The composition of the correct diet
Before giving the rabbit legumes, including peas, it is necessary to know not only the genetic characteristics of the structure of the animal, but also the composition of the product. This is required in order to assess the benefit or harm that a rabbit can get when feeding a certain type of feed.
Rabbit breeding has long been characterized by fairly stringent requirements for norms, balance and composition of food. In order for animals to grow successfully, be less exposed to various diseases and have a high sexual productivity, their diet must be varied. This is the main rule in feeding rabbits. The combination of green grass, grain, roots, fruits, legumes, animal feed, hay, silage, as well as various vitamin supplements is the key to proper and efficient cultivation of these animals.
Tip! Most rabbit feeds should have a coarse structure, which is necessary for grinding off ever-growing teeth.
Animals constantly have to gnaw something, and besides the main food, they are given thin branches of some trees, such as cherry or acacia. Another important point in feeding is the drying of juicy grass (not less than a day in a dark place) and other types of food that contain a lot of liquid. In addition, when feeding roughage, you should monitor the cleanliness of the water for the animals, which is given and changed every day. If you neglect this rule of care, you can get negative consequences in the form of the development of intestinal infections.
The benefits and harms of legumes
Whether it is possible to give peas to rabbits and what effect it has on the animal’s body should be learned by examining various sources and adopting the knowledge of experienced breeders. Pea belongs to the legume family and contains a lot of protein, lysine and other useful elements. This product is perfectly digested and digested, causing a rapid increase in the weight of the animal. But at the same time, it is not recommended to abuse such legumes as an excess of peas can cause disruption of the intestine, contributing to bloating and the formation of gases.
Small rabbits up to one month of age cannot be fed with this product at all, as their bodies are not yet strong and can not digest such a rough food. After thirty days from birth, they can try to give a small amount of peas, watching the behavior of animals. Rabbits should feel good, lead an active lifestyle and not refuse meals.
Broad Beans, Peas and Sweet Lupins
Cattle can digest a few high-quality protein feeds. The raw protein contained in the feed is broken down in the rumen and converted into microbial protein by the bacteria. With sufficient energy, cattle are able, thanks to bacterial protein synthesis, to provide most of their need for it.
At high yields, the rumen bacteria are no longer able to provide the body with a sufficient amount of microbial protein. Therefore, in diets for highly productive cows, about 35–40% of the crude protein must pass through the scar without splitting and pass directly into the intestine. The proportion of non-digestible crude protein is indicated by the UDP indicator.
The lower the livestock demand for UDP, the more protein can be consumed from the feed material itself. Rations for low-producing cows, heifers and fattening bulls should contain about 25-30% of stable protein in the rumen.
Table 1. The need for cattle in protein
Highly productive cows and maintenance young in the first year of life need a lot of stable protein in the rumen
Forage beans, peas and sweet lupins are protein feedstocks that can be used to feed cattle.
Feed beans and peas contain only about 50-60 percent of crude protein compared to soybean meal (table 2).
Table 2. Nutritional value of protein feedstock
Different protein feedstocks are very different in the content of crude protein and its splitting in the rumen
In contrast to soybean meal, raw protein of beans and peas break down significantly stronger in the rumen, up to 85 percent, which corresponds to a UDP share of 15%. Therefore, beans and peas do not fully meet the requirements of highly productive cows and young stock of the first year of life as a protein.
The content of crude protein is slightly higher, and the quality of protein in sweet lupine is slightly better. The content of crude protein in it is about 373 g per kg of dry matter (211 g of nXP), the proportion of stable in the rumen protein is about 20%. Lupine contains more energy than beans and peas.
Leguminous crops contain substances of bitter taste, which, in the case of separate feeding, may lead to a decrease in feed intake by animals. White lupine, in contrast to varieties that bloom in blue, contains almost no bitter substances. Daily feeding of cows with separate feeding should be limited to 2.5 kg per head per day, to fattening bulls – to 1.2. In a fully mixed diet, you can feed a greater number of leguminous feed, up to 3 kg. Cows with a milk production of more than 25 kg of milk must be additionally supplemented with feed with a higher UDP content, at least 35%. The proportion of UDP in the total diet can also be increased by feeding pellets of alfalfa or meadow grass. Granules contain a high proportion of stable in the rumen protein (45% UDP).
Various feed experiments have shown that it is possible to replace part of the soybean meal (25-50%) with leguminous crops without loss of productivity. But in the preparation of the diet, it is imperative to monitor the starch and sugar content as well, since peas and beans contain a lot of starch.
Also for fattening bulls, for the most part, you can replace soybean meal with legumes or a mixture of peas and rapeseed meal.
The feed experiments of the research center Grub, Bavaria showed that it is quite possible to obtain average daily gains of 1600 g on “alternative” protein feeds. In the experiments, no difference was found between the various combinations of protein components. High-producing gobies consumed up to 22 kg of a full-mixed diet per day.
But you need to ensure that the fodder beans and peas are cleaned on time. If the grain contains more than 15% moisture, drying is obligatory. Or, alternatively, freshly harvested leguminous crops can be preserved with the addition of a 2% propionic acid solution.
Meal and by-products of the food industry
Rapeseed meal is in second place after soybean meal on the content of crude protein. New feed experiments suggest that rapeseed meal can replace soybean meal to the full in feeding dairy cows. Rapeseed meal contains relatively much raw protein and is well suited in combination with starch-rich, corn silage-based rations. Dairy cows can be fed up to 3 kg, fattening steers up to 1.3 kg.
Beer grains are suitable as a source of protein for rations, based on meadow grass, and in combination with corn silage. A brewer’s grain contains about 25% of the crude protein or 18.5% of the digested protein (nXP). The key point is the high proportion of stable in the rumen protein at 40%.
As a rule, cows willingly eat beer grains. But still it is possible to feed as much as possible up to 5 kg of dry pellets, since otherwise the structure of the diet can be greatly reduced.
Brewer’s grains can be fed in a silo or fresh form. For silage, you can use a flat silo with walls. Beer pellet can not be compacted. The way is well established when the silage trench is sprinkled with salt, and compaction is carried out with the help of patting shovels on the upper layer. To avoid losses in the silo trench, you can, if you cover the pellet with two films, thin inner and ordinary outer. In winter, you need to ensure the speed of extraction of food at the level of 0.75 m per day, in the summer – 1.5 m per day. Fresh brewer’s grains can be fed the longest for 4-5 days.
Linen meal is a by-product of flaxseed oil production with a crude protein content of 39%. Linen meal contains almost as much raw protein as rapeseed meal. The nXP content is 23 percent (UDP 30%), the energy content is 7.4 MJ NEL or 12 MJ OE, which makes it an interesting feed raw material, which also has a high selenium content. Due to the content of hydrocyanic acid, its feeding is limited to 2 kg of fresh mass per head per day. Linen meal can be used very well in pre-starters for calves.
Corn gluten feed (corn gluten feed) is a by-product of corn starch production. The content of crude protein is about 26%. The gluten protein breaks up relatively quickly in the rumen, the UDP content is 25%. Therefore, corn gluten feed can only partly be included in the diets of highly productive cows.
With 7.7 MJ NEL and 12.5 MJ OE, corn gluten feed is also a good energy carrier. But because of its poor taste, it is fed up to 3 kg per cow and up to 0.5 kg per fattening bull per day.
Corn gluten feed can be fed dry or wet. Wet feedstock should be ensiled immediately.
Corn gluten meal (corn gluten meal) is a concentrate that, unlike corn gluten feed, contains significantly more protein (70% crude protein and 50% digested protein nXP). The protein is stable in the rumen, only about half of the total protein is cleaved there.
Although corn gluten has excellent nutrient characteristics, it can be fed no more than 2 kg per head per day, because the overall feed intake by animals is reduced due to poor taste.
Sunflower meal is produced in the production of sunflower oil. Depending on the proportion of shells varies nutrient content. The higher the proportion of shells, the less crude protein and energy is contained in the feed.
The market mainly offers sunflower meal from partially obese seeds. The content of crude protein is 38%. In principle, the total demand for milk protein in a herd with a productivity of 6,000 kg can be covered only with the help of sunflower meal. But with higher milk production, the use of sunflower meal is limited due to insufficient energy content of 6.0 MJ NEL.
Can I give green peas to rabbits?
Experienced farmers believe that it is necessary to introduce peas into the diet of rodents. The fruits of this culture are beneficial due to their composition. Green peas contains:
- vegetable protein (6%);
- B vitamins;
- more than 20 minerals;
- amino acids;
- organic matter.
It is known that peas are often included in the compound feed for eared pets. However, its share there is small – about 5-8% of the total. That is, the fruits of legumes are a useful food supplement. Green peas allows you to vary the menu of pets, but can not be used as the basis of nutrition.
It is allowed to feed green peas rabbits from one month of age. For the first time, the product is introduced little by little, starting with several peas. During the introduction of complementary foods, it is important to assess the condition of the young. If after such a treat in children diarrhea occurs, it is better to exclude this product from the menu for now.
Important! Rabbits up to a month old pea is contraindicated.
Adults should receive green fruits of the legume culture in a small amount – about 8% of the total amount of food per day. They are recommended to be mixed with bran or mixed fodder. Pea pods are also offered to pets, only they are pre-dried, as is the grass. Eating peas in large quantities can cause bloating in the animal.
Can I give peas tops to rabbits?
Pea tops eared pets eat with pleasure. It is included in the green fodder in the summer and harvested for the winter. It is more correct to feed the rabbits with tops, which were previously dried up on the air.
The above-ground part of the legume culture is suitable for eating the young, and it is also useful to give it to lactating rabbits to stimulate milk production and improve its composition. This feed has a high nutritional value and allows farmers to slightly reduce the cost of purchasing concentrates.
Useful feed – the key to success in the rabbit
Unlike cats, dogs and some other pets, rabbits can not be fed the remnants of food from your table. In their diet should include green, juicy, coarse and concentrated feed.
The group called “green food” includes wild and cultivated herbs, beans and cereals, leaves of root crops and tuberous plants. These feeds form the core of the rabbit diet in the warm season, or rather from mid-spring to mid-autumn.
The following wild and cultivated grasses are suitable for feeding rabbits:
- peas (vetch);
- feed clover;
- feed corn;
- sweet lupine;
- young green oats;
- young green winter rye;
Popular green foods: lawn grass, clover, alfalfa, sweet lupine
Beans and cereals are rich in vitamins and minerals, but their use as a basic diet (in its pure form) can cause meteorism in rabbits. The greatest effect of these plants can be obtained in the composition of feed mixtures.
Green food – the basis of a healthy diet of eared rodents
Rabbits love to crunch tasty and juicy tops of root crops and tubers:
- tuber strawberry (potato);
- tuberiferous sunflower (Jerusalem artichoke);
- fodder turnips (turnips);
- fodder and sugar beet;
Green food is easily absorbed by rabbits.
4-5 days before the harvest of potatoes, the above-ground part of the crop is carefully cut, dried and fed to the rabbits. In the total mass of green fodder, the proportion of tops should not exceed 15%.
Rabbits gladly eat the tops of tubers and root crops
Video – Useful plants for rabbits
Rough food is dry food of plant origin rich in fiber. These feeds include:
- quality hay;
- branch feed;
- flour made from hay and various herbs.
Rough feed should provide about 25% of the diet of eared animals. Due to the significant content of fiber, they give the rabbits a feeling of fullness and make digestion as comfortable as possible.
Rabbits with pleasure eat not only hay, but also branches of bushes and trees
For the winter, for each adult rabbit, farmers store 40 kg of hay. If in the winter months the litter is planned, then you will need to stock 10-15 kg of hay for each newborn baby. If there is not enough hay for some reason, then the remains are distributed between the nursing rabbits and the young, and the main flock is transferred to oat, lentil, pea or millet straw. This measure is temporary, since such straw is not very nutritious.
Rabbits are given both fresh and well-dried branches.
Hay harvesting for rabbits
Step 1. Mow the grass before flowering.
Step 2. The cut grass is laid out in the sun and slightly dried.
Step 3. Leave the hay under cover in a well ventilated place.
Step 4. Control the readiness of hay: it should be green, slightly dried, with a pleasant herbal aroma.
Step 5. Hay is transferred to closed senniki and placed on dry pallets 0.5 m from the ground.
The branches of some trees have a healing effect.
In winter, when rabbits are deprived of fresh green grass, they are offered harvested from autumn branches of deciduous plants, including fruit trees and berry bushes.
Tree branches suitable for rabbits
Alder and oak mount a chair with diarrhea. The branches of these plants will help to cope with indigestion and diarrhea in rabbits.
Branches of mountain ash, raspberry, oak and pine are ideal for feeding rabbits
You can learn more about branch feed for rabbits in the article: What branches can be given to rabbits?
The benefits of rabbit feed for the health of the rabbit. How to collect, dry, harvest branches and how to feed them rabbits.
There are also poisonous plants, the branches of which cannot be fed to fluffy pets. It:
- Labrador tea;
- bird cherry ordinary;
- wolf bast (daphne);
- sorcere berries (buckthorn);
In stone trees and birch branches contains prussic acid, a high concentration of which can be dangerous for rabbits. Branches of these trees can be fed to rabbits rarely and little by little.
In the rabbit’s food are not only the leaves and flowers of the plant, but also its branches.
Branches prepare for the future in the beginning of summer. To do this, cut thin, fresh twigs no longer than 0.5 m and no thicker than 0.5 cm, knit them into brooms with a diameter of about 10-12 cm and hang them in well ventilated areas for drying.
To prevent brooms from becoming moldy during storage, they should dry well
In winter, instead of greenery and dried branches, rabbits are given branches of coniferous trees. The needles are included in the diet of eared rodents gradually, as shown in the following table.
The period of adaptation of rabbits to the new feed
After 15-20 days of regular use, the needles of the rabbits are transferred to a normal diet, then the “coniferous menu” can be repeated anew. Consumption of pine needles increases the appetite of rabbits and contributes to their rapid growth.
Succulent feeds are products of plant origin with a high water content. They consist of roots, tubers, vegetables, silage and food industry waste.
Favorite succulent feeds of rabbits
In succulent feeds water takes from 65% to 90%, the rest is protein, fats and fiber. They are rich in vitamins, well digested and absorbed.
Succulent feed: useful properties and recommendations for feeding