Stocking the pellets is crucial for the rabbits to stay healthy, active, and happy. Here enters the primary question – what are the good and bad ideas about storing pellets?
It is best to keep the pellets in an airtight container or box which you can close. You have to store this pellet box in a dry and cool room. Decent stocking of the pellets will keep their freshness, aroma, and firm texture intact. It is safe for the rabbit’s health and teeth. Ineffective storage of the pellet food will reduce the nutrient levels in them.
When it is about storing pellets, below are some beneficial tips. You can use them to keep pellet food fresh at your home.
To-Do Thing: Store Them In A Cool Temperature
By storing the rabbit pellets in a cold and dry area, their texture will remain intact. The pellet food would not even melt or lose nutrients. There is no need to worry too much about where to keep this pellet food in your household. Due to the average indoor temperatures, any place in your home is ideal for stocking the pellets.
If you have a granary, it is one of the best areas to keep the pellet food. If you use the granary for storing food of other animals, stocking the pellets would not be a problem.
Regardless of where you stock the pellets, ensure that the place has decent and constant ventilation. If there is a fan or air conditioning in that storage area, it is even better. The consistent airflow helps in maintaining the heat without rising too much.
Keeping the pellets in low humid places between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. If your storage room has 15 percent or more humidity, it is better to get a dehumidifier. It maintains suitable temperatures so that mold would not grow in the pellets. Buying this device helps a lot if you do have air conditioning in your house.
Remember, it is better not to keep pellets under direct or exposing to the sunlight. Pellet food have some fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, and E, which are vulnerable to the sun rays. Stocking the pellet food in cold and dry areas is the best. But, it is also crucial to store them in a shady space and away from direct daylight.
Not To Do Thing: Keeping Them In Warm Temperatures
In some extreme situations, keeping the pellets in hot and moist areas will lead to the growth of the mold.
If you feed dirty pellet food to your rabbit, there are high chances of the pet not eating this food. If you want to know why your rabbit is not eating, wait for a little until your rabbit is hungry. When the pet rabbit ingests pellets that have molds, it will get sick and feels discomfort. In the worst possible cases, your rabbit might also die due to molds.
If there is mold in pellets, sometimes, it is not because you did not store them in good condition. It might be because of the pet stores and manufacturers. If they did not follow the standard pellet storage instructions, you tend to get a bag of pre-molded pellets.
Before offering pellets to your rabbit from a new bag, it is better to check the inside food. If there is any mold, you will get a stinky smell right after you open the bag. Sometimes, there will be wet mold in a cluster of pieces. By checking it first, you can prevent the rabbit from eating these moldy pellets.
If you are not sure whether it is safe to give your rabbit food that looks degraded, it is always best to throw it away. Rabbits have sensitive respiratory systems. When your rabbits sniff mold spores in the pellets, it will damage their lungs. Consuming mold makes the rabbit suffer from severe health problems.
If you find mold in the pellet box, throw them out right away. Also, it is better to dump the bag. If you want this box, only use it after washing and drying it thoroughly. You can get a new pack of pellets and store it in ideal conditions.
If you accidentally fed moldy pellets to your rabbit, it is better to observe the pet from time to time. When the rabbit is showing any symptoms of sickness, go to the veterinarian.
To-Do Thing: Place Them In The Airtight Container
We, humans, when eating dry food, such as cereal, chips, or muesli, need them to be fresh and safe. For keeping them tasty and edible, it is crucial to seal the package and block the air from entering the box. You have to do the same thing for pellets as well. It is better to pour the pellet food from its original bag into any airtight and sealable container.
Airtight boxes will prevent the pellets from becoming dirty too fast. These containers also ensure that pellets retain their taste, smell, and nutrients. When you give tasteless or inedible food to the rabbit, it will turn away its nose from the food. No one wants to eat this kind of pellets or other food.
Another use of airtight containers is that the insects and vermin can not enter the box. It is not the same with open containers or loose bags. Sealed containers help in keeping away the stuff that might transmit diseases. So, the pellets will be safe and healthy to eat.
No one likes to eat food that has traces of mice or bugs. If a bug enters the pellet bag, you have to dump it out as soon as possible. Use an airtight container to store the pellets if you do not want to waste them.
If you want, look into this food storage container where you can store the pellets for rabbits.
It is crucial to ensure that you are buying a bag of pellet food that is fresh. This way, you can store them for enough time in the box. The pellets that are on the same shelf for plenty of time might not be fresh. It is better to see the manufacturing and expiry dates.
Not To Do Thing: Exposing Them To Air
If you store the pellets in an open or unsealed container, they will become rotten quickly. Due to this, the pellet food will get terrible even before the expiry date.
Also, it is easy for the insects and vermin to enter this open bag. They tend to infect and degrade the pellets. Your rabbit will dislike it when you give them food that has mouse poop or dead insects. When you find these kinds of organisms in the container, dump the pellets out. Either clean that box or use another container to store new bags of pellets.
When the pellets in a box have exposure to the air, they will become smooth and barren. Rabbits need to chew on crunchy and tough pellet food to file down their teeth. The rabbit’s teeth tend to overgrow and will result in severe dental problems.
If the pellets are breaking down or soft, you need to buy a new bag.
To-Do Thing: Complete Using Them Within Three To Six Months
It is common for us to open a big bag of chips to eat, but at some point, you will find it hard to eat the remaining ones. Sometimes, they will become soft due to exposure to the air, which no one wants to eat. It is the same scenario with the rabbits. Your rabbit will also do not like to ingest the old or degraded pellets.
While buying the packet of pellets online or from a pet store, remember to check the manufacturing date. This method makes it easy for you to know how much time is left for the food to become stale. Make sure that you can use the pellets before the expiry date. These pellets in the bag can remain fresh until three to six months. After this period, they will get molds which will make the rabbit get health issues.
There are a few pellet brands whose has a quick expiry date than others. It is because of the freshness of the ingredients used in the packaging. Though the pellets would not go “terrible,” they tend to become stale and degraded with time.
Here are some healthy pellet brands which have timothy hay and are worth feeding your rabbit:
- Kaytee Timothy Complete Rabbit Food
- Oxbow Adult Rabbit Food
- Sherwood Adult Rabbit Food
These brands have fresh pellets as they use many natural ingredients. Only a few preservatives are there, so their expiry dates are less than six months. It is better to use them within three months from the manufacturing date.
Not To Do Thing: Feeding After Three To Six Months
If you are sure that your rabbit can eat the bag of pellets within three to six months, then buy it. Before that, have a look at the manufacturing date. It is NOT GOOD to buy the bulk pellet bags if your rabbits can not eat up within the expiry date.
If the pellets are in the box for more than six months, they tend to have mold or other infectious and unhealthy things. Remember, the pellet food would not get “stale,” but they also have an expiry time.
Many rabbits do not like to eat pellets that become stale or tasteless. As time goes, the nutrients and vitamin levels will also reduce. Besides that, the crunchy texture of the food will also go down and becomes soft. Even if your rabbit is eating them, it is neither beneficial nor healthy. You have to change the pellets if you do not want to deal with rabbits suffering from health risks.
Pellet bags are available in many sizes. Depending on the breed, size, and number of rabbits you have, consider buying the ideal quantity. Some rabbits will eat pellets slowly, while others are the opposite. After knowing the best size of pellet bag, you can be sure that no food will go to waste.