Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday Bunday: food ball demos

After reading a post from The Rabbit House, Rabbits3 decided it was time to have more fun with food, plus they want to try out for the BunSoccer League. So, with the aid of my credit card, they purchased some food balls ( actually they are called Snacky Snack balls but we don't put snacks in them...) from HERE. You could think of food balls as a sort of rolling pez dispenser for pellets. The pellets are paced in the ball through a half circle door. At first I left this all the way open so they would get the idea that you have to roll the ball and the pellets drop out. Now that skills are being mastered I close it up to about half way so they have to work a little harder.

video
Tyler gives a short demo how to demo on how to "nose" the ball.

Why not just have the bowl of pellets? Having read the aforementioned post I did begin to think about this. Firstly, I am entirely guilty of making life easy for the Rabbits3 as far as food goes. Doubtless a habit leftover from my care giving years with Bandit, who required special food at regular intervals. Young healthy buns can take a challenge! Secondly, from a health standpoint it is better for the gut of the rabbit not to be inundated with pellets all at once. As we all know GI Stasis is the number health problem in the rabbit community. Certainly in the wild a rabbit's feeding habit is a here and there sort of affair. Of course we do not have wild rabbits, but their digestive system is basically the same. Plus pellets are not a natural food; nutrient dense they require really very little chewing compared to the amount of chewing required for the same nutrients obtained from grass or foliage, fresh or dried. Just as in humans, digestion starts in the mouth with mixing enzymatic rich saliva with the food to start the process of cellular breakdown (digestion). Are the pellets eaten en masse receiving their required dose of saliva for proper breakdown? This is just me thinking, there is no study on this as far as I know and I could be absolutely full of doots.

video
Sydney show her technique for extracting pellets from the ball. She calls it "delegation". Amelia calls it something else.

We got three extra balls as give-a-way! To be eligible you need to have a rabbit and you need to let me know in the comments that you want to be in the drawing. Winners will be announced next Bunday.

15 comments:

Tamsin said...

Wow, they worked those out quickly! I'm glad to have passed the coolness of the food ball on. Sydney may get thrown out of the BunSoccer League for cheating though, lol.

What you say about digestion makes sense. It's not very natural for them to suddenly eat a large quantity of dry food. It's going to be sucking up the moisture in their gut too.

Annette F. Tait said...

what amazingly fast learners they are! (anything for food eh??)
Arabella and Wesley have a huge big blue egg and once Arabella attacked it and was zonked back (it has a weighted base), so it is really out of flavour and gathering dust!
They would love to enter your draw - balls look more fun than eggs - Arabella likes Sydney's chewing style! and Wesley is really impressed with Amelia's strong ear balancing!
thank you :)

Annette F. Tait said...

Tamsin has a great blog! and just love this entry - must try this at home!!
http://www.therabbithouse.com/blog/2009/05/18/yellow-pages-rabbits-carpet-chewing/#more-26

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

That is new And keeping them busy while entertaining. Good thought thought by the Snacky Snack balls inventor. Cheers.

Michelle (Shell) May said...

Too cute! They do great with those. I think Razzy and Sugar would like a ball. They do pretty good with eating pellets. They eat some and then go take a nap or a poop and then come back and eat some more. Sugie seems to like the pellets more than Razzy does.

Christina said...

Oh these are grand videos. I can tell who is boss around your place. We feed a very minimal supply of pellets mixed with oats. You are so right. Pellets arent a natural food to bunnies.

Rabbits' Guy said...

We want to enter. One ball - 10 rabbits! Woot!!! We'll figure something out if we win.

Some bunny scored a basket there ... that deserves a treat!!!

bunnygirl said...

Cadbury wants in! He also wants to know when the BunSoccer League tryouts are, so he can practice.

momcat said...

The bunnies 'nose' what to do!

Cara said...

Silver would like to be in your drawing.
With horses, as with buns, they are eating in an un-natural way. In the winter, especially, we worry that they will not drink enough water and the food will form plugs in the intestine that can be fatal. We make sure that there is good access to water and we add salt to the food to make them thirsty. Make sure there is good access to salt.

divakitty said...

Orlando is insanely jealous that the Rabbits3 get pellets. I remind him that his nickname is 'chunk boy' for a reason... and then he gets a dried fig.

Sarah said...

Binkies!! Put us in the drawing please!

Andrewbun & Mom

Paula said...

I think Sydney needs to lay off of the eyeliner. She looks like a bunhussy (well, that's what Amelia told me).

Lisa said...

Great idea D. I need to get one of these, as my bunnies were determined to be overweight by the vet, and have a habit of immediately gobbling up their pellet breakfast every morning. You're absolutely right; as a grazing species this is extremely unhealthy. What a fantastic solution.

Thanks D!

RoadBunner said...

I am catching up on blogs! Mario has one of the dispensers. I haven't used it in a bit. I used to put the pellets in there, too. You have great points and I think I should start using it again :) When he was younger he would INHALE his pellets. In his older age he grazes on them more than he used to.