Farmers approach the preparation of the diet of rabbits carefully, because these animals are distinguished by a sensitive digestive system. Their menu should include vegetables, fruits, hay and green grass, cereals. The quality of food depends on the health of pets. The question of how to feed rabbits in the summer usually arises among farmers who have recently started breeding animals. The rules for summer diet for rabbits will be discussed in this article.
Summer rabbit food
What are the types of feed
Rabbits it is important to receive a varied diet. The daily menu must necessarily contain the following types of feed:
Green herbs include tops of vegetable crops. Greens contain many vitamins. Rough food is woody branches, hay, which rabbits need to grind their teeth. This food is enriched with fiber, and it is necessary for the normal process of digestion.
Juicy feeds include root vegetables, vegetables and fruits. They also contain many nutrients: vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Thanks to such food the immunity of pets is strengthened. The basis of the diet of rabbits are concentrated feed: cereals, beans. They contain protein and have high nutritional value. It is thanks to the concentrates that animals grow quickly and gain weight.
In the summer, green pet food is surely introduced into the daily menu of pets – all sorts of herbaceous plants and tops of vegetable, legumes and legume-cereals. Such food in the warm season is 30-40% of the total diet of pets, it is available and useful.
Rabbits eat forest and meadow plants, growing on the forest edges lit by the sun, in the floodplains of rivers. Herbs growing in wetlands, such as sedge, horsetail, do not like pets too much because it tastes sour. In large quantities, these plants do not give rodents to avoid problems with digestion.
Rabbits eat forest and meadow plants well
What grass can eat rabbits:
Rabbits enjoy eating vegetable tops. For those engaged in gardening, such food will be found in abundance. Pets will certainly appreciate the tops:
- beet fodder, sugar;
- Jerusalem artichoke;
Attention! It is dangerous to give the tops to the rabbits of tomatoes.
Potato tops are harvested 5-7 days prior to the date of harvesting of root crops and dried. Enter it into the diet gradually, starting with a small amount, gradually increasing the volume within 10 days. Even when the animals get used to the new food, the amount of potato tops in the daily menu of rabbits should not exceed 15% of the total green mass. The above-ground part of the fodder or sugar beet is offered to rodents little by little, because it is weak. It is better to combine it with food that has astringent properties – oak bark and leaves, yarrow.
It is necessary to collect and harvest herbs before they start flowering, away from industrial areas and highways. Freshly mown plants are first dried in the shade, and then treated to animals.
The transition to green feed in the spring should be carried out gradually. It is important to monitor the condition of the animals. In case of indigestion, the share of greenery is reduced, and hay is increased.
Attention! When distributing fresh grass, it is important to make sure that poisonous plants do not fall into the total mass: Datura, cornflower, poisonous buttercup, celandine, hellebore, spurge, field mustard.
The share of roughage in the rabbit diet is 25% of the total. These include tree bark and twigs, hay. Twig feed begins to be harvested from mid-June, when it contains the most nutrients. From trees cut branches up to half a meter in length, their thickness should not exceed 1 centimeter. Then they are dried under sheds in the open air or in the attic. For the winter of branches form a kind of small brooms and stored in a dry place.
Reference. When branch feed is present in the diet of rabbits, they do not gnaw their cages.
The branches and bark of trees are suitable for feeding:
Branches taken from the stone tree species: cherries, plums, cherries – contain prussic acid, so they are either not offered eared at all, or give very little.
Attention! Birch bark and branches can disrupt the work of the kidneys in rabbits.
In winter, you can replenish the vitamin reserve in the body of pets with the help of conifer twigs. In the summer, it is better not to offer them to rabbits, since there is too much essential oil and tar in them, the amount of which decreases in winter. Enter into the diet of such food should be gradually, starting with 10 grams, gradually increasing the amount per week to 200 grams per head. After 2-3 weeks of feeding the pet with pine needles, it is recommended to take a break for 10-14 days, and then you can reintroduce this vitamin supplement into the diet.
Sprigs of coniferous trees
For harvesting hay using the same herbaceous plants that feed rabbits in the summer. It is more correct to mow the grass before its flowering, then it contains more vitamins. Hay is dried, spreading a loose layer in the shade. It is periodically tedded to achieve uniform drying. The finished product should have a pleasant smell and a muted green shade. Hay is stored in rooms with good ventilation.
For one rabbit, about 40 kg of dry grass is harvested for the winter. It is necessary to make a stock of hay in case of addition to the farm: for each rabbit that can be born in winter, up to 15 kg of dry grass is harvested. With a lack of this feed, it is important to leave it for lactating and suckling females and young animals. On the males in the winter will have to save by offering them straw.
Juicy feeds include vegetables, roots and silage. In autumn, when the vegetation disappears, they make up a significant part of the eared ration. The advantage of succulent feeds is that they are enriched with vitamins, trace elements and minerals, and the disadvantage is that there is almost no protein and fiber in them. Such food is very popular with rodents, because it is easily digested and contains about 80% moisture.
Root vegetables and vegetables
Eared pets are happy to eat all kinds of vegetables and root vegetables. What cultures can be entered into their diet:
Squash for rabbit
Although potatoes are not high in vitamins, potatoes are rich in starchy substances, thanks to which rabbits gain weight quickly. It is offered mainly in boiled form, and in cheese – in small quantities. Pets eat it well in the form of mash.
Reference. Potato peeled eared also fed, pre-rinsing them from dirt.
Carrots are a favorite treat of rabbits. This root vegetable is a valuable source of carotene, B vitamins and trace elements. It is best to feed the animals with carrots, cut into cubes, fresh.
Pumpkin is also rich in carotene, it normalizes digestion, promotes milk production in lactating rabbits. This vegetable is given to animals in raw and boiled form. Rabbits starting from two months of age are introduced into the diet pumpkin in the form of mashed potatoes.
Rabbits love cabbage very much, and its various kinds are equally well eaten: white, feed, kohlrabi. It is a source of vitamin C, E and trace elements, which means it has a beneficial effect on the immunity of pets.
Important! A lot of cabbage rabbits can not be given – it contributes to increased gas formation.
Jerusalem artichoke eared willingly, it tastes better than potatoes. This vegetable can be given fresh or after heat treatment, cut into slices. Ground pear contributes to the normal functioning of the digestive tract. Interestingly, this root vegetable can be stored right in the ground in the winter, it is not afraid of frost, and therefore it is better not to dig it in the fall.
Beetroot (red) is not suitable for feeding rabbits, it can harm their digestive system. But the feed and sugar varieties are used in the diet of animals. These root crops improve metabolism, increase hemoglobin, strengthen the immune system of animals. An adult rabbit can consume about 300 grams of beet pulp daily.
Zucchini does not have a high nutritional value, contains about 85% of water. However, he is loved by pets, so in the autumn the rabbits menu includes a little zucchini. Until winter, this vegetable is not able to be stored. The fruit is used for making silage.
Owners of kroleferm always stock up silage for their animals. It is useful for their digestive system and immunity. Prepare it from herbs, tops and juicy vegetables and root crops. Each farmer uses his own recipe for silage, the number of ingredients in it can be changed. Here is an example of the nutritional composition that rabbits like:
- 30% grass legumes;
- 20% carrot tops;
- 10% chopped cabbage leaves (can be replaced with zucchini);
- 20% finely chopped carrots;
- 20% boiled pureed potatoes.
Silo is prepared in special pits or wooden barrels. All ingredients are ground, mixed and stamped. After 1.5-2 months the feed is ready to eat.
Reference. For each rabbit family you need to prepare for the winter about 100 kg of silage.
Concentrates make up at least a third of the rabbit diet. These include:
- cereals (barley, oats, rye, wheat);
- beans (peas, beans, lentils);
- bran, cake;
- food of animal origin (meat and bone, fish meal).
Such food is a source of protein and contains almost no moisture. Thanks to her, rabbits grow quickly and gain weight.
Grains are given to pets in a different form: they are boiled from them porridge, steamed, germinated and fermented, and also fed raw. Animals eat crushed grain well. It is mixed into other foods. Bran is also added to the wet food or give just like that.
Important! Wheat is introduced into the diet in small quantities to avoid flatulence. It is usually mixed with other cereals, the proportion of wheat in the composition of the concentrate should not exceed 15%.
Meat-bone and fish meal is a valuable source of protein and fat. In order for animals to get better quickly, they need to enter into the daily menu up to 10 grams of flour per individual.
Compound feed specially designed for rabbits includes all substances necessary for animals: concentrates, minerals, vitamins. Pets eat it willingly.
Attention! Some farmers feed rabbits with feed intended for pigs or other animals. This is not entirely correct: in this case, the proportion of concentrates in them may exceed the permissible value.
In the summer, concentrates are primarily included in the diet of rabbits. They should be at least 30-40 percent of the total amount of food per day. Approximately 30% of the diet is allocated to green fodder, 20% to juicy and 10-20% to coarse.
It is important to follow the rules of feeding:
- In the summer, first concentrate is distributed, and then – juicy and green food.
- It is important to develop a correct schedule for feeding animals, despite the fact that they spend almost all the time at the feeder.
- Adults and rabbits separated from the mother should be fed no more than 3 times a day.
- The suckling and nursing females and their cubs that are not 2.5 months old are given food 4 times a day.
Consider examples of how to organize the regime and make the diet of rabbits in the summer.
Three meals a day
Fresh grass for rabbit
With three meals a day in the morning, at 6-7 hours, pets should be given half the daily norm of concentrates and a third of the fresh grass norm. At lunchtime, about 14-15 hours, pets should receive a third of the green food rate. In the evening, at about 19 o’clock, animals are given the rest of the concentrate, a third of green food and coarse food.
Attention! If roots and vegetables are introduced into the diet in the summer, then they reduce cottage greens.
Four meals a day
At dawn, a third of the concentrates and a sixth of the grass are distributed. The same in the same quantity is offered around 11 hours. Then at 16 o’clock should be distributed half the daily rate of green food. In the evening feeding, about 19-20 hours, offer the animals the rest of the concentrates, the sixth part of greens and coarse food – the branches.
Attention! It is forbidden to give rabbits rotten vegetables, moldy silage, dirty root vegetables, freshly cut or wet grass, as well as poisonous plants. You can not offer pets sweets, cookies and other treats.
In the summer to feed the rabbits is much easier than in the winter, because there are so many greens and vegetables around. It is important to observe the diet of eared pets, as well as carefully check the food supply before handing out. Food must comply with quality standards. If the diet is varied, the health of the livestock will not have to worry. Quality nutrition contributes to the rapid growth of young and weight gain, a beneficial effect on the state of the skins.