Posted by sean on June 1, 2020 at 10:00 pm in Rabbits with No Comments


Poor Roman has been behaving rather strangely these past few days. I wouldn’t say that he is off his food, but he is off his food!

He normally devours his lunch and evening meals, but we found him to be very picky with what was placed in his bowl.

It was time to investigate what the problem was. We needed the veterinary skills of James Herriot, the detective prowess of Miss Marple, and the culinary know-how of Fanny Cradock.

I’VE ALWAYS KNOWN ROMAN TO BE ONE TEET SHORT OF AN UDDER.

Romy had not eaten his nuggets – small dried pellets, easily mistaken for rabbit droppings – for a few days. He then stopped eating his fresh vegetables! That’s when we got worried.

Detective Claire and I came up with a theory that there may be a problem with the nuggets. We considered the possibility that they had turned bad. Interestingly, the bag containing his bunny food had only recently been opened.

If the nuggets smelt or tasted like they had gone off, there was a strong chance that Roman would not only avoid the offending pellets, but also anything they had come into contact with – e.g. fresh vegetables.

This is a natural survival instinct possessed by many animals and presumably held by rabbits, which allows them to identify and avoid potentially harmful sources of food.

I have the same ‘detect and avoid’ instinct, when it comes to identifying the presence of parmesan cheese…

With this theory in mind, Claire prepared Roman a bowl topped with the finest vegetables Tesco could provide, as well as the juiciest carrot tops the farmer who lives near to my mum, could pull from the Somerset soil. It was a dish fit for Peter Rabbit himself.

Romy tore into his meal, devouring the fresh produce in record time. The poor creature must have been ravenous. I felt a tad guilty for even contemplating the idea, that the reason he had failed to eat all his food days earlier, was that he was only prepared to eat treats.

Realising that there was something off with his nuggets, we were very much relieved to see that our rabbit had found his appetite. However, it was clear that to maintain his health, he couldn’t live off leaves and hay alone. He needed his dry ‘grains’.

The only thing we could give him was toast. As with the carrot tops, he jumped straight in, making his treat disappear – had he devoured the offering any quicker, it could have been a magic trick.

ROMAN THE MAGICAL BUNNY.

Not wishing to risk giving Roman more nuggets he dislikes, we avoided purchasing another bag of the brand he had, up until recently, been happily enjoying his entire life. We believe that it was worth considering the possibility that the recipe had changed, resulting in one very hungry, hot cross bunny!

After doing some research, I discovered and ordered a brand of nuggets very similar to the ones Romy had once liked. If he did accept these, it would be great for Claire and me too, as this type can be bought from Tesco and Amazon. The previous lot were only available from Pets at Home – a shop difficult for us to drive to, and with one of the worst websites I have ever seen from a business.

Fast forward to the next morning… we went downstairs to find Roman looking very unwell. Understandably, both of us were extremely worried about our little fur baby. He took little interest in his surroundings and only managed a few nibbles of toast – that is when we knew things were bad! Claire and I were seriously on the verge of ringing the vet for an emergency appointment. Luckily this was unnecessary, as things improved…

The new nuggets arrived promptly that same afternoon. While slightly apprehensive to begin with, Roman slowly took a liking for his new food – so much so, that when he was given a generous portion for lunch, he made short work of his meal!

YUM YUM, IN MY TUM!

I am tempted to contact Pets at Home to see if any ingredients have been changed in their own-brand rabbit food. If I do email them and receive a response, I’ll let you know.

Perhaps calling them would be a better idea?

“Hello! Pets at Home? Yes, I’d like to speak to the manager, please, and quick about it!

Sean!

No, he doesn’t but he bloody-well will shortly!”

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