. Feeding your meat rabbits is the most expensive part of raising them, but it is directly related to the quality of your end product: the meat.
Feed meat rabbits a high quality rabbit feed pellet along with fresh timothy or alfalfa hay and other supplements. High quality does not always mean high priced but the pellets should contain at least 16% fiber to stimulate gut function and prevent diarrhea and hairballs. The major ingredient in rabbit feed should be legumous hay and is usually alfalfa.
To keep rabbit teeth worn down, supply your rabbit with twigs and branches for them to chew on. You might choose twigs from apple, fir, hazel, hawthorn, maple, pear, spruce or willow trees. You can also feed meat rabbits cuttings from blackberry and raspberry patches, including the leaves and fruit.
Don’t give your rabbits lots of cabbage and lettuce at once because it may disrupt the balance of good bacteria in the rabbit’s stomach, causing diarrhea. Corn, cauliflower and turnips should also be fed in moderation.
Meat rabbits can also be fed lots of different fruits and vegetables. Things which are good to feed them are: apples, bananas, blackberries, broccoli, carrots, celery, cucumbers, endive, kohlrabi, melons, pears, plantains, pok choi, parsnips, pumpkins, radish greens, raspberries, strawberries, Swiss chard, tomatoes, watercress and even watermelon.
Or try a a variety of different herbs like basil, borage, chamomile, caraway, celeriac, chervil, coriander, dill, horseradish, lavender, marjoram, parsley, peppermint, sage and savory.
This is only a small sampling of what meat rabbits eat. To learn more, sign up for our newsletter. You’ll get a complete list of common plants, vegetables, herbs, fruits, twigs, flowers and more which are safe to feed your meat rabbits absolutely free. A complete list of unsafe foods is also included.