¡Se habla Español!
The Bun Bun Brigade
Where do I get this stuff?
Before you add a rabbit to the family, you really should sort out where to shop for food (and pick some up, and have it ready when bunny comes home).
Most often we shop at feed stores... Tractor Supply, Orscheln, Rural King, or a local feed store in your town... Some Feeder Supply pet stores carry bales of hay, and they certainly carry pellets and small bag hay. In a pinch, in the middle of the night, your nearest superstore has food, hay, bedding, toys, etc. Shop around. Prices can vary widely from one store to the next.
Lilith and Pinot
The Nitty Gritty
While you are reading what best to feed your rabbit, I know what you want to see... What do we feed our rabbits? This is going to sound like an advertisement, but what I'm about to say is based entirely on the testimony of my rabbits. We like Standlee products.
You may not have seen them because they are in the horse department. Horses and rabbits have very similar needs. It starts with hay. Everyone has hay. Department/grocery store has hay, pet store has fancy expensive hay. I've tried them all. Then one day I took in a special foster rabbit. She was a stray, she didn't want the hay I had, and she didn't like the fancy hay, either. With 4 bunnies now those little bags were getting expensive, so I bought a Standlee grab-n-go bale of Timothy at the feed store. When I pulled open the wrapper at home it was so green, and it smelled sweet. Everyone loved it. Best hay ever, they told me. Even the new foster. And it was really tightly compressed, and seemed to last forever for what I paid for it. Definitely a good quality economical choice. Yay!
So I was shopping in the horse department, and I saw they had cubed alfalfa/oat hay mix. They're hard cubes--good for chewing. I research the ingredients. All good for bunnies. I bought a bag for treats. I won the mother of the year award by unanimous vote. Alfalfa is good for babies, nursing mothers, under weight or recovering rabbits, and the occasional treat. Oat hay is sweet and tasty. The cubes are also good for travel food in the carrier.
These are the things we buy for the rescue whenever we can, and I highly recommend them for your rabbits.
To emphasize the point of hay, here is an entertaining message from the RSPCA.
Rabbits need some fresh dark leafy greens. Cilantro, dandelion greens, wheat grass, some kale now and then... the House Rabbit Society has a good list of appropriate vegetables and fruits to help you.
No onions. And nothing related to onions such as leeks or chives.
You should only feed your rabbit starchy or sugary foods such as carrots or apples in very limited amounts. The rabbit's digestive system is a delicately balanced system, and too much of these foods can cause an imbalance which can have dire consequences.
Next on the feeding-my-rabbit list is food pellets. Choose a food pellet with high fiber content, and stay away from mixes with fruit or other colorful bits. For most rabbits just a quarter cup a day is enough to feed a bunny without making her fat. She will come to learn what time the pellets are coming. She will even do a little dance when she sees the actual scoop nearing her bowl. And she will tell you she could eat lots more pellets, but don't believe her. Stick to the small scoop. Rabbits, just like humans, don't always eat what's best for them.
First and foremost, rabbits eat hay. Adult rabbits are best fed Timothy hay, rabbits under one year of age can have alfalfa hay, and for variety you may offer orchard grass hay, botanical hay, and they seem to really like oat hay if you can find it. The hay provides not only nutrients, but also much needed fiber to keep everything moving, and it helps keep their teeth worn down. So... hay. If nothing else, feed them hay. All they want, all day long.