To understand what to feed the rabbits, you need to know more about their physiology. Rabbits. These are animals from the order of lagomorphs. They have a very interesting digestive tract, the intestines are very long and many times longer than the length of the body of the animal itself. In addition, the intestines have very weak muscles. Therefore, the food is moving as the next portion of food arrives. They have front teeth growing all their life, therefore there should be solid food in the diet.
What feeds rabbits on a farm is decided based on what kind of food there is. In addition, we must take into account the weight of the rabbit, his condition, time of year. The diet should fully meet the needs of animals. The following types of feed can be distinguished: green, juicy, coarse, concentrated, mineral and animal feed. With green fodder everything is clear, these are various herbs: alfalfa, clover, nettle, timothy grass, mint, dill, sage, dandelion, wormwood, plantain, parsley, etc., as well as tree branches.
The main thing is not to give poisonous herbs: hemlock, Datura, beladonna, raven eye, lily of the valley, celandine, foxglove, hellebore. Tree branches are useful for digestion, as well as allow grinding teeth. The diet of rabbits is recommended to diversify with branches of aspen, ash, oak, elm, maple, poplar, willow, birch.
Usually, farmers in early August begin to stock up branches with leaves and dry them for the winter. Juicy feeds include silage, cabbage, and various root vegetables (boiled potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, turnip, Jerusalem artichoke). They are needed to better assimilate other feed, improve the milk production of rabbits. Roughage. it is dried leaves and hay.
Rough food helps digestion, they make up at least 60% in the diet of rabbits. Mineral feeds include chalk, table salt and bone meal.
The diet of rabbits must be balanced, contain all the necessary minerals and vitamins. On this depends the health of rabbits and the ability to have offspring. It is necessary to choose a diet depending on the state of the rabbit.
Feed of animal origin includes flour (meat and bone, fish, blood), milk, fish oil. Milk is added to the diet only to weakened animals, fish oil is added to females when they are feeding offspring, as well as to young. Depending on the composition, two feeding methods can be distinguished: dry and mixed. In the first case, they give hay and mixed fodder; it is imperative to ensure that there is always water in the cages. In the second case, they are fed with green and succulent feeds, concentrates or compound feeds.
It is important to switch from winter to summer feeding. If sharply enter into the diet of green herbs, it can cause increased gas formation, which often leads to the death of animals. At first, herbs give only 50 grams, then this is gradually increased to 400-500 grams, gradually brought up to 1000-1500 grams.
It is impossible to feed rabbits with only one type of grass, because each grass contains a different amount of substances necessary for an animal. Different herbs must be alternated. Rabbit food is poured in small portions at certain times. In this case, each time give a different set of food. We must ensure that water is always in the cells. Depending on how the rabbits are fed, they consume a different amount of water.
How to feed a rabbit depends on whether the offspring are planned or not, therefore, farmers form different rations for rabbits during dormancy (when they do not participate in breeding), for males during mating, for pregnant rabbits, for nursing rabbits, for feeding young animals . There are also differences than feeding a rabbit raised for meat and farmed for fluff.
Rabbits can eat their own feces, which is released from them at night and in the morning. Cal soft. It helps to digest food better and provides additional vitamins and nutrients. This phenomenon is called coprophagy.
In winter, rabbits do not participate in breeding, they spend less energy, so they are fed less nutritionally so that there is no obesity. The proportion of concentrated feed in the diet during this period is minimal. Shortly before mating, males are given green grass, oats, alfalfa, bran and oilcake. During this period, select such foods that improve the sexual activity of males. These are bran and germinated grains of cereals, such as oats and wheat. The diet of females before mating is also changing.
They are fed more nutritious food so that they begin to prepare for the upcoming pregnancy. During pregnancy, give the necessary amount of minerals and vitamins. Females are given fish oil, chalk, salt, meat and bone meal. The lack of minerals can lead to the death of the offspring or the birth of weak rabbits. In the first half of pregnancy give more roughage, in the second half, on the contrary, more concentrated.
Nursing rabbits are given easily digestible, diverse feeds that improve the amount of milk in rabbits and the nutritional value of milk. To make the female have a lot of milk, they give more root vegetables. For the young it is important to choose the right diet, which will ensure correct growth and development for the little rabbits.
If they miss something, they may start to lag behind in development. Youngsters should not starve. At first, the rabbit men are given the same food they ate in the cage with the female. The teeth of the young rabbits and the intestines are not yet ready to eat coarse solid food, therefore they are gradually transferred to another feed. They give green grass, boiled potatoes, oats, red carrots, fodder beets.
Rabbits eat constantly and it is impossible to allow big breaks in feeding. This can be disastrous, especially for young stock. On farms a diet is chosen that fully satisfies the needs of animals at different periods of their lives.