Every rabbit breeder dreams of keeping his pets healthy and gaining weight quickly. This is easy to achieve with proper maintenance and balanced nutrition, according to age, breed and breeding goals of fluffy long-eared. Hay and straw for rabbits is an important component of their daily menu. After all, it is this food that is basic for animals in natural conditions. Their digestive tract is fully adapted to this food, hay and straw fibers ensure the normal functioning of the digestive system.
The Importance of Hay for Rabbits
Green grass and fresh food are good for rabbits. But not always breeders can provide them with their pets. Hay replaces the lack of greenery and provides the small body with the necessary vitamins and nutrients.
Feed for rabbits is conditionally divided into several types:
- Greens. They consist mainly of grass and greenery.
- Juicy. Usually used for feeding in winter – root crops, fruits.
- Rude. Contain a sufficient amount of essential fiber. Suitable for feeding in winter and autumn. The main component of such feed is hay.
It should be present in the diet, as it is rodents that constantly nibble and graze for 6-7 hours a day. No other type of feed can fully replace hay. In addition, it helps the grinding of rabbit teeth.
This food for decorative rabbits is just as necessary as for its tall counterparts. Since the baby is kept at home as a soft, cute toy, they are constantly trying to feed him something tasty, refusing natural foods for him in favor of not the most suitable goodies. To keep the baby healthy, his diet should differ only in reduced portions.
How much hay does a rabbit need
Can rabbits not be fed hay? It is the main component of the diet of rabbits. You can calculate the amount of hay, but no experienced rabbit breeder will give exact numbers. The amount of these feeds depends on a lot: climate, breed and age of the animals. An adult rabbit eats about 40 kg of this food during the winter. For rabbits from 10 to 15 kg. It is taken into account that if rabbits are bred in a cold region, much more hay can be needed. One hundred kg will be enough to use it as a litter in an aviary. But you need to feed hay.
To correctly calculate the amount of hay for the winter, you need to multiply the amount of this feed consumed by the animal per day by the desired number of days. Additionally, it is recommended to make a stock of 5 kg per day.
A rabbit a day needs:
- Adult – 300 gr.
- Rabbit from 1 month to 3 – 100 gr.
- Rabbit from 3 to 6 months – 200 gr.
It is taken into account that this amount will be sufficient if other types of complementary foods are present in the diet. It happens that after the transition from succulent and green food, animals are reluctant to eat rough. If the rabbit does not eat hay, then you can cheat and sprinkle dry grass with salt water, chop and mix with bran. Then the transition will pass unnoticed, and rodents will be happy to eat it.
What hay rabbit eats
The best food for a pet is a herb blank. Harvest hay in early summer. It is desirable that it be collected by the breeders themselves and dried, taking into account all the subtleties. The main thing is that different plants are present in the blank: shepherd’s bag, dandelions, plantains, sorrel. Then the pet will be able to choose for itself the most delicious flowers and blades of grass. The best thing for rodents is that derived from legumes. It is recommended for lactating rabbits, it has a beneficial effect on lactation. But this does not mean that the animal needs to be fed only to them. Monotonous food causes serious digestion in the rabbit.
Such a blank fits any eared pet. It is made by pressing from crushed dry herbs. Thanks to this treatment, the feed becomes nutritious and healthy. Food is considered the best compared to other foods. The granules are steamed and then completely sterile. All bacteria and microorganisms die. With this treatment, fats, amino acids and minerals are stored in hay at high temperatures.
Granular rabbit hay has an advantage over conventional:
- Nutrients are distributed evenly throughout it.
- Great shelf life.
- When stored in cold rooms and frost do not lose their qualities.
- It contains no additives.
- It is made only of young grass.
- Low price.
The rabbit also needs pellets in order to solve the common problem of stuck lumps of wool in the animal’s stomach. They contribute to the enhanced functioning of the digestive system to promote their gastrointestinal tract and output in a natural way.
What hay is forbidden to give
The grass to be dried must be clean and collected away from the tracks. It is unacceptable to feed dirty and spoiled food. You can not mow in wetlands and where there are many slugs. The latter are carriers of worms.
Rabbits are omnivores, but there are plants that are poisonous. You can not use them as food, especially for babies and pregnant or lactating rabbits. These are hemlock, lily of the valley, elderberry, euphorbia, buttercup and others. The use of these herbs will lead to diarrhea, convulsions, arrhythmias, and even death. Mowed grass must be sorted and dried only young. Since more mature shoots accumulate more harmful substances.
There are restrictions in storage conditions and shelf life. It can last no more than a year. Animals are not recommended to be fed with frozen, moldy roughage. This will lead not only to poisoning, but also to the death of the pet.
Dry grass should smell good, be light green in color and not dust. Feeding a rabbit without hay will lead to illness and death.
Straw for rabbits is a necessary addition to normal nutrition. Belongs to roughage rich in fiber. Contains about 15% water. The whole straw stem is designed to contain different nutrients.
They give complementary foods both in pure form and previously steamed or processed into a cut in order to mix with mixed feed. This allows you to make it more convenient for digestion and get rid of parasites and fungus.
Often beginner rabbit breeders ask the question: "Do rabbits eat straw?" The animals love her, but not all. Particular preferences are given to pea, lentil, millet. Replace the hay for rabbits with straw does not work, especially if it is from cereal. It is better to use it as a bedding, naturally, it should be fresh and shiny. Before use, it is better to process.