Just decided to adopt a super-cute lionhead bunny into your home and still a bit confused on what food plan to prepare? Well, we have all been there.
A lot of commercials showcase their dry food as the ideal combination of nutrients for pets, but we can also see so many rabbits eating tons of carrots on TV, so it often leaves us with a dose of uncertainty.
Are these really their basic meal requirements? And what do lionhead rabbits eat in the first place? To ease that up, I will explaining all the best food for lionhead rabbits.
Best Food for Lionhead Rabbits
So, here are the best food types that you can safely feed to your lionhead rabbit pet:
However, just as with any human processed food, it is crucially important to pick the right one among so many choices. Try to stay away from any excessively colored pellets, or those which contain fruits.
Quality pellets need to consist mainly of timothy hay or timothy grass, with keeping sugar levels to the minimum.
Alfalfa pellets are a great choice for young bunnies which are still developing or for rabbits which need to gain some weight, but they can often lead to overweight when fed to adult and healthy rabbits.
Finally, it is really important to know that pellets should never make the main feeding source for any rabbit, but rather as an addition to hay. Most professionals recommend that pellet consumption should not exceed the 20% of their daily food intake.
So, even if your rabbit likes them and eats the entire daily portion at once, it is okay not to re-fill the bowl until next day.
Grass hay is what needs to make the principal and major feeding source for any rabbit, including lionheads. Rabbits need to get a lot of fibers each day in order for their bodies to function normally.
They are naturally designed to process large intakes of fibers, and this is also what helps them digesting pellets and all other food they consume. But not only.
Hay helps with their teeth health, too. Rabbit’s teeth are peculiar as they grow consistently during their lives, so they need abrasive food like hay to wear them down.
Hay is, therefore, the most essential part of your pet’s diet. And the daily intake should make around 75% when compared to any other food type. Your rabbit needs to have unlimited access to grass hay and to never run out of it.
Timothy hay is one of the most common choices, but it can also be mixed with others. Some good examples can be orchard, oat, meadow, or bluegrass hay. You can purchase your hay either from a pet store or from a local farmer. Your rabbit will enjoy both.
Fresh Vegetables & Fruits
Fresh and healthy natural food is another important part of any feeding plan, but it should make just a small part. Actually, fresh vegetables and fruits are to be offered more as a treat rather than a meal.
The so much showcased carrots are a good example of a yummy treat. Others include apples (without seeds), asparagus, strawberries, pumpkin, cucumber, and many other.
Fresh Leafy Greens
Fresh leafy vegetables make another crucial meal and they need to be offered each day, just as hay and pellets do. Such greens contain various important nutrients for rabbits and they optimize their overall health condition.
Returning to carrots once again, their leafy tops make an excellent source of nutrients. But there are so many other possible healthy greens, such as: mint and peppermint, broccoli leaves, cabbage, lemongrass, wheatgrass, collard and dandelion greens, etc.
Since the choice options are that many, try offering your rabbit a different selection of fresh leafy greens each day. And keep in mind these should make approximately 5% of their daily food intake.
Food to Avoid Feeding
Lionhead rabbits are not picky eaters, but not all food can be offered to them. Not even all fresh fruits or vegetables. Some meals can be deadly toxic for your pet, while others can simply bring to digestive complications, so it is important to know which food to avoid.
When it comes to fresh fruit and vegetables, never ever feed your rabbit with avocado, onions and garlic, but neither with potatoes nor corn. Not to mention, processed food which is designed for human consumption is also a big NO.
This includes chocolate and candies, coffee, bread and pasta, milk and all dairy products, and so on. Seeds are also important to avoid, especially apple seeds which are highly toxic for rabbits.
Best Treats for Lionhead Rabbits
The best but also healthiest treats which you can offer to your lionhead rabbit are those that come in forms of fruits and vegetables. Both fresh and dried are great choices.
Other amazingly yummy treats are hay based treats, flavored with some tasty fruit scent such as banana or strawberries.
They are healthier when compared to most treats as they have tiny amounts of sugar but your bunny will love them anyway. These are great if you want to trick-train your lionhead, for instance.
Commercial treats from pet stores can be good, too. However, make sure to always check the ingredients before offering them to your pet. Some, even if advertised toward rabbits, can be super-abundant in sugar which is obviously bad for your pet’s health.
How to Feed Your Lionhead Rabbit?
Rabbits are not that needy when it comes to feeding techniques. All you need to be attentive about is to provide enough amounts of grass hay. This should be available all the time to rabbits, so prepare yourself to deal with lots of hay.
Many owners like using hay feeding dispensers, which make an amazing solution. That way, larger piles of hay will still look tidy and your rabbit will not be spreading them around everywhere. Also, having to collect hay from one point can make it more interesting for bunnies to feed.
Rabbit pellets, as well as their daily doses of fresh leafy greens, can be simply placed into bowls. The hours around you feed your rabbit can be individual and depend a lot on your work schedule and the routine that both you and your pet are used to.
However, a general observation is that rabbits in the wild feed at dusk and dawn, as they are crepuscular. That is why feeding them pellets and veggie leaves before heading to bed could be a good way of avoiding rabbits becoming bored overnight.
What can Lionhead Rabbits Drink?
Every healthy lionhead rabbit must drink water and water exclusively. The idea of offering milk to bunnies other than their natural mother’s milk is absolutely wrong (unless they are orphans). Not to mention drinks like alcohol, coffee, juice, or any other drink apart from water.
Fresh and drinkable water is a must. This can be either tap or bottled, as long as it is safe for consumption (same as for people). Rabbits drink surprisingly large quantities of water when compared to their tiny bodies, so please make sure to always provide their enclosures with enough.
Some owners prefer offering water in bowls, while others do that in appropriate bottles. Perhaps the best option is to try with a bowl and see how that goes.
Bowls certainly ensure a more natural way of drinking than having to lick a metal tap, but rabbits often tend to spill water out or even to get their fur wet. If your rabbit does not accept a bowl well, a simple bottle container can be purchased at any pet store.
What do Baby Lionhead Rabbits Eat?
Baby bunnies up to 8 weeks old need to be fed by their mothers only. They depend on her milk and this has to be their only source of food. If you happen to adopt a baby orphan, you may use kitten formula or goat milk as a replacement.
After that, once they start feeding on their own, unlimited amounts of both pellets and alfalfa hay are necessary. And, basically, their only feeding plan. Alfalfa hay is super-healthy and rich in all sorts of nutrients, including protein and calcium. Water is also super-important.
After they turn 6 months old, bunnies can slowly start switching from alfalfa hay and pellets to timothy hay and small portions of pellets. Treats can also be included in their diet around this time.
It is so cute and sometimes funny seeing a lionhead rabbit holding onto a carrot. However, such public images can often lead to misconceptions about what domestic rabbits really eat, so it is important to do the right research when adopting a new pet.
Lionheads are not that demanding or picky when it comes to feeding- tons of hay, some pellets, healthy greens and occasional yummy treats are what makes any bunny happy and healthy. And the best part is, you can grow most of their meals in your backyard.