When breeding rabbits a significant part of their diet should be green feed. Such food not only significantly saves the farmer’s costs, it is also extremely useful for furry creatures. That’s just not all the plants are equally good for them, there are among them those that can cause harm. Since the question is very important, one should be able to understand which grass can be given to rabbits without fear, and which kinds of grass are completely excluded from the diet.
In order for rabbit breeding to be profitable, eared animals must eat well and be healthy. These criteria are directly dependent on the feed, as well as the conditions of keeping pets. There are many green grasses, it is desirable to consume them fresh to the rabbits all spring and summer, and hay – all year.
Useful properties of herbs
Grasses appear in early spring, disappear in the deep autumn with the onset of the first frost. The benefits of green fodder are hard to overestimate. Judge for yourself:
- grass mass is well digested by rabbit stomachs, and therefore quickly absorbed;
- greens, thanks to the fiber contained in it, has a positive effect on the digestive system of herbivores;
- the growth of animals is stimulated;
- the quality of their wool is improved.
Fresh herbs for rabbits are a natural source of nutrients and vitamins. They are much more useful than herbs, mowed at a later date. But in the latter much more fiber.
All this does not mean that the rabbits should be fed exclusively with grass mass – too much of it can be harmful. No, the diet of furry animals should be balanced, and therefore the herbs in it are combined with other food. This is explained by the fact that:
- Fresh green mass has a lot of water, rabbits in such quantities simply do not need;
- dry food, on the contrary, getting into the animal’s stomach, absorbs excess fluid.
And the plants themselves for rabbits need to be alternated, since different types of herbs also contain nutrients in varying degrees. Composing a nutritious diet for rabbits, one should strive for diversity: the more different greens, the better.
Benefits of adding herbs to feed
Rabbit breeders need to understand the benefits of using fresh herbs to feed their pets. They are obvious:
- herbs grow on their own, and when you stock them you don’t spend your money at all, only your time;
- the more green mass goes into food, the less you have to spend grain crops and acquired dry food – that’s your savings;
- in the stems of leguminous plants, in their leaves are many proteins and amino acids. Thanks to them, the animals grow quickly, gaining live weight;
- by eating grass stalks, rabbits grind their teeth;
- many herbs can be used as a green pharmacy. In particular, they help with lactation, inflammation and digestive disorders.
Since the main task of the rabbit breeder is to get a strong and healthy livestock, you need to understand well which grass can be fed to rabbits, and which cannot be fed. Let us briefly review those and its other types.
First of all, we list herbs that are useful for your furry pets.
- Alfalfa. By the amount of protein and amino acids is much more useful clover. Experts recommend feeding her young and lactating females – the bunny gains weight faster, and the lactation increases in bunnies.
- Clover. Contains a lot of protein.
- Sagebrush. The grass is somewhat controversial, because in large quantities it can cause nervous excitement and even aggression in rabbits. But in small doses – no more than 200 grams per day – wormwood is extremely useful. With its help, it is possible to drive worms to animals, and also to cope with disorders of the digestive system.
- Plantain. This plant grows in a variety of conditions. It can be safely given to rabbits for food, and it is also very useful due to its vitamins and proteins. Fiber in the plantain is small.
- Coltsfoot. It starts to ripen early, so it can be added to feed as early as May. Rabbits with appetite eat it, and besides, the coltsfoot improves digestion and has some healing properties.
- Pyrei. Doctors primarily distinguish its diuretic properties. Before use, the plant is first washed from the ground and sand, then the rhizomes are separated, which are fed to animals. Pyrei is well kept for about three years, if you only store it in glass jars.
- Nettle. The foliage of this plant, in addition to its nutritional properties, can also help in the treatment. It is better to harvest the nettles for the winter, while fresh rabbits are fed only by its stems. So that the plant does not burn, it is pre-scalded with boiling water. Nettle has a lot of vitamins, it also improves the digestive system of animals.
- Siberian hogweed. The plant will be more useful not to rabbits, but to females – enhanced milk production is stimulated during lactation. Hogweed can be collected for feeding almost until the beginning of July, during the flowering period. But only leaves are given in food, it is better not to eat flowers to rabbits.
- Dandelion. This plant for rabbits is a favorite delicacy. It is very nutritious because it contains many proteins. Cellulose in it, on the contrary, an insignificant amount. Dandelion belongs to wild herbs, and adding it to the feed increases the appetite of the animals. Experts recommend bringing the number of dandelion in the diet of rabbits to 30%, not more.
- Burdock, tansy, Ivan-tea, yarrow – these wild species will also be useful.
To dry the grass should not be in the sun, but in the shade, laying out on sticks, folding them in the manner of a tent, or on a stretched grid.
Other plants suitable for feeding
In addition to the grasses themselves, rabbits are also fed with leaves from trees, as well as bark and shoots. In particular, these animals will willingly eat:
- leaves and bark of birch, aspen, linden, acacia, willow;
- shoots of alder, oak, elm, hazel;
- pruned branches of fruit trees (with the exception of apricot).
Is it possible to give these plants in any quantity? It is impossible. It is necessary to make sure that the daily rate of bark and shoots is within 200 grams.
Important. There are also trees whose leaves and branches are undesirable to rabbits. These “harmful” species include:
In addition to grasses and trees, other plants that are easy to meet at any country or summer cottage will fit the rabbit food. The same weeds and roots from the garden, for example, excellent food.
Now it’s time to consider which grass should not be given to rabbits, because it can be harmful to the health of your eared pets. Eating some herbs for food can cause stomach problems and other misfortunes, while others are simply poisonous. During general mowing, some of the harmful herbs can mix with the total mass. There are herbs that in no case should not be eaten by your pets.
- Jasmine and poppy – ornamental herbs cause various ailments.
- Buttercups. Violate the work of the stomach. Cause diarrhea, vomiting, excessive salivation. The stomach is swollen with poisoning.
- Euphorbia – from him the animals can vomit.
- Sleep-grass. There is simply a complete set of negative consequences – and paralysis, and convulsions, and interruptions in the work of the heart. Causes diarrhea and other intestinal disorders.
- Cornflower horned. It has a negative effect on the ventricles of rabbits. It causes diarrhea and vomiting. If you eat it too much, paralysis may occur.
- Datura. In addition to paralysis, can cause disruptions of the heart muscle.
- Milestone poisonous. It also causes anxiety and convulsions in animals, as well as respiratory paralysis.
- Hemlock. A very poisonous plant, from which the rabbits fall in temperature, seizures occur, and complete paralysis can occur.
- Bog marsh. It is found mainly in wetlands. When eaten, it causes bloating of the tummies in small animals, copious salivation and general nervousness.
- Houseplants such as begonia and azalea, amaryllis, etc.
- Celandine big. Weakens the body of animals, reduces appetite, makes them sluggish.
- Kaluzhnitsa. Causes rabbits to urinate frequently, causing colic and vomiting.
- Avran. Inflames intestinal mucosa.
- Digitalis. Makes the heart of animals to work faster, the consequence of which are shortness of breath, arrhythmia, cramps appear.
- Frozen or canned green mass.
Let’s add that animals can be poisoned by such plants as:
These plants are dangerous in the period of their withering, as well as soaking and fermentation. They contain glucoside, which under these conditions is converted into hydrocyanic acid.
But even extremely useful herbs can easily become harmful under certain conditions. In order for grass food to go to your charges for future use, you need to follow certain rules in its preparation and feeding animals. These rules are general, apply to all types of herbs:
- only young grass is allowed to eat, it has more protein and less fiber. If you feed the rabbits with late harvest herbs, problems with digestion may occur;
- it is better not to give grass of the same type all the time (health problems may arise), but to organize herbal mixtures, making the diet more varied;
- grass mass should not be freshly mown and wet, for example, with dew – this leads to digestive disorders. Fresh mass before eating is necessarily dried and dried;
- grass must be harvested by hand, without the use of mechanical mowing. Greens mown with the help of apparatuses oxidize faster and can acquire toxic properties;
- If you give fresh plants after a long break, add them to the feed gradually, always after concentrated feed. Since such food is rich in proteins, ventricular indigestion may occur from an oversupply in rabbits;
- it is necessary to mow the grass in the noon time, on sunny days, in no case at dawn or after rain – an excess of moisture is harmful to rabbit stomachs;
- do not collect herbs in places where pets walk, near busy motorways or near businesses that work with harmful substances. The same applies to grass from street lawns;
- the grass dried up for the winter should not contain a mold, have rotten sites;
- It is necessary to accustom young grass to grass food gradually, giving it in small doses and carefully observing the reaction to a new food;
- harvesting for the winter do at the very beginning of flowering plants, as soon as buds are formed;
- it is necessary to dry herbs for a short time, in this case hay retains its green color and appetizing smell (for rabbits, of course);
- leguminous crops can cause swelling of the rabbit tummies, so they are gradually given to feed, preferably mixed with cereals.
Green sowing on the plot
This option is preferable for those who do not have much time to wander through the meadows and engage in the collection. On your plot you can plant all those types of grass that are useful for rabbits:
- legumes are nutritious and healthy;
- red clover – when the buds start to tie, it will contain 21% protein. You can also use hybrid and mountain types of clover, these cultures are also rich in protein. All rabbits eat such clover with great appetite;
- alfalfa culture – it is high in protein and amino acids. Alfalfa is no less useful for rabbits than clover, while it grows well in different climatic zones. It should be mowed immediately after the formation of the first flowers;
- oats. He manages to be sown twice per season, planting the second batch immediately after mowing the first;
- Borage grass and Phacelia – they require a deep planting, but for eared fish they are very tasty and healthy;
- green peas – dried pods and stems are eaten;
- celery and parsley are able to increase the appetite of animals;
- Vika – she should be mixed with oats when feeding;
- rye – her and vetch in food are given together;
- corn – young stalks are added to the diet, combining corn with leguminous plants. Corn with legumes goes in combination 70% to 30%;
- sid is an ornamental plant that is pollinated by bees, and honey is collected from it. It grows for many years, you can mow twice during the summer period. There are no less proteins in the plant than in clover and alfalfa;
- sulfide – like sid, rich in nutrients, mowing it in the summer, too, twice;
- rhubarb – they begin to harvest it in early spring, when other herbs have not yet grown and it is too early to mow them. Rhubarb is a perennial plant, often rabbit breeders grow it just for food to their wards;
- aft lupine – belongs to the legume family. Unlike the yellow lupine, which causes lupinosis (poisoning due to the high content of alkaloids), in the feed variant there is a lot of protein. It is not recommended to give the rabbits only one lupine, otherwise they will have ventricular indigestion;
- amaranth – blooms beautifully on the site, does not require special care, has a beneficial effect on the digestive system of animals;
- dill, cumin and mint make rabbit meat tasty and more fragrant.
We tried to give a detailed answer to the question of many private livestock breeders: what kind of grass to feed the rabbits. As you can see, there are more useful herbs for your pets than harmful ones, but precautions should be observed in everything. Remember, you can damage the health of animals, even if you feed them healthy herbs – if you do not observe basic safety.