Domestic rabbits come in different breeds and colors. These are hermels, and “French sheep”, and short-haired “Rexes”, and long-haired “foxes”. Most of all I like the lop-eared handsome “rams”! I don’t understand who could have thought of calling these cute creatures “rams” ... In my opinion, they are more like angels.
I thought about buying this miracle, but before buying I decided to familiarize myself with how to feed a domestic rabbit?
It turns out that feeding rabbits is easy enough, because they are unpretentious in food. They will eat almost everything they give, but only not everything can be given to them. In order not to spoil the ventricle of this soft lump, you need to know what he can eat and what not.
It is very important that the rabbit always has fresh water in its cage. Babies up to 2-2.5 months old can be given milk. Grass and meadow plants such as dandelion, clover, plantain, burdock are considered the best food for a domestic rabbit. For the stomach to function well, hay must be included in the diet. If you are a city dweller and you can’t make your own stock of hay for your baby, then you can always buy this feed at pet stores.
Hay not only has a beneficial effect on the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), but also prevents harmful bacteria from multiplying. Hay is useful for the rabbit's skeletal system, as it contains calcium and minerals essential for life. This is the product that should be in the cage around the clock, and always clean and plenty.
From the usual “human” food, a rabbit can be pampered with the following products: spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and Savoy, lettuce, parsley, celery, carrots, basil, dill. Little domestic rabbits are very fond of fruits. But keep in mind that you need to give them in limited portions, especially if your pet is a bit overweight. Vegetables and fruits must be alternated. Do not give the same product every day, it is fraught with an oversaturation of the body with some vitamins and a lack of others. By the way, contrary to popular belief that rabbits eat white cabbage, you can’t give it!
Do not forget to offer your rabbit twigs with which they will sharpen their teeth. Keep in mind that not all branches can be given. It is preferable to take apple, pear, willow, aspen, juniper, and in winter you can pine branches. Pamper your kids with leaves and sprigs of raspberries and black currants. If you are not sure that the plants are clean (not treated with chemicals), then it is better to abandon their use as feed. Do not give domestic rabbits sprigs of lilac, cherries, elderberries, cherries, peaches and apricots. If you doubt whether it is possible to give rabbits one or another branch, it is better not to give it until you are convinced that it is harmless to the animal.
Now about granular feed. Having talked with girls at specialized forums of amateur rabbit breeders, I realized that you can give ready-made store food. But! It should not contain medicinal plants
(coccidiostatics) and animal flour. However, cereal flour in the feed is also undesirable. If the rabbit is moderately well-fed, then 2 tablespoons of food per day is enough for him. If your pet is prone to obesity, give him a diet by depriving the pelleted feed until it comes in shape.
Today you can buy a lot of ready-made feed for a domestic rabbit. By the way, if you picked up a food that you like in composition and a rabbit to your taste, then you should not mix it with any other. Frequent feed changes will not benefit your pet.
Do not give in to your desire to often pamper your domestic rabbit with various "goodies." Treats, of course, can be given, but do not get carried away with them.
Everything, I feel prepared for the acquisition of a little friend in the form of a domestic rabbit. If I forgot to say something important, I will be glad to your comments.
Nutrition features of domestic rabbits and types of feed
The peculiarity of feeding domestic rabbits is that the walls of the stomach have weak muscles, therefore it must constantly be filled with food, and a sufficient amount of fresh water moves the food further into the small intestine, where food is divided into sugar and amino acids. In the large intestine, water is absorbed by the villi, and feces are formed.
This explains the frequent laying of feed in the cells. Domestic rabbits need up to 50 meals per day in small portions. Accordingly, care should be taken to ensure that the cells always have clean water and food (the nursery should always be filled with hay).
Wild rabbits spend most of their time hunting for food in meadows and fields where wild grasses sprout. They also consume some fruits, vegetables and grains. Animals get most of the water they eat when they eat juicy fruits, fresh leaves, and grass. Rabbits are herbivores, so they do not have sharp teeth for chewing meat.
Domestic rabbits require a special diet so that the fiber content is highest. This diet basically mimics the diet of a 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 feed are diverse, but it is worth considering that some should be included in the daily diet of the animal, while others should only be used for treats. Let's understand what types of feed are.
This type of feed includes all fresh herbs that are rich in fiber. With the advent of spring, the question of how to feed domestic rabbits should disappear instantly, because vegetation becomes abundant. All gifts of nature (except poisonous) can be used to feed animals. And besides, such nutrition will reduce the cost of breeding rabbits.
Important! Do not pick grass near roadsides or near large industrial plants. Such vegetation accumulates heavy metals, which can lead to poisoning of the animal.
Green plants can be used for feeding from spring to late fall. Do not forget about winter harvesting. To do this, you can use:
- wild plants
- seasonal cereals
- garden greens
- meadow grasses
- tops of vegetables (carrots, cabbage, radishes, beets).
Do not give domestic rabbits a ground part of tomato and potato. In the cells of these plants are toxic substances (solanins), 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 sort out all the rotten leaves.
It is recommended to give rabbits such wild herbs:
- shepherd’s bag
- willow grass
- horse sorrel.
Servings should be small to avoid bowel problems. Remember, it is plant food that provides the body with all the necessary valuable substances.
The daily feeding rate of domestic rabbits for young animals will be from 100 to 600 g (for rabbits, who are 3 weeks old - 100 g, 1-3 months old - 400 g, older than 3 months - 600 g). Norms for adults from 800 g to 2 kg.
What can not be fed 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 nutrition of animals. Rabbits love to chew on most types of wood, but only some types are safe for their bodies. If the animal eats only grass daily, it will begin to lose weight. It is important to give balanced foods. Herbivores require fibrous material that must be thoroughly chewed. The branches of trees and shrubs are not only a free form of nutrition, but also a source of nutrients that provide good digestion.
In addition, chewing bark helps to wear out teeth that constantly grow throughout their lives.
Herbivores love to chew on the young shoots and buds of many young trees, especially fruit, deciduous and twigs of bushes. Keeping rabbits in their cages involves the constant presence of straw or hay.
Let's look at the types of trees and shrubs 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 for quick weight gain, rabbits need to be given needles of spruce and pine. Needles are rich in vitamins C, B, E and carotene. Before feeding, the needles need to be dried and gradually given in small portions.
Note! It is believed that the tree branches of oak, beech, acacia, cherry, peach, plum, cherry and apricot contain harmful substances for a small organism. Therefore, you do not need to give them to the rabbits.
It is necessary to collect wood in places that are remote from any sources of pollution (road or industrial enterprises).
Juicy foods (vegetables and fruits) contain a large supply of structured water, vitamins and vegetable fats. In nursing rabbits, juicy they contribute to an increase in milk for feeding babies. Therefore, care for rabbits should include this type of food in the first place.
How to feed rabbits at home:
- Pumpkin. Promotes weight gain and improved coat structure. You can give raw or boiled. The rabbit will be happy to eat pumpkin puree.
- Cabbage. Keeping rabbits provides for this product. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, but you should not give a lot of it, because a vegetable can cause bloating.
- Carrot. It has a supply of vitamins C and group B, contains essential oils and fatty acids. Feeding should only be washed from the ground. Deal with whole eared or cut pieces.
- Beet. Contains sugar, proteins, trace elements and fats. Improves blood composition. The daily rate is 50 g per adult.
- Potatoes. It is rich in starch, therefore, it affects weight gain. It is recommended to boil the vegetable and add it to the compound feed.
- Zucchini. It is a nutritious feed and at the same time it contains a large supply of structured water. Zucchini is given all summer and autumn.
It is recommended to give sweet fruit fruits (pears, apples) in a minimal amount — they cause bloating. Therefore, it is better to give preference to vegetables.
Feeding rabbits with feed increases the cost of rodents. There are loose and granular feed. The composition includes vitamins and minerals, so this type of food to adjust the diet of animals. The daily norm is 120 g for adults, 50 g for young animals. You can also give rabbits mixed feed, which is made for pigs and calves.
For rabbits, the following types are distinguished:
- PC 90-1. Designed for feeding young animals from a month of age and up to 4-6 months.
- PC 93-1. This species should be given during the period of fattening for the weight gain of animals, as well as for newborn rabbits up to 3 months.
How to feed rabbits mixed feed? Most often mixed with grated vegetables and chopped herbs. They are given mainly before slaughter of young animals.
Feeding the monthly rabbits
Newborn rabbits in the first month of life are fed breast milk. The baby in this period is under the full protection of the mother. A month later, rabbit breeders have a question, how to care for and how to feed young animals?
It's important to know! If the rabbit does not have milk or she refuses to feed, then she will have to feed the newborn with a special vitamin milk mixture.
A month later, after jigging, the content is somewhat complicated and the "shoulders" of the owner lie. Beginner rabbit breeders wonder what is recommended to feed small rabbits.
Recommendations for feeding rabbits:
- In the early days, when rabbits are ousted from their mothers, it is not necessary to give them new food that they have not yet tried in a common cage. Gradually add new foods in small quantities to those they already ate.
- There should always be clean water in the drinker, especially in the summer. Dehydration of animals can lead to poor appetite and indigestion.
- At first, you should not give a large amount of juicy food. They can disrupt metabolic processes.
- It is necessary to plan a balanced diet in advance, taking into account the varied food for each serving (when normalizing for one pet rabbit).
Let's consider how and in what quantity to feed monthly rabbits. It is recommended to form portions based on such products: