Rabbits are funny fluffy creatures that many keep in their yard. For some, it is a home or farm, a source of meat, fluff and income, for others – charming pets and four-legged friends. Whatever it was, but everyone who keeps eagles, is faced with the question of what to feed them, what kind of grass for rabbits is the most useful, providing the body with all the necessary substances. Today we will talk about this in more detail.
These animals are adapted to eat only plant food. Grass for rabbits – is the source of all essential trace elements. All year round in nature, hares feed exclusively on plants. In winter, when the forest is noticeable with snow, they are managed with the bark of trees, dry sticks, which sticks out on the glades. At the same time, many rabbit breeders believe that absolutely any grass is suitable for rabbits, relying precisely on the fact that in nature they do not have to choose. Indeed, there is some truth in this, but the wild rabbit has very strong instincts, it feels that it is useful and what is not. The pet is also guided by instincts, but they are for many generations raised in captivity, greatly dulled. In addition, the caged eared mouse may become bored or hungry. For example, you are the owners stayed at work, skipping feeding, and in the trough there was only harmful grass for rabbits. By the end of the day, he will give up and taste the delicacy.
We concluded that grass is the basis of nutrition for these animals. However, before determining which grass can be given to rabbits, let’s talk about the features of their body. These pets are extremely sensitive to care, and their fragile body instantly reacts to the slightest changes. Proper nutrition means a lot. Only an optimal diet will ensure the health and good development of your pet. Their metabolism is so high that hunger for a fluffy baby is very harmful. However, the main danger lurks here: food poisoning with such a metabolism is fatal, you just do not have time to take action. Therefore, offer your pets only those plants in which you are fully confident.
The remaining products should be fresh and clean, without signs of mold, rot, always without dyes and chemical additives. Now let’s talk about what kind of grass can be given to rabbits.
Green and juicy food should be “on the table” in these animals constantly. This is the source of all the most necessary substances, the optimal diet proposed by nature itself. First of all, this includes annual and perennial green undergrowth. Therefore, choosing which grass can be given to rabbits, it is necessary to give preference to that which grows in natural conditions, under the sun. Very often near the rivers there are perennial leguminous herbs – this is clover and alfalfa, excellent herbs that allow you to grow healthy pets. It also includes grass, which is very fond of sunny forest glades. These are yarrow and dandelion, plantain and cuff. These herbs can also be included in the diet every day.
At the same time, talking about what grass rabbits eat, it should be noted alfalfa, sainfoin, clover and wheat grass, these are really the best herbs that can debug the digestive system of fluffy rodents. However, there is a small nuance: clover and sainfoin like them more in their taste, but excessive use of the first one is not recommended for females, as this impairs their reproductive function. Alfalfa also contains a lot of fiber, about 30%, as well as protein (20%), which is what makes it an excellent component of feed mixtures.
This is a real expanse – huge areas covered with vegetation can give a huge amount of food for your animals. However, going to the steppe, you need to know what kind of grass the rabbits eat, so as not to accidentally bring poisonous plants home. In such arid areas there are a lot of fragrant and bitter herbs that hares and rabbits eat very well. This wormwood and yarrow, as well as many others. At the same time, if you ask many non-professionals what kind of grass you can feed rabbits, then almost all of the listed species will fall into the prohibited list. This is fundamentally wrong, but the best of the steppe grasses is wormwood and yarrow.
Imagining green juicy meadows, many people think that this entire carpet is suitable for feeding to rabbits. In fact, no, most often this natural veil is formed in swampy and flooded areas where water stagnates. Such a soil is loved by sour herbs, such as sedge and canary, horsetail and pike. All these herbs do not like rabbits, so there is not much sense to collect them.
However, green meadows offer a wide scope for collecting green fodder. Speaking about what kind of grass you can feed the rabbits, first of all it is necessary to note the plantain and tansy, dandelion and sorrel, wild clover and sow thistle. In addition, the meadows grow quinoa, horse sorrel, sage and reed, which can not only be collected in the summer, but also harvested for the winter. You will also benefit from tavolga and timothy, mallow, comfrey and bluegrass, mouse peas, burdock, sweet clover, hornbeam, heather, schiritsa and cow parsnip. Excellent nutritional qualities have a coltsfoot, willow-tea.
When harvesting green fodder, you need not only to know the useful varieties of plants, but also to find out which grass should not be given to rabbits. At the same time there are many nuances, for example, winter rape and colza can be eaten only until the seeds appear, otherwise their use can lead to indigestion. Sudanese and sorghum have the same effect. Rabbits are very fond of corn, but it must be borne in mind that there are a lot of carbohydrates in it, and in the stomach of an animal it contributes to the formation of excess gases.
In summer, green food is considered the main food for rabbits. However, even mowing should be done before lunch, while it is not too hot. If the grass was harvested after rain and dew, it is necessary to pre-load it in the sun and only then feed it to rabbits.
We continue to talk about what kind of grass should not be given to rabbits. You need to be especially careful while your pets are very young. The share of green food should not be more than 30% of the total diet, since the same favorite clover, issued in large quantities, can cause severe diarrhea. It is dangerous enough and the abundance of dandelion, despite the fact that this plant is useful and its animals eat with great pleasure. Yarrow and colza can be given to baby rabbits only as a treat. Do not give kids a salsify, geranium and spurge. Very fond of bunnies fresh tops of beets, but to get involved in it, too, is not recommended. To avoid indigestion, place alder or oak branches with it in the cage.
If you are not sure what grass was brought, it is better not to give it to furry pets, so as not to risk their health. However, it is not worth throwing it away; dry it well to use in winter as bedding. In this form, it will be absolutely safe, even if the rabbit tries to chew it.
Despite the fact that the influence of plants at different stages of maturity on the body is not well studied, there is absolutely reliable information about which grass can not be given to rabbits in any form. They are buttercups and celandine, spurge, hellebore, backache, dope, belladonna, black root and many others. Very dangerous lily of the valley, St. John’s wort and mustard. All these species contain substances that are deadly primarily for young animals. These are alkaloids, saponins and other poisons that cause poisoning and death. In this case, the breeder should remember that it is not enough to know what grass to feed the rabbits, you need to prepare it properly. It is undesirable to feed animals only mowed, wet from rain or dew, or simply very juicy grass. Better a bit of her podvyalit in the sun.
First of all, avoid collecting these poisonous herbs for rabbits. Buttercups are easy to recognize, they are distributed almost everywhere. You need to know this plant, be able to distinguish it from dozens of others. Its yellow flower has a five-leafed cup and a five-petalled corolla. They usually grow in lowland and damp places, bloom from spring to autumn. They contain the strongest poison, protoanemonin, which is dangerous for all animal species. And in a dried form, the plant becomes absolutely safe, the poison evaporates.
Take a very responsible attitude to what grass to feed the rabbits. When eating a large number of buttercups, acute poisoning occurs. The animal stops eating, it is tormented by attacks of pain, the gastrointestinal tract is affected most of all. However, death is not always the case, unless, of course, you do not feed the animal exclusively with buttercups. But such consequences as reduced immunity, growth retardation, is enough. To return the animal to a full life, it will take a lot of strength. At the same time, remember that plants growing in the penumbra are usually more poisonous than those that are exposed to bright sunshine.
It is fresh greens, chopped and canned. It is in the silo that all useful substances are stored, the only thing that is lost is sugar. It is due to it that lactic fermentation occurs. However, for the preparation of silage need to use special conditions. Mandatory sealed container, which will be very tightly tamped with grass. If these conditions are not observed, putrefactive bacteria and mold fungi can settle in the grass. Such a neighborhood can be costly for your animals. For ensiling, you can use special facing pits, trenches, barrels, and you can set bags with plastic inserts right on the balcony.
What grass for rabbits would be optimal for making silage? Any edible herb will be suitable as the main filler, but for a successful reaction it is necessary to add corn stalks and Jerusalem artichoke, sunflower and carrot tops, cabbage leaves. After about 4 weeks you get ready food that rabbits love.
Speaking of what kind of grass can be rabbits, we forget that these funny creatures with appetite will be brittle and different vegetables. Since it will not be possible to grow young stock only on fresh green fodder, let’s look at what root crops can be included in their diet. They all contain large amounts of water, some protein, fat, fiber and minerals. Rabbits eat sugar beets well, because of the laxative effect, fodder is not recommended. Diet carrots and cabbages are excellent, you can also give potatoes, which are slightly cooked. Do not forget that all vegetables must be well washed and cleaned.
Separately worth mentioning melons. In the fall, when green fodder runs out, these cultures are great for rabbits. It can be pumpkin, watermelons, and zucchini rich in vitamins and microelements. Rabbits will eat them both in pure form and mixed with other feeds.
Autumn is coming, which means it is already difficult to think of what grass to give to rabbits, since there is nothing left either at the summer cottage or in the field. Now the basis of nutrition will be grain and hay. We’ll talk about dried herbs a bit later, let’s look at cereals. Concentrated feeds are the most nutritious and important when growing young stock. The most important grass is oats. Excellent eat rabbits and barley. An important element of nutrition are legumes, they can be germinated, providing the eared body with all the necessary trace elements. In addition, you can feed them in its pure form, soaking in water for 3 hours. The compound feed consisting of different types of cereals perfectly proved. Mineral supplements and specialized vitamin mixtures are also added to rabbit food. For vitamins, you can consult in the nearest veterinary pharmacy, it can be Vitaminchik, Ushastik, Lolo and many others. Bonemeal, salt and chalk act as a mineral supplement. Salt is added to the feed, and juicy greens are sprinkled with chalk and flour.
Winter is coming, and with it the question of what kind of grass to give to rabbits is getting sharper. Photos in magazines often show us small green gardens on the window, which are grown specifically for the pet. But this method is good only to feed the pet. If you have a farm, then it is necessary to harvest hay. For this, almost any soft grass that mows in large quantities and dried in the shade will do. However, this group includes not only hay, but also straw, grass meal, chaff and branch feed.
High-quality hay has a greenish color and a pleasant aroma. Its value depends on the composition of the herb, its collection time and storage conditions. The best herbs for hay are alfalfa, clover, sainfoin. Such bean hay contains two times more protein than cereal. However, you can dilute it with cereals, such as oats. It should be noted that the need to harvest the grass before flowering, otherwise the hay will be rough. Straw is harvested from oats and barley, for the most part it is used to make litter. In crushed and steamed form, you can add it to the diet as a source of fiber.
Closer to the spring, the stocks of hay usually come to an end, for this period you need to prepare spindly feed. To do this, in early summer, young branches are cut from various hardwoods, they are tied up in brooms and dried in a ventilated room. Nutritionally, they are close to straw, it is a source of carotene and vitamins, cobalt and manganese. You can harvest branches of birch and acacia, willow, cherry, elm and hornbeam, pear, oak, spruce, willow, hazel. Rabbits like sprigs of raspberry and linden, alder and mountain ash. You can not use plants such as apricot, buckthorn, elder and bird cherry. The branches of these trees contain toxic substances, so they can harm your pet.
When choosing herbs for rabbits, rely on the same principle as when picking mushrooms. If you do not know what kind of plant it is and how it will affect furry pets, then either leave it in the field, or determine it for drying, as hay it will be safe.