Does feeding need to be corrected? And in which direction(s)?
Where I am now:
I have two rabbits born end of Feb 2016. Siblings, one male (castrated) and one female. They are both small for their age. I got them from a rescue place. The person I got them from said they have a genetic defect whereby they will grow slowly.
During the first few weeks I owned them I learned the muesli style pellets (muesli plus pellets) was not good for them, so I weaned them onto 100% pellets in a week. No problems there.
For the rabbits I provide the following daily amounts combined (not each).
Approx equal volumes of hay and greens. Total volume approx the same as the volume of the rabbits.
The greens comprise approximately equal amounts of nettles, young blackberry runners and dandelion leaves with some white clover in lesser amounts. Once a week I’ll go to the nearby fields and collect a large bag of these, mix them up and store them in the fridge.
70g pellets (recently increased from half that amount). Pellets are Vitakraft Emotion - I just realised these are for dwarf rabbits.
4 blackberries - either fresh off the bush, else from the freezer as I froze this year´s glut of blackberries.
1 tablespoon ripe nectarine or apple - fresh or frozen.
A small cucumber cut into 4 pieces lengthwise (usually about 10cm long, diameter 3 - 4cm).
Occasional amounts of any of celery leaves and stalks, lemon basil, peppermint, broccoli leaves, radish tops (all taken from our garden).
They have a 7 square metre circular run I improvised by wrapping 10m of chicken wire round the garden trampoline. It provides both space and shade. I used to move food from their hay rack in their main hutch to this play area, but I have stopped that now. I want them to eat the grass. They will eat grass. But not much during the day. They seem to like grass more if I pull a few strands and feed them through the chicken wire.
They don´t seem to be addicted to the pellets. That is, they will nibble on them and move on but they are usually eaten in 24 hours.
They will eat everything, but the hay only sparingly. So that means everything I give them is eaten, except the hay. I drop in some food in the morning around 07:30, and replenish in the evening, 19:00 to 20:00. In the morning they seem hungry, and know they are going to get their breakfast, but overnight they only eat the greens.
I have tried hay I made myself from fresh meadow plants (which I think is superior to anything I have bought, but only because it is still green :P ), nameless hay from the local supermarket, and I just took delivery of some Timothy Hay, “meadow hay” and also some dried dandelion leaves (intended as a reserve for the winter, provided they eat these).
So far I have given them only the Timothy hay, and they didn't seem to be impressed by it.
Where do I need to be?
Are they getting enough fibre from the greens I am giving them? But what about winter when there are no fresh greens like this?
Enough protein, minerals and vitamins?
How can I get them to eat more hay?