How Long Can You Leave a Rabbit Without Food?

rabbit sitting

Humans can survive months without food but cannot survive that long without water, reverse is the case when it comes to rabbits. Though rabbits might be mammals they do not share the same compartment of the stomach with humans and that is why they cannot survive without food for long.

Rabbits are good grazers as they do not play with their stomachs especially when they are exposed to forages around though most rabbit that starves are rabbits that are been raised by unskilled and non-challenge caregivers.

How Long Can You Leave a Rabbit Without Food?

This depends on their age, diet, weight, and health status. A healthy rabbit can do without food for up to 3 to 4 days but might develop Gastrointestinal stasis if it does not eat within 12 to 24 hours especially when it’s feeding on a low diet.

Gastrointestinal stasis occurs as a result of the digestive system slowing down and this will not allow passage of food again as the stomach becomes dehydrated causing bacteria buildup resulting in gas.

How Much Food Does a Rabbit Needs to Eat?

How much food your rabbit needs to eat depends on their age, breed, and weight(size). Once you know this, you will be able to know what amount to give them per day.

A rabbit requires a balanced diet and you need to set a target for that as a caregiver just like this

  • 80% Hay or grass
  • 15 % leaf and fruit vegetable
  • 5% Commercial feed(Pellets)
  • Adequate Water
i. Hay or Grass

A Good quality hay product should make up 80% of your rabbit’s diet and it should be dry, sweet-smelling, or mould-free. Grass could either be fresh or dry.

ii. Vegetables

There are few rabbit-safe vegetables and fruits that should make up 15 % of your rabbit’s diet, its always added to the diet as treats as rabbits get bored eating the same thing every time besides it supplies nutrients.

Such vegetables include.

  • Broccoli
  • Green beans
  • Celery leaves
  • Chard
  • Dock
  • Parsley
iii. Pellets

Pellets are protein supplements added to their feed to ensure a balanced diet for the rabbit. Pellets are used to make up for the nutrients that might be deficient in the hay or vegetables and that is why 5% is advisable. When choosing the type of pellets to get, get from a reputable brand.

iv. Water

A balanced diet is yet to be complete without water though caregivers do not see it as food. Your rabbit needs to be hydrated for it to stay alive, so, fresh, cool, and clean water should be provided always.

Just because they eat almost everything does not mean you should give certain things in high proportion. Such feeds that need to be regulated when giving to your rabbit include,

  • Plants and weed
  • Fruits
  • Commercial feeds(pellets)
  • Lettuce
  • Carrot

400;”>Rabbits can eat almost anything though there are a few things rabbits are allergic to and must  be avoided such as

  •  Sweet potatoes
  • Chocolates
  • Avocado
  • Walnut
  • Raw Onions
  • Cookies
  • Yoghurt
  • Any processed human food.

How Often Does Rabbit Need to Eat?

Wild Rabbit

Rabbits are herbivores and should have unlimited access to hays round the clock as they can feed on them without it giving them health issues. However, protein supplements and commercial feed must not be given to them round the clock as it might make them obese or cause them to develop health issues.

Importantly, animals are meant to be trained and you can do well to train your rabbit as well by giving it food at regular intervals and not just supplying it with food every time.

 Don’t just give them food as you wish but create a routine for your rabbit and stick to it.

What Happens If your Rabbit Does Not Eat for 24 hours?

Though your rabbit can survive up to about 3 to 4 days, it might develop gastrointestinal stasis within 24 hours and this produces a painful gas that makes its stomach dehydrated.

When a rabbit’s stomach is dehydrated, eating becomes difficult and this will lead to organ failure and eventually death if not attended to on time. 

However, your rabbit can survive if you attend to it on time and that is if you are conversant with signs of G.I stasis such as hard stomach, inability to defecate, hunched posture, sluggishness, restlessness, grinding of teeth, or grunting.

What To Do If Your Rabbit Is Not Eating?

Few things will not make your rabbit eat and this might be due to less love for the present feed or health issues.

When your rabbit does not like the feed you are offering it, they refuse to eat and that occurs when you keep giving it commercial feed. Simply, withdraw commercial feed and introduce hay alone as rabbits are hay lovers.

A rabbit will stop eating if it has difficulty with excreating, when you notice it does not poop for a day or two, withdraw its food and introduce fruits.

Your rabbit will refuse to eat if it has any health issues such as dental issues, respiratory disease, or, a parasitic infection. The best thing to do when you notice this is to visit your vet immediately. 

Stress is another factor that will cause your rabbit not to feed well and this occurs as a result of overexercising the rabbit or competition for food, and this could be resolved by providing a special cage for the rabbit and avoiding overexercising it.

How Do I Know If My Rabbit is Hungry?

Rabbits don’t have a specific way to tell you if they are hungry just like your child will tell you he is hungry but as a caregiver, you are to study your rabbit to understand it.

There are signs to look out for when your rabbit is hungry though these signs vary depending on their breed and they are.

  • Eating of its feet.
  • Trying to hop out of its cage.
  • Biting the fence of its cage.
  • Its body temperature becomes cold
  • It becomes anxious
  • It pulls out their fur to eat.
  • It starts making noise unlike it.

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Understanding what and how to feed your rabbit can increase its life span as one of the easy ways to reduce its life span is to starve it. Rabbits should not be left alone without food as they need food to aid their digestive system and stay alive.

Leaving your rabbit without food should not cross your mind as a caregiver. Starving your rabbit is bad as it might lead to its death and that makes you a murderer indirectly. Once you notice your rabbit having difficulty in eating, visit your vet immediately.

Written by Justin Michaels

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