New Ingredients to Enhance Our Line of Best-in-Show Rabbit Food

black and white rabbit nibbling on hay

Over the course of the last year, we have worked extensively to develop the products we offer to our rabbit customers. We have done this in coordination with a veterinarian and nutritionist who have experience raising and showing multiple breeds of rabbits on a large scale. We have done research, we have conducted feeding trials, and we are excited to share those improvements with our valued customers!

Many of you are familiar with the benefits of our current Best in Show Rabbit Food formulations:

  • They contain LifeGuard®, which is a proprietary blend of prebiotics, probiotics, and enzymes specifically designed to support digestive health and immune function
  • They provide Omega 3 Fatty Acids to support optimal coat condition
  • They contain Yucca Schidigera Extract to reduce ammonium secretion and improve air quality in hutches

While the foundation of these formulas will remain the same, as of December 2021, our Best-in-Show feeds – Kalmbach 18 Best in Show (800) and Kalmbach 16% Best in Show (801) – will have the following added features:

Seaweed-Derived Calcium for Rabbits

In recent years, there has been a lot of research on ocean-sourced feed ingredients. Marine mineral products offer a wide range of benefits. Seaweed-derived calcium, specifically, is much more bioavailable than conventional calcium sources. This means that it is a more efficient way to support bone health and lactation, and maintain adequate calcium levels to meet the general requirements of the animal. Due to its high level of bioavailability, less supplemental calcium is required in feed formulation as well.

Rabbits, like other hindgut fermenters, are extremely sensitive to GI upset. Another benefit of Seaweed-Derived calcium is that it acts as both a rapid and long-acting buffer. This function helps to sustain a consistent pH throughout the digestive tract. When a consistent pH is maintained, microbial populations in the gut are also kept more consistent. Consistent gut pH and consistent microbial populations help reduce the risk of digestive upset. A happy gut makes for a happy rabbit!

Timothy Meal for Rabbits

Forage products are digestible sources of fiber found in most rabbit foods. As a rule, grass hays (such as Timothy) are preferred over legumes (such as alfalfa). Legumes are typically higher in energy, protein, and calcium and are best suited for growing and breeding rabbits and some giant rabbit breeds. Due to their richness, legumes are typically not recommended for mature rabbits or house rabbits. Too much protein and too much calcium can cause unnecessary burden on the kidneys. Grass hays are not as rich and provide an excellent source of fiber without the added protein. Timothy hay is an excellent way to add highly digestible fiber to your rabbit’s diet.

By creating an optimal blend of both ground alfalfa hay and ground timothy hay together in a pelleted feed, the best of both forages are utilized. The energy in alfalfa is balanced with the high fiber in the timothy and the combined calcium composition is kept at a reasonable level. It truly is the best of both worlds.

As always, we strive to offer products that we are proud to stand behind.

We hope your bunnies love these new and improved formulas as much as ours do!


Hattie Hartschuh

A Sycamore, Ohio native, Hattie Hartschuh grew up only 25 minutes north of Kalmbach Feeds on her family's farm. Over the years, she and her family have raised cattle, sheep, horses, goats, pigs, rabbits and chickens. Growing up on the farm also gave her the opportunity to show multiple species through 4-H and FFA. She pursued both her B.S. and her M.S. in Animal Science at Kansas State University, where she specialized in Ruminant Nutrition. Hattie joined the Kalmbach Feeds team in January of 2015 and thoroughly enjoys helping customers and dealers provide the best possible nutrition to their herds.