feeding rabbits

mtjentkiewicz Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

We would like to start raising rabbits for meat. The two meat rabbit breeds available in our area (we are in North Africa) are Californian and New Zealand White. We contacted a couple of breeders near to us and they all told us that those rabbits can be only fed commercial rabbit pellets. We were hoping to feed our rabbits mostly hay and dried alfalfa, plus some veg, but the breeders said that both those breeds will not live long or grow well if they are fed a more 'natural' diet, that they have to be fed exclusively pellets. Is this true? And is it possible to transition such rabbits to a more grass and hay based diet? Thank you!


  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My sister had New Zealands, and she fed them some pellets, but mostly fresh plant material. If they can't survive on a natural diet, I would worry about their genetics. You may want to think about rabbits that can survive on a natural diet even if they are a little smaller. Another idea is that the breeders have learned this from the company selling the pellets.

  • monica197
    monica197 Posts: 332 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Too much alfalfa creates gas and is not good for mature rabbits - though they love love it.

    Variety is key with plants that have protein in them as you want them to be meaty. I have found that the more plant based I go the skinnier the rabbits are. When I increase pellets they gain weight.