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Rabbit Nutrition: The Numbers

Purina Rabbit Chow Garden Recipe
 NATURAL, COMPLETE NUTRITION FOR ALL BREEDS OF RABBITS AND BUNNIES OF ALL AGES
Purina® Rabbit Chow™ Garden Recipe™ Natural AdvantEdge™ rabbit food is a fun-to-eat, wholesome blend of pellets, nutritious vegetables, fruits and seeds formulated for all breeds of rabbits and bunnies at all ages. It’s the fun way to feed your rabbits the very best!



GUARANTEED ANALYSIS
Crude Protein (Min)....................................................
Crude Fat (Min)..........................................................
Crude Fiber (Min).......................................................
Crude Fiber (Max)......................................................
Calcium (Ca) (Min).....................................................
Calcium (Ca) (Max)....................................................
Phosphorus (P) (Min)..................................................
Salt (NaCl) (Min)........................................................
Salt (NaCl) (Max) ......................................................
Vitamin A (Min)..........................................................
14.00%
2.00%
18.00%
22.00%
0.670%
1.10%
0.40%
0.20%
0.70%
3,500 IU/lb
INGREDIENTS
Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Ground Soybean Hulls, Wheat Middlings, Dehulled Soybean Meal, Carrot, Sunflower Seed, Papaya, Whole Oats, Cane Molasses, Ground Oat Hulls, Wheat Flour, Timothy Hay, Celery, Monocalcium Phosphate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Soybean Oil, DL-Methionine, Iron Oxide, Copper Sulfate, DL-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Calcium Pantothenate, Nicotinic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Riboflavin, Yeast Culture, Biotin, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Ferment Product, Dried Yucca Shidigera Extract, Cholecalciferol, Cobalt Carbonate, Manganese Sulfate, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Selenite.


     This nutrition label is straight from Purina's website, and they are arguably the largest producer of rabbit feed in the United States. It is known that animal food companies will buy the cheapest ingredients, regardless of source, that meets their standard of nutrition. This means that one day you could be buying pellets made of mostly alfalfa, and another day you could be buying pellets made of soybean. 



     In 1982, the Peace Corps published a pamphlet about rabbit nutrition, breaking it down simply by the type of rabbit (pregnant, resting, lactating) with nutrition profile that rabbit needs. Like people, rabbits need protein, fiber, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. 
     If you were to use this to formulate your own feed, you would need to adjust the amounts for the size of your rabbits. Normally this would be measured by weight, and one kilogram is approximately 2.2 pounds.
     Overall, protein seems to be the largest limiting factor for rabbit production, as most of the minerals and fiber can come from the addition of a good quality hay. Some plant proteins are readily absorbed by the animal's digestion, others are not, and this needs to be taken into account when mixing a feed.

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