The question whether it is possible to give leaves to rabbits is given to each beginning rabbit breeder, and each experienced owner answers – it is possible and necessary. On the benefits of leaf feed for rabbits, allowed and prohibited plants for eared, let’s talk further.
Is it possible to give leaves to rabbits
Why does the rabbit have leaves?
Hay and other dry food often becomes the basis of the diet for all rabbits, but the juicy are relegated to the background. This is due primarily to the specifics of the digestive system of fluffies, it is very sensitive and you really need to be careful when feeding the rabbit. The abundance of juicy food causes them diarrhea, bloating and other extremely unpleasant consequences.
However, properly selected herbs, leaves, fruits and vegetables will benefit the animal only. They contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which are necessary for its healthy and full existence.
Also, the leaves of plants and trees can improve the absorption of food, release the ventricle from the wool accumulated in it, and even prevent or cure some diseases.
In addition, it is an affordable and not expensive type of food, the main thing is to understand what can be given and what is not.
What leaves can be given to rabbits?
Let’s start with a sample list of leaves that are suitable for food:
Also, this list can be supplemented with leaves of chicory, wormwood, mustard, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, sunflower. Plus vegetable tops: carrot, beetroot, pumpkin, from radishes and celery. They are well absorbed and have a high nutritional value.
The most useful leaves
It is believed that rabbits receive the greatest benefit from eating acacia leaves and elm. They contain many essential trace elements, vitamins, amino acids, and protein. The next most important is maple, ash and poplar.
Nettle is the first spring vitamin for rabbits. Usually it is mixed with the main feed. For example, finely chopped, steamed together with bran or mixed with crushed boiled potatoes and in this form give animals.
Leaves of raspberries and strawberries also help to combat the lack of vitamins after winter, then they are adequately replaced by grapes.
Birch leaves to rabbits can also be given, but dosed. Do not forget about the diuretic effect of birch twigs and leaves, they can adversely affect the functioning of your pet’s kidneys.
Often, controversy takes place around lettuce leaves: is it possible to give lettuce leaves to rabbits, is it dangerous? Lettuce leaves, of course, benefit. They contain potassium, magnesium, folic acid, phosphorus, etc., it is an excellent means to strengthen the immune system, prevent obesity. But if you overfeed the rabbit salad, you can cause severe poisoning. All because of the alkaloids that are present in the plant in small quantities and, accumulating, are harmful to health.
Care must be taken with the tops of radish, which is in large quantities unsafe for the digestive system.
Oak and alder are poorly suited for permanent consumption, but they are an excellent medicine. Due to the presence of tannins, the leaves of these trees affect intestinal motility and eliminate diarrhea. If they feed the rabbit, they will provoke severe constipation. The same story with willow leaves – they have bactericidal properties and perfectly fight against various infections, but are not suitable for regular feeding.
The leaves of the plantain, yarrow, sea buckthorn and walnut – components of the "first aid kit" for eared. They have a tonic effect on the body and are quite suitable for harvesting for the winter. Give them daily as the main feed is not recommended.
Occasionally, for the prevention of disease, rabbits are given horseradish leaves.
In winter, coniferous trees help perfectly. Due to the lack of other greens, they are almost the only natural source of vitamins.
What leaves can not eat rabbits?
The leaves of some trees represent a great danger to the health and life of rabbits, because even in small quantities they act like poison. These include:
The bones of the fruit of the last five trees contain poisonous hydrocyanic acid and cyanides, which can turn into nerve poison. Therefore, it is believed that the bark with leaves may also contain a small percentage of this substance. Risk to the health of the animal is not worth it, because around the full other, safer trees and plants.
Leaves of herbs, flowers, vegetables
A unanimous opinion was formed about the tops of tomatoes – it is impossible to eat it with eared fish. Attitude to potato tops is not so categorical. But potatoes belong to the nightshade, like tomatoes, so not all breeders approve such a choice. Rhubarb, indoor plants, too, is not the best option for feeding rabbits.
Not all leaves are equally useful.
White and red cabbage leaves can be found in the fluffy feeding bowl, but they cause increased gas formation, fermentation, etc. For this reason, it is better attributed to prohibited products.
The deadly danger to eared pets are the leaves of celandine, belladonna, Datura, buttercups. It should be very careful when collecting plants for animals.
How is the leaves harvested?
Having decided on what kind of leaves can be given to rabbits, it is necessary to take care that the animals have access to them during the cold season. It will be necessary to work and prepare plants in the summer. Moreover, the collection itself takes a day or two, depending on the number of livestock.
Perfectly fit leaves of nettle, horseradish, carrot. They are indispensable for creating mash bags in winter – they are beautifully stored and retain useful substances in themselves. Dried plants in a place where the direct rays of the sun do not fall. It is advisable that it is a shade, but dry and well ventilated.