Today we’ll talk about the mineral nutrition of rabbits.
One of the most frequently asked questions is whether rabbits need to be added with salt in food?
Salt (NaCl) is a rather important component, it is a source of chlorine and sodium ions, which are necessary for the rabbit body.
First of all, for the production of gastric juice, they are also part of the blood and lymph. Their lack causes growth retardation, osteoporosis, miscarriages, fetophagy. However, do not immediately run and hang rabbits with salt in the cells, or salt the water as some advise. After all, there is also a flip side, an excess of salt causes nephritis, kidney infarction, complete cessation of digestion, and often leads to death. This is due to the fact that salt enters the body easily through the gastrointestinal tract, but it is very difficult to get out; experiments with labeled salt atoms showed that its delay in organs and tissues reaches 5 days.
Safe dose, or how much salt to give rabbits?
The need for rabbits in sodium and chlorine is not the same, sodium is more important, the age, weight, and physiological condition of the animal also affect the required number of ions. Variation in the demand for Na from 1 to 2.5 g per 1 kg of dry matter feed, chlorine requires 1 g. One must always remember the ability of salt to accumulate in the body. It is also necessary to know that Na and Cl are contained not only in sodium chloride itself, but in almost all feeds these important ions are present.
The content of sodium and chlorine in various feeds in g / per kg.
Another point – the content of NaCl in drinking water can reach 0.5% per liter. Thus, it turns out that rabbits can provide up to 50% of the daily norm of NaCl from natural sources. The rest can be given in the form of table salt, and this amount will not exceed 1.5 g per day. It is especially simple if you feed rabbits with compound feed, there is already the required amount of salt, 0.5%, that is, 5 kg per ton. If you give compound feed of your own production, then adding fish and meat and bone meal and the same 0.5% salt to it, you will cover the entire need of your animals for sodium and chlorine.
Lick, or what to hang in a cage for complacency?
For those who hang licks for cattle in their cells, I remind you that it does not consist of salt, it is not more than 50% in it, and the remaining 50% is soda and sodium sulfate. Cattle have a completely different, higher need for sodium, while for rabbits, the use of such a lick can become fatal. If you still want to hang something in a cage, make a tasty and healthy lick yourself. Take 0.5 kg of feed chalk, 0.5 kg of red clay finely sifted through a sieve (should be very dry!), 3 tbsp. tablespoons of feed sulfur, 5 tbsp. tablespoons of salt, and 0.3 kg of charcoal (should be finely chopped, but not in dust). Mix all the components in a dry form, and carefully add a little water, a slightly dough should be obtained, if a lot of water is splashed, do not worry, add chalk, it will take excess moisture. Form small cubes or balls with a mold or simply with your hands, poke a hole in the middle for the garter, leave it in the sun until it dries completely, about three days, just at room temperature it will take about two weeks to wait. Such a lick is safe, animals willingly gnaw and lick it, and it immediately solves the need for calcium, sodium, chlorine, magnesium, iron, copper, sulfur, selenium. You can make such licks as much as you want, and almost for free, the main thing is to store them in a dry place, and hang them in a cage away from water.