An adequate rabbit feed must contain lots of fresh, green vegetative matter. Rabbits are nocturnal, and eat more at night. Rabbits eat most anything green, just like goats and cows. Rabbits like fresh food. Give them fresh feed twice a day; once in the morning and plenty at night.
Here are some of the best feeds for rabbits:
Legumes: These are all types of plants, vines, shrubs, and trees that produce a pod that splits on a single seam. The leaves of these plants are some of the best feeds for rabbits because they are high in protein. Examples are leaves of pigeon pea, peanut, beans, cowpea,
Grass: Rabbits eat all kinds of grasses such as guinea grass, elephant grass, maize and millet leaves.
Trees: There are many tree leaves rabbits will eat such as banana, mango, moringa.
Fruit: Rabbits love fruit. Feed them all the fruit that cannot be sold or eaten by humans such as overripe bananas (with the peel), mangoes, pawpaw, avocados, pineapple, and guava.
Leaves of cultivated plants: Sweet potato, maize, green beans, carrot tops, cabbage, and so on.
Market waste: Rabbits thrive on market waste such as waste lettuce, cabbage, carrots, apples, and other fruits and vegetables.
Concentrate: formulated feed or pelleted feeds made up of ingredients such as: maize, soybean, PKC, GNC, wheat offals, maize bran etc
Points to be considered in feeding management of rabbits
• Rabbits require a variety of feed: It is not good to feed rabbits just one kind of feed for a long period of time. Always include two or three different kinds of forages in their feed. It is best to mix vines, tree leaves, plant leaves, and kitchen scraps. By offering several kinds, they get more complete nutrients in their food. What one feed lacks, another will add to the diet.
• Do not put rabbit feed on the cage floor where the rabbits can walk and urinate on it. Feed should be placed in a feeder that keeps the leaves above the rabbits, off the floor. If rabbits are allowed to trample their feed, it will wilt, be soiled and unfit for consumption. When caring for rabbits, remove the feed they have not consumed.
• The time schedule for feeding should be maintained strictly. If it is late in feeding of rabbits, they become restless and which in turn reduces the body weight
• Due to high temperature in the daytime the rabbits won’t take much feed during daytime. But they are active in the night. Therefore green fodders are to be fed to the rabbits in the night, while concentrate should be served in the morning.
• Concentrate feed can be given in the form of pellets. If pellet feed is not available the concentrate feed mixed with water and before given to the rabbits
• Clean fresh water should be provided to rabbits at all times of the day
Note: When introducing new feed to the rabbits, give it to them in small quantity for several days and observe them to make sure they can adapt to it. This is required for whatever you are feeding them with, whether greens, fruit, grain or concentrate.