To successfully grow rabbits, you need to provide them with proper nutrition. A varied and balanced diet containing the amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that rabbits need will contribute to their rapid growth, excellent health and increased fertility.
How to feed the rabbits
To calculate the most suitable diet, it is necessary to take into account the age of rabbits, their size and condition. Based on these factors, the daily need of a rabbit for nutrients, protein, fiber, as well as vitamin supplements for food is determined.
The types of rabbit feed are divided into groups:
- Succulent fodder: silage, beet, carrot, turnip, melon, turnip;
- Rough forage: straw, hay from leguminous and cereal crops, branches of coniferous or deciduous trees;
- Green foods: alfalfa, plantain, rhubarb, young nettle, dandelions and other field and meadow herbs;
- Concentrated feed: cake, corn grain, crushed and soaked in water, whole or crushed oats, bran, as well as any feed for domestic animals, except for those intended for birds.
- Animal feed: fish oil, whey, bone meal, skimmed milk, buttermilk.
- Food waste: dried, but in no way moldy, bread, pasta, the remains of all kinds of soups or porridges, the rind of potatoes or peeling carrots. It is very important to ensure that the products are fresh.
- Supplements to compensate for the lack of certain minerals and vitamins in the body of rabbits: chalk, bone meal, table salt.
Rabbit feeding is of two types – mixed and dry.. In the mixed version, rabbits are given thick or liquid mixtures consisting of feeds of various groups, and with dry feeding, ready-made feeds are used, in which nutrients and mineral and vitamin supplements are already present. For different age groups of animals apply their own types of feed.
In the autumn-winter period, when the supply of green fodder comes to an end, it is necessary to increase the quantity of succulent fodder in the diet of rabbits, i.e. those that contain a large amount of water – up to 80%. These can be various gourds, roots or silage. This food improves the digestive processes, increases the fertility of males and lactation in females, because it contains little fiber and a lot of carbohydrates that can be easily absorbed in the body of rabbits.
The most common food that rabbits love is carrot. It contains a huge amount of vitamin A, necessary for animals in winter. You can give carrots whole carrots, and sometimes you can cut them into pieces a few centimeters long.
An excellent juicy food is potatoes. It does not have many vitamins, but a lot of starch, which is useful for the digestion of rabbits. Before you give the animals a potato, you need to wash it, clean it from sprouts and boil it. Potato peelings can also be given to rabbits.
In addition to carrots, rabbits love cabbage. It contains many vitamins and microelements that help improve the quality of rabbit skins. But you can not introduce cabbage into the diet of animals in large portions, as this can lead to disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. Cabbage is recommended to be introduced gradually. Any kind of cabbage will do – plain, fodder or kohlrabi.
Very useful for rabbits fodder beet. It improves metabolism, strengthens the immune system and improves the blood. Beets, too, must be introduced into the diet carefully so as not to cause problems with the intestines. You can give animals and beet tops. But beetroot can not be fed rabbits.
Aft zucchini is also a wonderful juicy food. It is used for the manufacture of silage. Zucchini in the diet of rabbits will help easier to digest other feed.
Pumpkin, melon, watermelon and other melons contain a huge amount of water, which allows them to be used as succulent feed.
Silage is also very important, since it contributes to the increase in lactation in lactating females and accelerates the growth of baby rabbits. Silo is very cheap food, but it has useful qualities and rabbits love it very much.
This is a vegetable feed that does not contain moisture, but in which there is a lot of fiber. Such feeds not only improve digestion, but also create a feeling of satiety in animals. Rough feed helps the rabbits to sharpen the incisors, and this is very important for the process of preparing food for digestion. Rough feed should be about 30% of the total amount of food.
As a roughage most often used hay, meadow better. It contains a lot of vitamins, proteins and minerals. Harvesting hay produced before flowering plants or at the very beginning of flowering.
Be sure to in the diet of rabbits must be present sprig feed. For this, young shoots are pulled from the trees, preferably with leaves. Broom branches, wolf berries, stone trees and elderberries are not suitable for feeding rabbits because they contain harmful substances.
Rabbits well suited and hay flour harvested from hay legumes.
The main diet of rabbits should consist of concentrated feed, they should be about 70%. This includes cereals and feed. Seeds of Shrovetide plants can be given to rabbits as a whole, and if they are grains of cereal or legumes, they should be thoroughly crushed and moistened before they are given to rabbits – the respiratory tract of animals will not be irritated with dust. Grains of different types of plants are better mixed, so they will be better absorbed in the body of animals.
Feed is also often used to feed these animals. These are such mixtures containing all the nutrients necessary for rabbits, including trace elements and vitamins.
What to feed the little rabbit
The diet of baby rabbits does not particularly differ from the diet of adults, except for observing caution when introducing a new type of food.
Rabbits should always have hay, preferably fine, not very dusty and green. Succulent feeds are recommended to start feeding rabbits from 3 months of age, not earlier. Vegetables, fruits and herbs should be fresh, they should be washed and dried before serving.
Important! Juicy food is introduced into the diet of rabbits gradually, starting with small pieces and carefully watching the health of the animals. If a fruit or vegetable causes diarrhea or diarrhea in a rabbit, it is better to stop giving him this food.
Water must be changed every day, pouring only fresh and clean water. For rabbits it is better to use distilled or boiled water.
Compound feed for baby rabbits should be given 2 tablespoons in the morning and evening. Having taught little rabbits to a certain type of food, it is impossible to move abruptly onto another – their gastrointestinal tracts are very gentle and easily susceptible to all sorts of disorders and illnesses. It is better to feed the rabbits during certain hours.
In a cage with baby rabbits it is necessary to hang a chalk or salt stone. Chalk, they will gnaw, and salt – lick, if they have such a need.
Rabbit Feeding Scheme
Feeding rates are very dependent on the season and the physiological state of the animals.
In the normal state in the summer, males and females per day require:
- Green food: 400-500 g.
- Coarse and concentrated feed: 40-50 g.
- Succulent feed: 150-200 g.
- Coarse and concentrated: 50-60 g.
- Hay: 120-150 g.
In preparation for the mating, in the summer:
- Green feed: 500-600 g.
- Coarse and concentrated: 70-80 g.
- Succulent feed: 150-200 g.
- Coarse and concentrated: 90-100 g.
- Hay: 150-200 g.
Suckling female in summer:
- Green food: 550-700 g.
- Coarse and concentrated: 70-90 g.
- Juicy food: 200-250 g.
- Coarse and concentrated: 100-130 g.
- Hay: 150-200 g.
To a female during lactation, in summer:
- Green feed: 1000-1200 g.
- Coarse and concentrated: 120-150 g.
- Succulent feed: 300-500 g.
- Coarse and concentrated: 140-160 g.
- Hay: 200-250 g.
Feeding pattern for young animals between 1 and 3 months should be the same as that of females during the lactation period.
What to feed rabbits during fattening
Rabbit eating grass
Fattening often occurs in the autumn-winter period. Usually fatten up those rabbits that have already turned at least 3 months. The duration of fattening is about a month, it is divided into several stages of 7-10 days. During this period, rabbits should be fed 4 times a day, and it is better to organize an auto-feeding system so that they can receive food whenever they want.
In the first stage, the rabbit should receive the following amount of feed per day:
- Quality hay: 100 g.
- Root vegetables: 100 g
- Concentrated feed: 100 g
At the second stage:
- Hay: 100 g
- Wheat bran and boiled potatoes: 100 g.
- Concentrated feed: 100 g
The third stage:
- Rough food, including tree branches – aspen, acacia, willow, birch, juniper: 100 g
- Bran and boiled potatoes: 120 g
- Concentrated feed: 120 g
In order for rabbits to have a good appetite during the fattening period, water is slightly salted (half a spoonful per liter of water). In the cold, you can give them salted ice. At the third stage of fattening, the appetite of rabbits can be enhanced by spices added to the feed – with cumin, parsley, chicory or dill. As a result of such enhanced feeding, the weight of rabbits can increase by 30%.
What to feed ornamental rabbits
In the rabbits of ornamental breeds, the digestive system is weaker than in meat, and therefore their diet should also be different. Read in detail how to feed domestic rabbits.
- Hay is the basis for feeding ornamental rabbits, it must always be present in the cage. It should be very high quality, fresh and dry. Hay improves the digestive processes in the animal and eliminates the likelihood of hairballs in the rabbit’s stomach.
- In the warm season, fresh grass will be very useful for them, which is better to collect in areas remote from highways and industrial facilities.
- Granulated feed containing minerals and vitamins essential for the rabbit. They need to be given 2 tbsp. in a day.
- Vegetables in the diet of the decorative rabbit should be a bit and should be given very carefully, since a large number of vegetables can cause problems with the intestines. Any vegetables must be clean and fresh. Carrots, rutabaga, spinach, radishes, celery and parsley are good. But it is better not to give cabbage and beets to such breeds of rabbits at all.
- Fruit can be given only in small portions. You can not feed decorative rabbits flour products and sweets.
- To the rabbit always had the opportunity to satisfy thirst, in his cage it is better to put a drinker.
- Strictly prohibited potatoes, which leads to obesity ornamental rabbits.
Feeding rabbits in winter and summer
In spring and summer, rabbits need to be given a lot of green food. From it they will receive all the nutrients they need, vitamins and trace elements. Feed at the same time should be varied:
- Herbs: burdock, willow, wormwood, dandelion, plantain, clover, euphorbia, sow thistle, young rhubarb, colza, sunflower.
- Branches of shrubs and trees: alder, apple, elm, linden, raspberry and currant.
- Plant from the garden: cabbage leaves and beet tops. It is necessary to give the tops to the rabbits with caution and in small portions so as not to provoke bloating.
- Cereals rich in carbohydrates and proteins.
Important! In the cold season, the diet of rabbits should contain more high-calorie foods and warm mixtures. Water is better to give warm. It is necessary to control that the bulk feed does not freeze in the feeders.
For the winter, the rabbit grower needs to prepare a large amount of good hay and twigs. In winter, the replacement of fresh herbs will come succulent feed.