Every farmer knows that the quality of feeding plays an important role when breeding any animals. The quality of animals, their ability to resist diseases, as well as their productivity, depend on the quality, quantity and types of feed. And the rabbits in this matter are no exception. It is important to know what can be given to the rabbit as food, and in what quantities. And it is equally important to understand what kind of food can harm the animal. Because poisoning is no less dangerous than any infection.
What can be given to the rabbit
Types of pet rabbit feed
Before deciding what exactly can be given to rabbits, it is necessary to disassemble into which main groups the components of their diet are divided. At the same time, it should be understood that one type of food cannot be avoided, no matter how useful it can be considered. You should always make a diet of several different components. And the farmer may have to periodically change the composition of the portions. This has to be done in cases where animals need certain vitamins that are only available in certain foods.
Do not forget about the seasonal change of diet for rabbit livestock. For example, rabbits can be given (and should be given) green and succulent feed. But in winter, fresh grass is not available, and it has to be replaced with high-quality silage. Therefore, it is still recommended to learn the ensiling, because it will not be possible to manage with hay alone. There are several options for both winter and summer feeding. But first it is worth considering all those types of feed that are commonly used for fattening crawls:
- Grass and other similar green fodder. One should never forget that wild rabbits are meadow animals. And for normal life they need meadow and field herbs, as well as tops of cultivated plants. For example, you can give the rabbits mouse peas, coltsfoot, hogweed, clover or plantain. Still, they should be fed alfalfa, wormwood or nettle, but in some cases.
- Juicy food – do not confuse it with green mass. This includes a number of root vegetables and vegetables. It is worth noting that, contrary to popular belief, white cabbage does not always benefit these animals. If they become ill from cabbage stalks, it is better to remove them from the diet. Of the root vegetables worth noting carrots, fodder beet and Jerusalem artichoke.
- Do not forget about roughage. They will not form the basis of the diet, but without them the crawls will not feel very good themselves. This type of food includes straw, hay harvested from tops of legumes or cereals, woody branches, leaves and needles. All this is necessary in order to grind the teeth of animals and ensure normal digestion.
- Compound feed and various grain. All this is sometimes called concentrated feed due to its high nutrient content. A large amount of such food will not benefit eared ears, but to speed up the fattening it should be used. It should be borne in mind that the use of such feed increases the cost of maintenance.
- Various food additives and waste from the table. Food waste should be used with caution, because if they began to rot or mold, they will become a dangerous poison. The same applies to ingestion of products unsuitable for rabbits. As for vitamins and minerals, they are given to animals as needed.
This is a general division that some farmers sometimes disagree with. For example, silage can be attributed to both green and succulent feed, depending on the composition and processing. Many more separately secrete vegetables with fruit as rabbit food, although the animals are usually given something that the site owner cannot use. Therefore, it can sometimes be considered another type of food waste. In any case, it is worth considering each of the groups, and decide what can be given out of it to the rabbits, and what cannot.
Juicy and nutritious rabbit feed
These feeds can not form the basis of the diet of animals, but they must necessarily enter it. Vegetables, fruits, roots and fruits of some wild plants are commonly used as such food. If we talk about root vegetables, the eared animals can be fattened with beets (beetroot is perfect for them), turnips, garlic, give them radish and carrots. But neither beetroot nor other root vegetables can match the Jerusalem artichoke. This root crop for rabbits as a kind of ambrosia. You just need to remember that this is an invasive plant.
Vegetables, these animals will like spinach, broccoli, corn cobs (you can give whole), zucchini and squash. It is also worth giving celery (both greens, and root crops), pea pods and tops, rhubarb garden, lettuce, phacelia and many other garden plants. Eared pets do not have the strongest health, but they are almost omnivorous in terms of cultivated plants. But still not worth giving them solanaceous crops. Potatoes can be boiled, and it is better not to use any such tops.
Fruits and berries for rabbits
With fruits and berries, the situation is the same as with vegetables. You can give the animals currants, viburnum, sea buckthorn, blueberries, mountain ash, and other similar berries. And from the fruit is added to the food quince, cherry, apples, pears, plums and even peaches. Some aesthetes feed their pets nectarine, pineapple, persimmon, orange, as well as the peel of these fruits. But the fruits themselves, and orange and banana skins are not always useful for animals. And give them, like other fruits, better in very limited quantities.
Interestingly, eared rabbit inhabitants gladly eat acorns and chestnuts, both in fresh and in dried form. You can vary the diet with these fruits in the summer, or prepare them for use in winter. During winter harvesting, acorns and chestnuts should be dried, finely crushed and then compressed into briquettes. Or it can be stored in the form of flour in bags. In the first month of life, small baby rabbits should not be given such food. But adult animals can eat them in small portions every day.
Exotic fruits and vegetables for rabbits
The first to get involved in unusual and expensive food owners of ornamental animals. Then this same hobby was picked up by some farmers, having decided that such products improve the quality of meat and fur. But this, unfortunately, is not true. For example, you can give the animals pomegranate, kiwi, citrus fruits and their waste (tangerine peel), dates or raisins. This group also includes peanuts, dried fruits (many give dried apricots) and various nuts. Harm these products do not bear, but the benefits of them are not too much.
The main disadvantage of using such feeds is their high cost. Even raspberries or strawberries should not be fed to animals, as well as feed them with apricots or peaches. After all, all these fruits are not so cheap, and feeding them to animals is a waste. A number of livestock breeders claim that such feeding improves meat quality. But they will never increase its price, except for some rare cases. This is what experienced breeders, who have long been engaged in breeding these animals, write about this on the forums:
“Some newbies seriously ask if you can feed citrus fruits, various fruits and berries from the vegetable garden to the rabbits. Or maybe they should be fed dried fruits (dried apricots or prunes) and nuts. And they motivate it by the fact that because of this diet, the quality of meat improves. Alas, this is a very controversial issue, even if it concerns adult healthy animals. And if it is given to a pregnant rabbit, or gets into the feed of rabbits, it can cause considerable harm. Therefore, raisins, peanuts or pineapples should be left to people. ”
Rough feed in the diet of domestic rabbits
Unlike fruits and berries, roughage must necessarily be included in portions prepared for eared fish. They can not form the basis of a diet, but without them, animals will feel much worse. Rough, hard feeds are good for digestion, allow you to grind down your teeth, and, in principle, are needed for rabbits. But their excess can also do harm, and this should be explained to inexperienced owners and children. First of all, it is necessary to pay attention to certain species of trees that will be enjoyed by eared pets:
- Coniferous trees. Pine and Christmas tree should be pruned in winter, when animals do not have enough green food, in particular, various fresh herbs. But you should not constantly feed them with pine needles and pine twigs. Periodic feeding provides additional disease resistance. But if you constantly give spruce, it is already capable of harming pets.
- Willow. If you constantly feed animals with willow, then they can become bad from it. But if you periodically give branches from these trees, then they will help to cope with various diseases of the digestive tract. But willow should be used with some caution.
- Birch tree. Birch is given when additional cleansing of the body is required. The branches of these trees have a diuretic effect, so you should not overfeed animals with them.
- Branches of a row of fruit trees. Without fear you can give out to the rabbits garden rowan, raspberry branches, currants (you can feed them with other similar bushes), an apple tree or grapes. All that remains after the periodic pruning of trees is worth feeding to the inhabitants of the rabbitks.
- The branches of forest trees. You can feed your pet maple branches, acacia, poplar or mulberry. In the case of diarrhea, oak branches can be added to food (they fasten and prevent diarrhea). But, as in the case of other deciduous or coniferous species, it is better to give all this in limited quantities.
Harvest feed includes harvested hay and straw. It is recommended to harvest hay from pea or bean tops, alfalfa or clover. They should not be moldy, and poisonous or inedible plants should not fall into it. Usually hay is used for feeding in winter, although sometimes animals feed them in summer. But no matter how much hay is harvested, it, like the branches, cannot form the basis of the diet. For this purpose, better suited green and concentrated feed.
Various concentrated feeds and cereals
There are many different croup that are allowed to feed eared pets. These include buckwheat, millet, pearl barley, rice, oatmeal and other similar products from the table. Cereals of rabbits should be fed in crushed form, and you can make porridge (the so-called mash). Kashi fit both small, growing animals, and adult livestock. For example, it goes very well in cooked oat-flakes or pasta. But undercooked food, or whole, not ground cereal crops, is by no means the case.
If we talk about grain, then many farmers are interested in the question whether sunflower seeds are possible for rabbits. In principle, it is the seeds that are rich in essential oils that can be given to animals not in crushed form. But hemp or hops (cones, stalks or leaf feed) is better not to use. They should not be given either to the little or to the big rabbit. But wheat, rape or millet is quite suitable as feed. But only in crushed form. Although millet adult animals consume and in whole form.
Of the grain is suitable not only wheat. You can feed with barley, make portions based on oats and a number of other cereals. But sorghum is better not to use for feeding – often the animals have problems with the intestines from such food. In principle, oats-based feeds are suitable for animals of any age. Swaged (not crushed) grain, boiled oatmeal or rolled oats are perfectly digested by eared pets. But you can not give it in fried form, or with sugar – rabbits react badly to sweets, as well as to fried foods.
Food mixes and dietary supplements
Concentrated and combined feed are often the basis for the diet of rabbits. But here the dosage and composition of the mixture is always important. It is very important to know what is and what is not in the composition of the feed, since the list of components is always available on the manufacturers website. And you need to understand that what can be eaten by rabbits also depends on their age. One feed is intended for rabbits who have not even turned a month, and the other mixture is given to adult animals. And they can not be confused with each other, otherwise there will be problems with the health of animals.
Although it is possible to give instead of some feeds manually prepared mixtures with a similar composition. But you should always make sure that in addition to dry food formulations there is clean water. And there should be a lot of water, because there is no such animal that could manage without it. The condition of the drinkers should be monitored with special attention to prevent clogging of the drink. And do not add salt to water, as it is sometimes recommended. Such an additive can cause considerable harm to the animal, if it is ill-conceived to use it.
And if we are already talking about mineral supplements, then it is necessary to mention that the rabbits need calcium, sodium and chlorine. But there is no need to give them chalk, table salt, or put lizunets in the rabbit. It is worth looking at the list of products containing these minerals. In particular, this list includes bone meal, wheat bran and a number of other products. For example, for these purposes they often give soybeans (pulp, meal, tops and fruits), or to the bean of other legumes. But the cottage cheese or cow’s milk they can not be given. Rabbits can only mother’s milk.
Products from the table
Some products from the table can be given to rabbits, provided that they do not start to rot, or become covered with mold. For example, you can feed them pieces of stale bread. But it is better to make bread crumbs, and give it already in this form. This also includes bread crusts, salad and peel of fruits and vegetables. But for the breadcrumbs need extra water. It is necessary to water the rabbits constantly, because the more they eat, the more they will need to drink. By the way, some owners prefer to add iodine and vitamins to water.
Of those products that cannot be crawled, it is worth mentioning mushrooms. Even some species that are harmless to humans can cause rabbits poisoning. And then you have to get the activated carbon from the first-aid kit, if it is there of course. Do not feed the rabbits and paper (and do not say that you can sharpen your teeth about it), chocolate, chicken eggs and avian fish oil. Domestic rabbits, they just do not like. Very often, those products that are designed for people can not be eared pets.
Green feeds for rabbits
This list includes various meadow grasses, tops of cultivated plants and the grass that is grown specifically for animals. It is green fodder that is often the basis of the diet of domestic rabbits, and is used both in summer and in winter. But in the winter they are usually replaced with silage. Silo is chopped, pressed and treated with preservative substances (for example, salt) green mass. The herbs themselves are divided into three main groups, according to the effects and areas of application:
- Edible herbs. This list includes the grass, which is the most difficult to harm the animal – except that he will move it. These include purslane, clover, oregano, arugula, St. John’s wort, Ivan tea, chicory and woodlouse. They also enjoy eating schiritsu, plantain, herding bag, yarrow, chamomile, knotweed and white clover. Finally, they calmly consume field horsetail, sow thistle, colza, reed, sedge and rhubarb. But all these herbs are best given as a mixture.
- Conditionally edible and medicinal plants. The motherwort, reed and sedge are sometimes added to this list. You should also bring loboda, marigolds, sleep, tansy (wild mountain ash), dahlias and wormwood. Most of these plants are best to remove flowers, arrows and roots. And to improve the quality of meat before slaughter they give mint, basil, celery, fed with sage. All this rabbits can be eaten, but in small quantities.
- Inedible and poisonous plants. These grasses and shrubs should not be given to rabbits, under any circumstances. After all, even a single stalk can cause poisoning or disorder of the body. These include tulips (in particular, their bulbs), wild garlic, calendula, mustard, all buttercup and cornflowers. The common cocktail is also harmful and the yellow man is yellow. It is not necessary to feed celandine or fern. And from the bushes is not recommended lilac, and you should not give roses (in particular, their red flower).
It often happens that the same type of plant can be both harmful and useful. It’s all about the dosage and method of processing. Another thing to take into account is the fact that any grass growing along the roads will be harmful to rabbits. Separately, it is worth mentioning the snow – do not melt it, and pour out rabbits with melt water. Such a drink, contrary to popular belief, does not have any benefit. It is necessary to disassemble some plants in more detail, in terms of their benefits or harm to the health of rabbits.
Varieties of wormwood
Bitter wormwood can cleanse the body of animals. In particular, it helps against various parasites that live in the digestive tract. This plant also stimulates the appetite, which is useful in accelerated fattening for meat. But is it possible for rabbits another wormwood, of a different kind? In principle, these animals can be given more wormwood, they are also able to digest it. All other varieties should be ignored, due to the risk of poisoning. And here you have to clean the stomachs of animals with potassium permanganate and activated carbon.
But even useful species of this plant should be used with great care. Here you can compare with the already mentioned pine, which benefits the rabbits, but in limited quantities. Excess wormwood does not cause constipation or diarrhea. Instead, it acts on rabbits as a causative agent of nervous activity. During the rut, it can cause unpleasant consequences.
Sowing herbs in the diet of rabbits
These plants are considered to be one of the main grasses recommended for fattening rabbit livestock. These include lupine (not alkaloid), clover and alfalfa. But these herbs alone should not be fed by eared pets. First, you should not give them in large quantities to young animals, as rabbits are not immediately able to digest, for example, lupine. Secondly, it is necessary to mow these plants in time, when they have not yet had time to become tough and tasteless for rabbits. Grass should be as soft and juicy as possible.
This should also be done because the crabs are not recommended ripe fruit of clover or alfalfa. Finally, when harvesting for the winter, these plants are used as feed only in the form of hay or silage. Although some farmers prefer to use these herbs exclusively in the summer. It is worth remembering that both clover and alfalfa are rich in nutrients, and their excess can cause intestinal problems and bloating.
The list of plants causing malaise in rabbits is very long and extensive. But most of the herbs that come in here belong to swampy and moisture-loving varieties. In particular, it is not necessary to feed the rabbits with celandine, euphorbia or ordinary buttercups. There are a number of exceptions, but it is better to use meadow plants as food, such as dandelions and chamomile. They are perfect as one of the parts of the diet eared pets. A fleshy marsh plants better to get round.
By drawing up the food supply for rabbits should be approached very carefully. Do not feed them one type of food. It is desirable that the composition of the portions included green fodder, and coarse food, and a certain number of concentrates. And all this should be served not in a damaged form. Only then will animals quickly fatten and gain weight. And, of course, will remain healthy.