What grass can be given to laying hens?
Green forage is indispensable for keeping laying hens. It is an excellent source of minerals, fiber, moisture, vitamins. When self-walking, chickens eat plenty of greens in the pasture. When feeding on concentrates, about 20% of the norm for feeding laying hens at home should be greens.
What grass can be given to laying hens from garden beds? Of the cultivated plants grown in the gardens of the middle lane, chickens can be offered dill, young green peas, lettuce leaves and many other plants that do not have an irritating effect on the digestive tract of the bird.
Among weeds, dioecious nettle is the leader in terms of benefits. It is a sure source of ascorbic acid, vitamins A, B, K, as well as fiber, trace elements and moisture. In winter, when fresh grass is not available, the bird is offered grass hay.
How to feed the laying hens so that they rush better in the cold season? Here, do not forget about the needles, pine and spruce needles in the middle of winter accumulate the maximum amount of vitamin C and carotene.
Before feeding hens, hens pullets and adult livestock, beets, carrots, turnips, summer radish varieties are ground on a grater. Of the garden root vegetables, carrots are especially useful, they contain carotene and have a beneficial effect on the quality of eggs and egg production in layers. This vegetable can be fed raw or dried to regulate consumption.
Zucchini, pumpkins, squash and other melons are cut so that it is convenient for the bird to peck at the flesh. Chickens willingly eat potatoes. His bird should be given boiled, mixed with other components.
Let’s find out what to feed the laying hens to run better
The egg production of chickens depends on a number of factors, while feeding is perhaps the main one. How to feed the laying hens to make them run better? How to choose a diet and calculate the amount of feed per bird? Not finding the answer to these and many other questions, novice poultry farmers often receive less of the products owed from chickens.
How to feed laying hens at home?
Domestic chickens are rightfully considered one of the most picky birds. They willingly eat whatever is offered: grain, waste from the human table, weeds from the beds, and the remains of the compound feed received by pigs, sheep and goats. But it is unlikely that with such a “casual” diet, you can achieve high productivity. Not receiving all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals, chickens will not be able to lay at full strength, and the formation of eggs will go at the expense of the bird’s body and its health.
How to organize feeding laying hens at home and choose a balanced diet for them?
In the wild, the wild ancestors of the chicken and its closest relatives eat very diversely. The menu of such birds includes grain, berries and fruits, seeds and herbs, larvae and adult insects. Birds from the order of chickens do not shun non-venomous reptiles, for example, frogs and lizards. They get earthworms, eat foliage from low-growing branches. Feeding laying hens at home cannot be so varied, but giving the pets everything they need for growth, development and good egg return is extremely important.
Composition of compound feed for laying hens
Knowing what foods a bird needs to eat to increase egg production and keep the body in good condition, it is important to understand how to feed laying hens at home and observe the optimal proportions. Ready-made and home-made chicken mixes include all of the listed feed categories, but must include animal protein sources. These include:
- Meat and bone meal and fish meal, as well as meat and fish waste;
Before preparing a mash for laying hens, the poultry farmer must determine its composition and quantity. Individual foods should be prepared before serving:
- Potato tubers and raw peel are boiled, chilled and kneaded;
- Grind vegetables and root crops with a grater;
- Meat and fish are heat treated and cooled;
- Beans are boiled, and the rest of the beans are pre-soaked.
Before feeding pullets for hens, hens grind or flatten the grain. In winter, it is useful to germinate cereals, which significantly increases their nutritional and vitamin value. The same effect is obtained by adding 5-10 grams of yeast per kilogram of the mixture.
Feeding rates for laying hens at home
Chickens are almost omnivorous and can search for food almost all the time, but excess nutrition does not have the best effect on the well-being of the bird and on the number of eggs brought. Therefore, it is important to observe the feeding regime and give the chickens a strictly defined amount of feed.
How many times a day to feed laying hens and what is the accepted consumption rate? To maintain the productivity of the egg population, the bird is given feed 2-3 times a day. The poultry farmer himself can vary this number, focusing on the breed characteristics, the nuances of maintenance and the well-being of chickens.
For 100 grams of grain mixture for feeding laying hens at home, add half a gram of salt and mineral feed. Additionally, herbs or hay, vegetables and root crops, components of animal origin are introduced.
There are many recipes on how to make compound feed for laying hens with your own hands. In the conditions of a personal backyard, various products at hand can be used. Seasonal restrictions also have a significant impact on the composition of the product. Therefore, in summer, the main focus is on greens, in winter, when there is none, hay is introduced into the diet, a larger amount of stored vegetables and root crops.
The composition of feed for laying hens at home
Which cereals to choose for the healthiest mixes? Since grain should prevail in the composition of the feed, it is necessary to clarify which types of cereals are best suited for laying hens, and how to give them correctly.
Almost all grain crops are perfectly digested by poultry, supplying the body with carbohydrates, fiber and vitamins. When deciding how to feed the laying hens so that they rush better, the poultry farmer should think about introducing poultry into the diet:
- Corn rich in carbohydrates, and its grain is pre-crushed so that the feed is absorbed more fully and better;
- Wheat, which stands out against the background of other cereals with an abundance of vitamins of group B and E, plant proteins, especially demanded by layers;
- Wheat bran, even superior to whole grains in nutritional value for layers;
- Barley useful for meat and meat breeds;
- Fiber-rich oats, which must be crushed and steamed for better digestion, otherwise its unrefined grain irritates the esophagus and intestines of chickens;
- Oat bran, which perfectly replaces grains and can make up to 20% of the volume of cereals on the menu;
- Erysipelas and millet;
- Buckwheat, which should be no more than 10% of the norm for feeding laying hens at home.
But even in the most balanced cereal mixtures, there is not enough protein, calcium, especially necessary for laying hens, phosphorus and some important vitamins, so other components must be included in the menu.
A useful addition to the diet of laying hens will be:
- Flax and sunflower seeds;
- Protein and fiber-rich oilcakes and meal.
The menu must include mineral supplements that are unacceptable for the human diet, but birds simply cannot do without them. These are chalk, crushed shell, fine gravel, ash, table salt. The listed feed components are not included in the compound feed for laying hens, but are given separately.
What can not be fed to laying hens?
The omnivorous nature of chickens sometimes leads to unpleasant consequences. The bird does not pay attention to the quality of food, pecking at both rotten and moldy pieces. The result of avian greed and negligence of the owners manifests itself in the form of intestinal infections, blockage of goiter, helminthic invasions and other diseases.
What foods are bad for poultry? What can not be fed to laying hens? The menu for chickens of any breed should not contain fermented, sour food or products with signs of obvious spoilage and mold. To avoid digestive problems, do not give poultry whole root vegetables, raw potatoes and peels. All waste from the table, before getting to the chickens, is checked and sorted. They should be free from the remnants of packaging film, foil, twine and other inedible items.
If the bird receives fresh grass and hay, it is important to make sure that they are free of poisonous plants, for example, horsetail, celandine, wormwood. It is these species that most often cause poisoning of layers in chicken coops and on walks.
Novice poultry farmers ask if it is possible to feed the hens with a loaf. If these are pastries, then for all their nutritional value, they will only harm the livestock. But an ordinary wheat or grain loaf can be given to a bird. This supplement is especially useful in winter, when chickens need food that quickly replenishes energy reserves. It is better to introduce high-quality dried pieces into the diet, which are added to the mash or given soaked.
In order for the eared ones to be healthy, eat well and grow quickly, it is not enough to know the names of nutritious herbs. In addition, it is important to properly collect, store and prepare it.
Veterinarians advise only dry and slightly withered young plants. Fresh and old stems cause bloating and diarrhea. Therefore, always prepare the ingredients for feeding in advance. Do not be lazy to spread the grass in the sun for several hours.
Rotten, overripe and moldy sprouts are a threat to eared rodents. But even in a fresh armful there may be a poisonous culture. Let’s figure out in more detail what grass should not be given to rabbits.
Veterinarians believe that even the most poisonous specimens, when dried, partially lose their toxic qualities. Therefore, when mastering new unfamiliar areas, it is recommended to feed the animals only dry vegetation. This does not mean that rabbits will always be healthy by eating hay.
It is important to ensure that the feed never includes:
- Marsh calla (poisoning is manifested by bloating, increased salivation and anxiety);
- Datura ordinary (provokes paralysis and dysfunctions of the cardiovascular system);
- Hemlock (causes seizures, paralysis of the hind limbs and contributes to the loss of strength);
- Euphorbia (fraught with diarrhea, vomiting and convulsions);
- Poisonous milestone (paralyzes the respiratory organs, eating this herb in most cases is fatal);
- Chemeritsa (in case of poisoning, trembling, vomiting, diarrhea, profuse salivation, convulsions and breathing are disturbed);
- Cornflower horned (provokes convulsions and paralysis);
- Sleep herb (helps to reduce heart rate, causes intestinal upset and shortness of breath);
- Doll (when ingested, it causes paralysis, provokes dysfunction of the kidneys and heart, poisoning is expressed by weakness, diarrhea, vomiting and severe salivation);
- Buttercups (the herb causes acute painful sensations in the abdomen, provokes flatulence, vomiting and diarrhea);
- Colchicum autumnal (when eaten causes upset stomach, vomiting, drooling and bloating);
- Wrestlers (help lower blood pressure, lower heart rate and pulse);
- Avran medicinal (irritates the mucous membranes of the stomach);
- Digitalis (provokes arrhythmia, convulsions increase the pulse rate);
- Celandine (in addition to indigestion, it causes convulsions and general weakness of the body);
- Marsh marigold (the main symptoms of poisoning are frequent urination, diarrhea, bloating and colic).
Forbs collected in meadows, fields and forests are also valued for their ecological purity. Experts advise harvesting raw materials in the outback of nature, away from dusty and gas-polluted highways and industrial enterprises. Such stalks will not only bring a feeling of satiety, but also enrich animal organisms with vitamins and microelements. In addition, most meadow grasses have an anti-inflammatory lactogenic effect.
Veterinarians believe that there is more benefit from young plants, since they are dominated by proteins and virtually no fiber. Therefore, it is advised to harvest the grass for hay before the buds appear, when the stems are still soft. In addition, it is not recommended to overexpose raw materials in the sun. The workpiece must retain its rich green color and fresh aroma. If this recommendation is neglected, then from a later mowing you will get emasculated hay, which is low in nutrients and high in fiber. Such food is very difficult to digest and does not bring any benefit. over, the grass for rabbits needs to be alternated, since the same type of food ceases to arouse interest even in the most useful food.
Experts do not advise feeding the eared ones with biomass alone. For good digestibility and maximum efficiency, it must be mixed with other root crops, dry ingredients and compound feed. Otherwise, the animals may develop flatulence and indigestion.
Let’s talk about what meadow grasses rabbits eat. The most nutritious of these are the following:
- Sylphium (can be used for hay and silage, 2 mows can be made per season);
- Red Clover (high in protein, allowed in small portions)
- Fodder lupine (the plant must be mixed with other feeds, otherwise the legume crop will provoke an eating disorder);
- Oats (during the summer period, the plant is sown twice and cuttings are made in June and September);
- Alfalfa (contains a lot of protein and amino acids, is useful for young animals, lactating suckers);
- Vika (often mixed with green oat stalks and cereals);
- Young corn (its biomass goes well with legumes, while it should not exceed 70 percent of the total feed);
- Sida (recommended in small portions in dried form);
- Rye (winter varieties are mown when the stems begin to come out of the tube).
Knowing what should not be fed to rabbits, it is important to ensure that low-quality and toxic feed does not enter the feeder. Let’s analyze in what form it is better to feed the grass to animals, and how to properly harvest it for the winter.
What grass to feed rabbits?
Whatever vegetation you offer the eared ones, they will gladly eat it. But not all stems will benefit them.
Based on the fact that green mass all year round is an important component of the daily diet of these cute animals, and their digestive system is very sensitive to the chemical components of food, using specific examples with a photo, we will try to figure out what kind of grass can rabbits, and what not.
- From the garden
- Rabbit grass
- What can
- Which one cannot
This type of grasses are not subject to the restriction regarding the procurement of raw materials only at the beginning of the growing season. On the contrary, young stems and inflorescences are equally important to rabbits. the main thing – dry the potion a little before feeding.
Experts emphasize that even a small amount of medicinal herbs helps to improve the quality of meat products and rabbit fur. But in everything, measure is important.
Medicinal plants should be given to animals in small quantities, mixed with the general feed. Otherwise, disruptions in digestion and even a suspension of growth are possible. Therefore, the total amount of daily feed of these ingredients should not exceed 35 percent.
Rabbits love to feast on:
- Wormwood (stimulates appetite and warns intestinal disorders, in case of overdose, provokes nervous irritability);
- Dandelions (contain a lot of proteins, cause appetite, in case of an overdose, they stop the growth of eared ones);
- Stinging nettle (very nutritious and enriched with vitamins, has a hemostatic and antibacterial effect, the leaves collected at the end of June are especially appreciated, which must be scalded with boiling water before feeding);
- Caraway seeds;
- Mother and stepmother (helps to improve digestion, the collection begins in the second decade of May);
- Plantain (promotes wound healing, enriched with proteins, minerals and amino acids);
- Wheatgrass (gives a diuretic effect, only washed rhizomes are suitable for feed);
From the garden
In order to feed the household, the breeder does not have to go in search of food somewhere in the forest or in the meadow. Nutritional ingredients for the daily diet of the eared can also be found in the garden. In addition, in this way, you can get a double benefit from regular gardening and gardening.
Experienced owners know what kind of grass can be fed to rabbits, and during the weeding of the beds, they lay down remote weeds, as well as thinned vegetable crops, the remains of cut branches of fruit trees.
Rodents consider a real delicacy:
- Beet tops;
- Root crops and carrot stalks;
- Rhubarb leaves;
- Young peas (pods and whips);
- Grape leaves and young vines;
- Foliage of fruit and berry crops (elderberry, plum, apricot, bird cherry);
- Wild clover;
- Sow thistle;
- Shepherd’s bag;
- Shandra (deaf nettle);
Which one cannot
The most important rule of rabbit breeders is the ban on wet potion. It can provoke intestinal disorders and kill the animal. Some owners pre-rinse the grass with running water. After this procedure, the stems must be dried. At the same time, it is important to turn the hay on time so that it does not get moldy and overwhelmed.
Experts are convinced that when the stems come into contact with the metal of the scythe, the plant sap is oxidized, which does not have a very favorable effect on the eared ones. In order not to risk it, it is advised to harvest the grass manually. It is also important to protect rabbits from stale, spoiled and dirty feed.
Now you know all about the nuances of the selection of vegetation for domestic eared. We hope our recommendations will help you in successful rabbit breeding.
About the breed:
Rabbits are absolutely domestic animals, which cannot even be imagined in the wild. They are grown in special home conditions. Rabbits can be divided into several types, according to their usefulness: meat, meat-skin and downy. The scientific classification has not yet been developed. In addition to the usual breeds for home keeping, several decorative breeds have been bred. Rabbits were domesticated about a thousand years ago. The ancestor of rabbits. Wild European rabbit. They belong to the family of hares, to the genus of mammals, but from hares their offspring are born blind and without six. Wild rabbits raise their offspring in burrows, and this is also different from hares. If you regularly pay attention to rabbits, then taming is very easy. Before breeding rabbits, you need to decide on the best breed. There are about 200 breeds in the world, but each must be bred for specific purposes. Meat breeds are prized for dietary meats that are rich in protein, low in calories and low in cholesterol. It is recommended for people with heart disease, liver, stomach and blood vessels. A healthy rabbit will be active. The eyes should be clean and shiny. The coat should shine.
Names in other languages:
Leporidae. family of hares (Latin),
Rabbit. rabbit (English),
Kaninchen. rabbit (German),
Lapin. rabbit (French),
Coniglio. rabbit (Italian),
Conejo. rabbit (Spanish).
Species: there are over 70 species of rabbits.
Genus: Pentalagus, Bunolagus, Nesolagus, Romerolagus, Brachylagus, Sylvilagus, Oryctolagus, Poelagus.
Home rabbit habitat:
The first habitats are recognized as the Iberian Peninsula, North-West Africa and Southern France. However, they are considered their homeland in Southeast Europe. Roman legionaries brought rabbits to Italy from Spain. And already from Italy, they quickly spread throughout the world. Today rabbits can be found everywhere, on all continents, except Antarctica and Asia. Rabbits appeared relatively recently, at the end of the nineteenth century. In the 50s, there was a real invasion of rabbits in Australia, brought by the colonists. They began to be considered pests, as they destroy large fields of vegetation and even forests.
The most favorable climate for rabbits is in warm zones, where the soil is soft and suitable for burrows, and a wide variety of food options. They prefer to dig holes on the slopes from the south. Burrows are divided into those in which the rabbits live and those in which they reproduce. Burrows represent long tunnels that branch out in different directions and a nest of dry plants in the middle. For breeding, the burrow is shorter, it is a shallow hole, the bottom of which is lined by the female with fluff.
Home rabbit food:
Rabbits are constantly eating. Therefore, there should always be a supply of food for domestic rabbits. Vegetation is the basis of the diet. Wild rabbits eat what grows next to the burrow. In summer. leaves of shrubs, grass, vegetables from fields and vegetable gardens, nearby in area. These are cabbage, lettuce, cereals, root vegetables. In winter, it is hay, dry grass, plant roots, bark of trees and shrubs, shoots. They also have coprophagia. eating their own stool.
Domestic rabbits need to be fed fiber so that they are always healthy and reproduce well. To do this, grass or hay should always be present in their diet. They love plantain, clover, dandelions, and solid food is especially useful. cereals, grain, tree bark or branches, hard vegetables and fruits.
Breeding a domestic rabbit:
Rabbits can mate regardless of the season and time of year. Sometimes their spontaneous reproduction is compared to a disaster. A female rabbit is capable of giving birth 24 times a year. Their pregnancy lasts 28-35 days. In the wild, rabbits bring 4-7 young rabbits, and in favorable domestic conditions, their number can go up to 12. Young individuals are more fertile. After 3 years, pregnancy occurs less often, and sometimes pregnancy simply does not occur in older ones, since the embryos simply dissolve. During pregnancy and childbirth, the rabbit has a strong thirst. It is necessary that she always has water. If there is no water, then she can shamelessly eat them. This defect can occur from stress and from improper nutrition of the female, as well as with hereditary disorders. If such cases are repeated with the same female, then she is discarded.
Babies are born naked and blind. They weigh about 40-50 g at birth, the eyes are opened after 10 days, and after 25 days they can feed on their own, but the female feeds them for a month. On average, they live 15 years, but the high birth rate is directly determined by the high mortality rate of the youngest rabbits. Not everyone lives to be 3 years old. After the birth of the rabbits, she licks everyone with her tongue, then she determines her place for each and begins to feed. If the rabbit did not let the rabbits come to her right away, then you need to take them with clean hands, so that odorless, take them and bring them to the rabbit. The rabbit feeds the babies with milk. Young rabbits have a very weak spine and thin paw bones, so if they are very frightened or unsuccessful in jumping, they can damage the spine, which will lead to paralysis or fracture of the paws. Keep a close eye on their emotional state, do not scare or make them nervous.
To breed rabbits, you must first learn how to gender. To do this, you need to take the rabbit by the skin in the neck area, turn it over onto its back, belly up. Then, with the index finger, together with the middle finger of the left hand, they grip the tail tightly at the base, and with the thumb pull the skin in front of the genitals, towards the head. In an adult male, a hanging penis will be found there, and in a young male, a round opening and a tubercle in it will be visible. In females, an oblong slit is visible, tapering towards the tail.
The most important thing in this matter is the correctly selected products for silage and the necessary storage conditions. Before choosing what to make silage from, you need to think about which products are better to take, how they will yield to compaction, whether they are capable of releasing lactic acid, which is a natural preservative. It is due to the presence of lactic acid and the lack of oxygen access that undesirable bacteria do not multiply, decay and mold formation. To make good silage, you need the following raw materials:
- Corn cobs;
- White cabbage;
- All kinds of herbs;
- Root tops;
- Legume-grain mixture.
Then you need to choose a container where it will be stored. This could be a wooden or metal barrel, a deep cemented pit, or just a large polyethylene bag. It is important that the container is tightly closed, so as not to break the tightness and not spoil the entire process of silage formation. To do this, the barrel is covered with a polyethylene film on top and covered with straw or sawdust.
Next, all the products you choose are chopped or chopped into small pieces and mixed to form a homogeneous mass. And layer by layer, they begin to tamp each new portion, making sure that the required amount of juice appears. After that, you can start sealing your structure. The better the tightness, the better the quality of your silage will be. On average, the ensiling process takes about two months. Sometimes a special paste is added to the prepared mass to speed up the process. Despite the fact that the products are there for quite a long time, at the same time they retain all the useful substances in themselves.
But before using the silo for the first time, you need to make sure of its quality. He should not have putrefactive processes and mold. Properly cooked silage smells like sauerkraut. It should be included in the diet of rabbits gradually, no more than 100 g per serving. Next, you need to observe the reaction of the animal, if they eat it with pleasure, then your silage was a success. For greater nutritional value, you can add a little bran to the silage or, conversely, mix it with other feed.
List of root vegetables and vegetables
A good help in feeding domestic rabbits will be all kinds of vegetables collected from your garden. Juicy forages are especially helpful in winter, as they replenish the supply of missing vitamins and minerals. Their peculiarity lies in the fact that they contain up to 80% water in their composition, due to which they are digested and absorbed much faster. They can be given both fresh and boiled.
Juicy food includes vegetables, fruits and various root crops. Potatoes, celery, zucchini, pumpkin, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, pears, fodder beets, Jerusalem artichoke, melon crusts, as well as watermelon and melon peels are good for feeding rabbits. Zucchini is a highly nutritious vegetable and contains a lot of water. If you have introduced it into your diet, you should slightly reduce the amount of water in the drinker. Zucchini can be used to harvest silage for feeding in winter.
And also your pets will be happy to crunch fresh carrots and cabbage. Carrots contain carotene and fatty acids, increase appetite, and are often served raw. Cabbage is also one of the favorite rabbit delicacies. However, do not give too much of it, as this can turn into bloating, it is better to introduce it into the diet gradually, in small portions. Dill, parsley, spinach and other types of greens are likely to please your eared pets. Almost all of the above fruits and vegetables can be fed raw to rabbits.
Treats for decorative animals
Various vegetables can be used as a treat for rabbits.
- Celery is one of the favorite treats of eared pets. In addition, it is very beneficial due to the content of vitamins C, B2, B6, potassium and phosphorus. It grinds teeth well, has a beneficial effect on digestion. Before use, it is advisable to cut it into small pieces, but do not get carried away with it too much, as it has a diuretic effect.
- Cabbage is a worthy representative of vegetables. In addition to the usual white cabbage, you can use Chinese cabbage.
- Bell peppers are very well eaten by rabbits. In moderation, it has a beneficial effect on the functioning of the immune system, protects against the development of colds.
Fruit is what your favorites will definitely like. Bananas are a great treat to feed your pet. But since it contains a lot of sugar, it is natural that fast weight gain will come from it. Therefore, rabbits prone to obesity, it is better not to use it. And ordinary healthy individuals can be given about 3-4 tablespoons every other day as a supplementary feed. Another fruit can be offered grapes (but in small quantities), mango, apples (necessarily seedless), even pineapple can be pampered.
Choice of roughage
It has already been said above that the rabbit’s diet must be varied. One of the feeding options is roughage. In this case, various herbs, dried straw, thin branches of trees are suitable. One of the best contenders for this type of feed will be hay, because it contains a large amount of fiber, due to which digestion is noticeably improved in rabbits. Making hay is quite simple, for this you need to mow the grass (manually or with the help of special equipment), best of all in a meadow where a huge number of all kinds of useful plants grow. clover, chamomile, alfalfa, peas. When collecting grass, you should mow it before flowering and carefully monitor so that no plants poisonous for rabbits (celandine, dope, wild mustard) are found. After everything is mowed, the harvested crop is quite simple to dry in the sun, collect in sheaves and food supplies are ready.
The hay harvest should be done at the rate of approximately 45 kg of hay per adult for wintering. It is better to store hay under a canopy, providing good ventilation, but at the same time, so that it does not get wet and does not collect moisture. In addition, it should be noted that hay is quite nutritious, which is an important aspect when feeding rabbits. It is best to give it in late autumn and winter, when the supply of fresh grass has dried up, and also in early spring. before fresh herbs appear. Sometimes, instead of hay, you can give pea or oat straw, as it contains a lot of fiber. However, rabbits do not eat it very well, and besides, it is poorly absorbed. Therefore, it is better to give it only to adults and only on condition that other types of feed are already running out.
When you have not had time to prepare hay or your stocks are not enough, another good option comes to the rescue. this is branch feed. It is considered an indispensable component in the diet of rabbits, moreover, a fairly affordable and useful type of feed. By the way, soft twigs help rabbits to grind their teeth and avoid gnawing through the cage. To do this, you can prepare twigs from trees such as birch, linden, willow, willow, aspen, maple, poplar, ash, apple, pear, acacia, oak, alder. Branches of coniferous trees. spruce, pine, cedar are in great demand.
However, not all trees should be plucked. Do not give rabbits shoots of apricot tree, bird cherry, buckthorn, elderberry, wild rosemary, cherry, plum, sweet cherry, peach. These representatives contain toxic substances (for example, hydrocyanic acid), which can adversely affect the health of your eared pets. The blanks of the branches should be done at the beginning of the summer, cutting and collecting them in brooms, as well as thoroughly dry and store in a ventilated place. In winter, if stocks of “summer” twigs run out, spruce twigs, which rabbits will eat with great pleasure, will be an excellent option. In addition, by eating the branches of coniferous trees, digestion is improved in animals, their fur takes on a beautiful well-groomed appearance, becoming smoother and more shiny. This type of food is universal, since rabbits can eat it all year round.
First, you need to describe the principles of creating a nutrition program. Of course, when choosing the food that you are going to feed the rabbits, it is necessary that it be very varied, but at the same time balanced. It should contain various types of feed: coarse, greens, all kinds of herbs, vegetables, concentrated feed, various root crops, silage, as well as all essential nutrients and trace elements for the body. First you need to find out what purpose you are pursuing when feeding rabbits: the desire to get good meat or slaughter for the skin. In the case of selling carcasses, it will be necessary to provide a complete diet with a predominance of protein for better weight gain. But often, they are slaughtered to obtain a skin, and for this special feeding is not required, it is enough just to wait for the molt to end.
Everyone knows how beautiful rabbits have white teeth. But they have the ability to grow very quickly. Therefore, they need to be constantly grinded, for this you can give the eared hard roots, for example, carrots, potatoes. But the best option is if they start chewing on chalk. Thus, the teeth will be grinded, and plus the animal will receive the necessary trace elements that make up the chalk.
Therefore, each new meal stimulates the production of gastric juice, helping to push the previous portion and processing the next. They eat a lot, but in small portions. It is also important to ensure constant access to drink, so there should always be clean water in the drinker. In general, the issue of drinking is an integral part of the proper nutrition of rabbits. Due to constant approaches to the feeder, they need to cover this energy consumption with a sufficient amount of water. It is worth maintaining the right amount of water in the drinking bowl, given that in summer the need for liquid increases, and in winter, on the contrary, decreases. And you should also make sure that the water does not freeze in winter, or if it is too cold, dilute it with small portions of boiling water, reaching the optimal temperature.
For the intestines to function properly, it is necessary to provide food rich in fiber. They eat quite often, making from 25 to 50 approaches to the trough per day, especially the appetite at night, so in the evening it is better to give food that takes longer to digest (roughage) to prolong the feeling of satiety. Also, rabbits can have digestive problems associated with a lack of table salt in their food. To do this, before feeding, food is salted or soaked in a saline solution. A good method to cover the daily requirement for sodium chloride will be a piece of salt placed in the cage. a lick, thanks to which digestion is improved in animals, metabolic processes are improved and the body is enriched with essential minerals.
Another feature is that feeding rates differ in different age periods. If this is a lactating female, then she is recommended to increase the frequency of feeding up to 4 times a day, plus include meat and bone meal, table salt in the diet, and also provide a sufficient amount of warm drink. If you have to provide food for the rabbit in winter, then you should give about 200 g of good hay, concentrated feed in small dosages (30–40 g) and more root crops. In summer, more emphasis is placed on various types of fresh grass (up to 1 kg), as a supplement there are concentrates. Bone meal and salt are required at any time of the year.
Young individuals should be given to eat 3 times a day. Babies can eat up to 6 times a day (in addition to breast milk). It is very important to provide a balanced nutritional program so that they grow well. Little rabbits are separated from their mother upon reaching the age of one and a half months and they begin to introduce previously unused types of feed gradually. Suitable for feeding small eared ears: milk powder, dried grass, hay, fresh carrots, boiled potatoes, bone meal, oats. And it is also worth supplementing the diet with herbs (such as chicory, chamomile, clover) plus branch feed. Adults, as a rule, have enough feed 2–3 times a day.
It is also worth noting that in accordance with each season of the year, the nutrition of rabbits also has its own characteristics. In summer, greenery and grass will naturally prevail. In the winter season, the diet contains concentrated feed, hay, as well as roots and twigs. Much depends on the frequency of feedings per day. If we look at it three times, then in the morning 50% of the daily intake of concentrates plus hay is given, at lunchtime. root crops, before bedtime the morning diet is repeated and 50% of the daily intake of hay or twig feed is added. When it comes to four meals a day, history repeats itself, only here, instead of grass, the amount of root crops and hay is divided, plus, again, a second additional feeding during the day.
No matter what time of year it is or how many times you feed your pets, you should definitely give them enough food before bed. You can put more twigs in the feeder. And also rabbits have another specific feature. they can eat their night feces. this is called caprophagia. For them, this is the physiological norm. In addition, due to its eating, the body is saturated with vitamin B.
Based on the name, it can be understood that these types of feed contain a storehouse of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Concentrates include: various types of cereals (oats, barley, wheat), bran, oilcakes, legumes, corn. When composing a ration for rabbits, concentrates should prevail over other types of feed. It is worth considering in more detail the options for concentrated feed.
- One of the most optimal grains is oats. It contains a lot of carbohydrates, starch, fiber, in addition, it saves you from gaining excess weight. It can be given in any form: whole grain, chopped or steamed.
- Wheat is a fairly healthy grain, but it is not recommended to give it in its pure form. It is quite nutritious, which can lead to obesity or bloating and flatulence. Therefore, it is better to add it to the composition of other mixtures.
- Corn has similar properties. And also it has a high calorie content, so it is better to give it when feeding rabbits. But due to the fact that it is quite hard for the teeth, it is better to soak or crush it before use.
- Cereal mixes will be even more nutritious when steamed. And it is also necessary to add bone and fish meal to these mixtures, they contain a large amount of phosphorus and calcium.
- It is necessary to include legumes in the diet: beans, peas, lentils. They are high in protein, which is important for weight gain during feeding and post-feeding.
However, one of the best options is a special ready-made feed. It already contains all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, microelements. There are the following types of such feed: loose and granulated. The second option is more balanced and is able to completely cover the daily ration of concentrates. Sometimes rabbit breeders use mixtures for pigs or calves, but they should be given in small quantities, the rest of the volume should be replaced with bran, oil cake and barley. But ideally, of course, it is better to use special compound feed designed specifically for rabbits.
What grass do rabbits eat??
As you know, rabbits are very fond of eating fresh and juicy grass. At the same time, they get not only the pleasure of eating it, but also great benefits, since green forages contain a large amount of vitamins and trace elements, which are an integral part for proper growth and development. In addition, this type of feed is quite profitable, since it does not require special costs, because the grass can be mowed as much as necessary. Consider what exactly to feed your rabbits as green food.
Freshly cut meadow grass and tops from your garden would be an excellent solution. From meadow plants, alfalfa, clover, burdock, coltsfoot, quinoa, sorrel, tansy, willow tea, heather, sage are suitable. It will also be good to give plantain and dandelion, since they contain sufficient carbohydrates and proteins. Wormwood and chicory, due to their bitterness, should not be introduced into the diet of females who are fed with milk. But for ordinary adults, this will be an excellent tool as a prevention of digestive tract disorders, which can also increase appetite. Stinging nettle is overly rich in protein and vitamins, but it is important to give it correctly. First, you need to dry the leaves a little, then pour boiling water over them, only then add to food (you can knead it with potatoes).
But when collecting meadow grasses, you need to be very careful so as not to pick plants that rabbits should absolutely not eat. These include: dope, belladonna, buttercup, celandine, lilies of the valley, hemlock, henbane. In the process of drying, the toxicity of the listed herbs disappears, but they should not be given freshly harvested under any circumstances. Tops from various vegetables from the garden, for example, rutabagas, sugar beets, turnips, carrots, Jerusalem artichoke, are also suitable as a juicy delicacy. Do not give tomato tops. Rabbits like legumes and cereals, but it is better not to give them in their pure form, so as not to cause flatulence, but to mix with other types of feed.
Despite all the abundance and availability of this type of feed, it is worth remembering that any grass (even the most useful one) should not be given freshly cut, but it needs to be dried a little. Besides, do not forget about all the other nuances associated with the supply of this type of feed, then the work of the digestive tract of your pets will be fully adjusted.
What to feed rabbits?
- Feeding rules
- Choice of roughage
- What grass do rabbits eat??
- Concentrated feed
- List of root vegetables and vegetables
- Silage feeding
- What vitamin supplements to give?
- Treats for decorative animals
- What can not be fed?
Recently, many people have started breeding animals at home. There are many areas in animal husbandry, one of which is rabbit farming. This business is quite lucrative and not very difficult. Nevertheless, there are nuances that should be considered when raising rabbits. One of these moments is the issue of nutrition. In order for eared pets to benefit and delight with their growth indicators, they must be well and properly fed.
What vitamin supplements to give?
Vitamins are a very important component in the proper growth and development of rabbits. It is with their help that all the main biochemical reactions in the body are triggered. In the summer, when green and juicy fodder is in abundance, the need for all the necessary substances is fully satisfied. But in winter and early spring, it is especially important for rabbits to make up for the lack of nutrients. In the case of a lack of a sufficient amount of vitamins, a malfunction in the immune system can occur, which in turn adversely affects the vital activity of animals. To know which vitamins you need to give rabbits and in what period, let’s take a closer look at the main representatives.
- One of the most important is vitamin A (retinol). It participates in the synthesis of nerve fibers, and also affects the visual analyzer. Therefore, with a lack of it, the animals may begin to have vision problems, dry eyes, up to complete blindness. Vitamin A deficiency is replenished by giving green fodder (in summer), mother’s milk while feeding young animals and, if necessary, give an oil solution in ampoules, which are added to food. 0.5 g is enough for small rabbits, 1 g for adults, and 3 g for pregnant females and in the period after birth.
- Vitamin B affects the digestive system, and is also responsible for the condition of the skin and coat, is involved in the synthesis of hematopoietic cells. It comes in bran and is also found in juicy feeds such as carrots, potatoes.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant and plays an important role during the pregnancy of females. You can replenish its stocks by giving green fodder, hay, grain crops, as well as using pharmacy tools.
- Vitamin D plays a special role in the development of bone and cartilage tissue, it is very important during the feeding period. It is possible to compensate for its deficiency (along with vitamin A) by simply giving the rabbits fish oil in capsules, based on age norms.
Minerals and trace elements, such as phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, iron, play an important role. Each of these substances contributes to the growth and development of the body. Calcium helps to strengthen the skeleton, iron helps to avoid anemia, and potassium and sodium are essential for the proper functioning of the heart muscles. A large amount of all these substances is found in bone and fish meal, as well as in bone ash. As a good source of calcium, ordinary chalk is suitable, which can be placed in a cage with animals, let them gnaw it not only with pleasure, but also with benefit.
Of course, science does not stand still, if you do not currently have the opportunity to provide your pets with a sufficient amount of vitamins through feed, then specially developed vitamin supplements come to the rescue. There are a lot of them now: “Chiktonik”, “Vitapol”, “Purina”, “Triol”, “Prodevit”, “Crispi”. And this is just part of the huge number of choices that pharmaceutical companies provide us.
However, before you decide to use pharmacy vitamin supplements, it is better to consult a veterinarian in order to correctly calculate the dosage and take into account all the nuances. It is possible that animals will still receive some of the vitamins from food. In this case, the main thing is not to overdo it, because an overdose of vitamins can lead to disastrous consequences. Therefore, make sure that everything is done correctly, then your pets will be healthy.