The natural menu of wild rabbits includes not only grass and roots, but also various seeds of wild plants. In the wild, the animal chooses the type of food that is most beneficial for it. On the home farm, the rabbit breeder watches over the food for the animals. Some farmers are actively introduced into the diet of animals sunflower. Before giving leaves and sunflower seeds to rabbits, you need to know how much food will not harm pets.
Is it possible to give a sunflower to rabbits
If you believe the farmers with many years of experience in keeping animals and research veterinarians, stalks, leaves and sunflower seeds can be given to rabbits. But feed should be introduced into the diet with caution, in small portions, so as not to provoke diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
Sunflower seeds contain amino acids (lysine, threonine, isoleucine, phenylalanine), alanine, aspartic acid, arginine, glutamic acid, minerals and vitamins in their nucleoli.
The total fat content in whole seeds is 34%, protein 16%, fiber 25%, and ash 3.8%. Energy value – 500 kcal per 100 g, crude protein – 17 g.
The composition makes the product a highly nutritious and fatty food, which is useful for young, suckling and nursing queens. With the addition of seeds or oil to the diet, animals develop better, gain weight, and the coat becomes shiny and thick. Rabbits are fed whole or crushed seeds, introducing them into the composition of grain mixtures.
Cake and sunflower meal
Cake and meal – a by-product from the processing of sunflower oil. These are pomace consisting of peel and kernels from seeds, in which the remaining oil remains. The most valuable in terms of nutrition is considered to be cake, obtained as a result of cold pressing of sunflower.
The product contains:
- protein – 33–38%;
- crude fiber – 20%;
- fat (lipids) – 10–12.6%.
Cake and meal are more concentrated and nutritious food than seeds. Animal produce less than seed.
Stems and tops
Giving rabbits leaves and young shoots can be done with other grass. Because of the rough surface of the leaves, the animals do not always willingly eat the tops of the plant, and there are coarse, stiff stalks that refuse at all.
Leaves and shoots can be dried for the winter with other grass. It is important to ensure that the rough parts of the sunflowers are not covered with mold during storage. Sometimes from the tops of the plant, silage is prepared for feeding to lactating females in winter, instead of vegetables.
Plant and sunflower seeds – a product that can not be given in unlimited quantities, despite all its benefits. The rule of “first small doses” of food should be strictly observed when animals are trained in an unfamiliar product.
From what age can
Rabbits up to 3 months of age are not recommended to give whole sunflower seeds. The hard and sharp skin can injure the delicate lining of the stomach. Animals up to this age are given cake meal as part of a grain mixture or kernel of sunflower seeds without peel.
Leaves and baskets with immature seeds are introduced into the animals menu, starting from one month of life. The proportion of leaves and shoots of a plant should not exceed 50% of the total mass of grass per feeding.
How to give
Seeds are made to chop or flatten. The easiest way to crush them with a rolling pin or glass bottle. The share of such seeds in the composition of the grain mixture is 25–40%, depending on the group of animals:
- young animals for fattening give up to 40% of the total mass of grain;
- lactating females – 25–30%;
- sukrolnym rabbit seeds can be given no more than 20%.
Animals at rest, sunflower seeds and cake do not give to avoid obesity.
The cake is fed in a crushed dry form or as part of mash. Its share in the composition of the grain mixture is from 8 to 15%. When feeding animals wet mash, cake can be soaked in warm water.
The leaves, shoots and baskets of the plant are fed fresh and dried. Large parts are cut into pieces, chop the stem along. Baskets give the whole form.
Contraindications and harm
Thanks to its powerful and branched roots, the culture is able to accumulate in its tissues nitrates and other harmful substances from the soil. In this connection, plants cannot be harvested on farmer fields where toxic preparations are used to protect the planting from pests. Sunflowers grown in their own garden are harmless to rabbits.
Deadly harm to rabbits is spoiled rancid cake. The product can be stored no more than 3 months provided that it is in a dry and cool room. Keep the cake in tightly closed barrels or bags, so that it does not oxidize in fresh air. If the cake or meal has a musty or sour smell, it should not be given to rabbits.