Yesterday I wrote about diet challenges with Tigger. Shadow has been a completely different bunny when it comes to eating. He hopped into our lives a couple of months after Tigger and has been such an easygoing little fellow.
We call him “Buddy” and “Bubba”, because he is such a personable little guy to hang out with. For the most part, you put food in front of him and he will eat what he needs. He doesn’t over or under do it. He has always loved to race around, so has maintained a sleek athletic figure throughout his life.
There is only one recurring diet challenge with Shadow. The poor bunny has seasonal allergies. During the spring and fall seasons, he will sneeze and swallow a lot. So you know he has a post nasal drip going on. During those seasons, he gets a bit skinny. I know from personal experience, it is hard to eat when your nose is stuffed up. So after allergy seasons, we make sure Shadow gets a bit more food than usual to gain back lost weight.
Shadow appreciates and savours his food. He also has some well developed tastes. He loves bananas. If I crack the peel on a banana and turn around, I will find him right behind me begging for a piece. Tigger loves bananas too, but Shadow actually hears that first snap of the peel and comes running. Tigger only comes after she smells the banana.
He also gets particular tastes for things in mind. We have given the rabbits dried fruit pieces as treats. Sometimes Shadow will have a particular flavor he wants. One time Blaine put a dried raspberry down in front of Shadow. He sniffed it and looked back up at Blaine. Then Blaine put down a piece of dried mango. Shadow looked at it and then looked right back up at Blaine. So Blaine put down a blueberry. Shadow wolfed it down. Nothing but a blueberry would do that evening.
Shadow stays active, so he needs more food than Tigger. That can make feeding time difficult. We have to make sure the bunny who needs more gets more while keeping the dieting bunny from getting too much. At meal times they will be in the kitchen pushing and shoving each other to get to the plate or treat first. Tigger is literally throwing her weight around. Sometimes we put two plates down on opposite sides of the room to keep them from fussing so much with each other over the salad greens. Other times we have to station ourselves as guards to keep Tigger from hassling Shadow and taking more than her diet allows.
It is a balancing act when you have multiple rabbits who have different dietary needs. We have done lots of reading over the years and had good veterinary input. By following guidelines to the best of our ability, we have been rewarded with two rabbits who are now both 10 years old.