6. Feeding Angora Rabbits

We feed each rabbit, whether buck or doe, Manna Pro Rabbit Family Ration. There are many good feeds, and this quality brand is affordable and easy for us to get. If we could afford it, we would be feeding Manna Pro Classic to the entire herd, because it contains yucca schigidera for ammonia control. We feed each adult English Angora 3/4 cup of food once daily, and each French Angora 1 cup once daily. Each animal’s condition is monitored and their food increased as needed.

We don’t believe in feeding a lot of extra treats, etc. The commercial rabbit feeds are scientifically formulated, and if you add a lot of other junk, it will just mess up the nutrient balance. If you do feed treats for fun, it isn’t likely to do any harm if done in small amounts of half a tablespoon or so.

We would suggest caution in feeding fruit and vegetables to bunnies under the age of 6 months, especially to bunnies under 3 months of age. During the period in which the bunnies transition from mama’s milk to rabbit food, the natural flora/fauna balance in their guts may be rather delicate. Diarrhea during this phase is not uncommon. We just prefer not to take chances.

We do offer each rabbit, including young bunnies, one T. of Heinold “Doc’s Rabbit Enhancer” daily. This product has probiotics, and ingredients which cut down on ammonia odors and help prevent wool block.

We will offer each rabbit a large handful of plain grass prairie hay twice a week or so.

Update, 23 April 2014
The paragraphs above were written during my “my first rabbit life,” a period of approximately ten years from 1992 to 2002 or so. Nowadays, in my “second rabbit life,” I follow a similar, conservative feeding protocol. The feed manufacturers do a lot of research to create their products, to get the nutritional elements balanced correctly. If the rabbit owner comes along and adds a bunch of crap to the feed, then they run the risk of undermining the nutritional value of the feed.

Lots of Angora breeders are still getting good results with the Manna Pro feeds. Some Angora breeders swear by the Purina feeds; every brand has its fans. I am feeding Pen Pals 16% to my rabbits. When I first switched to Pen Pals, I was concerned because I couldn’t get 18% protein. However, my rabbits have been doing fine with the 16%, and I see no reason to change even if I were able to get the 18%.

Each evening, I like to give each of my rabbits a half teaspoon of Calf Manna and a teaspoon of black oil sunflower seeds. I don’t think this is necessary, but it makes the rabbits happy, and so I enjoy giving it to them. I think Calf Manna may enhance fertility, but I don’t have any scientific proof for that. Some rabbit breeders think that Calf Manna enhances milk production in their brood does.

Rabbits enjoy black oil sunflower seeds very much, and I think the hulls are a good source of fiber for Angoras, to help prevent wool block.

I like to give each rabbit a small handful of hay daily. They enjoy it very much, and it does seem to help prevent wool chewing; the rabbit works its chewing urges out on the hay instead of its coat. One concern I have about offering hay is that the rabbit may fill up on hay and then eat less of its pelleted ration. However, so far, everyone seems to be doing fine.

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