Rabbits are herbivores. In the summer months, most of their diet is fresh grass, and in winter – high-quality hay, as well as coarse and succulent feed. But, besides this, rabbits must be fed with concentrates, give them vitamins and mineral supplements. Concentrates include whole and ground grain of cereals, oilseeds and legumes, their processing waste, animal feed and animal feed.
Grain feed is the most nutritious, it contains very little water, but a large amount of organic matter, especially carbohydrates and protein. Because of its rich chemical composition, plant seeds are distinguished by their high nutritional value.
The group of cereals includes: wheat, oats, barley, rye, corn. Novice rabbit breeders often have a question about whether corn can be given to rabbits and, if so, how to do it. To get an answer to it, you should read the following information.
Corn morphological features
Corn belongs to grassy annual grasses. It can grow up to 3 m and above. It has a straight, strong, thick stem, narrow and long leaves, with small nicks along the edges, a powerful, perfectly formed root system.
This plant has its own peculiar inflorescences: large panicles that form on the tops of the stems are male flowers, and female ones are found in small cobs that are located in the leaf axils.
Each corn stalk usually has 1 or 2 of these cobs, but sometimes more. The rudiments of seeds in them are protected by thin leaves tightly covering the ears, and only a liquid bundle of bright threads-stigmas look out of them. Fertilization occurs when mature wind-carried pollen from male inflorescences enters the female. After that, they develop seeds — grain.
The form of corn kernels is also special, round-cubic, and not cylindrical, like most other cereals. In one cob there can be up to 1 thousand grain kernels.
They are arranged on it in vertically arranged rows and sit tightly to each other. The color and size of corn seeds differ depending on the variety: yellow color dominates, but there are also blue-violet and reddish seeds.
Corn is a valuable and high-yielding crop. Its grain is used as food, for technical purposes and in the form of fodder, that is, for animal feed. On nutritional value, it is in no way inferior to the grain of other cereals, even surpasses them. 1 kg of corn seeds corresponds to 1, 34 feed. units
- protein – from 9 to 12%;
- carbohydrates – from 65 to 75%;
- oils – from 5 to 8%;
- fiber – 2%.
This cereal is rich in vitamins A, C, E, H, PP and group B, as well as macro- and microelements (potassium, silicon, zinc, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, copper, selenium). Corn seeds are easily absorbed by the human body and farm animals, improve metabolism and have a positive effect on the work of all systems and organs.
In addition to grain, corn also provides green mass, which is used fresh as feed for livestock, and silage is also made from it. According to this indicator, it leads among other forage crops.
Silage made from mowed plants in the milky-wax ripeness phase has dietary properties and is quickly digested in the body of domestic animals.
Corn for rabbits
Full feeding of rabbits is the basis for getting good carcasses and skins. Therefore, it is important to provide eared diverse calorie foods.
These animals themselves are intractable creatures in food, they willingly eat the food offered to them and quickly increase their body weight. Especially this contributes to the absorption of whole and milled grain, including corn. Therefore, the answer to the question of whether the rabbits corn, affirmative.
It is possible to feed this grass to animals at any stage of its development, but it’s still not necessary to give too coarse stems, since rabbits do not digest fiber well and there will be no sense from such food.
Young green shoots of maize can be included in the diet of even young young rabbits aged 1-2 months, when he is still under the mother. Do not give up such treats and rabbit.
Green stalks and leaves of grown corn, as a supplement to fresh grasses, should be given to weaned and adult animals. But before distributing food, they need to be cut into pieces 30-50 cm long, so that it is more convenient for rabbits to eat them. Fresh corn tops are available to animals for about 3-4 months until harvest time comes.
Corn leaves can also be harvested for the winter. To do this, they must be separated from the stems, dried in the shade, like normal hay, and folded for storage in a dry dark room — an attic or a shed.
Giving dry corn blanks eared pets should be from October to April, when there is no fresh grass and twig food. Also during this period, you need to feed the rabbits with silage from corn, legumes, garden leaves, small root crops, forbs.
Corn kernels can be given to rabbits in whole or in ground form, 60-150 g per head per day, depending on the breed. It must be remembered that crushed grain can not be harvested for future use, because the fats contained in it quickly become rancid, and it becomes unsuitable for consumption.
For better digestibility of whole grains, it can be soaked in water for 2-3 hours before distribution. You can also add shredded corn in the mash, cook porridge from it. In addition, even the cob can be handed out to adult rabbits along with the grain. The animals themselves will gnaw off the seeds from them and leave empty buds, which must then be removed from the cells.
Corn as a food for rabbits has its own characteristics, which are worth mentioning in more detail. Although its grain is very nutritious, it should not be the basis of the menu of rabbits and should not replace other grain feeds. This results from the fact that in its structure there is a little protein poor in lysine and tryptophan (irreplaceable amino acids).
For this reason, corn grain is best combined with:
Moreover, the possible percentage of corn seeds in the menu of eared animals should not be more than 50%. Most often, it must be used in the autumn period for quick fattening of rabbits for meat. In order for rabbits to quickly gain a live weight, they should be given corn crushed grain 30–50 days before slaughter. Rate: 80-150 g. Per animal per day.
Need maize also sukrolnym and lactating offspring rabbits. Especially it is necessary for rabbit somatos in the last third of the gestation period, when the greatest weight gain of the embryo occurs. At this time, corn is combined with grass, vegetables, herbs, bran, oilcake, potatoes. Eating such food, the rabbit will be able to properly bear, give birth and raise children. But feed corn, which are preparing for mating, is not recommended.
On high-energy feed, they quickly become fat and have a poor instinct for reproduction. Therefore, it is necessary to feed future parents so that they remain moderately well-fed.