Many beginning farmers are concerned about the question: "Can rabbits get feed?" Indeed, these animals all year round need full-fledged nutrition, and in our latitudes in winter it is impossible to find fresh grass.
Seasonal Features of Rabbit Feeding
First of all, we note that the diet of these animals varies depending on the time of year. Summer in their "menu" dominated by fresh vegetation grown in your own garden. But with the onset of autumn, there is a sharp decrease in green feed, so animals are gradually transferred to feed for rabbits. In addition, in their winter diet may be present mishmash, consisting of bran and boiled root crops. To replenish the supply of necessary vitamins in the menu of domestic rabbits, you can periodically introduce juniper, spruce or pine.
Depending on the time of year, the following must be present in the diet of these animals:
- juicy feed (potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, beets, watermelon and melon peels);
- grains of legumes and cereals;
- bran, meal, cake and feed for rabbits;
- meat, fish and meat and bone meal.
What should be included in the feed for rabbits?
As a rule, it consists of grass meal, macukha, bran and grain. In addition to these components, chalk and edible salt are added to the feed. It is believed that these supplements compensate for the lack of calcium in the body of the animal. Quite often, we feed rabbits with compound feed, completely without thinking that its composition should be selected taking into account groups of animals.
So, today fodder is produced, focused on the needs of young animals, adults, fur and meat animals, as well as pregnant and lactating females. The simplest and most affordable feed formula for rabbits involves mixing 35% grass meal, 25% barley, 15% corn, 5% wheat bran and 20% sunflower flakes. Such nutrition ensures the normal development of animals. In the winter months, when it is not possible to feed livestock with fresh grass, it can be replaced with hay harvested in advance and slightly increase the percentage of barley.
Is it possible to cook compound feed at home?
This is quite difficult to do, but still possible. To properly prepare feed for rabbits with your own hands, you have to work hard. Since the basis of the nutrition of these animals is made up of various herbs, you will have to make sure that they are prepared in sufficient quantities in advance. Collected plants must be well dried and thoroughly chopped. Crushed grain, salt, nettle leaves, raspberries or currants should be added to ground dry herbs. For better bonding of all components, flour and warm water are introduced into the feed for rabbits. The result should be a pasty mass. To obtain granules, the resulting mixture is passed through a meat grinder.
When and how should feed be used?
The recommended daily allowance directly depends on the period of life, sex and age of the animal. So, for an adult and a pregnant female, 170 grams per day will be quite enough. Young animals need to be given 100-140 grams (in this case, everything depends on the age of the rabbits). During mating, the feed rate increases to 210 grams per day. And the rabbit who feeds the offspring should receive 400-600 grams. For young and lactating females, feed for rabbits is best suited, which includes more than 40% of crushed grains of barley, oats, wheat and corn.
In addition, when calculating the daily allowance, it is necessary to consider for what purposes you keep animals. Young animals grown for fattening should receive at least 100-140 grams of feed. Individuals grown to obtain skins should receive 140-170 grams of feed every day. To accelerate the weight gain of animals, it is recommended to feed with a composition with a high percentage of bran, oilcake, grass and meat and bone meal.
What are the benefits of cake, meal and grass meal?
It should be understood that sunflower meal and oilcake are nothing more than a product of the processing of agricultural raw materials. These are very useful and valuable animal feeds. They contain a large amount of fat, protein and other useful ingredients. So, in a cake of sunflower. about 40% protein. Meal is slightly less fat. In the diet of rabbits should be from 8 to 10% of these components.
As for fortified herbal flour, freshly cut greens are used for its preparation, which is subjected to short-term exposure to heated air. It contains a whole range of useful substances, including protein, carotene, macro and micronutrients. Regular use of this component has a positive effect on the growth and fertility of animals.
Features of nutrition of different breeds of rabbits
In modern rabbit breeding, there are three varieties of breeds of these animals:
- grown for fur coats;
- meat breeds.
In the diet of decorative rabbits, hay, fresh water, greens, vegetables and fruits must be present. Feeding pets is recommended twice a day. At the same time, it is imperative to ensure that there is always fresh water in the drinker.
The basis of the nutrition of meat breeds is feed, saturated with a large number of useful and nutrients. Wool breeds of rabbits also need a full and well-balanced diet. After all, the quality of the coat obtained will depend on this. For the coat to be smooth and shiny, all the essential vitamins and minerals must be present in its diet.
Vitamin and mineral supplements in the rabbit diet
Vitamins are considered one of the main catalysts for vital processes in the animal’s body. Despite the insignificant average daily requirement of rabbits for these useful substances, their deficiency can provoke the development of serious pathological changes. So, even a slight lack of vitamins can cause a decrease in reproductive function and lead to disruption of the immune system.
It should be understood that in the rabbit’s body only a small part of all the vitamins necessary for it is produced, so the animal must receive all the missing substances with food. Experienced rabbit breeders are well aware that the daily ration does not always fully cover the animal’s need for vitamins. Therefore, animals must be fed with special additives. Also, one should not forget about the dangers of an overdose of vitamins. So, at the height of the green feed season, rabbits are generally not recommended to give any additional vitamin-mineral complexes.
Most experienced rabbit breeders feed their pets exclusively with their own cooked feed. According to them, the only way they can be absolutely sure that the composition of the food will not be any harmful impurities and all kinds of hormones. Some novice rabbit breeders gave their animals purchased mixed feeds, but most still decided to transfer their livestock to more useful home-made formulations. In addition, many modern manufacturers of animal feed in the formulation design do not take into account the fact that the needs of young animals are very different from the needs of pregnant or lactating females.