Feeding a Continental Giant a proper, consistent diet will largely determine how healthy your rabbit is. While some Conti’s may vary per individual size and appetite levels, the general rule of thumb is “the more the better.” In fact, these big bunnies require unlimited fresh water, and they can and often will eat 6 to 12 cups of high quality pellets per day. Conti’s should also be given unlimited hay. This is especially true with pregnant and nursing does. It is common for a doe on a litter to eat as much as double the amount that she normally eats. Don’t forget to also offer additional amounts of hay once the kits also begin eating solid food. You’ll need to also increase the amount of pellets as the kits begin munching from mom’s bowl. Additionally, they love the occasional fruit & willow tree twigs to chew on. Feeding moderate amounts of rabbit-safe veggies and fruits are also fine, after the kits are at least 4 months old. However, the more food they get, the more exercise they should also have. After all, a FAT bunny is not a healthy bunny.
The best hay to offer, every day, for nursing does and young kits is an Alfalfa/Timothy mix or Alfalfa/Orchard Grass mix. Offering straight Alfalfa may be too rich which may cause unhealthy obesity. Once the kits are ready to be weaned, the hay should be slowly switched to a Timothy/Orchard Grass mix. The reason for this is because of the protein and fiber content amounts that are in pellets. While it is important to be consistent with feeding hay, daily, the flip-side is that ‘too much of a good thing could become a bad thing.’
The brand of pellets you use is not what will or will not make a great rabbit. The important thing to remember is to be certain the pellets you buy are freshly milled and contain proper nutrients. Ideally, you will want a blend that offers Calcium in the approximate value of 1+%, with a 15-18% Protein, and have the highest Fiber content available. Fiber content is very important to Giant breeds of rabbits. It plays a vital role in aiding gut mobility and proper intestinal functions. Additionally, lack of fiber is a main cause for various forms of bloat-related health problems.
Providing your nursing does and kits with a moderate amount of fresh, daily Willow Tree leaf’s and twigs will promote good dental health, and it acts as a natural wormer. Otherwise, chewing also helps alleviate boredom which could result in fur-chewing between liter-mates.
GOOD TREATS (in moderation):
Kale, Spinach, Oats, Barley, Black Oil Sunflower Seeds, Dandelion Greens, Apples, Bananas, Strawberries, Raspberries, Sweet Potato, Beet Tops, Carrots, Romaine Lettuce, Papaya, Pumpkin, Parsley, Pineapple, Bell Peppers, Clover, Watercress, Grapes, Grapevine leaves, Bok Choy, Cucumber, Tomato, Cheerios, Shredded Wheat, & Zuccinni
BAD TREATS(not safe!):
Iceburg Lettuce, White Potato, Rice, Sugary or Starchy Foods, Melon, Any Fruit with Seeds, & Nuts