home Rabbits How to feed domestic rabbits in winter and summer

How to feed domestic rabbits in winter and summer

Feeding rules

The number of feedings depends on many factors: on the breeders’ free time, on the characteristics of the breed of animals, on their fast or slow growth, on age. The recommendations for the feeding process are as follows:

  • Rabbits should get their next meal at the same time.
  • It is necessary to ensure that the dry grass in the feeders is always fresh.
  • The minimum number of feedings is 2 (in the morning and in the evening, when the rabbits wake up with a “brutal” appetite), and the optimal number is 5-6, which is very rare for breeders because of their daily busyness with other activities.
  • Dampness and dirt should not be allowed in the “dwelling” of the eared ears, because from such conditions they quickly fall ill and die, as they say, in “packs”. both adults and babies. The rabbit is sick. there is no appetite, weight is lost, immunity is weakening. The animal dies very quickly.
  • The room, which will “dispose” the animals to prolong the offspring and the desire to chew something, should be well ventilated, but not blown out by drafts; sufficiently lit, but at the same time, so that the eared have the opportunity to hide in a shaded corner.
  • The water should not be allowed to freeze. If the rabbits are thirsty, they will chew on the ice. And this can negatively affect their health. Ice must be removed from the cage in a timely manner.
  • If both food and food are in a warm state, the animal’s body does not have to spend energy on warming them, therefore the digestion process will occur faster, respectively, the appetite will arise more often.
  • When animals begin to be fattened before slaughter, it is better to seat them one at a time.
  • Legumes and beets should not be overused. From the first in animals there is flatulence, from the second. weakening of the intestines.
  • Potatoes are much better absorbed when cooked.
  • The transition from summer to winter nutrition occurs gradually. You cannot take and start feeding the rabbits with hay and grain at one time.
  • Portions of greens decrease from day to day, then in some of the meals they begin to be excluded altogether.

If these moments are foreseen, rabbits will eat well in winter and produce strong and healthy offspring.

Types of winter feed

It is better to stock up for the winter, because, as in the summer, rabbits need a nutritious diet, which includes proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins. Therefore, the diet of animals should be varied, but balanced. The “winter” types of products include:

  • hay (makes up 60% of the daily rabbit menu);
  • branches of juniper, spruce, aspen and other trees, of which cherries, plums, cherries, peaches should be avoided (due to the presence of hydrocyanic acid, which is poison for fluffs);
  • root crops (you can plant carrots, potatoes, cabbage with a “stock”, hoping that you will have to feed the eared ears);
  • cereals (wheat, barley, millet, corn, etc.);
    legumes (peas, beans, lentils, alfalfa, etc.).

The abundance of dry food in winter requires a sufficient supply of water to the animal’s body. If it is dirty and does not change for several days, the rabbits will not drink it, the instinct of cleanliness is too strong in them. Therefore, the water must always be fresh, in sufficient quantity, and the feeders must be cleaned daily of food debris.

5 Rabbit Winter Care Tips || How to Take Care of Rabbits In Winter || All About Pets

How to raise a litter?

feed, domestic, rabbits, winter

Rabbits have tender stomachs that are not adapted to the digestion of roughage. If the rabbits do not have enough of their milk, then the babies can be fed with cow’s milk, kefir, which, in combination with other feeds, represent a mixture that is digestible for little eared ears. You can also use serum. it also contains many useful substances.

Do not allow coarse food to enter the stomachs of rabbits.


It is too early to give juicy feed at the age of 1 month, they are added to the diet from 3 months.

At the age of one month, the amount of dairy products is reduced to 25% per day. Babies are teething, and at this time they begin to feed them little by little bran, small portions of fresh hay.

It is necessary to ensure that there are no coarse, thick stems in the hay. Rabbits should always have clean water. If they do not drink it themselves, they are given a syringe to drink.

How to feed properly?

Before you start rabbits, you should familiarize yourself with the list of products, thanks to which animals will develop harmoniously, please with fast growth rates, and give healthy offspring.

Rabbits are animals with an irrepressible appetite. If they are healthy, and the food is fresh and fragrant, then the animals are ready to chew it all day. In the summer, the problem of nutrition is solved very simply: eared ears can pinch the green grass on the lawn, and gnaw carrots, and they will not refuse vegetable tops.

Hard food

Oats are a treat for rabbits. In addition to being a dietary product, it also stimulates intestinal activity. Great nutritional value is possessed by corn, which is recommended to feed in order to improve the health of malnourished animals and during the fattening period of mature individuals in winter. Corn is given dry, but you can also cook porridge from it.

Eared ears are also happy to eat barley, rye, sorghum, wheat. The latter is given in dosage, because in large quantities it can cause flatulence. And from barley it is better to remove the hard shell in advance, which the rabbit’s digestive tract cannot overpower.

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Features of feeding in winter during the mating season

Food for rabbits during this period should contain:

  • proteins of animal and vegetable origin (corn, barley, bone meal, etc.);
  • vitamins (hay, vegetables, fruits);
  • fiber (cake, bran);
  • minerals (you can use special feeding).

It is not difficult to organize such food at home, but it is important to understand that it is also impossible to be zealous in this matter.

For 100 gr. food should have about 30 grams. cake and bran, about 15 gr. protein and 4 gr. mineral supplements. If you overfeed the rabbits by adding a large amount of potatoes, corn, hay from legumes and other carbohydrate foods to the diet, then you will not expect healthy offspring.

Males in winter should have an average body condition, a healthy appetite. The quality of feed directly affects their hereditary performance. Emaciated animals will also not be able to become “fathers” of strong and healthy rabbits.

3 weeks before the mating of animals in need of feeding, you can begin to feed, in addition to hay and other products, concentrated feed, the daily rate of which is 90 grams. Thanks to the rich composition of the mixtures, the ears get better right before our eyes.

Females ready for mating should be placed in a room with stable temperatures. A cellar or basement is suitable for these purposes. During the mating period in the diet, emphasis should be placed on juicy feed:

  • carrot;
  • fodder beet;
  • cauliflower (in the absence of fodder);
  • Jerusalem artichoke bulbs, etc.

Feeders should be constantly replenished with fresh dry herbs. Cereals and compound feeds are given in limited portions to prevent obesity. Feeding time is also taken into account, because between 11.00. 15.00 females participate in the mating process.

The approximate diet of males in winter during the mating season:

  • meat and bone meal. 15 gr.;
  • hay. 150 gr.;
  • juicy feed. 200 gr.;
  • concentrated feed. 50 gr.

Rabbits at this time are given:

  • meat and bone meal. 8 gr.;
  • hay. 200 gr.;
  • juicy food. 225 gr.;
  • concentrated feed. up to 60 g.

This menu allows the animals to remain active in winter and successfully complete the mating process.

Let’s figure out how and what to feed rabbits in winter at home. Basic principles and tips.

You can endlessly be touched, watching how the eared handsome men touch their paws in search of something tasty, but you can get rabbits, knowing in detail about their habits, taste preferences and developmental features. Otherwise, the first experience in breeding rabbits may not be at all rosy.


Potatoes are low in vitamins, but they are rich in starch, which is easy to digest and digest. over, it is the most common vegetable garden.


  • 13% protein;
  • 5% fat;
  • 60% nitrogen-free extractive substance;
  • 7% fiber.

It is fed in a mixture with green grass, coarse and succulent forage.

Vegetable and watermelon peels

Many table scraps can be fed to animals, but can they be given watermelon rinds, especially decorative ones? They eat small potatoes and peels, cabbage leaves, melon and watermelon rinds. After preparing winter salads, there is a lot of waste that can also be fed to the animals. They perfectly eat the dried crusts of a loaf, but sweet starchy foods should not be given to rabbits.


Corn is more nutritious than oats, but tough for the incisors of rabbits, so it is soaked and crushed. Sometimes they are fed with corn porridge. often it is mixed with other feeds. It should not exceed half the norm of the mixture.


Carrots are rich in vitamins, essential oils, minerals and fatty acids. When it is fed, an increase in appetite is observed in animals. Distribute to the animals raw whole or chopped.

Can rabbits be given apples, fruits and berries??

When choosing fruits for animal feed, it is better to give preference to hard fruits. These are apples, pears. But given that they have weak digestion, prone to bloating, it is better not to give fruits and berries. Opt for vegetables.


Can rabbits be given pumpkin? Its properties are similar to zucchini. It contains a lot of vitamins. Carotene. Therefore, feeding this vegetable is beneficial for the body of the animals. It can be given from autumn to spring, as it is perfectly stored in the winter. Cut into pieces before feeding.


These are plant foods that do not contain moisture, but are high in fiber. These foods not only improve digestion, but also make the animals feel full. Roughage helps rabbits to sharpen their incisors, which is essential for preparing food for digestion. Roughage should be about 30% of the total amount of food.

Hay is most often used as roughage, preferably meadow. It contains a lot of vitamins, proteins and minerals. Hay is harvested before flowering plants or at the very beginning of flowering.

Branching food must be present in the diet of rabbits. To do this, young shoots are plucked from the trees, preferably with leaves. Branches of broom, wolf berries, stone fruit trees and elder trees are not suitable for feeding rabbits because they contain harmful substances.

For rabbits, hay flour made from leguminous hay is also good.

The bulk of the diet of rabbits should consist of concentrated feed, which should be about 70%. This includes grain and compound feed. The seeds of oil plants can be given to rabbits whole, and if they are grains of cereals or legumes, they should be thoroughly crushed and moistened before giving them to rabbits. this will not irritate the respiratory tract of animals from dust. It is better to mix grains of different types of plants, so they will be better absorbed in the body of animals.

Compound feed is also often used to feed these animals. These are mixtures that contain all the nutrients rabbits need, including trace elements and vitamins.

How to feed rabbits during fattening

Fattening often occurs in the autumn-winter period. Usually those rabbits who are already at least 3 months old are fed. Duration of feeding is about a month, it is divided into several stages of 7-10 days. During this period, rabbits should be fed 4 times a day, and it is better to organize an auto-feeding system so that they can receive food when they want.

At the first stage, the rabbit should receive the following amount of feed per day:

  • Quality hay: 100 g.
  • Root vegetables: 100 g.
  • Concentrated feed: 100 g.
  • Hay: 100 g.
  • Wheat bran and boiled potatoes: 100 g.
  • Concentrated feed: 100 g.
  • Roughage, including tree branches. aspen, acacia, willow, birch, juniper: 100 g.
  • Bran and boiled potatoes: 120 g.
  • Concentrated feed: 120 g.
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So that rabbits always have a good appetite during the fattening period, add a little salt to the water (half a spoonful per liter of water). In cold weather, you can give them salted ice. In the third stage of fattening, the appetite of rabbits can be increased with spices added to the feed. cumin, parsley, chicory or dill. As a result of such increased feeding, the weight of rabbits can increase by 30%.

How to feed rabbits properly

Calculating the most appropriate diet requires considering the age of the rabbits, their size and condition. Based on these factors, the daily requirement of a particular rabbit for nutrients, protein, fiber, as well as vitamin supplements to food is determined.

Types of food for rabbits are divided into groups:

  • Juicy forage: silage, beets, carrots, turnips, melons, turnips;
  • Roughage: straw, hay from legumes and cereals, branches of coniferous or deciduous trees;
  • Green food: alfalfa, plantain, rhubarb, young nettles, dandelions and other field and meadow grasses;
  • Concentrated feed: cake, corn grain, crushed and soaked in water, whole or crushed oats, bran, as well as any compound feed for pets, except for those intended for birds.
  • Animal feed: fish oil, whey, bone meal, skim milk, buttermilk.
  • Food waste: dried, but in no way moldy, loaf, pasta, the remains of all kinds of soups or cereals, potato peel or peeling carrots. It is very important to ensure that the food is fresh.
  • Supplements that make up for the lack of certain minerals and vitamins in the rabbit’s body: chalk, bone meal, table salt.

There are two types of feeding for rabbits. mixed and dry. With the mixed version, rabbits are given thick or liquid mixtures consisting of feeds of various groups, and with dry feeding, ready-made compound feeds are used, which already contain all the nutrients and mineral and vitamin supplements necessary for rabbits. For different age groups of animals, different types of compound feed are used.

Juicy feed

In the autumn-winter period, when the supply of green fodder is coming to an end, it is necessary to increase the amount of succulent fodder in the rabbit ration, i.e. those that contain a large volume of water. up to 80%. It can be a variety of melons, root crops or silage. Such food improves digestive processes, increases the fertility of males and lactation in females, since it is low in fiber and high in carbohydrates that can be easily absorbed in the body of rabbits.

The most common food that rabbits love very much is carrots. It contains a huge amount of vitamin A, which animals need in winter. Whole carrots can be fed to rabbits, or sometimes cut into pieces a few centimeters long.

Potatoes are also an excellent juicy food. It doesn’t have a lot of vitamins, but it contains a lot of starch, which is good for the digestion of rabbits. Before giving potatoes to animals, you need to rinse it, peel it from sprouts and boil it. Potato peelings can also be given to rabbits.

Besides carrots, rabbits love cabbage. It contains many vitamins and minerals that help to improve the quality of rabbit skins. But cabbage should not be introduced into the diet of animals in large portions, as this can lead to disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. It is recommended to introduce cabbage gradually. Any kind of cabbage will do. plain, forage or kohlrabi.

Fodder beets are very useful for rabbits. It improves metabolism, strengthens the immune system and improves blood composition. Beets also need to be introduced into the diet carefully so as not to cause intestinal problems. You can give animals and beet tops. But you can’t feed rabbits with table beets.

Fodder squash is also a wonderful juicy food. It is used to make silage. Zucchini in rabbits’ diet will help other foods to digest more easily.

Pumpkin, melon, watermelon and other melons contain a huge amount of water, which allows them to be used as juicy feed.

Silage is also very important, as it increases lactation in lactating females and accelerates the growth of rabbits. Silage is a very cheap feed, but it has useful qualities and rabbits love it very much.

How to feed a little rabbit

The diet of young rabbits is not particularly different from the diet of adults, except for being careful when introducing a new type of feed.

Rabbits should always have hay, best of all shallow, not very dusty and green. It is recommended to start feeding rabbits with succulent feed from 3 months of age, not earlier. Vegetables, fruits and herbs must be fresh, washed and dried before serving.

Important! Juicy food is introduced into the diet of rabbits gradually, starting with small pieces and carefully observing the state of health of the animals. If a particular fruit or vegetable is causing your rabbit to have diarrhea or loose stools, it is best to stop giving it that food.

The water must be changed every day, pouring only fresh and clean water. For rabbits, it is better to use settled or boiled water.

Compound feed for rabbits should be given 2 tablespoons in the morning and evening. Having accustomed small rabbits to a certain type of food, one cannot abruptly switch to another. their gastrointestinal tracts are very delicate and are easily susceptible to all kinds of disorders and diseases. It is better to feed rabbits at strictly defined hours.

In a cage with rabbits, you must hang a chalk or salt stone. They will gnaw chalk, and lick salt if they have such a need.

How to feed decorative rabbits

In ornamental rabbits, the digestive system is weaker than in meat, therefore, their diet should also be different. Read in detail how to feed domestic rabbits.

  • Hay is the basis of food for decorative rabbits, it should always be present in the cage. It should be very high quality, fresh and dry. Hay improves the digestive processes in the animal’s body and eliminates the likelihood of hairballs in the rabbit’s stomach.
  • In the warm season, fresh grass will be very useful for them, which is best collected in areas remote from highways and industrial facilities.
  • Pelleted feed containing the minerals and vitamins your rabbit needs. They need to be given in 2 tbsp. in a day.
  • There should be few vegetables in the diet of a decorative rabbit and should be given very carefully, since a large amount of vegetables can cause intestinal problems. Any vegetables must be clean and fresh. Carrots, rutabagas, spinach, radishes, celery and parsley work well. But it is better not to give cabbage and beets to such breeds of rabbits at all.
  • Fruit can only be given in small portions. You can not feed decorative rabbits with flour products and sweets.
  • In order for the rabbit to always have the opportunity to satisfy his thirst, it is better to put a drinker in his cage.
  • Potatoes are strictly forbidden, which leads to obesity of decorative rabbits.
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In order to successfully raise rabbits, you need to provide them with proper nutrition. A varied and balanced diet, containing the amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that rabbits need, will contribute to their rapid growth, excellent health and increased fertility.

General rules of feeding, diet

Due to the nature of the gastrointestinal tract in rabbits, food passes quickly, so the first meals are pushed through the next. With this in mind, the animals should be fed regularly. Since rabbits prefer to eat at night, in the evening they are given rough food, which they will gnaw for a long time.

In summer, adults should have two meals, in winter. three. Giving birth and lactating females, as well as pups and young animals are fed 3-4 times a day.

Animals should always have access to clean water. And for preventive purposes, they are watered with a weak solution of potassium permanganate once a week.

Food features of decorative rabbits

Unlike domestic meat-skin rabbits, the ornamental food system is much weaker. Therefore, their diet is carefully selected:

  • Fresh and high-quality hay is always placed in the cage. It must be dry.
  • When it gets warmer, grass is added to the diet, which is collected in the yards, but in places where the accumulation of cars is minimal, pre-drying it.
  • Purchased balanced food is also on the menu for decorative rabbits. Issue no more than 2 tbsp. l. per day.
  • Due to gastrointestinal upset, fresh vegetables are added to the diet gradually and in small quantities. They are pre-washed. Animals are given: carrots, spinach, celery, parsley.
  • Like vegetables, fruits are served in small portions.
  • You can not feed pets with flour products.

An animal should always have water in a cage.

Winter feeding

To keep rabbits from freezing in winter, they need only the best food to maintain energy. Therefore, during this period, the rate of concentrated and coarse food is increased. Additionally, root crops and silage are added to the diet.

Features of summer feeding

In the summer season, the nutrition of the rabbits changes, the owners increase the amount of juicy and green food. Basically, the diet of animals consists of freshly cut grass, twigs, roots and vegetables. Concentrated feed during this period is a small amount.

Types of rabbit food

The selection of the diet is based on the age, weight and health of the animal. These factors allow you to identify the daily intake of nutrients and the required amount of fiber.

There are 4 main types of food:

  • rough (straw, hay, branches of coniferous and deciduous trees, shrubs);
  • green (plantain, rhubarb, dandelions, wild herbs);
  • concentrates (cake, bran, legumes, corn, barley);
  • juicy (beets, carrots, turnips, pumpkin, cabbage).

Also, feeding methods are divided into:

  • dry. use ready-made feeds containing all the required vitamins and minerals;
  • mixed. liquid mixtures, which include all types of feed.

Juicy feed

In winter, the amount of this type of feed in the diet is increased. They prefer those that contain a lot of liquid (root crops, melons and gourds). Succulent food improves digestion, and also contains less fiber and a higher percentage of carbohydrates. It is especially suitable for the diet of lactating females and for the fertility of males.

In winter, animals are more often given carrots rich in vitamin A, or potatoes containing starch useful for the digestive system.

Cabbage is popular among vegetables, it also has many trace elements and nutrients. However, it is worth controlling its amount, since in rabbits it often causes gastrointestinal upset.

You can diversify the menu with fodder beets or beet tops. It starts the metabolism, strengthens the immune system. It is introduced into the diet carefully, since flatulence is also possible.

The table shows the methods of feeding juicy feed and its benefits:

Product Preparation Benefit
Potatoes Raw or boiled. Mixed with compound feed, grain crops (millet, oats, corn, barley). Affects weight gain.
Beet Fresh steamed. Increases immunity, enhances metabolism, cleanses the blood. Give in small portions (50 g for an adult rabbit).
Pumpkin Boiled, unprocessed. Puree. Promotes weight gain, improves the quality of wool, strengthens the immune system, increases the amount of milk in a lactating rabbit.
Cabbage Fresh, fermented. Contains vitamins C, E. Affects the coat. Give in a small amount.
Carrot Raw, in pieces or whole. Provides the body with B vitamins, vitamin C.
Zucchini Boiled, fresh. Improves digestion. Given in summer and autumn.

Fruit is given in small quantities to avoid bloating. Preference is given to apples, pears, in rare cases. melon and watermelon crusts.

Eliminate berries, pitted fruits, garlic, onions, parsley.

How to feed rabbits at home and on the farm

The digestive system of rabbits is well developed. The main digestion process takes place in the large and cecum, the size of which is 40% of the total volume of the gastrointestinal tract.

Food does not require special expenses. It should be based on fiber, essential minerals and vitamins. Also, the diet of rabbits differs at different times of the year. The animal should be fed several times a day in small portions, while there should always be fresh water and hay in the cage.

Feeding rabbits

Up to a month, the mother feeds the rabbits. If the female does not have milk or does not fit the babies, they are fed with a special vitamin milk mixture. After a month, the cubs are deposited, in the first days their diet should not change. New products are added gradually.

Experienced rabbit breeders recommend giving up a large amount of juicy feed, as babies may have digestive problems.

Rabbits are fed more often, but in small portions. The diet should be varied. There is always clean water available.