Angora Rabbit Diet

Angora rabbits require the same grass-based diet as any domestic rabbit. A quality hay makes the base of the rabbit-food pyramid, followed by a variety of leafy greens, a quality commercial pellet and occasional healthy treats. The angora's long fur benefits from occasional alfalfa hay and a rabbit pellet slightly higher in protein than for a short-haired rabbit.

  1. Hay

    • Hay wears down the rabbit's constantly growing teeth and provides important roughage. Hay helps keep the gut moving and prevents "woolblock," a dangerous impaction in the stomach caused by fur swallowed by the rabbit during grooming. Young bunnies and pregnant or nursing females need alfalfa hay, which provides extra calories and calcium. Adults need unlimited timothy hay, orchard hay, Bermuda grass or other grass hays, though some breeders believe additional alfalfa hay keeps angora fur long and lustrous.

    Vegetables

    • House-rabbit owners and rabbit-savvy veterinarians suggest feeding green, leafy veggies as a staple of a rabbit's diet second only to hay, while breeders and farmers often consider veggies "treats" only. Some rabbits react badly to vegetables, so owners should watch their animals carefully for signs of diarrhea, excess cecal production (the soft, stinky "night feces" normally consumed by rabbits directly from the anus) or anorexia. The House Rabbit Society recommends an adult rabbit (one year or older) receive a minimum of 2 cups of chopped vegetables per every 6 lbs. of body weight. A daily salad of lettuces such as romaine and redleaf, plus escarole, arugula, endive, collards and mustard or dandelion greens provides most of a rabbit's necessary daily vitamins. Vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and kale contain high levels of oxalates and goitrogens, toxic in large quantities. However, they also contain important vitamins and belong in a rabbit's diet in moderation.

    Pellets

    • Tulasi Zimmer, who raises angora rabbits and spins their humanely-harvested fur, suggests that the angora's fur benefits from a high-protein (18 percent) rabbit pellet. Zimmer recommends feeding 1/2 to 3/4 cups of high-protein rabbit pellets for smaller breeds of angoras (English angoras) and 3/4 to 1 cup for larger breeds such as Satin, French and German angoras. However, Zimmer does not feed her rabbits salads. Rabbits fed daily salads only need about 1/4 of a cup of rabbit pellets daily. Free-feeding pellets to adult rabbits causes obesity, and "party mixes” containing seeds, nuts and corn cause gut problems.

    Treats

    • Rabbits enjoy occasional treats of carrot, raisin, blueberry, apple, banana and papaya. Feed these high-calorie, high-sugar foods in moderation--a rabbit-bite or two at a time, no more than once or twice weekly.

    Foods to Avoid

    • Rabbit's digestive systems, designed specifically to process grass and leafy greens, cannot tolerate meat, dairy or refined flour. Avoid chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, candy, beans, rhubarb, beets, corn, nuts, seeds, potato, citrus and avocado. Iceberg lettuce contains no nutritional value for angora rabbits.

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