The need for food is one of the main needs of rabbits, which are raised at home. A complete feed gives them strength and energy, provides healthy substances, maintains normal body temperature.
The basis of the diet – vegetable food. Animal feed in the menu of domestic rabbits in significantly smaller amounts, only as vitamin-mineral supplements.
Types of feed
Experienced livestock breeders do not ask themselves about feeding rabbits. They know that practically the whole feed is suitable. plant food, which does not need to look, because it is ubiquitous. In rabbit breeding there are enough types of feed, so the food is diverse. It is mandatory to feed the rabbits vegetables and hay, fruits are used as treats.
There are food, thanks to which the ration of pets make up correctly:
This type of feed rabbits translate with the onset of frost. The basis of their diet at this time – the roots and silage. Melon crops such as zucchini, pumpkins and watermelons grow in the southern regions, so the animals get them too. There are a lot of vitamins in succulent feeds, but few proteins and fiber. Rabbits eat them well and digest them. Nursing rabbit organisms produce more milk if their diet is supplemented with succulent feeds:
- Carrots supply carotene, in winter it is its main source. Before feeding the root crop is cleaned from the ground. Frozen needs to be defrosted. They give both whole and cut into pieces, the size of pieces is four centimeters.
- Potatoes quickly saturate thanks to starch. The tuber is boiled and mixed with bran or mixed fodder. You can give fresh potatoes and peeling of it, but only a little.
- Cabbage favorably affects the quality of the skin, stimulates the growth of the undercoat. Also strengthens the immune system. Give in a fresh, boiled, fermented form. The composition of the feed it is introduced in small portions to avoid digestive disorders.
- Sugar and fodder beet helps to improve blood quality, stimulates metabolism. Feed raw or boiled. Give strictly dosed as cause diarrhea. Young animals are shown up to 200 g per day; in adults, the daily rate is up to 300 g. It is forbidden to feed with beetroot.
- Squash fodder increases the digestibility of other foods. It is consumed raw, fresh, because it cannot be stored for a long time.
- Kuusika is a hybrid of rutabaga and forage cabbage. It has a high nutritional value, increases the digestibility of feed, increases the weight and growth of young. It has good preservation, high yield. Small animals are ground with a grater, and adults are given slices.
- Pumpkin contributes to milk production, improving the quality of wool. Feed raw or boiled. Youngsters cook mashed potatoes.
- Other root vegetables, including Jerusalem artichoke, radish, turnip, turnip, and melons (watermelon and cantaloupe) can also be given, but their nutritional value is low.
Silo has good nutritional qualities, animals eat it well. Harvested from vegetables, their waste, herbs, tops, melons. Silage mass contributes to lactation and growth of young animals.
As a rule, silage animals fed in large farms, but it can be easily prepared in a small subsidiary farm. All components are crushed into pieces of approximately one centimeter and a good tamped down. Forage is placed in a special pit, reinforced with wood or cement. Instead of a pit, they also use a wooden barrel. After laying the feed, the pit or barrel should be plugged and closed to prevent air from entering. The pits are covered with foil; a mixture of earth and straw is placed on it. The wooden barrel is covered with sawdust and covered with clay.
Rabbits love silage, which consists of beets, carrots, cabbage and tops. It is easy to prepare, well eaten and absorbed by animals. Nutrient silo is obtained if you take:
- 40% grass legumes;
- 40% carrot leaves and forage cabbage;
- 20% carrots;
- 30% boiled mashed potatoes.
It is necessary to wait for the silo for two months. How much is needed for one family? It is enough to prepare 100 kilograms for one family.
It is a quarter of all types of feed in the rabbit diet. The composition has fiber, which is necessary for proper digestion and satiety. Rough food is hay and tree branches that were harvested in spring and summer, as well as hay flour.
“Rough” feeding consists mainly of hay, for harvesting of which the same herbs are used, which consists of green fodder. Grass for harvesting hay mowed before flowering, or when the first flowers appear. The cut grass is first dried on the street, then transferred under a canopy with air access. This method prevents excessive drying, which turns soft hay into coarse. It should have a pleasant aroma and green color. Store it in closed dry rooms horizontally on wooden planks, the ground should be no less than half a meter from it.
If the hay harvesting takes place in rainy weather, then the grass is mowed a little, since it is necessary to ensure a good drying. Dried in small layers, which are placed on shelves consisting of a large metal mesh or wooden slats.
If the grass is mowed too late, and in the process of drying it has been under the hot rays of the sun or in the rain, then rabbits will eat such hay badly. Therefore, recycle it into flour.
In winter, one rabbit requires 40 kilograms of hay, plus 15 kilograms for each rabbit. If there is not enough hay, first of all you need to think about suckling and nursing females and young animals. Adult males, when the plan is not mating, instead of hay, you can give lentil, oatmeal, millet or pea straw. This must be done very rarely, since there are very few nutrients in it and it cannot be fed for a long time.
In winter, branches will be a good help. They are harvested in a timely manner, as many vitamins and nutrients contain young branches with many leaves. In animals, access to which is open for eating branches, there is no desire to gnaw the bars of the cage.
Branches suitable for feeding rabbits are not harvested from all trees. They are fed with linden, maple, willow, willow, acacia, rowan, poplar, aspen, ash, elm, oak, alder, lilac, raspberry, apple, pear, hazel. Birch branches provoke kidney disease, so they give dosed. If diarrhea is caught, an oak or an alder will help, they fix. For variety give branches of stone trees, for example, cherries, cherries, plums. However, this should be done infrequently and in small quantities, since they contain hydrocyanic acid, poisonous to rabbits.
They are not suitable as food branches of elderberry, bird cherry, apricot, wolf’s lash, buckthorn, Labrador tea. Rabbits can be poisoned by them.
Branches are cut at the beginning of summer, when they contain the maximum amount nutrients. The branches are selected with a thickness of not more than 0.5 cm half a meter in length, joined into brooms about 10 cm in diameter and dried in well ventilated rooms.
In winter, rabbits eat fresh branches of coniferous trees. As an additional source of vitamins are suitable: spruce, pine, cedar, fir, juniper. Between October and March, the number of resins and essential oils does not decrease. Coniferous branches are introduced into the diet gradually, starting with 10 grams per day, gradually during the week adjusted to 200 g per adult. Every half a month feeding needles need to take a break for a week. Keep it in bags on the street, you can in the snow. Needles promotes rapid growth, because it improves appetite. In addition, it improves the appearance of wool.
In the green season – in spring and summer – the owners, as a rule, do not have a question, what better to feed the rabbits. As soon as green shoots appear, animals need to be given green food. Since this is the basis of the diet to the frost. Green feed includes:
- wild herbs;
- cereals, legumes and legumes;
- vegetable tops and kale.
Green grass is harvested in natural meadows. If possible, then you can sow grass: lupine, clover, vetch, oats, alfalfa, winter rye, corn, barley. Legumes, legume-cereals and cereals contain a lot of protein, vitamins and minerals, but it is better to make a mixture before serving. Feeding rabbits with herbs only from the legume family will lead to bloating.
Green fodder is made from tops of the following vegetable crops:
- Jerusalem artichoke;
- fodder and sugar beet.
Rabbits can not be fed to the tops of tomatoes. Carefully give and greens. Her mowed for 5 days before harvest. Potato tops are introduced into the diet in steps, following the reaction of rabbits. The green part of the potato in the feed should not exceed 15%.
The plant of these two types of beetroot is weak, therefore no more than a third adds it to the green feed, and also necessarily add to the counterweight leaves and branches oak, comfrey, alder, yarrow, possessing astringent and anchoring properties. The beet harvester is contraindicated in young.
One of the most nutritious types of food that can be fed to rabbits is concentrated feed. These include:
- meal, cake, bran;
- feed of animal origin.
They have a large number protein and the minimum amount of water, this explains their high energy value.
Concentrated feeds increase growth and increase lactation. For rabbits, its presence is optimal, which takes about 40% of the diet. Grains are given to animals — they feed oats, maize, barley, wheat, sorghum, rye, and legumes: peas, lentils, soybeans, and beans.
Oats are considered the best food of the grain, as it is very nutritious. Despite this, it is a dietary, good effect on the gastrointestinal tract, stimulating digestion. This product helps to avoid obesity. Oats give whole grain, crushed or flattened.
During the fattening of rabbits, you can use corn, it has a high energy value. Before feeding, the grain is soaked in water or crushed, you can give boiled porridge. Corn is combined with legumes or leguminous plants, as they are rich in proteins and amino acids, which are not enough in corn.
Barley, wheat, rye and sorghum are used crushed, they are mixed with other feed. With wheat, you need to be careful, as it in abundance leads to bloating. Barley before serving is released from the shell, rabbits can not digest it.
Grain before feeding rabbits prepare, thereby increasing its digestibility. There are three ways: soaking, germination and yeast. Soaking with subsequent germination increases the amount of vitamins, improves the absorption of proteins. Yeast allows you to better absorb fiber, as well as eat food. However, it should be noted that feeding more than 5 days of yeast grain can lead to flatulence.
Bran, oil cake, meal, dry pulp are also referred to as concentrated feed. Rabbits are fed wheat bran, soybean, flaxseed, sunflower and hemp meal and cake.
Particularly valuable among animal feed is meat and bone meal and fish meal. Quality flour should not have an increased amount of moisture. It is mixed with wet food at a dosage of not more than 10 g per rabbit. Animal flour contains a lot of calcium and phosphorus, which makes them become mineral additives. The feeding process with the use of feed becomes more expensive than without it, but its balanced composition allows you to adjust the diet of feeding rabbits, taking into account its needs.
It is important to remember that feeding rabbits should not pursue the goal of reducing the cost of feed, it is necessary to maintain the health of pets with it. After all, only in this way will the breeder get quality products and achieve high results.