Every farmer knows that the quality of feeding plays an important role in breeding any animals. The well-being of animals, their ability to resist diseases, and their productivity depend on the quality, quantity and type of feed. And rabbits in this matter are no exception. It is important to know what can be given to the rabbit as food, and in what quantities. And it is equally important to understand what kind of food is capable of harming the animal.Because poisoning is no less dangerous than any infection.
- Types of feed for domestic rabbits
- Juicy and nutritious rabbit food
- Fruits and berries for rabbits
- Exotic fruits and vegetables for rabbits
- Rough feeds in the diet of domestic rabbits
- Various concentrated feeds and cereals
- Food mixtures and additives to the diet of rabbits
- Products from the table
- Green rabbit food
- Varieties of wormwood
- Seeds in the diet of rabbits
- Poisonous herbs
- Conclusion <
Types of feed for domestic rabbits
Before To understand what exactly can be given to rabbits, it is necessary to understand what main groups the components of their diet are divided into. It should be understood that one type of food will not work, no matter how useful it can be considered. You should always make a diet of several different components. And the farmer may need to periodically change the composition of the servings.This has to be done in cases where animals require certain vitamins that are found only in certain foods.
Do not forget about the seasonal change of diet for rabbit stock. For example, rabbits can be given (and need to be given) green and succulent feeds. But in winter, fresh grass is not available, and it has to be replaced with high-quality silage. Therefore, it is still recommended to learn how to silage, because hay alone cannot be dispensed with. There are several options for both winter and summer feeding. But first, you should consider all those types of feed that are usually used for fattening rabbits:
- Grass and other similar green feeds. You should never forget that wild rabbits are meadow animals. And for normal life they need meadow and field grasses, as well as tops of cultivated plants. For example, rabbits can be given mouse peas, coltsfoot, cow parsnip, clover or plantain. They should also be fed alfalfa, wormwood or nettles, but in some cases.
- Juicy food – do not confuse it with green mass. This includes a number of root crops and vegetables. It is worth considering that contrary to popular belief, white cabbage does not always benefit these animals. If they feel sick from cabbage stumps, it is better to remove them from the diet. Of root crops, it is worth noting carrots, fodder beets and Jerusalem artichoke.
- Do not forget about roughage.They will not form the basis of the diet, but without them, rabbits will not feel too well. This type of food includes straw, hay, harvested from the tops of legumes or cereals, tree branches, leaves and needles. All this is necessary in order to grind the teeth of animals and ensure normal digestion.
- Compound feed and various grains. All this is sometimes called concentrated feed due to its high nutrient content. A large amount of such food will not benefit the eared, but it should be used to speed up feeding. Please note that the use of such feeds increases the cost of maintenance.
- Various food additives and waste from the table. Food waste should be used with caution, because if it begins to rot or mold, they will become a dangerous poison. The same applies to eating unsuitable foods for rabbits. As for vitamins and minerals, they are given to animals as needed.
This is a common division with which some farmers sometimes disagree. For example, silage can be attributed to both green and succulent feeds, depending on the composition and processing. Many more separate vegetables and fruits separately as rabbit food, although animals are usually given what cannot be used by the owner of the site. Therefore, sometimes this can be considered another type of food waste.In any case, it’s worth considering each group and deciding what to give to the rabbits and what not to do from it.
Juicy and nutritious food for rabbits
These foods can not form the basis of the diet of animals, but they must be included in it. As such food, vegetables, fruits, root vegetables and the fruits of some wild plants are usually used. If we talk about root crops, then eared animals can be fed beets (beetroot is perfect for them), turnips, garlic, give them radish and carrots. But neither beetroot, nor other root crops can be compared with Jerusalem artichoke. This root crop for rabbits as a kind of ragweed. You just need to remember that this is an invasive plant.
From vegetables, these animals will like spinach, broccoli, corn cobs (you can give whole), zucchini and squash. It is also worth giving celery (both greens and root crops), pea pods and tops, garden rhubarb, lettuce, fatseliya and many other garden plants. Eared pets do not differ in the most good health, but they are almost omnivorous in terms of cultivated plants. But you should not give them nightshade crops. Potatoes can be boiled, but it is better not to use any such tops.
Fruits and berries for rabbits
With fruits and berries, the situation is exactly the same as with vegetables. You can give the animals currants, viburnum, sea buckthorn, blueberries, mountain ash, and other similar berries.And from fruits, quince, cherries, apples, pears, plums and even peaches are added to the feed. Some aesthetes feed their pets nectarine, pineapple, persimmon, orange, as well as the peel of these fruits. But the fruits themselves, and orange and banana skins are not always useful for animals. And to give them, like other fruits, it is better in a very limited quantity.
Interestingly, the eared inhabitants of rabbitry gladly gobble up acorns and chestnuts, both fresh and dried. You can diversify the diet with these fruits in the summer, or prepare them for use in winter. During winter harvesting, acorns and chestnuts must be dried, finely crushed and then pressed in the form of briquettes. Or you can store it in flour in bags. In the first month of life, it is better not to give small rabbits such feeds. But adult animals can eat them in small portions every day.
Exotic fruits and vegetables for rabbits
The owners of decorative animals were the first to get carried away by unusual and expensive food. Then some farmers seized the same hobby, deciding that such products improve the quality of meat and fur. But this, unfortunately, is not true. For example, you can give the animals pomegranates, kiwi, citrus fruits and their waste (tangerine peel), dates or raisins. This group also includes peanuts, dried fruits (many give dried apricots) and various nuts. These products are not harmful, but there are not too many benefits from them.
The main disadvantage of using such feeds is their high cost. Even raspberries or strawberries should not be fed to animals, as well as to feed them apricots or peaches. After all, all these fruits are not so cheap, and feeding them to animals is a waste. A number of breeders claim that such feeding improves the quality of the meat. But they will never increase its price, with the exception of isolated, rare cases. Here is what experienced rabbit breeders who have been breeding these animals for a long time write on the forums:
“Some newcomers in all seriousness ask whether it is possible to feed citrus fruits, various fruits and berries from the garden to rabbits. Or maybe they should be fed dried fruits (dried apricots or prunes) and nuts. And they motivate this by the fact that due to such a diet the quality of meat improves. Alas, this is a very controversial issue, even if it concerns adult healthy animals. And if it is given to a pregnant rabbit, or gets into rabbit food, it can cause considerable harm. Therefore, raisins, peanuts or pineapples should be left to people. ”
Coarse foods in the diet of domestic rabbits
Unlike fruits and berries, coarse foods must be part of the servings prepared for the eared ones. They can not form the basis of the diet, but without them, animals will feel much worse. Coarse, hard feeds are good for digestion, grind teeth, and, in principle, need rabbits.But their excess can also harm, and this must be explained to inexperienced owners and children. First of all, you need to pay attention to certain tree species that will appeal to eared pets:
- Coniferous tree species. Pine and Christmas tree should be cut in the winter, when animals do not have enough green food, in particular, various fresh herbs. But do not constantly feed them with pine needles and sprigs. Intermittent feeding provides additional resistance to disease. But if you constantly give spruce, then it is already capable of harming pets.
- Willow. If you constantly feed the animals with willow, then it can become bad from it. But if you periodically give twigs from these trees, they will help to cope with various diseases of the digestive tract. But you should use willow with some caution.
- Birch. Birch is given when additional cleaning of the body is required. The branches of these trees have a diuretic effect, so they should not be fed over animals.
- Branches of a number of fruit trees. Without fear, you can give the rabbits garden rowan, raspberry, currant branches (you can feed other similar shrubs), apple trees or grapes. Everything that remains after periodic pruning of trees should be fed to rabbit inhabitants.
- Branches of forest trees. You can feed maple twigs, acacia, poplar or mulberry to your pets.In case of diarrhea, oak branches can be added to food (they fix and prevent diarrhea). But, as in the case of other hardwood or coniferous species, all this is better to give out in limited quantities.
Harvested hay and straw also belong to roughage. It is recommended to harvest hay from pea or bean tops, alfalfa or clover. They should not be moldy, and poisonous or inedible plants should not get into it. Usually, hay is used for feeding in the winter, although sometimes animals are fed to them in the summer. But no matter how much hay is harvested, it, like branches, cannot form the basis of the diet. Green and concentrated feeds are better suited for this purpose.
Various concentrated feeds and cereals
There are many different cereals that are allowed to feed eared pets. This includes buckwheat, millet, pearl barley, rice, oatmeal and other similar products from the table. Groats of rabbits should be fed in crushed form, and you can make cereals (the so-called mash mashines). Porridge will suit both small, growing animals, and adult livestock. For example, cooked oats or pasta go quite well. But undercooked food, or whole, unmilled cereals, should not be allowed to rabbits.
Speaking of grain, many farmers are wondering if rabbits can have sunflower seeds.In principle, it is precisely those seeds that are rich in essential oils that can be given to animals not in crushed form. But hemp or hops (cones, stems or leaf feed) is better not to use. They should not be given to either a small or a large rabbit. But wheat, rapeseed or millet are quite suitable as feed. But only in crushed form. Although millet adult animals consume whole as well.
Of cereals, not only wheat is suitable. You can feed with barley, make portions based on oats and a number of other crops. But sorghum is better not to use for feeding – often in animals there are problems with the intestines from such food. In principle, oat-based foods are suitable for animals of any age. Flattened (not crushed) grain, boiled oatmeal or oatmeal are perfectly absorbed by eared pets. But you can’t give it fried or with sugar – rabbits react poorly to sweets, as well as fried foods.
Food mixes and additives to the diet of rabbits
Concentrated and combination feeds are often the basis for rabbit diets. But here the dosage and composition of the mixture is always important. It is very important to know what is and what is not in the feed, since the list of components is always available on the manufacturers website. And you need to understand – what rabbits can eat depends on their age. One feed is intended for rabbits, which have not yet turned a month, and the other mixture is given to adult animals.And they can not be confused with each other, otherwise there will be problems with the health of the animals.
Although it is possible to give manually prepared mixtures with a similar composition instead of some food. But you should always make sure that in addition to dry food compositions there is clean water. And there should be a lot of water, because there is no animal that could do without it. The condition of the drinkers should be monitored with special attention to prevent clogging of the drink. And do not add salt to the water, as it is sometimes recommended. Such an additive can cause considerable harm to an animal if it is not thoughtfully used.
And if we are already talking about mineral additives, we must mention that rabbits need calcium, sodium and chlorine. But there is no need to give them chalk, salt, or put lickweed in rabbitry. It is worth looking at the list of products containing these minerals. In particular, this list includes bone meal, wheat bran and a number of other products. For example, soybeans (beet pulp, meal, tops and fruits), or other bean crops, are often given for these purposes. But curd or cow’s milk can not be given to them. Rabbits can only have mother’s milk.
Products from the table
Some products from the table can be given to rabbits, provided that they have not begun to rot or mold. For example, you can feed them slices of stale bread. But it is better to make crackers from bread, and give it already in this form.This also includes bread crusts, salad and peel of fruits and vegetables. But breadcrumbs will need extra water. The rabbits need to be fed constantly, because the more they eat, the more drink they will need. By the way, some owners prefer to add iodine and vitamins to the water.
Of those products that can not be rabbits, it is worth mentioning mushrooms. Even some species that are harmless to humans can cause rabbit poisoning. And here you already have to get activated charcoal from the first-aid kit, if it is of course there. Do not feed rabbits and paper (and do not say that you can sharpen your teeth about it), chocolate, chicken eggs and bird fish oil. Domestic rabbits are definitely not to their taste. Very often, those products that are intended for people cannot be eaten by eared pets.
Green rabbit food
This list includes various meadow grasses, tops of cultivated plants and grass that is grown specifically for animals. It is green food that is often the basis of the diet of domestic rabbits, and is used both in summer and in winter. But in the winter they are usually replaced by silo. Silo is a shredded, pressed and processed with preservatives (used, for example, salt) green mass. The herbs themselves are divided into three main groups, according to their effect and scope:
- Edible herbs. This list includes the grass, which is the most difficult to harm the animal – unless he overshoots it.These include purslane, clover, oregano, arugula, St. John’s wort, Ivan tea, chicory and wood lice. They also enjoy eating shiritsu, plantain, shepherd’s bag, yarrow, chamomile, knotweed and white clover. Finally, they quite safely consume field horsetail, sow thistle, colza, reed, sedge and rhubarb. But all these herbs are best given as a mixture.
- Conditionally edible and medicinal plants. This motherwort, reed and sedge are sometimes added to this list. Still here it is worth adding loboda, marigolds, daisy, tansy (wild mountain ash), dahlias and wormwood. In most of these plants, it is better to remove flowers, arrows, and roots. And to improve the quality of meat before slaughter, they give mint, basil, celery, and feed them with sage. All this can be eaten with rabbits, but in small quantities.
- Inedible and poisonous plants. These herbs and shrubs should not be given to rabbits, under any circumstances. After all, even one stalk can cause poisoning or an upset organism. These include tulips (in particular, their bulbs), wild leek, calendula, mustard, all buttercups and cornflowers. Common cocklebur and yellow cleaner are also harmful. Do not feed with celandine or fern. And lilacs are not recommended from the bushes, and you should not give roses (in particular, their red flower).
It often happens that the same kind of plant can harm, and be useful . It’s all about the dosage and method of treatment.It is also worth taking into account the fact that any grass growing along the roads will be harmful to rabbits. Separately, it is worth mentioning the snow – do not melt it, and evaporate the rabbits with melt water. Such a drink, contrary to popular belief, does not bring any benefit. It is worthwhile to analyze some plants in more detail, in terms of their benefit or harm to the health of rabbits.
Varieties of wormwood
You can clean the body of animals with bitter wormwood. In particular, it helps against various parasites that live in the digestive tract. This plant also stimulates appetite, which is useful for accelerated fattening for meat. But can rabbits have another wormwood, of a different kind? In principle, these animals can still be given ordinary wormwood, they are also able to digest it. All other varieties are best ignored, due to the risk of poisoning. And here you already have to clean the bellies of animals with potassium permanganate and activated carbon.
But even useful species of this plant should be used with great care. Here you can compare with the already mentioned pine, which benefits rabbits, but in limited quantities. Excess wormwood does not cause constipation or diarrhea. Instead, it acts on rabbits as a causative agent of nervous activity. During the rut, this can cause unpleasant consequences.
Sowing herbs in the diet of rabbits
These plants are considered one of the main herbs that are recommended for feeding rabbit livestock. This includes lupine (not alkaloid), clover and alfalfa. But these herbs alone do not feed eared pets. Firstly, do not give them in large quantities to young animals, since rabbits are not immediately able to digest, for example, lupine. Secondly, it is necessary to mow these plants on time, when they have not yet become tough and tasteless for rabbits. The grass should be as soft and juicy as possible.
This should also be done because the ripened fruits of clover or alfalfa are not recommended for rabbits. Finally, when harvesting for the winter, these plants are used as feed only in the form of hay or silage. Although some farmers prefer to use these herbs exclusively in the summer. It is worth remembering that both clover and alfalfa are rich in nutrients, and their excess can cause intestinal problems and bloating.
List of plants that cause rabbit malaise, is very large and extensive. But most of the herbs that enter here belong to the marshy and moisture-loving species. In particular, do not feed the rabbits with celandine, milkweed or ordinary buttercups. There are a number of exceptions, but it is better to use meadow plants as food, for example, dandelions and chamomile.They are perfect as part of the diet of eared pets. But it is better to avoid fleshy marsh plants.
We need to approach the preparation of the feed base for rabbits very carefully. Do not feed them one type of food. It is desirable that the composition of the portions include green food, and roughage, and a certain amount of concentrates. And all this should not be spoiled. Only then will animals quickly fatten and gain weight. And, of course, they will remain healthy.