Rabbits are herbivorous rodents, they feed exclusively on plant food. In the summer, when fresh vegetables and fruits are available, owners of eared pets just want to treat them to some delicacy, such as watermelon. Before offering the animal a juicy berry, you need to find out whether it is possible for the rabbits to be given watermelon peels and flesh, whether such food will cause harm. The article will tell you which parts of the fruit and in what form can be fed to pets.
Rabbit Eats Watermelon
Ripe watermelon – a source of valuable substances for the body. 96% of its pulp consists of water, in the remaining 4% useful substances are concentrated. The watermelon pulp contains vitamins:
- folic acid;
- carotene and ascorbic acid;
- Vitamin PP.
Among other things, there are macronutrients – calcium, potassium, sodium and phosphorus, as well as iron. Due to its composition, watermelon has a lot of useful properties:
- removes excess fluid from the body;
- improves eyesight;
- strengthens the immune system;
- promotes milk production;
- improves the functioning of the reproductive organs;
- cleanses the body of harmful substances.
The composition of watermelon peels is slightly different from the composition of the pulp. They contain little vitamin A, but more B vitamins and ascorbic acid are present. This part of the fetus has a beneficial effect on the work of the intestines and liver, has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Watermelon rind is useful for constipation. If a rabbit has such a problem, he is offered to eat a small piece of peel.
Despite the rich vitamin and mineral composition, watermelon can be harmful to the rabbit. This caution especially applies to watermelon flesh.
It is known that watermelons are most often grown using growth stimulants. Toxic substances accumulate in the pulp of the fetus, so they can cause severe poisoning even in an adult. The digestive system of rodents is even more tender and sensitive. Having eaten watermelon pulp saturated with pesticides, a pet may die in a matter of hours.
Is it possible to pulp or peel?
It is possible to feed rabbits with watermelon peels, and pulp is undesirable. And not only because toxic substances can accumulate in it. Watermelon pulp irritates the intestinal mucosa of animals. After such a treat, the animal may begin diarrhea. If the watermelon is grown on its own plot without adding chemicals and matured naturally, which usually occurs in August-September, you can give a small piece of pulp, not more than 10 grams. If the animal’s reaction to the product is normal, in the future you can offer a treat no more than once a week for a small piece.
Watermelon peel – a source of vitamins. In it toxic substances accumulate to a lesser extent. Watermelon rind is a succulent feed because it contains a lot of moisture. It is better to give it to rabbits with hay or mixed fodder. The combination of different types of feed will help prevent intestinal upset.
Feeding rules for crusts:
- delicacy is offered to pets no more than 2 times a week;
- the volume of the portion should not exceed 25-50 grams (depending on the age of the animal);
- with juicy crusts they scrape off the green skin, and the light part of it is cut into pieces for ease of eating;
- Watermelon peel is fed to the animals in fresh and dried form.
Attention! If the rabbit has never tried watermelon peels, a new product is offered carefully. The first time you need to give no more than 10 grams of treats. The product should be excluded from the diet, if the animal has diarrhea.
It should be remembered that watermelon is an additive to the diet, not a complete feed. First of all, rabbits should receive concentrated feed, rich in protein, hay, grass, vegetables, and fruits and berries are sometimes given to them for a change.
Watermelon peel can be fed in dried form. In winter, pets will appreciate this delicacy. To prepare them, you need to remove the green thin skin, and cut the flesh into oblong cubes. You can dry both in fresh air and in a tumble dryer or oven. If the last option is chosen, the baking sheet is covered with parchment, and the cutting is laid on it in one layer. The oven door is left ajar, locking it with a metal object. Temperature range – 55-60 degrees. Crusts are dried until complete evaporation of moisture. The product should become elastic and decrease in volume by 2-3 times.
Attention! Store dried peel watermelon in a canvas bag in a dry ventilated room. If mold is found on a product, it cannot be fed to pets.
Is it possible to give a watermelon to decorative rabbits?
For ornamental rabbits the same feeding rules apply as for farm animals. The only difference is that their immunity is even more vulnerable, and the digestive system is weak. This must be remembered, making up the diet. It is better for a thoroughbred domestic animal not to offer watermelon pulp at all, in order not to provoke intestinal upset.
Skins from watermelon are allowed to offer an ornamental rabbit no more than once a week for 10-15 grams, provided that the animal such food does not cause problems with digestion.
Attention! Rabbits at the age of 4 months can not be fed with watermelon.
Farmers and owners of ornamental rabbits should understand that watermelon is a delicacy, not the main food. It is like a candy for a child, which is sometimes given to pamper the child. The safest treat will be dried watermelon crust, but when preparing such food for the animal for the winter, the farmer must be sure that the rind is removed from the watermelon, not stuffed with nitrates.