Rabbits are considered to be almost omnivorous, able to eat anything: from food waste (in particular, potato peelings) to any grain. These animals are not really picky, but unbalanced feeding leads to disease and death of animals. Potatoes are one of the cheapest root vegetables, so feeding the rabbits with potatoes is beneficial, but you need to choose the right type and calculate the quantity.
First of all: the tops of potatoes, no matter how juicy and fleshy it may seem, cannot be given to rabbits. Potato sprouts contain solanine, which animals can poison.
Feeding the rabbits with boiled potatoes
Boiled potatoes contain many useful substances: vitamins B and C, trace elements potassium, calcium, magnesium, silicon. But most of all in potato starch, from which rabbits quickly gain weight.
Therefore, potatoes are simply irreplaceable when fattening animals for meat. In the diet of rabbits, boiled potatoes can be 40–60% (up to 200 grams per day). In the same quantities, the potatoes in the composition of the mixtures are given to the suckle females, as well as after the root, during lactation. Such food is safe and useful for small rabbits, only beginners to eat on their own.
However, there is an exception for breeding males and females: in the last week before mating, it makes sense not to give the rabbits potatoes, or at least limit the number. Females should be healthy and well-fed, but too fat rabbits are less likely to have a desire to mate and give birth to less rabbits. Fat males perform their functions worse.
In the diet of rabbits of downy breeds, boiled potatoes can also be 40–60%, provided that the animals receive a lot of proteins and vitamins.
Whether to feed a pet with potatoes – each owner decides on his own. It all depends on the size and lifestyle of the animal. Obesity significantly reduces the lifespan, released the animal. Therefore, if he is constantly sitting in a cage, then it is undesirable to give the rabbit more than 50–70 g of boiled potatoes per day. At the first signs of obesity, this dose should be reduced. The rabbit, which is often released to run around the apartment, will eat 80–100 g of boiled potatoes per day without damage to health.
How to cook potatoes for rabbits
Rabbits eat with appetite and potatoes in uniforms, and boiled cleaning, and the remnants of mashed potatoes, if only the food was fresh. The main thing is that before cooking, it is imperative to wash the tubers or clean them thoroughly and cut the green areas: otherwise the animals are in danger of poisoning with solanine. For the same reason, sprouts from sprouted tubers carefully break off before cooking.
The body of the rabbit better assimilates the potatoes during the evening feeding. As a rule, they do not like whole potatoes in their skins. Tubers or cut into several pieces, or pounded with a small amount of water and prepare the so-called mash: wet mixes with feed, grain and greens. Rabbits fed mash, cooled to room temperature.
Approximate recipes mash:
- 50% of boiled potatoes, 45% of steamed feed (rabbit or, in extreme cases, intended for pigs, but not bird’s), 5% of finely chopped cabbage or scalded nettle;
- 50% of boiled potatoes, 35–40% of steamed or boiled oats, wheat, maize, barley, any chop (as such, the grain is better absorbed than dry), 5–10% of boiled peas, add scalded nettle or chopped fresh cabbage (no more than 5%).
Brooms – the best option to give the rabbit potatoes
Before females and during lactation, females are sprinkled with parsley herbs on the females, so that the rabbit has milk. A week before the babies are placed in a separate cage, cut dill is added to the mash instead of parsley: so that the milk of the female disappears quickly and painlessly.
Raw Potatoes in Rabbit Diet: Pros and Cons
In the wild, rabbits do not eat raw potatoes. It is known that starch without heat treatment is poorly absorbed by the rabbit organism, often causing indigestion and bloating. However, some rabbit breeders still run the risk of feeding rabbits with raw potatoes.
According to veterinarians:
- raw potatoes should be no more than 10% of the daily diet of animals;
- Do not give raw potatoes to rabbits younger than 4 months.
Consider the features of feeding different categories of animals:
- rabbits raised for meat are usually slaughtered at the age of 3-4 months, as it is unprofitable to feed them longer. Accordingly, raw potatoes are contraindicated in this category of small animals;
- the starch contained in raw tubers is not only poorly absorbed, but often provokes blockage of the milk ducts in sukrolny and nursing females. Therefore, tribal rabbit can not give it;
- breeding males are characterized by fragile health. It is inappropriate to risk the life and health of a valuable breeding rabbit, giving it a product that causes indigestion;
- The quality of the down of rabbit downy breeds is influenced by proteins. In raw potatoes they are not;
- whether the pet treats a piece of raw tuber, risking the health of the animal, the owner must decide for himself.
Rabbit breeders, including raw potatoes in the animals ’diet, always note that rabbits get used to it gradually, and they are more likely to eat it in the winter, if there is a shortage of fresh feed. The fact is that these animals are great gourmets and sweet teeth. For example, they adore not only carrots or apples, but tea with condensed milk (this drink is prepared for females during lactation).
It is dangerous to feed rabbits with raw potatoes
Fresh raw potatoes can deceive the rabbit only in two cases: if the animal is not given water or if in the feeder – only dry hay and there is nothing more delicious, like a sweet carrot. In addition, vitamins in carrots and cabbage are much more than in raw potatoes.
Compare the value of raw and boiled potatoes:
- It takes 20–30 minutes of heat treatment for raw tubers to be boiled. But boiled potatoes, unlike raw ones, are much better absorbed, promote weight gain and do not cause indigestion in rabbits;
- The maximum content of boiled potatoes in the daily ration of the animal is more than half, raw – up to 10%. Given the cheapness of the root, it is more profitable to feed the animals with boiled potatoes.