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RABBIT AWARENESS WEEK (RAW)


Rabbits playing


This year we hope to focus on what to feed our little bunnies and how it may impact their health!


Before we get into what we should and should-not feed our little bunnies let's dive into a few facts about their gastro-intestinal system and what is needed for it to work efficiently:



FIBRE-VORES

Rabbits are now classified as 'Fibrevores'. This is because they require a large amount of fibre in their diet to aid in their gut function and nutritional health.


There are two types of fibres rabbits require in-order to have a healthy diet:


  • Digestible Fibre: This is fibre that enters the cecum and is digested and fermented. (This is very important in the formation of 'Cecotropes' which are mentioned in the next section)

  • Indigestible Fibre: This is fibre that does not enter the cecum, but moves through the gut and can still be seen in the rabbits faecal pellets.


Indigestible fibre is very important in the following:

Dental wear - Promotes normal gut motility - Reduces intake of non-food items (bedding/wires etc.) - Reduces risk of fur-chewing - Increases intake of normal food and cecotropes.


What to feed a Rabbit


WHAT ARE CECOTROPES?


Cecotropes are grouped faecal balls that are created within the cecum from the fermentation of digestible fibre. They are highly nutritional to rabbits, therefore are re-eaten. They are high in vitamins and protein - which are only accessible after the fermentation process. Rabbits tend to eat these faecal accumulations only once/twice a day.

This is sometimes seen when a rabbit is cleaning their rear-end, and should not be mistaken for diarrhoea - please monitor your rabbits toileting regularly.


If you have found this interesting stay tuned this week for more information on rabbit nutrition


RAW24

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