Proper cultivation of domestic rabbits is a high-quality and balanced diet. Feeding rabbits at home for beginners is not a difficult process, but requires some knowledge. The basis of the diet of animals should be vegetable feed vitamin and mineral supplements.
Food habits of domestic rabbits and types of feed
The peculiarity of feeding domestic rabbits is that the walls of the stomach, have weak muscles, so they must be constantly filled with food, and a sufficient amount of fresh water pushes food further into the small intestine, where the food is divided into sugar and amino acids. In the large intestine, water is absorbed by the villi and fecal masses are formed.
This explains the frequent feeding of food into the cells. Per day, domestic rabbits need up to 50 meals in small portions. Accordingly, care should be taken to ensure that there is always clean water in the cages and food (the nursery must always be filled with hay).
Wild rabbits spend most of their time harvesting food on meadows and fields where wild grasses sprout. They also consume some fruits, vegetables, and grains. Animals get most of the water they need while eating juicy fruits, fresh leaves and herbs. Crawls are herbivores, so they do not have sharp teeth to chew on meat.
Domestic rabbits require a special diet in order to have the highest fiber content. This diet basically mimics the diet of the wild rabbit. A regular rabbit diet also offers a concentrated feed that has high nutritional value.
So how can you feed rabbits at home? Animals are picky and will be happy to eat any food of plant origin. Types of food are varied, but it should be borne in mind that some should be included in the daily diet of the animal, while others should serve only for delicacy. Let's understand what are the types of feed.
This type of feed includes all fresh herbs that are rich in fiber. With the arrival of spring, the question of how to feed domestic rabbits should disappear instantly, because vegetation becomes abundant. All the gifts of nature (except poisonous) can be used for feeding animals. And besides, such food will reduce the cost of breeding rabbits.
Important! Do not collect grass from roadsides or near large industrial enterprises. Such vegetation accumulates heavy metals that can lead to poisoning of the animal.
Green plants can be used for feeding from spring to late autumn. Do not forget about winter harvesting. For this you can use:
- wild plants,
- seasonal cereals
- garden greens
- meadow grasses
- vegetable tops (carrots, cabbage, radishes, beets).
Do not give home rabbits a ground piece of tomato and potatoes. In the cells of these plants are toxic substances (solanine), which can lead to poisoning and even death of the animal. Before feeding greens from the garden, it must first be washed from the ground and go through all the rotten leaves.
It is recommended to give rabbits such wild herbs:
- shepherd's bag
- willow grass
- horse sorrel.
Portions should be small to avoid intestinal problems. Remember, it is the plant food that provides the body with all the necessary valuable substances.
Daily rates of feeding for domestic rabbits for young stock will be from 100 to 600 g (for little rabbits, which are 3 weeks - 100 g, 1-3 months - 400 g, older than 3 months - 600 g). Norms for adults from 800 g to 2 kg.
What can not feed the rabbits:
These plants contain natural poison, which can lead to the death of rabbits. When dried, toxic substances are partially lost.
In winter, rabbit breeding requires special attention to the feeding of animals. Rabbits like to chew on most types of wood, but only some types are safe for their bodies. If an animal eats only grass daily, it will begin to lag behind in weight. It is important to give balanced products. Herbivores need fiber material to chew thoroughly. The branches of trees and shrubs are not only a free kind of food, but also a source of nutrients that provide good digestion.
In addition, the chewing of the bark helps to wear out the teeth, which are constantly growing throughout their lives.
Herbivores love to chew young shoots and buds of many young trees, especially fruit, deciduous and twigs of shrubs. The content of rabbits in their cages provides for the constant presence of straw or hay.
Let's look at the types of trees and bushes that can be given to rodents and which are not recommended for feeding them.
Trees and shrubs that can be used for feeding:
It is believed that in order to gain weight quickly, the rabbits should be given needles of spruce and pine. Needles are rich in vitamins C, B, E and carotene. Before feeding, the needles should be dried and given gradually in small portions.
Note! It is believed that the branches of the trees Oak, Beech, Acacia, Cherry, Peach, Plum, Cherry and Apricot, contain harmful substances for a small organism. Therefore, giving the rabbits is not necessary.
It is necessary to collect wood in places that are distant from any sources of pollution (road or industrial enterprises).
Juicy food (vegetables and fruits) contain in their composition a large supply of structured water, vitamins and vegetable fats. In succulent nursing bunnies, they contribute to an increase in milk for feeding babies. Therefore, care for rabbits should include this type of food in the first place.
What can you feed rabbits at home:
- Pumpkin. Promotes weight gain and improved wool structure. Giving can be raw or boiled. The pet rabbit will be happy to eat pumpkin puree.
- Cabbage. The content of rabbits provides for this product. It is rich in vitamins and microelements, but it is not worth giving a lot of it, because a vegetable can cause bloating.
- Carrot. It has a supply of vitamins C and B group, contains essential oils and fatty acids. Feed should be only in the form washed from the ground. Whole eared or sliced.
- Beet. Contains sugar, proteins, trace elements and fats. Improves blood composition. The daily rate is 50 g per adult.
- Potatoes. Rich in starch, therefore affects weight gain. Vegetable is recommended to boil and add to feed.
- Squash This is a nutritious food and at the same time it contains a large supply of structured water. Squash give all summer and autumn.
Sweet fruits (pears, apples) are recommended to be given in the minimum amount — they cause swelling. Therefore, it is better to give preference to vegetables.
Feeding the rabbits feed increases the cost of rodents. Distinguish loose and granulated feed. The composition includes vitamins and trace elements, so this type of food to adjust the diet of animals. The daily rate is 120 g for adults, 50 g for young. You can also give the rabbit feed, which is made for pigs and calves.
For rabbits there are such types:
- PC 90-1. Designed for feeding young stock from one month of age to 4-6 months.
- PC 93-1. This species should be given during the fattening period for the animals to gain weight, as well as for newborn rabbits up to 3 months.
How to feed the rabbits feed? Most often mixed with grated vegetables and chopped grass. They are given mainly before slaughtering the young.
Feeding monthly baby rabbits
Newborn rabbits the first month of life are fed mother's milk. The baby during this period is under the full protection of the mother. A month later, the rabbit bosses are wondering how to care and how can the young be fed?
It is important to know! If the rabbit does not have milk, or she refuses to feed her, then she will have to feed the newborn with a special vitamin milk mixture.
A month later, after jigging, the content is somewhat more complicated and the owner’s “shoulders” lay down. Newbies breeders are wondering what is recommended to feed the little rabbits?
Recommendations for feeding baby rabbits:
- In the first days, when the rabbits are otsadat from the mother, it is not necessary to give them a new food, which they have not tried in the common cage. Gradually add new foods in small quantities to those they have already eaten.
- In the drinking bowl should always be clean water, especially in the summer. Dehydration of animals can lead to poor appetite and indigestion.
- The first time you should not give a large number of juicy food. They can disrupt metabolic processes.
- It is necessary to plan a balanced diet in advance, taking into account the diverse food for each portion (when rationing for one rabbit).
Let's consider what and how much to feed the monthly rabbits. It is recommended to form portions based on such products:
Why is the right diet for rabbits so important
Regardless of what goal the breeder sets himself, proper nutrition for the animal is necessary: it directly affects both the appearance of the skin and the quality of the meat, as well as the health, longevity and fertility of the rabbits. These rodents have very weak muscles of the stomach, and the length of their intestines is about ten times the body of the animal. Therefore, the stomach and intestines of the rabbit must be constantly filled with food and fluid.The digestive system in rabbits, unlike other animals, works almost continuously, during the day the rodent in small doses takes food several dozen times. therefore in the direct access of the rabbit should always be stocks of clean water and hay.
The digestive tract of rabbits is a rather sensitive system, the disturbances of which caused by infections, parasites, and also improper feeding, have a direct effect on the immunity of the animal. So, in the diet must be present as crushed (grass, leaves, tops), and large solid food (bark and tree branches), the absence of which can lead to various disorders, in particular, to diarrhea. Food should contain enough fiber and protein. Starch is needed in metered quantities - both its excess and lack of a negative effect on the work of the rabbit gastrointestinal tract. The correct intestinal microflora provides grass. Chlorophyll contained in it, in addition, oxygenates the blood of the animal, strengthens the cells, enhances recovery functions and strengthens the immune system.
The rate at which food passes through their intestines and, consequently, the general state of health, appearance, size, quality of wool and the lifespan of rodents, depends on what rabbits eat at home.
What to feed rabbits, types of feedBeing in a natural environment, rabbits independently provide themselves with a proper and healthy diet. However, the success of reproduction of animals in captivity requires a clear understanding of how to properly feed rabbits at home, observing the balance of all the necessary animal nutrients and vitamins. The diet of rodents for this should consist of several types of feed, among which must be present: green, juicy, coarse and concentrated feed.
In autumn and winter, when the amount of fresh greens is limited, succulent feeds become very important in the diet of rabbits. These include various vegetable crops, as well as silage - a kind of rabbit canned food. This type of food is easily digested and well absorbed by animals, improves digestion, as well as lactation. The beneficial properties of succulent feeds are determined by their high content of vitamins, carbohydrates and water, their disadvantages include low levels of protein, fiber and minerals.
The rabbit growers' favorite vegetable is red (not dining!) And yellow carrots, in winter it is simply indispensable for replenishing the rabbit's body with carotene, vitamins of group B and C. The young rabbits begin to add a few dozen grams of carrots to their diet from three weeks of age, and this dose gradually increases, reaching four hundred grams per day for growing an animal, regardless of the season. Carrots in the summer give fresh, mixed with vegetable tops, in the winter, if necessary, dried.Feed types of cabbage provide rabbits with vitamin K, protein and minerals such as calcium, sulfur, phosphorus, iron. Cabbage is beautifully stored and does not need to be dried, however, it can be ensiled. It is very useful for rabbit skins, although with overdose it can cause digestive disorders.
Beetroot in fresh, dried or ensiled form is also used as a succulent feed, and sugar is much better absorbed by animals than fodder.. Like cabbage, in large doses causes diarrhea, so it should be used with caution. Even more nutritious food for rabbits is swede.
Sometimes rabbits are fed potatoes, however, since there is too much starch in it, it should be boiled and mixed with bran or combined feed.
Such succulent crops as watermelon fodder (it is less sweet), zucchini and pumpkin have well proven themselves as succulent feeds for rabbits. They can be used in raw or ensiled form, in various mixtures. Pumpkin can also boil and puree. Gourds have a beneficial effect on the quality of animal hair, as well as contribute to better assimilation of other types of feed.The leaves and petioles of rhubarb are very useful for rabbits due to the malic, citric, oxalic and ascorbic acids contained in them.
A special type of succulent feed is silage, which contains a large amount of vitamins and trace elements. It can be prepared by yourself, which will significantly save the cost of feeding. For this, various fruits and vegetables, tops, and even weeds are used.
All the mass collected for ensiling must be chopped, mixed and put into prepared containers (wooden or metal barrels, buckets, plastic bags, etc.), it is good to tamp before juicing and seal it (for example, by filling the mass with sawdust and smearing the neck with clay) . To speed up the ensiling process, up to a tenth of boiled potato or mealy paste is sometimes added to the tank.
Before the first feeding of animals with silage, it is necessary to ensure that there is no smell of mold or rot. (The correct silo smells like sauerkraut) and enter into the diet gradually, mixing with bran or other types of feed.
Concentrated rabbit feeds include cereals (oats, corn, barley, wheat, rye), leguminous fruits (peas, lentils, soybeans, beans), waste from the production of oil, as well as animal feed and feed (meat and bone meal and fish meal).This type of food is the richest in protein and other nutrients, so its share should be at least one third of the total rabbit diet, and sometimes, depending on the age and physiological condition of the animal, as well as the nutritional value of other types of feed, and above. The increase in concentrated feed in the diet leads to increased growth of the animal and a positive effect on lactation.
The most suitable grain for feeding rabbits is oats. It can be given as a whole or crushed, without fear of an overdose. It is a diet food that is very useful for intestinal motility and, moreover, does not lead to obesity.
Nutrients, though not sufficiently rich in amino acids and protein, are corn kernels, but they must first be soaked or detailed. Also, rabbits are given porridge.
Wheat, barley (without a shell), and rye are used as an additive to other feeds, grain should first be germinated and yeast, in order to increase the content of vitamins in it and increase digestibility. To feed animals with such grain in order to avoid fermentation in the intestine can be no more than four days in a row.
Food concentrates such as bran (mainly wheat), as well as meal and cake obtained from flax, soybean, sunflower and hemp are used as concentrated feed.Animal flour is added to wet foods in small portions to enrich the diet of rabbits with calcium and phosphorus. In addition, from animal food, rabbits eat a silkworm pupa, and in very limited quantities milk and whey.
Комбикорм необходим кроликам как условие сбалансированного питания, поскольку в него включаются все необходимые грызунам питательные вещества, минеральные добавки и витамины.
Гранулированные корма, разработанные специально для кроликов, могут использоваться в качестве основного рациона, без добавления других видов концентрата. However, for females during pregnancy and lactation, it is necessary to additionally have at least 40% of cereals.
Use of vitamin and mineral supplements when feeding
Vitamins should be used as additives to the main diet of rabbits during the cold period, especially by the end of winter, since by this time the amount of green and succulent fodder is very limited. Fish oil can restore the body's need for vitamins A and D. The little rabbit is given a substance at the rate of up to half a gram per individual, for adult rabbits - twice as much, for pregnant and lactating females - up to three grams.Vitamin E rabbits receive in the composition of hay or germinated grain, as well as from artificially grown green grass and culinary yeast. Phosphorus and calcium are found in bone meal, bone ash, or regular chalk. Rabbits also need table salt. Her daily rate for rabbits is from half to one gram, for adults - up to one and a half grams, for nursing females - up to three grams.
In summer, the main food of the rabbit is green fodder. Only small amounts of dry hay or straw should be added to them to help the animal cope with the excessive amount of moisture contained in the grass and fresh vegetables that can cause diarrhea and bloating.
When feeding rabbits with wet silage, dry supplements are also necessary.
Features of feeding rabbits in winter
The question of what feeds rabbits at home in winter is more difficult. In this period of time, food needs to be really balanced. First of all, it is necessary to ensure the stock of good quality hay, since it contains the necessary substances for the health of the animal.
Juicy feed in the winter should be used correctly: those products that can be stored for a long time, for example, carrots, pumpkin, and kale, are best used fresh, others are harvested as silage or dried. In small quantities, rabbits enjoy eating sauerkraut. Branching feed should also be prepared in advance, and the most useful in winter are the branches of coniferous trees, as well as their needles (needles).
The main part of the winter diet is concentrated feed.
It should also be remembered that when the temperature drops, the calorie content of the rabbit ration should be increased. It is good at this time to give animals warm food (for example, cereals). Particular attention should be paid to the condition of the feeders: in the cold, the food in them can freeze, which cannot be allowed.
What rabbits can not feedAs repeatedly mentioned, rabbits have a very weak digestive system, so their successful breeding is unthinkable without adhering to feeding technology.
However, if an improperly balanced diet can lead to an animal's disease, slowing its growth or reducing fertility, which, in general, can be corrected, then some plants added to the composition of green fodder, hay or silage, can completely destroy all livestock.
In particular, you can not feed the rabbit:
- such herbs as spurge, aloe, periwinkle, seaweed, celandine, begonia, cloves, mustard, snowdrop, fern and others,
- iceberg lettuce,
- red cabbage,
- flour products
- elderberry, wolfberry, avocado, figs,
- nuts and peanuts,
- chocolate, halvah, honey and other sweets,
- tomatoes and garlic,
- cereal mixture in the form of muesli, dried apricots, fruit pits,
- unpeeled peas and corn (their husks cannot be digested by the rabbit's stomach).
How to feed the rabbits correctly?
If you start breeding rabbits, you first need to ask the experts or those who have been raising these animals for a long time about the rules of rational feeding and optimal care. After all, ignorance of the subtleties of feeding rabbits can expose them to the occurrence of dangerous diseases. Some fruits, vegetables and herbs must be excluded from the diet, because their bodies can not digest everything.
In order for the animal to grow quickly, it needs all the vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates. Balanced food will help pets develop properly and continue to be healthy and active. It is very important that rabbits always have clean water and need to be changed several times a day.