Feeding and fattening rabbits: how to make the right diet
Rabbit breeding at home, as a rule, is done with the aim of obtaining fluffy rabbit skins or tasty rabbit meat, or both. Since the attractiveness of the skin and the taste of meat largely depend on the characteristics of the diet, you should know well what to feed the rabbits: what kind of food will be good for them, and which one can lead to indigestion and illness.
Types of food for rabbits
The diet usually includes green fodder, legumes, cereals and so on. Let's analyze the main types of feed.
Green feed - a key source of complete vitamins and minerals. Wild and sown herbs and vegetable waste (beet and carrot tops, cabbage trimmings, etc.) are used for green feed for rabbits. It is preferable to harvest young grass. Overgrown grass contains a lot of coarse fiber, which is less digestible.
Legumes and grains suitable for rabbits:
- red clover;
- young corn.
- sow thistle;
- mother and stepmother;
Juicy feed - contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and proteins. Juicy foods include the following.
- Potatoes - can be eaten raw or boiled and cut into pieces. Washed cleaners will do as well. Do not give rotten potatoes and potato sprouts.
- Beets are very useful for these animals, but you can give them no more than 200-300 grams per day.
- Zucchini - you can give, but there are not too many substances useful for rabbits. It is better to add a little to other feeds. You can give both ripe and unripe zucchini.
- Cabbage is generally healthy, but a lot of its rabbits cannot be, this can provoke bloating. Better not to get carried away.
- Jerusalem artichoke - both leaves and fruits are very useful.
- Carrots are best cut into pieces.
- Pumpkin - also needs to be cut.
Roughage - contain fiber, proteins. These include straw, hay, branches of various trees, as well as grass flour.
Tree branches are harvested in the first half of summer. They go well for winter food. Branches of the following trees are great for rabbits:
In addition, linden, mountain ash, acacia and willow can be used.
Juniper can be given in large portions. It is also worth stocking up on alder and oak branches - they can be given for stomach upsets.
Birch is also fine, but you need to give it a little.
Concentrated feed - these are wheat bran, compound feed, cake, legumes and cereals.
Wheat and barley are suitable only in crushed form.
But oats and corn are suitable in any form. These are some of the best food.
Food waste - You can give the animals leftovers from your table. Make sure they are not missing. They should not be sour and moldy, only fresh will do. You can give rabbits bread crusts, washed vegetable peelings, porridge, noodles. You can add compound feed to liquid dishes for density.
Be sure to give your eared enough clean water. In frosts, it is preferable to pour warm water into the drinkers.
What can you feed the eared
The peculiarity of the digestion of these animals is that their stomach, which has weak muscles, must constantly be filled with food and enough water so that food moves further into the small intestine, where the food is broken down into sugars and amino acids, and then into the large intestine, from where the excess moisture from food passes into the animal's body.
This explains the frequent feeding of rabbits - a day with eared animals there are up to 60 meals in small portions. Accordingly, you need to ensure that there is always clean water and food in the cages (at least, the nursery should always be filled with hay).
It is necessary to ensure that there is always clean water and food in the cages.
Another feature of the rabbit organism is coprophagia. Do not be frightened by the fact that animals sometimes eat their waste: in this way they supply their body with vitamin B. The fact is that in the cecum of animals there is an intensive processing of grass and hay under the action of bacteria, as a result, vital nutrients for the eared outside with droppings (night). If you deprive a rodent of the opportunity to eat night droppings, they will begin to lag behind in development, and if you overfeed your pets, they will stop eating droppings, which will also negatively affect their health.
The basis of the diet of the eared are plant foods, which provide animals with fats, proteins and carbohydrates, as well as all the necessary minerals and vitamins. A varied diet, including concentrated, succulent and roughage, is a guarantee of excellent health for domestic rabbits.
In the warm season, the best food for rabbits is tree shoots, leaves, grasses. Green food is not only good for your pets, but it can also significantly reduce the cost of their nutrition. It is recommended to give wild-growing herbs to animals: nettle, clover, plantain, wormwood, yarrow, wheatgrass, shepherd's purse, rape, willow-herb, burdock, meadowsweet, horse sorrel. Include legumes in your diet in small portions to avoid intestinal problems. Little by little, you can feed the tops of beets, carrots, rhubarb, cabbage leaves.
Feeding rabbits at home is not complete without hay and branches of various trees.
Focus on what rabbits love, but do not follow their lead. So, small eared eared will happily eat only dandelions or a rape, but there is little benefit from such nutrition. It is not recommended to feed animals with the same type of grass every day for the reason that they begin to stunted and their health may deteriorate. Alternate between different herbs or feed them to your pets in the form of different mixtures.
Feeding rabbits at home is not complete without hay and branches of various trees (aspen, willow, ash, linden, apple, pear, hazel). Eared especially like soft, well leafy hay, with which they receive the necessary vitamins and minerals.
What do the eared eat, in addition to grass and hay:
- juicy food, including zucchini, pumpkin, potatoes, beets, carrots, melon peels, pumpkin, watermelon;
- grains of cereals (oats, corn, barley, wheat) and legumes (peas, beans, soybeans, lentils), flax seeds;
- cake, meal, bran and compound feed;
- fish, meat and meat and bone meal.
When learning how to feed rabbits properly, pay special attention to hazardous foods to avoid.
Any compound feed can be used, except for poultry. Feeding with compound feed is useful because animals receive from it a large amount of complete protein and important minerals.
As you learn how to feed rabbits properly, pay special attention to hazardous foods that should be avoided or given in very small quantities. Do not fall for the charm of little pussies and do not indulge them with sweets - simple carbohydrates are very harmful to the health of the eared ones!
Rabbit diet and fattening. Feeding scheme depending on the season
Feeding rates depend on the season, the condition of the rabbits, and also on their species. The dietary scheme for a pet ornamental pet will be different from feeding agricultural rabbits.
Diet of agricultural breeds (meat and fur)
In summer one rabbit needs 40-50 grams of concentrated and roughage, plus a pound of green. During preparation for mating, the amount of feed increases: green for 600 grams, concentrated and coarse - 70-80 grams. For a pregnant female, you will need 550-700 grams of greens and 70-90 grams of concentrated and coarse greens. A nursing female needs at least a kilogram of greens per day and up to 150 grams of roughage.
In winter the basis of the diet is juicy feed (150-200 grams) plus hay (120-150 grams). The amount of roughage and concentrated feed remains the same. During preparation for mating, 150-200 grams of juicy, 90-100 grams of concentrated and coarse and 150-200 grams of hay. A pregnant rabbit needs 200-250 grams of juicy, 100-130 grams of coarse and 150-200 grams of hay. A nursing female will need 300-350 grams of juicy, 140-160 concentrated and coarse and 200-250 grams of hay.
The fattening of beef breeds usually occurs in autumn and winter. When fattening, the amount of concentrated feed, bran and root crops (especially boiled potatoes) is gradually increased.
Diet of domestic decorative rabbits
Digestion works worse in decorative pets than in agricultural breeds. Therefore, the issue of their nutrition should be treated especially carefully and responsibly.
Ornamental eared ears can be given the following foods.
- Hay Is the main food for ornamental breeds. It must always be present in the cell. The hay should be clean and dry and replaced as needed.
- Grass - it can be added to the diet in summer. It is advisable to collect grass away from roads and other sources of pollution.
- Granulated feed - sold in pet stores, contains vitamins and minerals. Most pelleted foods should be fed two tablespoons a day.
- Vegetables and fruits - can be given in small pieces and only washed and fresh. Too many vegetables and fruits can upset the digestive system of the ornamental erythroat. Radishes, parsley, carrots are good. Beets and cabbage are best avoided to avoid stomach problems.
Be sure to always have clean water in the drinker.
It is strictly forbidden for decorative rocks:
- sweet and starchy foods;
- potatoes - both fresh and boiled.
Both lead to obesity and shorten the life of the pet.
The basis of the winter diet of rabbits is roughage and concentrated feed.
Consider also feeding features:
- When feeding your pets succulent food and mash, make sure that the food does not remain in the feeders. After half an hour after eating, wash the rabbit bowls and the next time try to give portions of such a size that the rabbits eat them completely, but do not remain hungry.
- Observe the feeding regime: when food is served at the same time, animals do not pounce on it, and not only eat the food better, but also absorb it more fully.
- Transfer pets to a new type of food (especially with the change of seasons) gradually, so that the animal's body can adapt.
Rabbit feeding videos
As for fattening, you can fatten both young animals from three months and already adults. Rabbits are fed quickly - even one month is enough. First, during the first ten days, the proportion of roughage is reduced in animals, bringing the amount of concentrated feed in the diet to 50%. Then the animals are fed nutritious feeds that contribute to the deposition of fat: oats, peas, barley, corn, cake, mash with boiled potatoes and bran. Root crops are completely excluded from the diet, and the volume of hay is minimized.
The maximum amount of food is in the last ten days of feeding. Cereal mixtures, mash with mixed feed and bran, branch feed and aromatic herbs that increase appetite (chicory, dill, caraway seeds). Hay is given only when digestion is disturbed, and juicy and roughage is not given at all.
Fattening is more efficient when they are planted one at a time in their cages. And due to the fact that these animals prefer to eat more at night, the windows in the rabbitry are specially darkened, reducing daylight hours to eight hours. By the end of the fattening, the animals become well-fed, inactive, their fur acquires shine and silkiness - which means you can send the eared to the slaughter.
What is absolutely forbidden to feed rabbits
Some wild herbs are poisonous to rabbits. These include:
- milestone poisonous.
The branches of some trees and shrubs are also poisonous - in particular, broom, wild rosemary, elderberry and wolfberry.
Vitamins and minerals for fast growth
The most important vitamins for rabbits are as follows:
- B vitamins - are needed for the nervous system, digestion and blood formation. Vitamin B12 is especially important for young rabbits.
- Vitamin A - for the nervous and reproductive systems.
- Vitamin C - for immunity and digestion.
- Vitamin K - for the reproductive system.
- Vitamin E - for the heart and muscles.
- Vitamin D - for the skeletal system.
Sources of minerals are also needed, which include salt, bone meal and chalk.
Healthy vitamin feed additives include yeast, pine meal, bone meal, wheat germ, grass meal, and special premixes.
Most Popular Supplements:
Chictonik - a liquid additive, it is added to drinking water (2 ml per 1 liter of water). Contains all essential vitamins and minerals for rapid growth and successful development of rabbits.
Gammatonic - another liquid supplement, contains amino acids and trace elements.
Progress - injection. Can also be added to feed (two drops per day). Contains vitamins A, D, E.
E-Selenium - also a solution for injection, can also be added to feed. Contains vitamin E and selenium. It is used for infertility and food poisoning.
The article was updated on 19.02.2018
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