The winter and summer diet of rabbits differ significantly, as these animals mainly feed on grass and greens.
In the cold season there is a shortage of vitamins and trace elements, and it is impossible to find any greens, so the rabbits are often fed potatoes. We will tell about the form in which it can be given, and the tubers are useful for.
In nature, rabbits do not consume raw tubers. This is due to the fact that the starch, which is part of the potato, is poorly digested, causing indigestion, as well as other problems with digestion. However, the point is not the starch itself, but the fact that it did not undergo heat treatment. You can draw a parallel with the power of people. If you eat raw potatoes, then your digestive tract simply can not properly digest it.
Boiled potatoes can be given to rabbits, since it is not only well digested, but also provides the body with energy. This is a relatively cheap product that can be served with a combined feed or wet mash.
The tubers include vitamins B and C, as well as calcium, silicon, potassium and magnesium. However, the potato is most valuable because it allows you to achieve rapid mass gain among representatives of meat breeds. If a rabbit is slaughtered at 4 months, then its diet can consist of boiled tubers by 50%. They are very high in calories due to their high starch content.
It should be understood that this plus can be a huge disadvantage if you feed a lot of potatoes to a decorative rabbit. The animal will start to gain weight at an accelerated pace, to get fat, because of which it will have problems with internal organs. Pet not only can not give posterity, but also will live many times less.
Cut off the peel if given to rabbits, then only in boiled form. The raw product will cause the same reaction from the gastrointestinal tract as the raw potato. Before cooking, the cleaning must be washed and green shoots removed.
Potato peelings give rabbits only boiled Peel is usually given along with mash to increase calorie content, as well as to diversify the diet. You can also dry the boiled cleaning, then grind into flour. In the cold season, such an additive would not be superfluous. But it should be understood that this is only an additive, and not a complete feed, so you should give a peel from potatoes in small quantities.
It is important to know in what quantity to give tubers to rabbits, and when it is appropriate to include this product in their diet.
From what age can
The boiled product is easily absorbed by the animal, so it can be included in the diet from a month old. At the same time, you can try to feed raw potatoes only from 4 months of age, otherwise problems cannot be avoided.
It is not recommended to young animals to give a lot of high-calorie food, in order to avoid obesity, therefore it is better to use tubers when it is necessary to increase the caloric content of the diet. In the cold season – this is an excellent option, since the need for energy increases due to the need to maintain optimal body temperature.
How to give
If you keep the meat of rabbits, then the daily rate is 200 g of boiled potatoes. Giving is no longer necessary, otherwise the animal will simply “swim” with fat. Give the root in a mixture with feed or other vegetables. The exception is tribal males and females, which should not be given tubers in the last week before mating.
It is worth remembering that if the percentage of the product in question in the diet exceeds 50, then it is necessary to take care of the intake of a large amount of proteins and vitamins. The calorie content of potatoes is provided by a high content of carbohydrates, but there is very little protein in its composition.
As for decorative rabbits, if your pet is constantly kept in a cage, then it can be given no more than 50–70 g of potatoes per day. Such grams will not affect its weight. But if your rabbit often runs around the house (spends a lot of energy), then the rate can be increased to 80-100 g per day.
Contraindications and harm
It is contraindicated to give potatoes to rabbits with diseases or disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, it is also worth refusing the product if animals are suffering from obesity.
The potential harm is the high caloric content of tubers. Do not forget about the technology of cultivation, which is able to make a vegetable dangerous not only for rabbits, but also for humans (the accumulation of chemicals). If you feed your eared potatoes exclusively, then they will have a serious lack of protein, which will result in muscle atrophy and excessive growth of adipose tissue.
What else can be given to rabbits
You can also feed your pets with the following vegetables and herbs:
- pea pods;
- green bean;
- Jerusalem artichoke.