ANSWER: Rabbits often select bits in the mix that they like and neglect the rest which leads to an unbalanced diet.
They need lots of fibre and calcium to stay healthy.
Fibre is important because a rabbit’s food passes through their digestive tract twice.
The first passage turns food into digestible pellets, known as caecotrophs, which the rabbit eats again. These provide nutrients.
The second passage results in indigestible pellets which keeps the digestive tract mobile.
A lack of fibre can lead to tummy upsets and sticky caecotrophs which the rabbit cannot eat.
Inadequate calcium causes dental problems, abscesses and ulcers. So provide a balanced diet made up of 80 per cent good quality hay.
They should also have access to growing grass several times a day.
Pellets (25g per kg of their body weight) and fresh greens can be added to this.
Diet changes should be done slowly and with the advice of your vet who will weigh your rabbit.
Visit burgesspetcare.com/rabbits for more information.
David Grant MBE was a vet at the RSPCA Harmsworth Hospital for Animals. Write to him at Express Yourself, 10 Lower Thames Street, London EC3R 6EN. He is unable to enter into correspondence.