A pelleted rabbit feed is a staple in the domestic rabbit's diet. The pellet is the main source of protein, fat, and energy, so it is important to choose a good pellet!When choosing a pellet, the first thing to look into is the mill date. As a general rule, you don't want to feed pellets that are more than 3 months beyond the mill date. As pellets age, they loose nutritional value but they can also spoil, causing illness or fatalities within your herd.
The fresher the pellet, the better! A fresh pellet should be greenish and firm with a strong (fresh) smell. An old pellet will often be greyish brown, crumble easily, and may smell musty or moldy.Also important is the ingredients in your feed. It is best to stay away from feeds containing colorful bits and pieces, seeds, or other "decorations". These are most often advertised as pet feeds, and have low nutritional value. Most of the time, those little colorful pieces are just treats and your rabbit will pick those out and leave the pellet. Instead, find a plain pelleted feed, with nothing else mixed in.
Hay is my favorite part of a rabbit's diet. In fact, it's almost magical! Yes, really.Hay is the #1 source of fiber in a domestic rabbit's diet. It helps to regulate the digestive system and is the main preventative of wool block. Like cats, rabbits groom themselves and ingest a generous amount of fur. Unlike cats, rabbits are unable to regurgitate "hair balls", so the ingested fur must move through the entire digestive system before it is released. Hay helps to break up and move that fur through the system. In addition to this, a good course hay is great for gnawing on and wearing down a rabbit's constantly growing teeth. So like I said, hay is a magical food! Is has many benefits, and is an integral part of every rabbit's diet.
Young rabbits, up to maturity (6-9 months) may enjoy Alfalfa hay as an extra source of calcium. However, older rabbits do better on a grass hay. Timothy and bermuda grass are favorites, but almost any mixed grass hay will do. I suggest that hay is available in unlimited quantities, and my rabbits get a large handful daily that they can snack on throughout the day. Especially for herd rabbits who spend most of their time in their cages, providing hay can also prevent boredom by giving them something to chew on and play with throughout the day.