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Feeding a pet rabbit can get expensive, especially during the harsh economic times of a recession or job loss. However, there are ways to save money when feeding a pet rabbit.
How To Save Money On Rabbit Food
1. Don’t Overfeed Pellets
The first mistake that most rabbit owners make is feeding too many rabbit food pellets or, worse yet, feeding exclusively rabbit pellets.
Rabbit food pellets are the most expensive part of a healthy pet rabbit diet, but they should also be the smallest portion of a rabbit’s diet.
The best rabbit diet consists of unlimited fresh water, unlimited hay which will make up about 80% of your rabbit’s diet, 15% Salad (Dark Leafy Greens), and 5% of high-quality commercial Pellets or Nuggets. [Source]
This means that a small rabbit, such as a dwarf rabbit, should only have about 1/4 cup of pellets per day and larger rabbits just 1/2 cup. Even giant breeds of rabbits need only about 1 cup of pellets per day.
You will only give your rabbit pellets once or twice a day, and you should fully expect them to eat all of their pellets within a few hours (or less).
We often split our rabbit’s daily ration of pellets in half. They get the first half in the morning when we’re hanging out with them, and the second half later in the evening at the end of our bunny play time.
2. Wrong Food Pellets
There are lots of kinds of rabbit food available, and the price varies considerably.
Remember that the vast majority of your pet bunny’s diet should be made up of hay, and the vast majority of ingredients in its pellets should also be hay.
Don’t buy expensive pellets with dried veggies and fruit mixed in. That’s just expensive junk food for your rabbit.
If you want to see what pellets we feed our rabbits, check out our recommended rabbit food page.
3. Buy Bulk Hay
Hay makes up the vast majority of a healthy diet for your bunny. It should be 80% of its diet.
To get a better visualization of how much hay that is, a pet rabbit can eat a pile of hay about its body size every day. Now keep in mind that’s a loose pile, not a packed tight pile.
When money isn’t tight, we prefer Oxbow hay because it’s fresh, sweet-smelling, and has a lot less dust and small bits to make a mess than other brands.
However, when money is tight, we don’t just go to a cheaper brand, but we go to a cheaper choice.
Every town, even larger cities, has farm stores where you can buy hay in bulk at a fraction of the cost of hay packaged for smaller animals.
Just search for “Horse Feed near me” and you’ll find an animal supply store where you can save money on hay.
If you buy in bulk, we suggest that put that hay in a sealed trashcan or tote to keep it fresh and free of mice and such.
4. Pick Greens
Fresh greens are not only healthy for your bunny, but they are a wonderful treat that makes bonding with your bunny easier.
However, you don’t have to actually buy human salad to give our rabbit a ‘bunny salad’ each day.
Rabbits love variety in greens, and they love weeds. If you can find a patch of weeds that haven’t been sprayed with any chemicals, you have access to free rabbit salads!
Even if you and your bunny live in an apartment, you could start a small window garden to supplement your bunny’s diet for free after the setup cost.
5. No Purchased Treats
You don’t have to buy rabbit treats, no matter how much your bunny loves them.
First, too many sweet treats will make your bunny fat.
Second, any decent treat is just bits of fruit or even dried greens, and you can just share the discarded parts of your own fruit snacks with your rabbit.
For example, your rabbit is going to love the discarded end of your banana, and rabbits can even eat banana peels!
The dark spot in your apple? Feed it to your bunny.
If you follow these five tips you should be able to reduce the cost of feeding your rabbit by at least 50% and we hope that is enough to ease the burden in even the hardest economic times.
When the economy is difficult, many people give up their rabbits for adoption, and when this happens there are simply not enough good homes for these bunnies.