In the wild, rabbits feed mainly on grass, and can do this for 7 hours a day. Their digestive tract is adapted to similar eating habits, since dietary fiber, once it enters the intestines, sets it in motion, leaving it healthy. However, during the year it is not possible to provide animals with fresh food, and any interruptions in the digestive cycle can lead to serious problems or even death. In this case, dried grass is ideal, which retains a large amount of nutrients. Consider which hay is best for rabbits, how to prepare and feed it to animals.
What should be the hay for rabbits
The appearance and useful value of hay directly depends on the type of grass, the time of its collection and storage.
Hay for rabbits must comply with the following recommendations:
- the color should be green – this indicates that the procurement was carried out according to all the rules;
- a quality product should smell fresh and have no odors;
- for long-term storage, hay should be well-dried;
- Blades of grass should be medium in size;
- Clovers and alfalfa should not be present.
Important! Hay and Drinking Water – The most important components of the diet of rabbits. It is important for maintaining the tone of the intestinal muscles and ensuring the removal of swallowed wool from the body.
The right plants
The best hay for rabbits comes from lupine, sulfia and seed. Rhubarb is an excellent food – this perennial plant will solve the nutrition problem for a long time, as well as dandelions, which will add color to the plot in summer. You can choose something from this list, having learned the preferences of your rabbits, but it is important to remember that a uniform diet for animals is not recommended.
It is interesting to read about the cultivation of different breeds of rabbits: white giant, Californian, black-brown, Riesen, Butterfly, Gray giant, Flanders, Baran, Rex.
Dangerous herbs in the diet
When harvesting hay from herbs and other plants, it is important to remember that not all of their species are equally useful and even poisonous. Despite the fact that during drying they lose their toxic qualities, it is not worth experimenting. It is better to try to have only permitted herbs in the composition.
The list of poisonous plants includes the following: ranunculus, celandine, colchicum, tsikuta, dope, digitalis and marigold. In independently harvested hay they should not be.
Did you know? The rabbit, thanks to the bifurcated uterus, can simultaneously bear two offspring from different males. This explains the fertility of rabbits.
Knowing how much hay a rabbit needs for the winter, it is important to properly prepare it. It is recommended to start work in the summer before flowering plants. You need to dry the grass in places where the sun does not fall, placing it on special stakes set in the form of a pyramid.
This arrangement will provide good ventilation and at the same time retain a large number of useful trace elements. Another way to get good feed is by harvesting haylage: harvested grass is cut to a moisture content of 40%, crushed and canned in airtight storages.
Shelf life of dried grass is 1 year, with a longer shelf life it will lose most of its nutritional qualities. Ready hay can be stored near rabbit cages – the main thing is that there is a canopy over it. Storage on the street means the formation of stacks, which are necessarily covered with a thick film or make a light tent canopy.
Important! So that some types of hay, for example broad-leaved grasses and legumes that crumble into dust, do not disappear in vain, they must be used in mash mashines as a nutrient.
For a full life and development, rabbits need to eat fully. Every self-respecting owner of these animals should know how much hay a rabbit needs per day. The rules for feeding rabbits are as follows:
- They eat about 4-5 times a day, so food should be constantly available.
- The same goes for water – it must be clean.
- New feed is introduced gradually over the course of a week.
- While feeding different feeds at the same time, they are the first to give cereals, and only then – juicy and rough.
- The feeding regimen is important for rabbits, with a certain routine, food will be better absorbed.
- Together with hay, it is recommended to give cabbage or root crops of root crops. These products have bonding properties.
- Grass is given senile, cereals are crushed.
- The feed is placed only in the feeders and is constantly monitored for its quality.
Did you know? Previously, rabbits were landed in groups on uninhabited islands. This was done so that shipwreck victims had something to eat at a time until they were found.
The amount of food needed is determined by the eating and condition of the animals. About you can calculate the amount for an adult by the following ratio:
- in the cold period – about 40% of roughage, 35% of grain and 25% of root crops;
- in the summertime – 60% of juicy feed and grass and 40% of concentrates.
For the treatment of various diseases of rabbits, such drugs are used: Baytril, E-selenium, Lozeval. Against coccidiosis, Solicox is a particularly effective drug.
How can you replace hay
Feeding rabbits without hay is impossible, since only it contains fibers, without which there is no normal activity of these animals. Even a large amount of greens and root crops will not replace it, since there are vitamins in the hay that affect the ability of rabbits to reproduce. However, it happens that animals refuse dry grass.
In this case, you can try to replace it with greens of radishes and carrots, cabbage and celery leaves. Branches of apple trees or conifers are also suitable. Coarse fibers contained in the granular feed will help to compensate for the lack of fiber.
Watching carefully your pets, you can understand what eating habits they have. This will help you choose a balanced feed that they will not only like, but will also be useful.
Features of mulching strawberries: types of mulch and rules of use