Fussy Eater Rabbits

The late, great, and much missed Empress of the Backyard, Candy, was an imperious rabbit. She turned up her twitchy nose at regular rabbit pellets. She insisted on being fed Exact Rainbow feed. It was hard to find, and more expensive, but she was the monarch, and we did what we were told.



Phoebe is more of a figurehead rather than a ruler. During the day she takes breaks from the melee in the chicken yard and happily hangs out in her cozy bed under the nesting boxes.

Pheobe's nose


Phoebe doesn’t insist on special treatment. She eats regular rabbit pellets, and isn’t fussy about the brand. At least, that’s what I thought. But, the other day I came across the Exact Rainbow feed. I thought I’d treat her to it.

rabbit food


Phoebe ate it all … except for the red bits. This is what the bowl looked like after a day.

red food


I can just imagine her, fussy nose wiggling. whiskers vibrating, carefully picking her way through the pellets and rejecting each and every red pellet. She might not be an Empress, but she is a Princess.

I took a second look at the feed’s label. All of the ingredients looked good until the end of the list where I read artificial color. I’m sure it’s there for the humans, not the rabbits. All too often pet food is designed for what the marketers think the owners will find appealing, and not what’s good for the critters. The Princess has politely asked not to be fed this again. Basic rabbit pellets will be reinstated on the Royal’s menu.


  1. smart bunny, Off subject but speaking of color, you know your a chicken nut when you get your first green egg from my easter egger yesterday and all my friends got a photo sent to them, so pretty and no artificial colors lol have a great day everyone

  2. How interesting…and funny. Similar to a cat I had that left bits of carrots and peas that were in one flavor of her canned cat food. :-)

  3. Sadly, yes, pet food is marketed to the humans. Had I known what was actually IN dry and wet cat food, I would have never started our cats on any of it. Now, however, just try and get them to eat something else. Bah. You can’t “starve” a cat to make a point. They WILL out wait you, and in the meantime, can get very, very sick, quickly. I share this with new kitten owners, hoping to spare them the hell animals can endure from the much-touted “quality” commercial pet food. Education is key. Thank you, Terry, for educating us!

  4. I love the picture of her under the nest box.

    “Yes, who’s there and what do you want”

  5. As for the cats and dogs, TSC has a brand 4health. Which as best I can tell is fantastic my pets love it, and there is no fillers. It is half the price if not less than half the price of the other “high end” brands with no fillers

      • I recently switched to TSC’s brand (4health) for my cats. They were on Iams Hairball formula (I thought it was one of the best brands–boy, was I surprised!) and recently did the switch. They LOVE the 4health food (dry) and they seems to be doing very well on it. I have two long hair cats and two short hair cats, and we’re on two weeks now with NO surprise furball hacks, which is a record. They also don’t eat as much.

        I’ve been recommending the 4health brand to everyone now.

        (The vote is still out on TSC’s kitty litter, Claws and Paws, or something like that.)

  6. I believe this entitlement is a rabbit species trait. It is why I love my rabbit and why all rabbits are so endearing. They know what they want and it’s amusing to watch something so adorable get fussy. And they know they always get away with it. Every single time.

  7. Love the picture of Candy, the grand dame of rabbitdom. Her expression is priceless. But Phoebe is a pretty hot ticket to separate her “mixed vegetables”. I’ll have to look into the Tractor Supply Co cat foods.

    • Jean, watch out on that trip to TS- you’ll come home with a cowgirl snap shirt, rubber boots, and a manure fork, just because :)

  8. Phoebe is such a cutie! Her nest/bed looks like quite a fortress! Is there a particular reason why you built a stone wall for her to retreat behind?

  9. Funny post lol I used to feed my hens the manna pro harvest delight. The girls would eat all but no one would touch the dried carrots. Then of course I figured out how to make my own blend with organic seeds and such from the bulk section. Yes so funny how all creatures big and small have their likes and dislikes.

  10. Having heard all my life that animals don’t see in color, you kind of want to bust up some scientific theory here!! I wonder what the boys would do with it. Since deer, rabbits, and goats are kind of similar, wonder if they too could sense something about the red pellets that wasn’t right, or just down right hated red. Allegedly, bulls hate red, hence the cape at the bullfight, but I can attest our big Brahma bull didn’t care one bit what color it was, or who you were for fact, he hated everything.
    On a cat note, TC, our beloved stray cat, emphasis STRAY, wouldn’t eat good stuff, like tuna or sardines (cat good). He would only eat the cheap stuff from the Dollar General Store. The expensive stuff name brands he would turn up his nose. Good for us, but then he liked rats and snakes, so who’s accounting for taste here????

  11. Awww, your blog is amazing, and it’s great to see all the pictures of your chickens!!! I love chickens, and they are ma favourite animal. I have 4 bantams, and 9 regular chickens, all of which I love to pieces! I’ve just got a quick question: have u ever tried feeding ur chickens spaghetti?! They love it, trust me!!:)