How to feed properly
If we talk about fresh food, then in the summer you can feed the rabbits with branches of any plants, except for those the harm of which was mentioned above. The only exceptions are conifers: it is better to cut them off in winter and give them fresh.
As for dry branches, they are added depending on the harvesting time. Food collected in summer can be given at any time of the year.
Only young branches with soft needles can be cut from acacia. If they are intended for young animals or decorative rabbits, it is better to remove the needles first.
Do not feed animals with wet shoots. If they were collected after rain or washed, they must be dried.
Brooms from the branches are completely fixed in the cages. The rabbit should eat no more than 300 grams of fresh roughage per day and no more than 200 grams of dried food. It is worth alternating the shoots of different trees to make the food more varied.
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Branches of deciduous trees are most often added to food for rabbits for a healing effect. Hardwoods are not used as the basis of the diet, so their number should be moderate.
- Problems with the genitourinary apparatus and kidneys. birch, which has a pronounced diuretic effect.
- Anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. linden. Twigs are fed to rabbits in the treatment of bladder inflammation.
- Anesthetic and bactericidal effect. willow, due to the presence of salicylic acid in the structure of the plant. Feed the rabbits with willow carefully, not giving the pets too much.
- Antibacterial agent. aspen, often used for prophylactic purposes in case of infection of certain individuals.
- Walnut is able to remove parasites from the body of animals, it has anthelmintic properties, that is, it relieves worms.
- Diarrhea. alder, oak and maple, due to the content of tannins. It is especially useful to give them to rabbits during the summer season, when there is a lot of fresh grass and you need to cope with diarrhea and bloating.
Why do rabbits need shoots and branches
Sometimes the owners underestimate the branch feed, preferring fresh grasses and hay. Despite the fact that rabbits are herbivores, roughage should also be present in their feeding system. Twigs are one of the best variations of this food. They are high in fiber, stabilize the digestive system, and prevent diarrhea and bloating.
With the right choice, branches can be supplemented with food: they contain many useful substances. Gnawing on hard branches, rabbits grind their teeth, so they do not gnaw on the cage and surrounding things. Adding twigs to the diet significantly reduces feed costs.
Shoots will come in handy in the spring, when the hay stored is already running out, and there is still a little fresh vegetation. Twigs will come in handy in autumn and winter as a replacement for fresh juicy herbs.
There are some recommendations from veterinarians regarding the preparation and use of roughage. You need to understand that not all of the trees will be useful for pets.
Which branches are dangerous
Despite the fact that coarse branch feed must be present in the diet of rabbits, it is impossible to give animals everything.
- bird cherry;
Plants contain toxic substances that, when the concentration is increased, can cause serious harm to the animal, up to its death.
Opinions are divided over stone fruit trees. Some believe that hydrocyanic acid is found in the whole plant, others. that only in the seeds. In any case, you should be careful with the branches of cherry and sweet cherry, plum, peach and apricot.
The pear should also be avoided or limited as the fruit itself causes bloating.
Medicinal branch feed
Often branches for rabbits serve as a remedy. They are useful for digestion, since in addition to juicy grass, roughage should also be present in the diet. Otherwise, pets will suffer from bloating and diarrhea.
Adding twigs to the diet will avoid vitamin deficiency, since they contain nutrients, fiber, are saturated with vitamins, microelements. Each plant acts differently:
- Alder and oak are especially good for digestive problems.
- Aspen and willow. trees with antimicrobial action.
- Linden and willow have anti-inflammatory properties and relieve pain.
- Birch regulates the functioning of the kidneys and urinary system.
- Cystitis. linden and birch help.
- Conifers are rich in vitamin C, and their use in winter will reduce the risk of colds. And the presence of essential oils in the composition will help with respiratory diseases.
Branch food is indispensable for grinding teeth of any rodents, which is necessary for a correct bite. If the teeth do not grind, they will begin to grow rapidly, bulge, bend, grow into soft tissues. This leads to the fact that the pet cannot eat normally, loses weight up to the development of anorexia and other diseases. The presence of branches in the animal’s cage will avoid this. In addition, a rabbit grinding its teeth will not spoil the cage and other objects around.
Most fruit trees provide excellent twig food for rabbits. The dispensing rate depends on the selected plant. In some cases, it is required to clear the branch of fruits; in others. leave.
- Shoots of apple, raspberry, grapes are introduced into the diet indefinitely, along with leaves and fruits, which also contain useful substances.
- Sprigs of currant, blueberry, hawthorn, sea buckthorn and gooseberry are suitable for eating if the berries are removed from them. Too much volume has a negative effect on the body. The restriction does not apply to young shoots of these plants.
- Mulberry (mulberry tree) can be given a little along with berries, but not too often.
- Rowan and chestnut branches are fed occasionally and a little bit (no more than once a week). Remove fruits and leaves before feeding.
- Rabbits don’t like pear because it causes bloating. Although the branches, unlike the fruits themselves, may not provoke such a reaction of the body.
Which tree branches can be given to rabbits
When compiling a diet for eared pets, you should not neglect the addition of branches. This is a great way to diversify your animal’s diet. Branches are readily available in any season, harvesting does not require large financial costs. But you need to understand which branches can be given to rabbits, and which ones are not suitable for eating.
These trees have their own beneficial properties, but are not suitable as a main “dish”. Eared ones are allowed to eat coniferous branches in moderation. Most often they are fed as a medicine.
- Exclusively for diseases of the respiratory system, small portions of thuja and cypress are given, since the plants are toxic, although they help in treatment.
- You can eat juniper without restriction. However, it is imperative to remove all the fruits. they are poisonous.
- Respiratory problems. spruce, pine, fir and larch. They contain essential oils in the branches and needles, a lot of vitamin C.
Animals are happy to feast on twigs rich in vitamins:
- apple trees;
What branches can be given to rabbits
The list of trees whose branches are allowed in the diet of rabbits is quite large. The good news is that most of them can be found on your personal plot.
What can not be given from the branches
Along with a large assortment of rodent-friendly branches, there are trees that are not suitable for food for rabbits:
- wild rosemary;
- wolf’s bast.
Their branches contain a large amount of toxic substances. Pear and stone fruit trees are also dangerous for rodents due to the content of hydrocyanic acid in them.
Unlike fruit trees, which can be safely fed to rodents, some hardwoods should be added to the diet in limited quantities. It:
- weeping birch;
The fact is that the bark of oak and alder contains a high concentration of tannins that cause constipation. Therefore, it is best to introduce such food into the food of rodents in the summer, when an excess of green grass and vegetables causes diarrhea in rodents.
Birch is known for its diuretic properties, so its frequent use in food threatens rodents with dehydration. Willow is indispensable in the treatment of gastrointestinal tract infections. But this should not be abused so as not to harm the rodents.
How to properly prepare branches
The collection of branches should begin no later than May-June, choosing those on which there are many leaves, or those on which buds are just beginning to bloom. It is best to harvest branches on trees growing far from roadways. This ensures that your rabbit feed is not contaminated with harmful exhaust fumes.
For drying, shoots with a diameter of about 1 centimeter are chosen, which are tied into small brooms. It is best to dry them under a canopy or in a dry, dark place. It is important to protect it from direct sunlight. Thicker branches are also suitable for harvesting, on which rodents will gladly sharpen their teeth. The needles do not need drying, they can be introduced fresh into the diet of rabbits all year round.
Features of winter feeding
Twig food is used in the diet of rabbits all year round, but it is especially necessary for animals in winter.
Needles are no less useful for rabbits:
It is given throughout the year. But since February, the introduction of such branches into the diet is stopped due to the fact that the trees begin to secrete resin, which is bitter. The needles are rich in vitamins and bactericidal substances, animals need to be taught to them gradually and given according to the 14/14 scheme. That is, every two weeks you need to take two-week breaks.
All of the listed tree species are suitable for food for both common and decorative rabbits.
What branches can be given to rabbits
The main food for ornamental rabbits is hay and granulated food, and in the summer also grasses. But as a supplement to the diet almost daily, you can give the rabbits branches of such trees:
- Apple tree
Can rabbits have pine branches? Yes, like other conifers, but they should not be given too often. From time to time, decorative and ordinary eared ears can also be given tree branches:
- Birch tree
What branches of trees can rabbits have. photo answer.
Branches from apple, hazel, grapes can be given together with the fruits, and currants without berries. Rowan and chestnut are also without fruit, and only sometimes in small portions. Walnut branches give a little to prevent parasites.
Birch branches have a diuretic effect, willows and lindens have an analgesic effect, oak and alder help with diarrhea, and coniferous branches are rich in vitamin C. Given the listed properties, these branches are given only occasionally for prevention.
Tree branches that can be given to rabbits, but not often.
Tree branches contain vitamins, trace elements, fiber and various substances that are not found in all grasses and grains. Therefore, in the correct diet for a rabbit, branches are an indispensable component.
What branches can and cannot be given to rabbits: lists with photos
- What branches can rabbits have
- Photos of branches of permitted trees
- From which trees branches are not allowed
- rabbit eating apple tree branch
- What herbs can rabbits
An eared pet has appeared in the house, the owners are actively reading about feeding it and find out that in addition to hay, grass and vegetables, it can also be given tree branches. In this article, we will answer the question which branches can be used for a decorative rabbit, as well as from which trees branches cannot be given.
What branches of trees are rabbits forbidden?
And so, you now know what branches you can give to rabbits. The next step is to find out the branches of which trees of domestic eared ears cannot be fed.
- Bird cherry
- Wolf bast
- Oleander (ornamental shrub)
These trees contain poisonous and toxic substances, which means their branches are dangerous to the health of decorative and ordinary rabbits.
Nevertheless, it is better not to give the branches of the following trees to the “eared” too often:
- Cherry plum
Although, on the forums, many rabbit breeders note that they feed their animals with branches of cherries, cherry plums, and sweet cherries. At the same time, no negative consequences are observed.
In the video above, you can see how the decorative rabbit willingly eats leaves from an apple tree branch. Among other things, the branches themselves, these domestic eared ears, also gnaw.
To find out a detailed answer to this question, we recommend reading the following feeding articles:
That’s all, now you know which branches can be given to rabbits and which ones cannot be given. By the way, if you have experience in this matter, be sure to write about it in the comments below (for example, which tree branches your pet loves most of all).
Our site is entirely dedicated to rabbits and here you will find information about breeds, diseases and their treatment, care and maintenance, feeding, as well as many other things concerning these pets.
It is recommended to collect branches only in the territory that the owner of the animal knows well. In this case, he is aware of what negative factors can affect the quality of the product.
Important! First of all, they must be environmentally friendly. That is, the plants from which branches will be cut should grow far from the road, as well as various plants.
Dry and darkened, like wood, old branches will not suit the animal, since there is nothing useful left in them. It is better to collect young branches, preferably thin ones, so that it is convenient for the pet to bite them. An indicator of the age of the branches is the presence of leaves on them, as well as good elasticity. The cut is made with pruning shears.
The benefits of twigs in a rabbit diet
This type of food has several advantages:
- vitamins. Plants are full of various vitamins, both water and fat soluble. The former are needed for all functions of the body, especially for the nervous system, and the latter are necessary for the beauty of the rabbit’s fur, as well as for maintaining reproductive functions;
- the presence of fiber. Fiber plays an important role in the body. First of all, it retains water, which creates a longer feeling of satiety, stimulates motor skills, and most importantly, accumulates toxins in itself and removes them from the body. Plus, there are pectins in the fiber. They help the animal not to gain excess weight in the case of consuming only dry food and low mobility in the winter;
- improve immunity. Many plants have antibacterial properties. They destroy bacteria in the mouth as well as in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, they contain substances that directly stimulate the immune system. Because of this, they are necessary in the diet not only in winter, but throughout the year;
- improve mood. Something new to animals always seems interesting and unusual. The branches have a useful composition, and this or that variety has its own taste and aroma. This directly affects the mood of the rabbit, especially if he liked such complementary foods;
- stabilize the intestines. When dry food is consumed in rabbits, the risk of constipation increases, since nothing stimulates intestinal motility, and when eating only greens, the risk of diarrhea increases. The branches help balance and protect the intestines from indigestion. They also stimulate teeth grinding.
Spruce shoots are rich in antibacterial components
What branches can be given to rabbits in winter: pine or spruce
In the spring, many animals suffer from vitamin deficiency, especially if they were fed only dry food during autumn and winter. Fresh grass and plants give the body the opportunity to receive all the vitamins and minerals, on which the health of the rabbit depends. But branch feed will help to dilute standard dry compound feed and saturate the body with useful substances. But before introducing something new into the diet, the owner must know what branches can be given to rabbits so as not to poison them.
Features of winter feeding
Rabbit owners are often interested in what branches can be given to rabbits in winter. But the menu this season differs only in one thing. the freshness of the shoots, all other recommendations remain the same. It is better to procure branch feed for rabbits, not of one species, but of different ones. Since eating monotonous varieties can badly affect the rabbit, and the animal itself may cease to like to eat the same.
If the owner dilutes the diet, then the maximum benefit from food can be achieved, since different components of different types of trees will affect each system separately. For example, birch. for buds, fir and spruce. for lungs and respiratory tract, willow. for the nervous system.
In the summer, it is better to give the branches immediately after cutting: the fresher the branch, the more benefit from it. But in the winter, you can feed the coniferous shoots fresh immediately after cutting, just first you need to clean them of needles.
Note! It is not worth overloading the diet with branches alone. To do this, the daily menu should include dry food, some greens or vegetables and twigs. The latter are mainly used as a supplement rather than a complete meal.
Forbidden rabbits branch feed
Apricots, peaches, plums, cherries and cherries are dangerous for rabbits. These trees contain amygdalin, which, under the action of enzymes of the digestive system, turns into hydrocyanic acid, which in turn blocks cellular respiration. Not only twigs are dangerous, but also bones.
Note! Birch trees are mostly beneficial, but when consumed in large quantities overload the kidneys, so it is best to give them to animals that need diuretic therapy.
Thuja, cypress and juniper form toxins in the body of the animal, so they are not recommended. It is better to give branches of other conifers (spruce, pine) in the treatment of diseases of the respiratory system. The owner may wonder if the rabbits eat pine branches. They are very useful for the pet, the main thing is to thoroughly clean them of needles.
Cherry branches are extremely dangerous for rabbits.
When and which branches to harvest
The collection of branches should be started at a time when the tree is blooming, then the shoots contain the most nutrients. This period depends on the type of each tree individually. Most often this is from May to September. After collecting, the branches should be thoroughly rinsed with running water in order to get rid of dust or chemicals that have settled on them in case of anything.
Drying branches for winter is carried out gradually in a dark place. It is better not to leave in the sun to dry them quickly, as this will make them too hard and tasteless.
Important! You can start harvesting from the very summer.
The value of twig feed in feeding rabbits
Absolutely all functions of the rabbit’s body depend on nutrition. And the owner risks the health of the pet if he does not pay due attention to it. Even if the animal eats consistently in good volumes, there are other details to consider. It is dangerous to feed with one feed, since there is no ideal one, which will contain the entire set of vitamins and minerals, a sufficient amount of energy and protein, fats, carbohydrates, as well as the ideal ease of digestion.
Therefore, it is so important to dilute the diet so that the rabbits have enough of everything. But often individual additives and different types of feed, fresh, environmentally friendly greens are not cheap, and it is not a fact that this will be enough for the body. But branch feed is the most budgetary, available to almost everyone and at any time of the year.
Note! Such a simple product diversifies the animal’s diet, making it more interesting and tasty than standard food.
What tree branches can rabbits give?
We often ask ourselves the question, which tree branches can we give to rabbits? So, tree branches should be given to rabbits from the list of allowed trees.
In general, tree branches can be given to rabbits in different ways, both small and large. Small twigs are more convenient for rabbits to gnaw and they grind teeth just as well.
It is very important to ensure that the trees are not sprayed with pesticides. Pesticides can poison your rabbit! Therefore, it is best to collect twigs not in cities, but in ecologically clean suburbs and dachas.
Spring twigs with buds or small leaves contain many positive substances and are rich in vitamins. Therefore, it is preferable to give them to rabbits. In addition, green spring twigs with leaves are rich in chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a green pigment. It has a positive effect on hemoglobin in the blood and on the synthesis of red blood cells. Thus, improving blood circulation and oxygen supply to the blood. Therefore. What young twigs with leaves should be present in the diet of rabbits.
It can also be given with twigs and earrings, for example from hazel. Rabbits will love them!
In addition, do not forget about the branches of trees with flowers, such as cherry branches. Rabbits love them too! Above all, the cherry also smells delicious.!
Green rabbit food
To rabbits, walnut leaves are given by farmers at their own peril and risk.
Young leaves are a real storehouse of vitamins, but not all types of leaves are good for animals. Rodents living in cages or aviaries are very demanding on food. Experienced rabbit breeders add only high-quality food to the rodent feeder and especially carefully select vitamin supplements. Turnip leaves, sunflower, tomato stems after harvesting tomatoes or Jerusalem artichoke. what can be fed to rodents?
The farmer provides not only dry food rich in useful microelements, but also dry grass in winter or fresh herbs in summer. Lettuce leaves help babies to quench their thirst in especially hot weather, and beetroot stalks strengthen the immune system of rodents. If the breeder does not provide specialized nutritional supplements to fluffy animals, the fluffy ones quickly weaken and can become sick over time. Is it okay to give rabbits leaves from vegetables and from trees that grow in any vegetable garden or in a farmer’s garden? An experienced rabbit breeder does not give anything to his own pets, otherwise mass diseases cannot be avoided.
Twig food is a special treat for rodents, but a herd of rabbits will not be full from just one greenery. Even in summer, it is impossible to feed animals only with grass. A balanced diet is the basis, the health of all inhabitants of the enclosure depends on it. Every farmer, even a beginner, should know about what can and can not be eaten by homemade pussies. Without a proper diet, adults will not be able to produce offspring, and their fur will not be able to sell in the future. Do’s and don’ts for rabbits?
The importance of twigs in the diet of rabbits
The branches of fruit, coniferous and deciduous trees are widely used in animal husbandry as a vitamin food supplement. They are easy to prepare and cheap, available all year round. Rabbits willingly eat them, at the same time grinding their constantly growing teeth.
Branches are very good for rabbits
Tree leaves for animals
Leaves can be given to rabbits, but only in limited quantities and only a few times a week. Daily green complementary foods will only be useful in combination with dry mixes. The diet of the rabbit is especially important, which expects the offspring. Females are transferred to a separate diet, which should also include green complementary foods.
Leaves from trees are free food that can be harvested in minutes. Profitable complementary foods can dilute expensive mixtures, but you should not give any leaves either. What does an experienced rabbit breeder give to rabbits? In the rodent feeder, they put not only leaves, but also branches. The structure of the lower and upper jaw of fluffy animals allows you to kill solid food. You should not be afraid for the teeth of rodents.
Cheap food is also extremely high in calories. Branch food for rabbits contains many active substances, protein and vitamins. The dried leaves remain beneficial to rodents throughout the year. The shrewd farmer who has stocked greens since summer provides wholesome food for the rabbits all year round. Dried branches contain up to 40 g of protein, which is especially useful for furry animals in winter.
What are the healthiest leaves? Experienced rabbit breeders know how important it is to adjust not only the quantity but also the quality of the feed. Twigs are useful:
The best type of twig feed is acacia during active flowering.
Acacia branches contain both vitamins and useful trace elements that accelerate the growth of animals. Amino acids and protein contained in acacia branches are necessary for rabbits during the period of growth and jigging from the rabbit. Oak leaves are valuable for young animals, which starts active growth immediately after separation from the female. The transition of rabbits to a normal diet is a special period for the farmer, when his care determines the well-being of adults.
Sunflower or raspberry leaves can only be fed to adults with a strong digestive system. Rabbits are given leaves from fruit trees. It is important that green complementary foods consist of plants that grow in the region where the herd of rabbits lives. Leaves cannot replace all food, but they can significantly diversify the diet of fluffy rodents. What twigs will rabbits like??
The branches of fruit trees and bushes are very fond of rabbits. In addition to the already mentioned apple tree, hazel branches, which also have an anthelmintic effect, will be an excellent food supplement. Shrubs are also suitable: currants, gooseberries, raspberries, hawthorns. However, the berries will have to be removed from them.
Pear branches provoke bloating, so it is not recommended to use them as feed.
Chestnut and mountain ash branches will not bring much benefit, they can be included in the diet occasionally, if there are no other options. so that animals can sharpen their teeth.
Allowed tree branches table
|Apple tree||Can be given to a rabbit. Has a positive effect on digestion.|
|Birch tree||Can be given to a rabbit. Supports the urinary system.|
|Pear||Can be given to a rabbit.|
|Oak||Can be fed to a rabbit in a mixture. Contains tannins and supports digestion.|
|Beech||Can be given to a rabbit.|
|Fig||Can be given to a rabbit.|
|Ginkgo||Can be given to a rabbit. Improves blood circulation and positively affects the nervous system.|
|Rose hip||Can be given to a rabbit.|
|rose flower||Can be given to a rabbit.|
|Hibiscus||Can be given to a rabbit. Contains Vitamin C and Improves the Immune System.|
|Currant||You can give the rabbit twigs and leaves.|
|Pine and conifers||Can be given if the rabbit is not allergic.|
|Hazel||Rabbits are very fond of. Helps with liver and biliary diseases.|
|Linden||Can be given to a rabbit. Soothes, helps with breathing problems.|
|Pussy willow||Can be given to a rabbit. Helps with bloating and relieves pain due to salicylic acid (the active ingredient in aspirin).|
|Peach||Can be given to a rabbit.|
|Grapes||May be given in small amounts. Contains oxalic acid.|
|Mirabel||Can be given to a rabbit. Does not contain hydrocyanic acid.|
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What branches can not be given?
When preparing such food for eared pets, you should carefully consider the list of plants, the branches of which should in no case be given to rabbits. These include:
These plants contain toxic substances that can seriously harm the pet in large quantities and even lead to his death.
Often, many breeders include branches of cherries, apricots and other stone fruits as acceptable for food. They argue that the living creatures, feeding on such food, feel good and grow quickly.
But, in contrast to this, experts argue that it is not recommended to feed such branches to the eared ones. They and the seeds of the fruit contain the substance amygdalin, which, entering the digestive system of the animal, decomposes into hydrocyanic acid and other components. This acid negatively affects the health of rabbits.
Attention! If the owner of the animals, nevertheless, decided to feed the animals with shoots of cherry, cherry-plum, plum, sweet cherry, then their number should be constantly monitored and, at the slightest deterioration in the condition of the living creatures, it is better to remove from the diet.
How to properly harvest branches?
The process of harvesting branch feed also involves a number of its points. And among them the most important is the branch assembly time. A suitable period for gathering coniferous branches is during the winter. In winter, the sap in the branches does not move and accumulates more in large parts of the tree. This makes the food taste better and the animals eat it better.
In summer, the movement of sap in the tissues of the trunk and shoots is enhanced. As a result, the cut parts taste bitter and often the rabbits refuse to eat them.
Deciduous trees are best harvested in the summer. precisely, from June to July. By this time, the leaves have already had time to fully form and harden on the branches. But in their thickness, an excessive amount of substances harmful to the body has not yet accumulated.
In the spring (in May), you should pay attention only to the harvesting of birch. During this period, its shoots are the most nutritious and offer the best effect.
If branch feed is harvested for a long period, then it is stored by tying it in brooms and hanging it in a dry room. For better storage of such food, many breeders additionally spray freshly cut parts of the plant with salted water. You should also avoid direct sunlight on such a product.
When preparing, you should pay attention to the following points:
- In no case should you prune trees that have been previously or recently treated with chemicals.
- It is not recommended to use plant shoots that grow in the immediate vicinity of major highways. Their foliage and bark quickly accumulate dust and harmful particles. Better to pay attention to remote gardens, parks and plantations.
- They choose mainly those branches on which more leaves are traced. The more foliage on the branch, the more juice it contains, which means that its nutritional value is higher.
- Branches on which traces of drying or rotting are found in food are not allowed.
- The sections are carried out carefully so as not to damage the plant itself.
The importance of roughage for the rabbit
The structural features of the digestive tract of rabbits create certain problems with their feeding, forcing breeders to select only the most suitable feed for these purposes. Almost omnivores should not be overfed with carbohydrates and fats, but fiber-rich roughage must be added. They allow pets to grind down constantly growing teeth.
The branches of woody plants saturate the rabbit’s body with nutrients, being an inexhaustible source of useful vitamins and minerals. They compensate for the lack of basic feed in winter and reduce the risk of cell damage.
To grind their teeth, rabbits constantly gnaw on the wooden floor and rods of the cage, and if there are branches in it, they are happy to switch to them.
Plant shoots are free material that can be prepared in advance. You can give the rabbits branches until green fodder appears in the spring.
It is better to harvest tree branches in autumn, when they contain maximum nutrients.
Along with the traditional alder, apple, birch and willow shoots, you can feed rabbits with maple, poplar, ash and pine needles. True, in this case, certain rules must be observed.
Coniferous branches for rabbits: is it possible to give
In this article, we will figure out which branches can be given to rabbits to strengthen their health and speed up the rate of muscle gain. Indeed, in industrial and amateur rabbit breeding, roughage is an integral part of the diet. In winter, tree branches are an excellent alternative to green fodder, being source of energy, vitamins, microelements well absorbed by the rabbit’s body and biologically active substances.
Features of harvesting coniferous branches
There are no particular differences in which coniferous branches to choose for a rabbit. Spruce and pine, which can be found in any Russian forest, are best suited for these purposes.
- we carry out harvesting after the onset of the first frost;
- we find a large Christmas tree or pine tree growing away from busy highways;
- choose branches older than two years;
- the needles should be bright and faint.
It is best to cut off the needles so that the rabbits have enough for 2-3 days, after which the procedure is repeated. You can bring home more branches, but they will lose nutrients as they dry. First of all, very useful vitamin C.
An adult animal is given one branch (15-20 cm) a day, regardless of whether it is a spruce or another coniferous plant. Before laying in the cage, the fertilizing must be rinsed with clean water and allowed to dry a little.
It is strictly forbidden to pour boiling water over the spruce, as this will provoke the release of essential oils contained in it, which can negatively affect the pet’s body.
Inexpensive and highly effective feeding
Spruce, pine, fir and juniper cease to produce essential oils with the onset of the first cold weather. Only then can their branches be cut off and added to rabbit feed.
It is not recommended to harvest pine branches in advance. When dry, they lose some of the nutrients, and you can cut them off the tree at any time.
It is believed that giving needles is very beneficial because it improves the digestive system of decorative rabbits, which are much weaker than their counterparts, which are grown industrially for high quality meat and fur.
Feeding the animals with coniferous branches rich in vitamin C stimulates sexual heat. Giving them to nursing bunnies will increase their milk production. Read more about this in the article “What to feed the rabbit after birth”.
Young rabbits eat needles with great pleasure, regardless of whether you give them spruce, fir or pine. The addition of spruce branches to the diet makes their fur bright and shiny, excluding vitamin deficiencies, accompanied by hair loss.
Needles rich in protein and vitamins
The branches of spruce, pine and fir, widespread in central Russia, are a real storehouse of vitamins and minerals. They contain at least 10% of protein perfectly digestible by the rabbit’s body, and are also rich in minerals that strengthen the body.
Let’s consider whether it is possible to give a rabbit coniferous branches, how to do it correctly, in what quantity and at what time of the year.
Shoots of coniferous plants are saturated with a large amount of essential oils, which give them a peculiar rich smell. They can cause irreparable harm to the health of your pets, so needles for rabbits are useful only in winter, when the concentration of these substances drops sharply.
If you are going to feed the rabbits with fir, pine or Christmas tree branches, then in no case harvest them in the spring-summer months. Such preparation will be useless, rabbits will lose their appetite, and their health can seriously deteriorate.
Feeding decorative animals
With great pleasure, decorative and dwarf rabbits eat the needles of conifers, preferring the tree to all other trees. You can start putting one branch of needles in the cage for babies from the age of two months. But in the early days, you need to closely monitor the health of pets.
In decorative rabbits that are not used to such food, in the first days, urine may acquire a reddish tint. But this should not confuse you, as it is absolutely normal.
Fattening animals happily gnaw the branches themselves, leaving practically nothing from them. Often, the remains of a New Year’s tree that has stood in your home for 2 or more weeks is added to their diet. They’re not as healthy as fresh ones, but rabbits will eat them well too.
If pine or spruce was grown in warm regions of the country even before the onset of frost, then it is impossible to feed rabbits with its branches. Freezing already cut branches in the refrigerator will not give a positive effect either.
In summer, pine needles are harmful and dangerous
You can feed rabbits with coniferous branches only before the spring sap flow. The needles are saturated with essential oils and can do more harm than good to the animal.
During this period, we give the rabbits branches of apple, maple, poplar, willow and alder as roughage. You can also give birch, but it has a strong diuretic effect, and you should not abuse its shoots.
It is not recommended to feed rabbits with branches of elderberry, bird cherry and wild rosemary, which are difficult to digest, as well as shoots of stone fruit plants of plum, peach and apricot saturated with hydrocyanic acid.
Remember that rabbits are not particularly picky about their food. Their health directly depends on what feed is made up of the daily diet.
3 FREE rabbit chews from trees and bushes.
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Write in the comments if you feed your pets with needles.