The question of what kind of grass can be given to rabbits is relevant not only for owners of decorative inhabitants of apartments. Breeding rabbits as farm animals is also associated with the choice of a suitable herbal feed.
Rabbits are herbivores, but not all grass is suitable for their nutrition, some plants are extremely dangerous for their health.
Rabbit food predilections
The food specialization of an animal can be judged by the structure of its teeth and intestines. Carry rabbits to carnivores definitely can not be. They eat animal food only with mother’s milk. For this reason, all mammals cannot be completely vegetarians.
Rabbit food pyramid.
Rabbits are herbivorous species that eat mixed foods. This means that they prefer not to be limited to grass, but combine it with the fruits of plants. Since rabbits cannot climb trees, they feed on roots, which does not prevent them from eating fallen apples and other fruits. In contrast, for example, to a typical herbivorous cow, rabbits eat and bark of tree-like plants, which allows them to survive in the winter in the wild.
It is believed that the favorite food of rabbits and hares is a carrot. Maybe it is, and maybe the owners prefer to give the rabbit mostly carrots, since it is the most affordable and cheap.
The grass is the best and desirable
Useful grass for rabbits.
Regardless of the type of grass, rabbits can be fed only with young shoots. You can give the animals even yellow fallen leaves. There may be their rabbits, only the benefits of such food are few.
In the young grass a lot of protein and little fiber. Plants harvested in the late period of their growth lose most of their nutrients, so in order for rabbits to grow well, they will need to increase their diet, which is bad for the budget and for the rabbits themselves.
It is not recommended to feed all the time with the same kind of plants. A variety of feed for herbivorous organisms is of great importance. A predator often just lacks a piece of meat according to its size. Herbivorous and especially herbivorous animals can not get enough nutrients from the monotonous food. The only exceptions are individual species of animals that specialize in a particular type of plant. These include koala and panda. Rabbits can’t eat the same thing all the time.
When feeding grass to rabbits, one can proceed from the principle “that it’s not harmful, it’s useful.”
If you have to harvest a lot of grass on a large number of animals, then it is best to mow it somewhere on the mowing meadows that are mowed every year. For many years, non-directional selection was made there, as a result of which the grasses harmful to livestock disappeared from the species composition of this plant community. However, the converse is also true: they used to mow for a long time in hay meadows, because harmful grasses do not grow there.
Cabbage for rabbits can only be given fresh.
However, not all so simple. The choice in favor of hay areas also needs to be made because most of the poisonous herbs grows mainly in shady and over-wetted areas. Some dangerous plants after drying completely or partially lose their toxic properties.
To avoid unpleasant consequences, you can specifically grow grass for rabbits. From fodder grasses alfalfa is especially good. The use of planting herbs will help protect pets from the possibility of dangerous plants getting into the diet. For the decorative rabbit living next to people, you can grow spicy herbs: basil, coriander, parsley, salads. Rabbits, of course, love cabbage, but with it you need to take some caution: stale leaves can cause diarrhea and bloating of the animal.
In temperate climates, you can safely feed these animals to plants of the legume family. And not necessarily herbs. Young shoots of trees and shrubs of this family will fit. Rabbits, like goats, can and should be fed with young branches of willow, linden, aspen, birch and even coniferous plants. Avoid only trees and shrubs that contain a lot of tannins. These include, for example, oak, elm, alder, hazel.
It would seem, why bother about what kind of grass to feed the rabbits. Just give any greens, and there let them understand whether to eat it or not. Sometimes it happens: rabbits refuse the proposed grass. But these animals, and decorative in particular, have long lost all instincts with which nature has endowed them. For this reason, it is likely that rabbits will eat the wrong grass.
Allowed branches for rabbits.
Rabbits, like many other herbivorous animals, have one peculiarity. They eat their excrement, and not everything, but only those that were formed when eating grass. This unpleasant feature for humans is due to the fact that the green mass of plants contains a lot of cellulose, which is very poorly digested. Most of it comes along with excrement only slightly digested. When you re-eat already slightly processed cellulose is digested much better.
From this fact the conclusion follows: the cages with rabbits should not be kept sterile. Deprived of the possibility of recycling plant materials, the animals begin to hurt. The way out of the situation for decorative rabbits living in human dwellings, apparently, is to select a richer diet, rich in vitamins and easily processed proteins and carbohydrates.
The most popular grass for rabbits is wheat grass. It has a high nutritional value and grows in abundance in vegetable gardens as a weed, and in haymakings it often prevails among other grasses. Wheatgrass is especially good for decorative apartment rabbits. For them, you can harvest rhizomes. They are washed, dried and stored in a cool dry place.
Also, without fear you can harvest plantain, dandelions, mother and stepmother, wormwood. For feeding fresh greens, you can use nettle, radish tops, carrots, beets.
Grass harmful and dangerous
As mentioned above, most grasses that are dangerous to rabbits grow in the forest and in overmoistened lowlands. So what grass should not be given to rabbits?
Poisonous plants for rabbits.
- Lebeda This tall weed plant with a succulent stem and leaves should not be given to rabbits in any way. From it they get sick and often die.
- Chemeritsu. This plant grows mainly in deciduous and coniferous-deciduous forests. Its large leaves and juicy stem seem to be an excellent feed for cattle, but cows in pasture bypass this plant side.
- Bog marsh. The name of this plant speaks about its places of concentration. Juicy stem and wide leaves can cause anxiety, bloating and abundant salivation in rabbits, which is a symptom of poisoning.
- Hemlock. This cute plant with umbrella white inflorescences can cause cramps, hind limb paralysis, a sharp drop in temperature.
- Milestone poisonous. Poisoning with this plant is manifested in anxiety, abdominal distention, respiratory paralysis and convulsions.
- Datura ordinary. This plant is known to all as poisonous. An animal that ate Datura develops paralysis and heart function.
- Sleep-grass. This plant is known to all as beautiful flowering primrose. Unlike the poisonous plants described above, it does not have large leaves and a tall stem. However, in summer, when sleep-grass does not bloom, its leaves can be accidentally collected with other plants. In animals, it causes shortness of breath, diarrhea, convulsions and impaired cardiac activity.
There are not so many dangerous plants. They are well remembered and easily recognizable, and knowledge and caution will save your pets from poisoning and disease.