Micah Feeding

Vet Speak

In this section, Dr. Micah Kohles, Oxbow’s Director of Veterinary Science and Outreach, answers all of your animal health related questions.  If you have a question for Dr. Kohles regarding the health or behavior of your small animal, send it to web@oxbowanimalhealth.com.

My rabbit is over one year old and will not eat any greens. I have tried squeezing pineapple juice on them to entice him but he figured it out and just licks it off. We adopted him a couple of months ago and he will not eat any veggies. He eats lots of Oxbow hay, measured pellets and water. What do I do? - Rondi 

Just like you and I, each of these characters have their own personality and flavor preferences. The good news is that you are hitting the integral parts of the diet. If you are not already doing so, I would suggest feeding a diversity of Oxbow hays which could help expand his palate a touch. While it seems logical that rabbits would just love greens and eat them right away, many animals view them as just another example of something new and different. Whether it be the taste, texture or physical structure of greens, it is outside of the normal diet and, therefore, something that they are sometimes not willing to try. 

That all being said, I have yet to meet a rabbit who will not eventually eat and enjoy some form of green or vegetable. Our focus should be on greens, like red and green leaf, but even small amounts of vegetables and fruit is better than nothing. I would target the greens and try different routes such as shredding or mixing with pellets or hay or other techniques to get them to try them. If they remain stubborn, then I would try small amounts of often more palatable offerings like carrots (Include the tops, as they are the best part!), bell peppers, Brussel sprouts, and even some fruits such as banana, apple (no seeds), pear and most berries. Click Here for a good reference from the House Rabbit Society. 

Good luck and I hope you can send us some photos of green munching in the future!

Sincerely,

Dr. Micah Kohles, DVM, MPA
Director of Veterinary Science and Outreach
Oxbow Animal Health