Rabbit too dumb to use feeder?

Mocksincerity

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I bought 2 rabbits, I use a normal gravity bin feeder on all my cages in the hopes that the rabbits won't waste feed (I have a few who scratch pellets out until the thing is empty in one go... brats) I had these two new rabbits together since they were in quarantine away from my rabbits for a bit and it seemed like they weren't going through the feed very quick but I didn't think much of it because they're in a new area and I'd seen the one rabbit eating and they seemed be acting normal. I wasn't handling them much because its been so cold here and the danger of disease to the rest of the buns. About a week went by and I reached in and found the one rabbit is very thin. I instantly put her into her own cage. Another few days pass and she's not touched her feed. She's active and looks fine just a skeleton of a rabbit. She attacks her hay like there's no tomorrow but won't touch the pellets. I put a crock feeder in there and she eats it right down... Are you kidding me. She's been gaining her weight back but the gravity feeder remains full even when she tips her dish and goes nuts when I go in to feed again. So obviously she's hungry. This seems like more than being picky. I am fully convinced that this rabbit would have starved to death without the dish. I could see the ridge on her back that was her spine and feel her ribs! Is she too dumb to use the gravity feeder or could there be another reason she won't eat from one?
 

Latestarter

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Greetings and welcome to BYH. I'm sorry I missed your first post as I don't really follow the rabbit threads. Hope you're enjoying being here! There are quite a few rabbitteers here and I'm guessing you've already "met" some of them. Lots of good info i the various threads as well. Glad you're here with us. Hope you have a merry Christmas!
 

Bunnylady

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One possibility is that she couldn't reach the feed for some reason. I know some companies offer feeders that are extra wide for rabbits like Lops that have big heads.
 

rosti

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I would say that the j feeder is too small for her to comfortably eat out of.
 

Mocksincerity

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There is no issue with the feeder she's a young rabbit and its a larger sized feeder. I have big blocky headed bucks that eat out of these ones and smaller ones with no issues, also the rabbit that was with her is the same size and had no issues eating from the same feeder. It's not an issue with the feeder size, height, access, or the feed not coming out. It's basically a trough of pellets right in front of her but she won't touch them if they're in the feeder. She eats fine out of a crock and out of a hay feeder, so she has no issues with bending her neck up or down to eat. I've even tried another differently shaped J feeder at different heights inside the cage and she refuses to even look at the pellets. I've also checked her teeth and there's no issue there or anything. I'm wondering if she never used one and is just not smart enough to grasp this or if this is a behavioral or trauma based thing. Maybe an aggressive mama rabbit or siblings not allowing her to eat from a feeder there were 10 in the litter I was told, or maybe she got stuck in one as a kit or something. I know that's a thing with dogs, avoidance behavior due to negative or no experience but do rabbits have that? My only other idea on this is scent based? either she can't smell the pellets or she can't stand the scent of the metal feeder for whatever reason. I don't use crocks because they're wasteful and my cages aren't set up that way so I'd really like to figure out how to get her to eat from a J feeder without risking her health. Right now I'm just using the crock because she needs to continue to gain the weight she lost back.
 

Dawnclucks22

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If you hold up a handful will she eat the pellets?
 
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