Grass is the most natural rabbit food. It is not only available fresh from spring to late autumn, it can be harvested as hay and grass flour to replenish the winter diet. During the period of active flowering, the question of which herbs can be given to domestic rabbits and which cannot be given becomes topical.
The effect of herbs on the body of rabbits
In the wild, rabbits eat plants often and in large quantities.
The habitats of these animals are:
- forest glades;
- shrubs off the banks of rivers.
When choosing greenery, preference is given to those plants that grow in the zone of natural habitat. It can be clover, alfalfa, plantain, dandelion, sorrel, sow thistle, tansy, cane. Green has a high fiber content, which is great for grinding teeth.
The digestive system is designed for constant active consumption and processing of plants.
- The advantages of using herbs in the rabbit diet are:
- varietal diversity, which ensures the arrival of a large number of different biologically active substances in the diet;
- a large amount of plant food (it is necessary for normal digestion);
- no cost for the purchase of such feed;
- correct grinding of the teeth of the animal;
- assistance in restoring the normal intestinal microflora, enriching the diet with nutrients, therapeutic effects;
- guarantee of good health and immunity of a pet.
The disadvantages of using herbs are not many.
- Such a list includes the following:
- a rabbit can become infected with helminths if plants are collected in the habitats of farm and domestic animals;
- the pet will be recovered if poisonous plants get into the body.
Now you know exactly why you can not collect the grass near the habitats of people. Harvesting of plant materials is organized in places far from the constant presence of people, and certainly in the summer. It will also be correct to wash the plants with boiling water before use (this destroys most of the parasites).
The risk of infection with such raw materials is minimal. To avoid poisoning, do not collect unknown herbs for your pet.
What grass to give rabbits
Those who grow rabbits for meat and skins, often feed the pet greens from the garden. This is correct because there are no poisonous plants among the garden weeds. But there are also features.
Wet grass after rain should not be given to pets. The concentration of pathogens and parasites on it is maximum. Such a diet can cause an infectious disease or poisoning. In order not to infect rabbits, it should be collected after everything is dry. About grass with dew – the same cautions.
Lawn mowers can be used for mowing. Freshly mowed grass becomes harmful due to the contact of plant sap with metal knives. Fresh greens are harvested by hand, without the use of metal tools (or others that come into contact with the juice).
Crude and green grass is characterized by a maximum content of beneficial substances from May to July, that is, before these substances are given to the seeds and fruits. For harvesting hay is the best choice.
Regardless of what the grass will be, you need to consider that the amount of nutrients in dry and raw materials is almost the same. The difference is in the volume of water. In the dry mass contains 20% water, and in the raw – 80%. To dry raw materials for winter blanks need to be in a dry place, protected from sunlight.
Experienced farmers know that poisonous plants are the most dangerous in their raw state. In the process of drying poisonous enzymes are destroyed. That is why the grass must be dried up.
Among the herbs useful to the rabbit that can grow in the garden are:
- red root;
- lawn grass;
- blooming Sally;
- mouse peas;
Mustard is one of the most valuable herbs for the nutrition of farm animals. It is rich in proteins (24%), fats (31%) and fiber (14%). Rabbits can be given mustard only if it is harvested before flowering. Then the plant produces sinigrin, irritating the intestines of the animal.
The mokritsa (or starfish) is always growing in abundance on wet areas. Mokritsa helps to strengthen immunity, improve the condition of fur, accelerate metabolic processes. The proportion of woodlice should not exceed 10% of the total composition.
Lawn grass is often mown and given along with other varieties. It is not poisonous, but animals consider it less “tasty” and, if there is a choice, they will eat other plants. But then rabbits love mouse polka dots, goatskin, purslane.
It is very important that there is no celandine and birch (field bindweed) in the pet ration. These plants are poisonous to animals. But the properties of chicory can remove vegetable poisons and toxins from the body of the pet. Therefore, it does not interfere with adding chicory to the diet, along with any vegetable raw materials.
Meadow grasses are considered very useful.
Among them are the main ones:
- alfalfa, containing useful for young plant proteins and amino acids;
- clover – improves immunity;
- sagebrush – it is given as anthelmintic in small quantities;
- plantain – known for its medicinal properties;
- coltsfoot – one of the earliest spring herbs with a rich set of trace elements;
- wheat rhizomes – they contain a lot of useful substances, they help to grind down teeth;
- nettle – the most fortified herb;
- Hogweed Chinese – useful for rabbits during lactation;
- dandelions – the most favorite rabbits plant; the rate of dandelion in the diet should be at least 30%.
Dangerous herbs are those whose ingredients can lead to pet poisoning.
- bright, well-known buttercups (they contain one of the powerful plant poisons – protoanemonin). The pet will not die, but diarrhea and acute poisoning are provided;
- spurge – causes poisoning and vomiting;
- sleep-grass – a large "range" of consequences (from diarrhea to heart failure);
- cornflowers, Datura, hemlock, marigold, celandine, digitalis, marsh calla – they also cause poisoning.
Black millet and sorghum are not poisonous in a dry form, but when soaked, they release into the water a substance that turns into hydrocyanic acid and also leads to poisoning. Poor quality (rotted, rotten) grass can cause pet intestinal upset.
Young shoots of trees, twigs and bark are also included in the diet – they are necessary for grinding teeth and maintaining normal digestive processes. From the point of view of rabbits, shoots of fruit trees (cherries, apples) are considered the most delicious. All whose gardens are visited in the winter by wild rabbits and hares can easily see this.
You can also use hazel shoots. Another type of wholesome food is root vegetables (for example, carrots).
Basic feeding rules
There are such basic rules for feeding:
- the diet of ordinary and ornamental rabbits should consist of hay, roots, greens and concentrates;
- rabbits cannot be fed only with grass alone – this leads to diseases of the digestive tract and teeth deformation;
- greens should not exceed 40% of the diet, and the optimal amount – about 30%;
- hay and branches should always be freely available – the pet will not eat them more than necessary;
- greens should be given during the day;
- it should be varied (you can not give all the time plants of one species, it depletes the diet).
Before you give the grass to pets, it must be treated: washed, dried.
The share of green fodder should be no more than 30% in the total diet – this is one of the feeding rules. An excess of greens causes diarrhea due to the abundance of vegetable proteins. In a large volume of proteins are not absorbed by the body of the animal.
Specifying how to feed an adult rabbit, it should be noted that the average diet consists of:
Feed animals need 3 times a day. Branches and hay should be available at all times, and green fodder and concentrates not eaten by the pet should be cleaned so as not to create an environment for the development of various pathogenic microorganisms, fungi and mold.
To make the pet rabbit’s diet as beneficial as possible, greens can be not harvested, but grown. For this, a group of small boxes will do. What to feed the little rabbits?
They are suitable:
For rabbits at the age of 1-2 months dandelions, plantain, clover are suitable. The norm of greens in the diet rabbit – no more than 10 g.
For young suitable for any healthy herbs. Their volume in the summer diet is about 200 g per day (the composition takes into account both hay and green mass). When it is cold, the share of hay increases to 300 g.
How to grow green feed on your site
You can grow salads and cereals on rabbits on a windowsill – barley, wheat, oats, buckwheat. They are rich in B-complex vitamins, E and K, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, protein. They contain a lot of fiber, useful for the animal. This food is not only environmentally friendly, but also useful.
For growing grass suitable any capacity. It may even be an empty tin can or a flower pot. Greens do not need a deep layer of soil, so it is better to take plastic boxes. Plants are sometimes grown on sawdust or cat litter.
Seeds are sown randomly and sprayed with sprayer substrate. After the seeds are placed in the “ground” and watered, cover the container with a film to create a greenhouse effect. Everything will sprout in 5 days.
Rabbit leaders recommend using cereal seeds for planting, which they buy to feed their pet. They germinate better and do not contain herbicides, which are processed grain in the agro-industrial complex.
For planting in the soil on the plots used as a grain, and agricultural herbs – mustard, clover, Lucerne. Sow need to wet the ground shallowly. After sowing, monitor the condition of the soil and water when drying.
For the organization of crop rotation can be planted in lots of greens in a few days.
Recommendations for feeding rabbits
The digestion of the rabbit is arranged in such a way that it must be constantly chewed, therefore the hay and branches must be kept in the trough constantly.
Among the main recommendations for grass feeding are:
- any vegetable raw materials should be cleaned from dust and dried in a dry place;
- drying time – 3-4 hours;
- dry need a thin layer on a clean surface and periodically overturn.
When choosing a grass, use simple rules: if you don’t know this plant, you don’t need to give it to your pet. There are so many useful and neutral plants that you will surely pick a good diet for him.