Alfalfa is considered one of the most useful, rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber of herbs, is widely distributed in the rabbit breeding. The plant has a positive effect on the state of the digestive tract of the animal, improves the endocrine system, enhances the metabolic processes in the body. However, alfalfa belongs to the legume family, so for young individuals in fresh form it can be difficult for the stomach. How to give the rabbits the grass, in what form and doses, let’s see.
Is it possible to give the rabbits alfalfa
Alfalfa is a wholesome, nutritious and essential food for rabbits. It includes:
- minerals – calcium, magnesium, phosphorus;
- vitamins – D, A, B, K and E;
- amino acids – lysine, cystine, methionine.
It also contains the protein and fiber necessary for the formation of bone tissue, which is required to improve the functioning of the digestive tract. Rabbits are given grass in three forms: fresh, in the form of hay, and granulated.
Fresh alfalfa is useful to all rabbits. Especially important to introduce in the diet grass sukrolnym and nursing rabbits, as well as young. Its regular consumption will help to improve the work of the gastrointestinal tract, improve metabolic processes, strengthen the immune system, increase the protective functions of the body.
No less useful is alfalfa for males. It is recommended to give it 20 days before the alleged mating. The grass will improve the male’s sexual function, the quality of his seed material, which will guarantee almost one hundred percent fertilization.
Alfalfa in its composition contains all the necessary valuable substances that are required for the full development of the offspring. On the other hand, for adults, green consumption should be dosed out and strictly limited, since a high calcium content can provoke an imbalance of trace elements in the body, and as a consequence, the development of urolithiasis.
Since fresh alfalfa can harm the still fragile ventricle and cause it to swell, experts recommend that animals should be accustomed to the grass gradually, adding dried alfalfa to the food. Hay is given in a crushed form, starting from the first day of the jigging of rabbits from the mother.
It is necessary to carefully monitor the condition of the young in the first month after the absence from the female. If a baby is experiencing negative dynamics, then it is necessary to carefully study his diet and eliminate potentially dangerous ingredients, first of all, highlighting alfalfa.
Also, alfalfa hay will become an indispensable food in winter. It is very nutritious and gives the animal a lot of energy. In addition, eating hay allows the animals to grind their incisors.
Hay should smell good and have a nice green color. If there is a musty smell, dried alfalfa is not recommended, as this can lead to digestive problems.
Alfalfa pellets are an excellent high-density nutritious diet that consists of alfalfa hay. This food has a low sugar content, a fairly high content of protein and fiber, necessary for the normal functioning of all systems of the body of the rabbit.
Regular consumption of granulated feed contributes to the proper metabolism, formation of bone tissue, prevention of diseases of the nervous system, digestive tract, and also has a positive effect on the reproductive system of animals.
Granulated food is indicated for both small rabbits and adults.
To ensure the high productivity of rabbits, they need proper, balanced nutrition. And alfalfa is considered one of the most nutritious fodder. However, in order for it to bring maximum benefit, it must be given in certain dosages.
How to enter into the diet
It is necessary to gradually introduce alfalfa in any form, whether it is hay, fresh grass or granulated food, into the ration. After feeding, you should carefully monitor the condition of the animal. If you experience symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, restless behavior, you need to temporarily eliminate the herb from the diet.
Experts recommend starting acquaintance of rabbits with grass in dried form. Hay is given to animals in small portions, crushed. Gradually increase the dosage.
How and how much can be given
When feeding rabbits, one should take into account not only their age, but also the time of year. In the summer, the ration of animals for 55–65% should consist of greenery, which provides the animal body with all the necessary minerals and vitamins. Alfalfa is given in dried form so that there is no risk of bloating.
During the summer period, adults need about 600–700 g of grass per day, suckling females — 800 g, young animals — 300 g at 1–2 months old, 500 g at 3–4 months old, and 600 g at 5–6 months.
In the lactating female, the dosage of granulated feed is increased to 330 g in the first ten days after pickling, and hay to 110 g. Starting from the 11th to the 20th day, she is given food in a ratio of 440 g and 190 g of granules and hay, from 21- 5th day and 30th day – 560 g and 200 g, and from the 31st to the 45th day – 700 g and 230 g.
In winter, fresh grass is replaced with alfalfa hay. It is given in such dosages:
- adults – 150 g;
- suckling females – 175 g;
- rabbits – in the first two months – 50 g each, in 3-4 months – 100 g each, and in 5-6 months – 150 g each.
Collection and storage rules
Rabbits, who regularly eat alfalfa, grow up to be full-fledged and healthy animals. However, in the case of this grass, so that it brings the maximum benefit, it must be properly collected, stored and stored.
How to prepare
For harvesting, grass in the budding stage will be suitable for winter, since it is during this period that it has the maximum value and nutritional value. You can also mow the grass during stitching. The plant, which has grown and faded, is no longer suitable for harvesting, since it has lost its beneficial properties and can be dangerous to the health of the animal.
Dry hay in the shade, on specially constructed stakes, which provide good ventilation and do not allow rotting. Also, the collected grass can be dried to a moisture content of 40–45%, and then, in a crushed form, be stored in airtight storage facilities or containers.
How to store
As for the storage of alfalfa hay, it is recommended to tamp it in bales, rolls and place in a shed on a wooden flooring, at least half a meter high from the ground. It should be noted that alfalfa can damage the mouse, so before laying hay you need to take care of the extermination of all rodents and parasites. Good quality hay should be green and have a pleasant smell.
How to harvest hay for rabbits: video Alfalfa is a beautiful, highly nutritious and healthy herb that can become an indispensable feed for rabbits. Making the diet of animals, you need to give the grass in strictly metered quantities, taking into account the age and condition of the animals. But using only one alfalfa is indispensable, because the menu of rabbits should be varied, and only then can healthy, full-fledged and productive offspring be raised.