Rabbits - Move Away from Muesli
Last week was Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) and at Larkmead we held a Rabbit Open Evening at our Great Western Park branch. Owners came along with their bunnies to see vets Ginny and Laura and for one-night-only received free health-checks, advice and nail clips as well as a goody-bag with freebies.
This year the theme of RAW was 'Move Away from Muesli' encouraging owners to adopt a healthier hay based diet.
So what's wrong with muesli? Studies have shown that rabbits will often select the sugary/starchy items from the bowl in preference over the high fibre pellets. A bit like our children choosing the biscuits instead of carrot sticks at the party table! Whilst this is ok for a treat, it's not a long term strategy for a healthy diet and in rabbits increases the risk of dental disease, obesity, reduced fecal output (leading to gut problems) and sticky droppings increasing the risk of fly-strike.
So if your rabbit has a high muesli diet, we would recommend that you transition them over to a more fibrous pellet - this should be done slowly (over a period of about 4 weeks) by gradually increasing the amount of pellets and reducing the muesli given, although do not increase the amount of food you are offering overall. Rabbits should also have access to quality feeding hay at all times.
The Rabbit Awareness Week website has some more tips, or if you are worried you can always book in to see vets Ginny or Laura - we still have a few goody-bags available so please ask during your consultation (whilst stock lasts).