one of my cal does is starting to slim down quite a bit and she has plenty of food. was thinking maybe tryin to get her something higher in fats but not sure what to look for. any help would be greatly appreciated.
Im new here, but it sounds like anyone who can answer will need more info:
what are you feeding now?
Plenty of food? meaning that there is food leftover at the end of the day? if its cold the rabbits may need more than their summer ration to keep warm and keep weight.
any other symptoms?
Mine seem happy on hay (more Timothy/mix than alfalfa) twice a day, and oats and a bit of black oil sunflower seed in the PM. they also get veggie scraps most days, and a piece of fruit (rubbed on the mineral block I got and havent cut up yet!) I still have one last bag of pellets, and they get about 1/4 cup of pellets if they seem hungry/ feeder empty.
Yes, more info is needed. What is the housing situation? Indoor? Outdoor? Unheated? Caged? Colony? If outside, is there a wind block and place for the rabbits to go to stay warm like a box with straw? Where are you located (helps with estimating temps)? What are you feeding and how much? Has the doe recently kindled or weaned a litter? Is she old? Any other symptoms such as loose stools, sneezing, etc? How does she look? How does she act?
Mine do well on a high protein alfalfa based rabbit ration through winter. I do not feed hay as I have no where to store it. They also get fruit and veggie scraps. In winter we up the feed a little and most of the rabbits right now are actually too fat and have had to cut those back a bit. But every rabbit is different. Some stay plump on little feed, others need quite a bit more to stay in condition. If she is slimming down suddenly on free feed, there is probably more going on than just what is being fed. She may have a fur blockage preventing absorption of nutrients- if so you can give her a little veggie oil on top of her pellets or feed her a bit of kitty malt (hair ball remedy for cats). She may not be drinking enough water which will make her eat less if she is thirsty. You can try gatorade or an electrolyte powder in her water for a few days and see if that does not pick up her appetite. Has she been on the ground and possibly exposed to worms? If so, you may want to worm her- pumkin seeds will work for this.
In addition to Willow's post, I would also like to ask about the water situation, and your location. Most parts of the US are experiencing winter right now, and a rabbits water supply needs to be fresh and liquid at least several times a day. A rabbit without water will not eat, and "appear" to have plenty of food options - but will loose body condition VERY quickly. Before our rabbits had temperature control, we would switch from bottles to crocks in late fall/early winter as the sipper tubes would freeze before the water in the bottle did, I use good Lixit bottles to boot.
I used to haul two 5 gallon buckets of HOT water down to the rabbits three times a day, pull the crocks (mine were Van-ness plastic crock style dishes) and put them in the hot water, within a few minutes, the ice would pop out and cool the water. I would then refill the dishes with the warm water from the buckets, and the rabbits would really suck it down. It worked well for years, until one time when I slipped and fell with that scalding hot water and gave myself a severe 2nd degree burn on my left hand. From that year on, the rabbits have been in the basement, where I no longer have to worry about falling down while toting water. Another thing I don't miss is my damp hands sticking to the ice cold wire of the cages while opening them.
sorry about not giving enough info guys. free feeding pellets, alfalfa hay twice a day with some clover when it goes enough to get some. they are outside. im in central california. does freeze on occassion, but were the rabbits are doesnt seem to get quit cold enough to freeze the water bottles. she gets fresh water atleast 3 times a day. yesterday she had a little bit of loose stool but this morning it seems fine. she act like normal. happy to see me when i open up the cage to feed and whatever. will gladly come out and sit on my lap in the house for a bit etc and not make a big fuss. shes about 8 months old roughly i believe. she looks normal but when u run your hand down her back u can so feel her spine and hip bones fairly well. she seems to be drinking a little more water than the other 2 rabbits i have. no she hasnt been on the ground. only in the house for a few mins every couple of days.
oh whats boss. and how much veggie oil should i put over her pellets?
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