The large New Zealand white rabbit is unmistakable with his white coat and bright red or pink eyes. These traits make the "NZW" stand out from other breeds; however, the diet of the New Zealand white rabbit is the same as almost any other rabbit in captivity.
Types of Food
In captivity, the New Zealand Rabbit generally eats a quality pelleted feed from a local pet store. The pellets help keep the rabbits' constantly growing teeth worn down. The feed must have at least 15 percent crude protein and around 10.8 percent to 13.3 percent digestible protein, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization website. The pellets contain numerous amino acids, vitamins including A, B, C, D, E and K, and minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium. They require roughage in the form of hay, such as alfalfa or timothy. Providing unlimited roughage helps keep your rabbit’s digestive system working properly.
As a general rule, New Zealand white rabbits eat between 100 and 300 grams of feed per day, or 50 grams per 1 kilogram of body weight daily, according to the University of Milwaukee. This rabbit’s water intake is generally between 100 and 600 milliliters per day. When deprived of water, the rabbit may stop eating. Lactating and nursing does require more food and water than usual -- about twice as much.
The rabbit's habitat temperature controls how often and how much he eats. Between 61 and 72 degrees is an appropriate temperature. As the temperature rises, the New Zealand white may feed less, losing nutrients. For instance, the FAO website states that at 50 degrees the white rabbit eats 20 percent less food than at 86 degrees but increases his water intake by up to 6 grams.
Size and Growth
The New Zealand white rabbit is broad and muscular, and generally larger than other rabbit breeds when full-grown. The buck or male tops out around 8 to 10 pounds; the doe or female reaches 9 to 12 pounds. The New Zealand white rabbit generally has between four and 10 babies at a time. They are the size of mice when born but grow fast and start eating solid food at 3 weeks old.
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