One should absolutely buy a rabbit food without grain, because grain such as wheat can hardly be digested by the rabbit. Why this is not possible in the rabbit and what ingredients in the rabbit food should be avoided in addition to the grain we explain below.
In addition, we want to recommend some varieties of rabbit food without grain, which we find suitable. However, we would like to note that these feeds should only be offered occasionally as a supplement and should not be used as a main feed.
Why the rabbit food should not contain cereals.
There are several reasons for this, which we would like to briefly discuss below. The basic problem with cereals in rabbit food is that cereals contain a lot of starch, which leads to the following problems in rabbits:
- In humans, the starch in cereals is mainly broken down by the enzymes maltase and amylase to be digested. The rabbit’s digestion, on the other hand, is not adapted to starch-containing foods, so the rabbit produces only small amounts of these enzymes.
- Grains make the rabbit full too quickly. As a result, too little green food is consumed, which provides the necessary tooth wear. In addition, cereals contain very little liquid and the rabbit usually does not compensate for this in sufficient form with water from the drinker.
- Due to the rapid saturation by grain, the rabbit takes longer breaks from eating, this leads to the fact that the food remains in the rather large stomach for a long time and is not “pushed on” by further food (stuffed stomach). The intestinal bacteria therefore not only have to cope with the “wrong food”, but also with the lack of further transport. This often leads to diarrhea.
- Due to the high nutritional value, there is a risk of obesity and fatty liver.
Why is there rabbit food with grain?
Wheat is a very cheap ingredient in rabbit feed in relation to other feed ingredients. With a wheat price of 10 to 25 dollars for 100 kilograms and constant availability, it seems attractive for many feed manufacturers to add a percentage of wheat.
Do all cereals have to be avoided?
Wheat is certainly one of the grains that has no place in rabbit feed. Oats and barley contain a slightly different protein structure that is better digested by rabbits. Therefore, oats and barley can be useful in some situations, such as when a rabbit needs to be fed and gain weight.
However, even barley and oats should not be included in everyday rabbit food, or only in extremely small amounts.
Rabbit food without grains, and what about sugar?
If there is no grain in a rabbit food, then this is already good, but there are other ingredients that should be avoided.
Very often sugar is found in rabbit food. Sugar does not belong in the feed under any circumstances. Unfortunately, sugar is often added by manufacturers, because rabbits take more food through the artificial sweetness and prefer the particularly sweet food. The owner then realizes that the rabbit particularly likes the food and then buys this type of food again.
Of course, the manufacturers also know that the word “sugar” on the list of ingredients is not perceived very positively. Therefore, the sweetness is partly produced by “sweeteners”, “honey” or other additives.
Partially, particularly sweet ingredients such as carob (contains about 50% sugar) are added.
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