When purchasing a cute eared pet, you must remember that in addition to the emotion of contemplating the habits of the rabbit, there is also responsibility for the maintenance and health of the little animal. Well-being, beautiful wool and healthy offspring directly depend on the pet’s nutrition.
How to feed?
The peculiarity of all rodents is that they constantly eat something. Rabbits are no exception. Therefore, when kept at home, only fresh, wholesome and beloved food should be in their feeders. In the summer, the problem of nutrition is solved quite simply. Fresh plant food contains enough vitamins for their harmonious development. Fresh green grass, tops from garden crops, twigs, carrots. All this helps to maintain a balance in the diet of these domestic animals.
For these animals, the main groups of feed are isolated:
- Juicy. Root crops, silage, pumpkin, zucchini, fruits and berries.
- Rough. Straw, hay, tree branches.
- Green. Herbs, plantain seed, rhubarb, nettle, fresh cut grass.
- Concentrated. Grains, any combined feed, except those that feed the birds.
- Animals Flour from bones, milk.
- Food (from the table of breeders). The main thing is that the products are fresh and without mold. Crackers, peeling carrots and potatoes, porridge residues.
- Supplements that contain minerals. Chalk and salt.
Rabbits can be given feed, which is mixed, and on a dry basis. Dry include special combined feed, they contain the full range of essential nutrients. Mixed involves feeding the various mixtures. Such food should be selected depending on the age of rabbits.
Fresh water should be in the aviary in sufficient quantities and at any time of the year. The opinion that animals receive the necessary moisture from feed is erroneous.
What to feed in the winter?
Summer, with its abundance of green and fresh feed ends, and the rabbit breeders face the question of what rabbits eat in winter. If the diet is made correctly, then there will be no problems with feeding. To make the food was full, part of the feed is harvested in summer. Crawls are unpretentious animals. The main thing is that their menu includes proteins, fats and carbohydrates, as well as the correct calculation of the amount of feed, depending on their weight and age. The quantity and quality of food should not change depending on the season.
Winter is a serious challenge for a small pet. It does not tolerate temperatures below 27 degrees. There are cases when they freeze their legs and catch a cold for a long time get sick. Therefore, the house must be arranged so that it is protected from the wind, with enough hay for heat. In severe frosts, it is better to take the cells into warm heated rooms. It is very important to feed the rabbits in the winter.
With the right approach to care and maintenance, any breeder should make a winter menu in advance. Proper nutrition will allow animals to easily endure winter. It is a well-known fact that baby rabbits born in winter, when kept in proper care and nutrition, grow stronger and healthier than their summer counterparts.
In winter, there is no opportunity to feed the rabbits with succulent green foods. But they must receive the necessary vitamins and a sufficient amount of moisture. Therefore, succulent feed should be up to 80% of the main power. This may be silage and vegetables that are well preserved in winter (root vegetables, zucchini, pumpkin). This allows small organisms to be maintained in normal mode for both male and female individuals. Especially juicy feed need rabbit when nursing offspring with milk. Carbohydrates are very important during this period.
Giving to rabbits in the winter can be the following roots:
- Carrot. Vegetable, which krolya willingly eat at any time. It is to her, a small pet gets enough for your body, the amount of vitamin A.
- Potatoes. Tuber is rich in starch, and contributes to the normal functioning of the digestive tract.
- Cabbage. This vegetable is an excellent alternative to summer greens. Succulent sweet leaves are an excellent source of essential vitamins and fluids. The animals will strengthen the immune system and their hair will become more thick and shiny. True, there are some limitations in the number of such foods. It should be introduced gradually, in small portions. Excessive inclusion of vegetables in the diet hi to the disorders of small and weak stomachs. It is better to give it pre-chopped into small pieces. It is also useful in reasonable quantities and sauerkraut, an indispensable winter source of vitamin C.
- Fodder beet. It is extremely useful in the winter. However, its quantity should also be introduced into the feed with small norms in order to disturb the gastrointestinal tract. Proper use of it helps to improve metabolism and strengthen the pet’s immune system. But the beet is contraindicated.
- Silage. One of the best feed for animals. His rabbits love and will be happy delicacy at any time of the year. Especially he needed rabbit, when they feed the young. Thanks to the nutrients that enter the milk, babies grow strong and gain weight quickly.
Rough food is of great importance in the daily menu of rabbits. They give a feeling of satiety and have a beneficial effect on digestion. It is important to remember that such feed should not take more than 30% of the total diet.
One of the most important winter feeds is hay. It does not matter that it is based on meadow or field grasses. The main thing is that the harvesting should be made in the correct period, before the flowering begins. For nutritional value and vitamin content, it is not inferior to fresh greens. Rabbits eat it with great pleasure. But there are some preferences:
- Nettle. For them it will be a real treat in the winter. For such blanks, young plants collected best in the spring and dried in a dark, dry, ventilated place are best suited. It is better to keep such grass in a special hard container so that dried nettles do not fall apart even before they get on the rabbit “table”, rabbits will be happy to taste these gifts of summer.
- Branches. Branched feed for rabbits in winter is harvested in the spring, when leaves begin to open on the branches. This food is useful not only due to its nutritional properties, but also serves as a rabbit to grind their teeth. Carefully ensure that poisonous shoots, such as elder, bird cherry or apricot, which contain tannins, do not enter the diet.
- Corn. It must be given in the winter. Grains are better to grind and soak before feeding. This will make them easier to recycle. Oilfishes can be given whole. The best option to cook cereal platter. So the animals will be easier to learn a large number of substances needed for the diet.
Preparing for wintering is troublesome, but it is necessary for good nutrition of rabbits.
How to grow offspring?
Newborn rabbits have very tender stomachs that are absolutely not ready to digest rough, ordinary food. Sometimes the rabbit does not have enough milk to feed the offspring. For this reason, it is perfectly acceptable to feed rabbits with cow’s milk, kefir or whey in winter.
You can add feed to the diet so that they gain weight, but juicy are recommended to give no earlier than 3 months. The dairy menu starts to be reduced by a quarter when the rabbit is 1 month old. In babies begin to cut teeth. During this period, you can already begin to feed them with bran and very small portions of hay. Rabbits should always have fresh water to drink. You have to always keep track of them, because if they do not drink themselves, they have to drink from a pipette or syringe.
Diet during mating
At this stage, the animal requires a full and thoughtful food. It is better if the rabbits are moderately well-fed with a normal and healthy appetite. Food directly affects future offspring. From undernourished or overfed dads, you can not wait for healthy offspring.
14–20 days before mating, the animals begin to lure in addition to natural products with special concentrated mixtures, but not more than 90 grams. per day. The animals get stronger and quickly gain the necessary mass.
Females are placed in a separate warm room. As an option, equipped in the cellar aviary. During this period, it is recommended to focus on succulent feed: carrots, Jerusalem artichoke, cauliflower. In the feeders should always be harvested from the summer forbs. Typically, males in the mating period give hay and succulent feed for 150-200 grams, concentrated feed – 50 grams, meat and bone meal – 15 grams. For rabbits, the same, but the meat and bone meal is reduced to 8 grams, and the concentrate is increased by 10−15 grams.
Maintaining the norm is easy, most importantly, do not overdo it, you can not feed the rabbits.
When purchasing a troubled rabbit farm, one must assume that the most important thing for them is a sufficient amount of tasty, fresh and varied feed. Harvesting herbs is an important part for feeding rabbits in the winter. Indeed, besides the content of vitamins, herbs have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effect. It is recommended that wormwood, yarrow, dill be in sufficient quantity. Grass is added to dry meadow dues. If there is no hay, they are combined with compound feeds as a tasty additive. This allows us to transfer the winter period and give healthy offspring even at this time.
Rabbits are omnivores and have a calm disposition. But their digestive system functions in such a way that improper nutrition can lead to serious illnesses.