TILLYS BURROWS

AIMING TO IMPROVE THE STANDARDS OF PET CARE IN THE COMMUNITY

Feeding your Pet

This page shows information on what you can feed your animals covering Rabbits and Rodents. more information will be added in time.

PLEASE DONOT USE THIS INFORMATION FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES THE INFORMATION BELOW IS EXCLUSIVE AND FROM MY UP AND COMMING BOOK AND IS COPYRIGHT PROTECTED.

The guides are read only for informative purposes. No information should be copied, edited, or used to write or create further animal guides, or to sell (commercial purposes) The text strictly remains the work and property of K Gardner.

©KGardner 2011 all rights reserved

CONTENTS OF ANIMAL FEEDS

WHAT DOES THE CONTENT OF YOUR DRY MIXES DO?

 PROTEIN  contains amino acids to promote growth and development
 OIL  This is usually made up of soyabean oil. This ingredient can contain protein and carbohydrates as well as undigestible sugars and in a high volume can cause obesity and digestive discomfort.It also contains small amounts of ash.On the good side it does contain amino acids
 ASH  Ash is as it suggest the burn bits of the mix. It can contain, Calcium, Phosphorus,potassium,sodium and various trace vitamins and minerals. It is good for teeth and bones.But sodium and potassium content must be kept to a minimum and for this to go through the system water should be available at all times to inaid digestion and flushing away traces of these two compounds
 FIBRE  A high fibre diet is essential for rabbits and other herbivores. Fibre maintains a healthy gut and digestion as well as good teeth.certain fibres contain vitamins in the for of fresh spring and summer grass and fibrerous vegetables too
 CALCIUM  Important for teeth and bones. Calcium should not be fed in high levels as bladder stones may occur. It should be part of the diet but not the main source to maintain the health of the animal
 PHOSPHORUS  Helps maintain strong teeth and bones and helps release energy from the food eaten. Too much Phosphorus can result in upset stomachs and reduction in calcium levels causing a possibility of brittle bones
 VIT A  Important for healthy skin,vision,imunity against illnesses.guinea pigs need a higher Vit A intake than other Rabbits and Rodents
 VIT D3  helps with the absorption of calcium and Phosphates and to keep teeth and bones healthy.
 VIT E  Helps protect cell membranes
 VIT B Multi  Release energy from food,maintain the nervous system and strong healthy fur and skin
 COPPER  Helps with absorbing Iron and contributes to pigmentation of the fur, skin and eyes
 CARBOHYDRATES

 This is essential for the Brain function and Neurons.Carbohydrates are also known as Saccharides. The Monosaccahrides are used as an energy source in metabolism. The Polysaccharides are Monosacharides grouped to gether and form Glycogen (Glucose) which is made by the Liver, Muscles, Brain and Stomach. It is used as an energy reserve for when the body suddenly needs Glucose. Other organs in the body use this energy too and The Uterus uses it to nourish the Embro during pregnancy.

 PREBIOTICS  Supports the digestion by combating and supporting the natural bacteria culture in the gut and helping them to grow
 PROBIOTICS  A bacterial culture that stops bad bacteria sticking to the back wall of the gut.The gut bacterial is naturally situated in the gut, but when the animal is stressed,ill or taking antibiotics the bacteria dies and the animal is prone to an upset stomach. A probiotic re-lines the gut with this natural culture

 

RABBIT FEEDING GUIDE

Feeding rabbits betweens weaning and 14 weeks of age

Rabbits of this age should have a diet of junior pellets, plenty of hay and the odd root vegetables. They should not be fed greens or grass at any cost until 14 weeks of age when they should be added slowly to the rabbits diet. Unlike wild rabbits domestic rabbits have a lack of tolerance to greens and the high carbohydrates are one of the offsets of Mucoid Enteritis. The illness can be combated before it even starts by giving a high fibre diet along with little stress to the rabbit when it first comes home. Rabbits in stressful conditions are more prone to this as well. If the Rabbit in the shop looks unhappy and lathargic then do not buy it. Rabbits are naturally inquisitive when approached if they are happy or less stressed. There is always a degree of stress in pet shops, this is unavoidable due to the volume of customers.

 

The amount of dry food you feed your Rabbit depends on the age, weight and breed. Food packaging will have the suggested amounts.
For young Rabbits Fibre should be the number one priority in the form of hay, along with a balanced diet of pellets and fresh vegetables.

Fresh food should be fed daily to both young and adult Rabbits. Feed dry in the morning and fresh food in the evening. If your Rabbit has been grazing in its run for most of the day, it will still need its vegetables for other vitamins and minerals. Grass can only give so much in the way of minerals, these vitamins will be reduced in the autumn.
For adult Rabbits stick to spring greens in limited quantities. 1 leaf each per day with a variety of root vegetables and fruit. Fruit should be no more than the equivalent of a desert spoon a day.

 

Mucoid Enteritis
This condition in seen more commonly in rabbits from 4 weeks to of 14 weeks of age, veterinary advice should be sought immediately.Signs of the illness are:Clear gel like liquid in the faeces, bloat and abdominal pain.Lethargy, depression and dehydration (Skin falls slowly on the back and you can usually feel the spine protrude a little).The intestine ceases to work because of the gel build up in the stomach causing a blockage. The rabbit can also have diarrhoea although it will also be constipated due to the backlog of food in the intestine.Feeding plenty of hay, if the rabbit does not eat then tell the vet immediately who will prescribe a fibre/pro/prebiotic powder to syringe feed your rabbit. It is important that your rabbit is fed as with  other Enteritis to help chances of survival.

Pineapple juice is a good food to syringe feed a rabbit with Mucoid Enteritis as it breaks down the the blockage. Rabbits need critical care 24 hours a day to also help survival and should be fed every 2 hours. Starving a rabbit can lead to organs shutting down.

 Feeding Adult Rabbits

The amount of dry food you feed your rabbit depends on the weight and breed. Food packaging will have the suggested amounts.

Fresh food should be fed daily. I feed my rabbits dry in the morning and fresh food in the evening.

Fresh food should be limited for young rabbits. Too may greens can cause upset tummies. I stick to spring greens in limited quantities. 1 leaf each per day with a variety of root vegetables and fruit. Fruit should be no more than the equivalent of a desert spoon a day

 

A rabbits dry diet should contains a different amount of ingredients
 to that of a guinea pig.
Therefore a rabbit pellet is not a good source of nutrition for guinea pigs
Another reason for not feeding Guinea pigs a rabbit pellet is some contain Coccidiostats and other antibiotics that are toxic to Guinea Pigs


Protein 12-14%
Oil 4-5%
Ash 6-7.5%
Fibre 16-17%
Calcium 0.90%
Phosphorous 0.51%
Vitamin A 15,00iu/kg
Vitamin D3 1,500iu/kg
Vitamin E  100mg/kg

 

Hay

This is important in any rabbits diet. This is the fibre in the diet and without this rabbits will have stomach upsets. Sticky bottom syndrome is one of them.

Another good form of fibre is toasted brown bread. If this is burnt a little it will help to combat upset stomachs.

 

Dry Food


There are plenty of Rabbit mixes available at your local pet store. But it is better to feed a pellet rather than a muesli mix. This stops selective feeding and pelleted diets are more balanced and contain prebiotics for a healthy digestive system and anti oxidants to support the immune system. A good make of pellet is also high in fibre for the digestive system.
The one I use does a junior version, which also contains a probiotic as young Rabbits are prone to Mucoid Enteritis and the prebiotics help combat stomach upsets. Young Rabbit pellets should have a minimum of 18% Fibre. As they reach adult hood they should be put on an adult food and fed less of the pellets to combat obesity and illnesses, which can occur through the wrong balance of food.

 

Probiotics:

A bacterial culture that stop bad bacteria from sticking to the gut wall.

The good bacteria is naturally situated in the gut, but when a rabbit is stressed, ill or taking antibiotics the good bacteria disappears and the rabbit is prone to upset stomachs.   This culture will combat the problem.

Prebiotics:

 

FRESH FOOD FOR RABBITS 

Help feed the good bacteria in the gut and help them to grow

 

FRUIT (FEED SPARINGLY)

Apples

 HERBS  

Oregano

 VEGETABLES 

Asparagus

 FLOWERS

Marigolds

WHAT NOT TO FEED!

Potatoes and their tops and peel 

 Apricots

 Mint

 Brocolli

 Asters

 Tomato leaves

 Bananas

 Rosemary

 Brussel sprouts

 Daisies

 Plum leaves

 Blackberries and their leaves

 Chives

 Spring greens

 Geraniums

 Peach leaves

 Blueberries

 dill

 carrots and their tops

 Nasturtiums

 Bulbous plants

 Cherries

 Sage

 Caulifouwer plus leaves

 Stocks

 Evergreen shrubs

 Grapes

 Camomile

 Celery plus leaves

 Sunflowers

 Evergreen trees/conifers

 Kiwi

Nettles

 Cucumber

 Wallflowers

 Ivy

 Mango

 Parsley

 Fennel

 Clendula

 Foxglove

 Peeled oranges

 Coltsfoot

 Green & red pepper

 Hollyhock

 Lettuce (see notes below)

 Peaches

 Thyme

 Kale

 Michaelmus daisy

 Rhubarb and their leaves

 Pineapple

 

 Parsnip

 

 Apple pips

 Plums but not the branches or leaves

 GRASSES

 peas in their pods

 

 

 Raspberries and their leaves

 bamboo

 Pumpkins

 

 

 Strawberries and their leaves

 Timothy Hay

 Radish tops

 

 

 Tomatoes but not their leaves

 Rye Grass

 

 

 

SCROLL DOWN TO GUINEA PIGS FOR FURTHER FOODS TO FEED

LACTICARIUM: Some varieties of lettuce contain an ingredient called lactucin which comes from lactucarium. This is contained in the sap of the plant as a milky-watery subtance. This is also known as lettuce opium as it gives a drugged affect and is toxic to rabbits. In home grown lettuces one of the highest contents is found in the Romaine lettuce. Other varieties not to feed are iceberg which clearly has the sap in the stalks.If this varieties has been sprayed with pesticides it also has the tendancy to absorg the pesticides leaving it more toxic than the lactucin.
The actual lactucarium sap is found in wild lettuces.
Lettuce is also known to bloat rabbits and cause diahorrea so is best fed in small quantities if at all, in kits it can even lead to mucoid enteritis if the kits are in the wrong environment and are stressed. Lettuce should not be the main part of the rabbits diet, but various other veg as discribed on my animal diet information page. 
Domestic rabbits systems vary and are not like their wild rabbit cousins systems as the domestic rabbit has been genetically modified to give modern breeds hence more weaknesses with the intestinal systems and digestion.
Crossbred rabbits are even more affected and are more prone to dental problems too as are badly bred pure breeds and the dwarf and holland lop breeds.

FOR RABBITS ON A LOW CALCIUM DIET

Calcium is present in a wide range of foods. Dairy products, leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds (almonds, brazils, sesame seeds), tofu, and dried fruit are all  sources of Calcium.
A CALCIUM CONTENT GUIDE IS AVAILABLE ON THE GUINEA PIG FEEDING GUIDE PAGE WHICH FOLLOWS ON FROM THIS GUIDE
Most flour is fortified with calcium carbonate.
Hard water may also provide calcium.
It is important that your rabbit gets vitamin D to absorb calcium in its diet

FEEDING LACTATING DOE'S (DOES WITH YOUNG)

Doe's that have recently given birth, should have thier diet increased. They should be put on a lactating pellet and plenty of vegetables and hay to be able to care and feed their young. Doe's can loose weight tremendously if they are not fed enough and thier bodys can then stop producing enough milk to feed their young.
Doe's should also have a vitamin suppliment, like Vitasol added to their water to make sure they are getting all the correct vitamins

WEANING KITS
Kits wean at around 4-5 weeks of age. at weaning the doe and kits should be fed plenty of food and hay, but the kits should not be fed greens until 14 weeks of age.(see the first paragraph)
Kits are best given new homes around 8 to 10 weeks. The longer this is left the better for the kits as they can naturally learn rabbit behaviour fron their mum and the litter. This is important, especially if you are plannig to introduce the rabbit to another rabbit.

©kaygardner2008 all rights reserved

 

GUINEA PIGS FEEDING GUIDE

©K Gardner 2011 all rights reserved

Guinea Pigs are Herbivores and are natural grazers. To maintain a healthy diet they must have the following:

A good pelleted diet such as Guinea Pig Excel, which contains vitamin C. Guinea Pigs should not be given Rabbit pellets as they do not contain a substantial amount of nutrients and do also sometimes contain coccidiostats aimed at the disease Coccidiosis in Rabbits.

An average bag of guinea Pig food should have the following approximate nutritional information

Protein 17-18%
Oil 4%
Ash 6- 6.5%
Fibre 14-15%
Calcium 0.8%
Phosphorous 0.5%
Vitamin A 22,000iu/kg
Vitamin D3 1,250iu/kg
Vitamin E * 100mg/kg
Vitamin C 800mg/kg
Copper ** 15mg/kg

To compliment this a vitamin C suppliment should be added to the water as vitamin C deteriorates fast from the time of maufacturer so there may be only a few weeks good supply of Vitamin C in a large bag of Guinea pig food. By Supplimenting the food you are covering this fact.
Vitamin C is extremely important to have in a Guinea Pigs diet as they cannot produce their own.
Guinea Pigs who do not obtain enough vitamin C in their diet end uo ill and have problems with thier immune system and painful bone /joint problems such as a disease similar to rickets.

Grass is another source of vitamin C and Guinea Pigs should have as much time as possible on in a run,grazing, in the spring and summer months when the grass is at its best.

As well as dry food, a constant supply of hay is important as Guinea pigs like rabbits need a high fibre diet.

Fruit and Vegetables are important to supply each day for other nutrients.
Vitamin C is present in many fresh foods the list is supplied on the next page.

Calcium intake should be monitored in fresh foods as too much can increase the chance of bladder stones.
The next page will also give a guide to foods containing calcium. You will notice that the ones that contain the most are mainly green vegetables, therefore green vegetable intake must be monitored more carefully and should be balanced with other fresh veg and fruit daily.

VITAMIN C IN VEGETABLES CALCIUM IN VEGETABLES
red peppers spinach
parsley dill
kale turnip greens
broccoli Dandelion leaves
green peppers parsley
Brussels sprouts kale
dill watercress
turnip greens beet greens
cauliflower pak choi
pak choi mustard greens
watercress chicory greens
dandelion leaves endive
peas with their pods broccoli including leaves and stalks
cabbage green Cabbage and red cabbage
beetroot Brussels sprouts
spinach mushrooms
sweet potato celery
turnip sweet potato leaves
tomato green beans
green beans parsnips
asparagus radish
Swede peas with their pods
carrots turnips
pumpkin carrots
celery Savoy cabbage
cucumber sweet potato
Sweetcorn aubergine
cress cauliflower
untreated grass asparagus
pumpkin
beets
cucumber
red and green peppers
tomato
chives
the item at the top has the highest contents The items at the top has the highest content
200-40mg per 100g 300-50mg per 100g
39-15mg per 100g 49-20mg per 100g
14-5mg per 100g 19-5mg per 100g

CALCIUM IN FRUIT VITAMIN C IN FRUIT
raisins kiwi
oranges papaya
blackberries strawberries
papaya oranges
raspberries grapefruit
cherries mango
strawberries honeydew melon
apricots blackberries
grapefruit pineapple
pears blueberries
grapes grapes
mango apricots
watermelon raspberries
pineapple plum
apples banana
bananas cherries
blueberries peach
peaches apple
plums pear
raisins
The item at the top has the highest content The item at the top has the highest content
50-30 mg per 100g 100-20mg per 100g
29-15mg per 100g 19-10mg per 100g
14-4mg per 100g 9-3mg per 100g

 

POISONOUS PLANTS VEGETABLES
adult dock leaves artichokes
bindweed asparagus
box beetroot
buttercups broccoli and their leaves
celendine brussels sprouts
deadly nightshade cabbage
dogs mercury carrots
elder cauliflower and leaves
foxgloves celeriac
hemlock celery
honey suckle chicory
horse chestnut chives
horsetails coltsfoot
laburnum cress
laurel cucumber
lilly of the valley dill
lord and ladies endives
monkshood green beans
poppies kale
privit mint
ragwort mushrooms
raw potatoes parsley
rhubarb and their leaves parsnips
scarlet pimpernel peas
sorrel pumpkin
spurge red and green peppers
wood anemone rosemary
yew tree sage
spinach
WILD PLANTS Swede
Sweetcorn
Blackberry brambles thyme
Dandelions tomato
dock leaves (young turnip greens
grass turnips
groundsel watercress
Nettles watermelon
plantain
sheperds purse

FRUIT
apples
bananas
grapes
kiwi
melon
oranges
pears
raspberries

strawberries

 

 

              RODENT DIET INFORMATION                

 WITH ALL SPECIES,ALWAYS MAKE SURE WATER IS AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES IN A HANGING WTER BOTTLE. IF POSSIBLE PROVIDE A VITAMIN SUPPLIMENT IN THEIR WATER LIKE VITASOL

HAMSTERS

The main diet of your hamster should consist of a good quality high protein dry mix. These mixes are already balanced and come in pre-packed bags from you local pet store. attempting to mix your own dry food could result in an un balanced diet and lack of vitamins and minerals leading to health problems. Avoid sharp or sticky foods as Hamsters cheek pouches can be damaged by them.

QUALITY

A good quality mix should consist of: alfalfa pellets, maize,wheat biscuits, oats, beans, flat peas ,peanuts and sunflower seeds. The sunflower seeds and peanuts should not be of large quantities in the mix because of a high fat content. Some mixes contain dry fruit which should also be to a smaller amount in the mix due to high sugar contents

Fill the hamsters dish with dry food. The hamster will bury most of this food in a corner of the cage for eating later, so donot refill the bowl until the contents have actually been eaten.

Along with dry food your hamster can be fed sparingly on dried fruit, fresh fruit and vegetables. Lettuces should be avoided as should over ripe fruit which can cause stomach upsets. Also human chocolate should never be given.Fresh food should be washed and in good condition and should be fed every 3-4 days in tiny amounts, just enough for the Hamster to eat and not store as stored fresh food can go off quickly and can cause illnesses. Hamsters can also eat dandelion leaves,watercress,raspberry and strawberry leaves.

Treats in the form of seed sticks can be fed as part of maintaining the length of the Hamsters teeth, wooden gnaws or mini hide chew sticks sold in petshops should also be available to chew on. Hamsters teeth constantly grow so it is important that you provide gnawing equiptment and only that which has been manufacturered safely for your Hamster.Hay can also be provided for gnawing and fibre in their diet which promotes good digestion.

YOUNG HAMSTERS WEANING

Can be fed a very shallow dish of porridge oats/ready break, mixed with milk, to deep a dish can cause drowning it might be an idea to use a reptile feeding tray which are very shallow. This encourages extra calcium into the diet. young hamsters will wean onto dry food in their own time and will copy mum.some litters may take a little longer to adapt than others. Make sure there is plenty of dry food, a little fresh and water in the cage when weaning to make sure everyone gets their fair share of food.

SEE GUINEA PIG FRESH FOOD LIST  FOR THINGS TO FEED YOUR HAMSTER

HIGH PROTEIN DIET

Hamsters need a high protein diet which can be given fresh in the form of cooked meats like chicken or a little bit of egg boiled. These should also be fed sparingly.

HAMSTER DIET DRY FOOD CONTENTS GUIDE

 Protein 14-15%
 Oil 6-7%
 ash 5-6%
 Fibre 9-11%
 Vitamin A 11.500-12.000
 Vitamin D3 1.400-1.600
 Vitamin E 50-60
 prebiotics to help maintain gut bacteria

MICE

You can feed a good quality hamster mix to mice with little peanuts and sunflower seeds due to the fat content. Their nutritional needs are about the same as Hamsters although greens should be fed very sparingly and hay should be provided as they need a high fibre content in their diet to inaid digestion. cheese should also be fed sparingly. They do not eat very much at all and will bury some of their food. Mice can easily get fat so a solid exercise wheel is a must. They should have plenty of water and gnaws provided for their teeth constantly grow.

GERBILS

Feed as with mice

RATS

Rats need a varied diet which includes a good Rat dry food like Reggie rat or Supa Rat Excel, along with pieces of cooked chicken, or pieces of cat or dog food. Their intake is a bit more than that of Hamsters Mice and Gerbils (2oz a day at adult size), and they can get over weight quickly if they do not have the correct exercise and diet.

Young rats between 6 and 12 weeks of age need a higher protein diet due to their rapid growth rate which slows down after this period.

Human foods like cakes and sweet and anything fatty should be avoided. They also like vegetables, grain and fruit(insmall quantities) hamster food should also be avoided as is does not contain a substantial amount of nutrients for a rat.

As with all rodents gnaws in the form of wooden of hide chew should be provided for them to keep their teeth trim.

RAT NUTRITON INFORMATION

 Protein 16-17%
 Oils & Fats 7-8%
 Ash 3-4%
 Fibre 3-4%
 Vitamin A 11.000
 Vitamin D3 1.500
 Vitamin E 100-120mg/kg
 Vitamin C 50-60mg/kg
 Copper 20-25mg/kg
 Prebiotics to maintain a healthy diegestive system

DEGUS

Degus MUST be fed a low sugar diet as they can develop diabetes on high sugar diets. Diabetes in degus can lead to blindness.

A proper Degu mix must therefore be bought like that done by Zooplus which is low in sugar and fats. If you cannot get this buy chinchilla pellets THAT DO NOT CONTAIN MOLLASES if possible, else feed more sparingly with more green forages such as hay and grasses,and dark green vegetables such as broccoli and spring greens. Burgess Guinea pig Excel pellets make a good diet.

Root vegetable treats in very small quantities are ok,avoid peanuts and black sunflower seeds. White stripe sunflower seeds can be given as a treat in very small quantites. Fruit should be avoided due to the sugar contents. Hay should  be provided at all times as should wooden chews to keep thier teeth trim.

CHINCHILLAS

A good staple diet of Hay and chinchilla pellets should be provided. An adult Chinchilla will eat about 2oz of food a day.

Treats should be fed sparingly. Sunflower seeds, fruit,cereal and raisins included. Do not feed peanuts

Water should be provided in a bottle at a place where it does not drip on the chinchillas fur. Chinchillas fur is different from rabbit or other rodents fur is not a good mix with water and can cause health problems.

CHIPMUNKS

A good staple diet of chipmunk dry food like Burgess Supa Chipmunk or a quality hamster food along with some extruded dog food (dry biscuits) to provide animal protein. You can also provide dry or live mealworms as another animal protein source and egg. Fresh foods as with other rodents should be fed sparingly

CHIPMUNK NUTRITION INFORMATION

 Protein 14%
 Oil 18-19%
 Ash 3-4%
 Fibre 4-5%
 Vitamin A 8.000
 Vitamin D3 1.100-1.200
 Vitamin E 25-30