When you are considering getting a fluffy bunny, it’s essential to make sure you can afford the pet rabbit and take care of all their needs, which includes their dietary requirements. Rabbits constantly chew on hay, and they also need to be fed twice a day. So how much does rabbit feed cost?
Feeding your pet rabbit depends on the rabbit’s age and weight, where you buy the feed, and the feed quality. In general, expect to pay $90-$100 monthly for your 2-3 pound rabbit feed: hay ($30), pellets ($5), veggies ($45), and treats ($10). If you are raising rabbits for meat, it’ll cost you $4.65-$6.30 per fryer.
Let’s get more into the topic of how much rabbit food will cost you and give you a detailed breakdown so you can work out your budget.
What Is the Standard Feed for Rabbits?
The standard feed for rabbit are:
- High-quality hay – available in unlimited quantities every day
- Rabbit-friendly pellets – feed twice a day according to your rabbit’s weight
- Leafy greens – feed twice a day with the pellets, include 2-3 varieties
- High-calorie veggies and fruit – feed sparingly and only used as treats and for training purposes
- Water – available all throughout the day
In essence, grass hay comprises 80% of a rabbit’s diet, leafy greens 10%, pellets 5% and treats 0-5%.
How Much Food Can Rabbits Eat?
How much food your bun eats depends on their age and weight.
The doe nurses her kits (baby rabbits) for around 6-8 weeks; however, by the age of 2 to 3 weeks, the kits start to nibble on rabbit-friendly pellets or alfalfa hay.
When the kits are 7 weeks old, you can introduce an unlimited supply of pellets and alfalfa hay.
At the 3-month mark, introduce fresh leafy greens into their diet. Wean them off the unlimited supply of pellets so they only get pellets twice a day.
Leafy Greens, Pellets, and Treats by Rabbit Weight
So how many pellets, leafy greens, and treats should a rabbit eat according to its weight?
For every pound of weight, your rabbit needs to eat ½ cup of leafy greens.
Here’s how much leafy greens your bun should eat per day (so divide the amount into 2 for 2 meals, one in the early morning and one in the early evening) according to their weight:
- 1 pound – ½ cup
- 2 pounds – 1 cup
- 3 pounds – 1.5 cups
Your rabbit should eat 1 tablespoon of rabbit-friendly pellets for every pound of body weight.
Here’s how many pellets you should feed your rabbit daily (like with the leafy greens, divide the amount in 2 for 2 meals) according to your bun’s weight:
- 1 pound – 1 tablespoon
- 2 pounds – 2 tablespoons
- 3 pounds – 3 tablespoons
Treats (Fruits and High-Calorie Veggies)
Treats include veggies that are high in calories and fruits. Be sure to not overfeed these as it leads to obesity and various health complications.
Feed 1 teaspoon of treats per pound of weight to your bun when you are litter training, obstacle course training, or just because your fluffy bunny is being cutesy.
Here’s how many treats your rabbit should eat per day according to their body weight:
- 1 pound – 1 teaspoon
- 2 pounds – 2 teaspoons
- 3 pounds – 1 tablespoon
Rabbit Feed Costs
Ultimately, how much your rabbit feed costs depends on how much your rabbit weighs.
There are some once-off feeding costs when you get a pet bunny. You need a few food bowls, a hay dispenser, and water bowls or water bottles.
- Food bowls: $10-$25 each; consider the Choco Nose Patented Removable Heart Shaped Food Bowl, Ethical Stainless Steel Coop Cup, or Flexzion Stainless Steel Bowl No Tip Rubber Base
- Hay dispenser: $8-$32 each; consider a Rabbit Hay Feeder Bag, the Andwe Hay Feeder Less Wasted Wooden Food Feeding Rack or Niteangel Pet Wooden Hay Manger
- Water bowls/bottles: $10-$20; consider the Lixit Reversible Waterer/Feeder, Kathson Rabbit Water Bottle, Choco Nose Patented No-Drop Water Bottle, or CalPalmy Food and Water Bowl
Hay works out cheaper if you can buy a square bale from a local farmer than if you buy smaller quantities from reputable stores or online.
High-quality 3rd cutting Timothy hay from Small Pet Select costs $6.49 for 12 ounces or $79.99 for 40 pounds. There are various other quantities you can order, and you get a discount when you have a monthly, recurring order.
On average, a 2-3 pound rabbit eats 13 ounces of hay a week. You then need 52 ounces (3.25 pounds) of hay per month for that 2-3 pound rabbit, costing you around $30 per month (but this depends on where you buy your hay from, what type of hay you buy, and, again, how much your bun weighs).
The cost of the rabbit pellets will depend on what brand you buy, where you buy it from, and how much your rabbit weighs.
Let’s work on a 3-pound rabbit. They eat 3 tablespoons of pellets a day, which is 21 tablespoons (1⅓ cup) per week, or 5.2 cups per month. That’s 1.3 pounds.
If you buy Kaytee Food from The Wild Natural Pet Rabbit Food, which is an ultra-premium pellet, you pay $13.99 for 4 pounds. The pack should last you about 3 months, making your monthly cost for rabbit pellets about $5.
Vegetables and Treats
Rabbits eat various leafy green veggies, herbs, and treats (high-sugar veggies and fruit).
On average, you can budget to spend around $40-$50 per month on vegetables and around $10 per month on treats for your bun.
If you grow your own herbs, greens, veggies, and fruit, it’ll be cheaper. And if you buy rabbit treats, it’ll cost you a bit more, depending on what you buy and from where.
Tips on How to Feed Your Rabbit
Some tips on how to feed your rabbit:
- Feed your rabbit in the early morning and early evening when they are most active. Remember, rabbits are crepuscular animals most active during dusk and dawn.
- Get a hay dispenser so your rabbit doesn’t use the hay in their cage as their litter, bedding, and food.
- If you litter train your rabbit, make sure to place a hay dispenser by the litter box, or get a two-in-one.
- Ensure your rabbit has access to clean, drinking water all day, every day. They should also have access to unlimited high-quality hay that isn’t moldy or contains harmful weeds.
- Thoroughly rinse the herbs and leafy greens for your bun and leave some of the water on the veggies to up your rabbit’s water intake.
- Feed treats sparingly.
- Only buy pellets that are meant for rabbits – but even those labeled “for rabbits” aren’t always the best. Rabbit pellets should contain a minimum of 18% fiber, a minimum of 12-14% protein, and less than 3% fat.
My Last Bunny Thoughts
Raising a pet bunny isn’t cheap – yes, they are small and cute, but they need to eat high-quality hay and pellets and fresh food like leafy greens, herbs, veggies, and fruit every day to ensure they stay healthy.
Food for a pet rabbit costs on average $90 per month, and that’s for an adult, 2-3 pound rabbit. It’ll be less for a rabbit under the age of 3 months and more for a mature rabbit that weighs 3+ pounds.
On the other hand, if you have a homestead or a farm and are raising meat rabbits, expect the total cost to be $4.65-$6.30 to raise a fryer before it’s slaughtered.