What kind of grass can be given to rabbits, and which kind can not be given?
Grass is the most natural food for rabbits. It is not only available fresh from spring to late autumn, it can be harvested as hay and grass flour to supplement the winter diet. During the period of active flowering, the question of which herbs can be given to domestic rabbits and which are not, becomes relevant.
The effect of herbs on the body of rabbits
In the wild, rabbits eat plants often and in large quantities.
The habitat of these animals are:
- forest glades;
- shrubs off the river banks.
When choosing greenery, preference is given to those plants that grow in the zone of natural habitat. It can be clover, alfalfa, plantain, dandelion, sorrel, sow thistle, tansy, reed. The greens are high in fiber, which is great for grinding your teeth.The digestive system is designed for continuous active consumption and processing of plants.
- The benefits of using herbs in a rabbit's diet are:
- variety variety, which ensures the receipt of a large number of different biologically active substances in the diet;
- a large amount of plant food (this is necessary for normal digestion);
- lack of costs for the purchase of such feed;
- proper grinding of the teeth of the animal;
- assistance in restoring normal intestinal microflora, enrichment of the diet with nutrients, therapeutic effect;
- guarantee of good health and immunity of the pet.
Did you know? In the world there are more than 10,000 species of herbs, which is quite a lot. Scientists estimate that out of more than 1 million species of all plants, only about 350,000 have names.
The disadvantages of using herbs are not many.
- Such a list may include the following:
- a rabbit can become infected with helminths if plants are collected in the habitats of agricultural and domestic animals;
- the pet will recover if poisonous plants enter the body.
The risk of infection with such raw materials is minimal. To avoid poisoning, do not collect unknown herbs for your pet.
What kind of grass to give rabbits
Those who raise rabbits for meat and skins often feed the pet with herbs from the garden. This is correct, since there are no poisonous plants among garden weeds. But there are also features.
Wet grass after rain should not be given to pets. The concentration of pathogens and parasites on it is maximum. Such food can cause an infectious disease or poisoning. In order not to infect rabbits, it should be collected after everything dries. Regarding grass with dew - the same warnings.
Did you know? Most often, not the whole plant is poisonous, but only part of it. The apples are edible, but the leaves of the apple tree contain cyanides. Therefore, do not give your pets those types of greens that are not on the recommended list.
Lawn mowers can be used for mowing. Freshly cut grass becomes harmful due to the contact of plant juice with metal knives. Fresh herbs are harvested by hand, without the use of metal tools (or others that come in contact with the juice).Raw and green grass is characterized by a maximum content of nutrients from May to July, that is, before these substances are given to seeds and fruits. For harvesting hay - this is the best choice.
No matter what the grass will be, you need to consider that the amount of nutrients in dry and raw materials is almost the same. The difference is the volume of water. The dry mass contains 20% water, and the raw mass - 80%. Drying raw materials for winter harvesting is necessary in a dry place, protected from sunlight.
Experienced farmers know that poisonous plants are most dangerous in their raw form. During drying, poisonous enzymes are destroyed. That is why the grass must be wilted.
Among the useful herbs for the rabbit that can grow in the garden are:
- wood lice
- red root;
- lawn grass;
- blooming Sally;
- mouse peas;
Mustard is one of the most valuable herbs for feeding farm animals. It is rich in proteins (24%), fats (31%) and fiber (14%). Rabbits can be given mustard only if it is harvested before flowering. Then the plant produces sinigrin, which irritates the intestines of the animal.Woodlouse (or asterisk) always grows in abundance in moist areas. Mokritsa helps strengthen immunity, improve the condition of the fur, accelerate metabolic processes. The proportion of wood lice should not exceed 10% of the total composition.
Lawn grass is often mowed and given along with other varieties. It is not poisonous, but animals consider it less “tasty” and, if there is a choice, they will eat other plants. But on the other hand, rabbits really like mouse peas, goatskin, purslane.
It is very important that in the diet of pets there was no celandine and birch (field bindweed). These plants are poisonous to animals. But the properties of chicory allow you to remove plant poisons and toxins from the body of the pet. Therefore, it does not interfere with adding chicory to the diet along with any plant material.
Meadow herbs are considered very useful.
Did you know? 70,000 plants have healing properties.
Among them are the main ones:
- alfalfacontaining vegetable proteins and amino acids useful for young animals;
- clover - improves immunity;
- sagebrush - it is given as anthelmintic in small quantities;
- plantain - known for its medicinal properties;
- mother and stepmother - one of the earliest spring herbs with a rich set of trace elements;
- wheatgrass rhizomes - they contain many useful substances, they help grind teeth;
- nettle - the most fortified herb;
- Chinese hogweed - useful for rabbits during lactation;
- dandelions - the most favorite plant of rabbits; the norm of dandelion in the diet should be at least 30%.
Dangerous are herbs, the components of which can lead to poisoning of the pet.
- bright, known to all buttercups (they contain one of the strongest plant poisons - protoanemonin). The pet will not die, but diarrhea and acute poisoning are provided;
- spurge - causes poisoning and vomiting;
- dream grass - A large "assortment" of consequences (from diarrhea to interruptions in the work of the heart);
- cornflowers, dope, hemlock, marigold, celandine, digitalis, moth - they also cause poisoning.
Black millet and sorghum are not poisonous in dry form, but when soaked they release a substance into the water, which turns into hydrocyanic acid and also leads to poisoning. Poor-quality (rotted, rotten) grass can cause a pet intestinal upset.
Important! The degree of poisoning by plant poisons depends on the amount of substance that is found in the intestines and blood of the rabbit. Therefore, the reaction to them can be different: from diarrhea and vomiting to coma.
The diet also includes young shoots of trees, twigs and bark - they are necessary for grinding the teeth and maintaining normal digestion processes. From the point of view of rabbits, the shoots of fruit trees (cherries, apple trees) are considered the most delicious. This can easily be seen by everyone whose gardens in the winter are visited by wild rabbits and hares.You can also use hazel shoots. Another variety of wholesome food is root vegetables (for example, carrots).
Basic feeding rules
There are such basic rules of feeding:
- the ration of ordinary and ornamental rabbits should consist of hay, root crops, herbs and concentrates;
- rabbits cannot be fed with grass alone - this leads to diseases of the digestive tract and tooth deformation;
- greens should not exceed 40% of the diet, and its optimal amount is about 30%;
- hay and branches should always be freely available - the pet will not eat them more than necessary;
- greens should be given in the afternoon;
- it should be varied (you can’t give plants of the same species all the time, this depletes the diet).
Before giving grass to pets, it must be treated: washed, dried.
Important! In agricultural practice, plant safety is determined by the grazing of cattle. Cows do not eat what contains poison. If you saw this plant whole in the grazing zone, then it should not be given to rabbits.
The proportion of green feed should be no more than 30% in the total diet - this is one of the rules of feeding. An excess of greenery causes diarrhea due to the abundance of plant proteins. In a large volume, proteins are not absorbed by the body of the animal.Clarifying how to feed an adult rabbit, it should be noted that the average diet consists of:
- hay – 10-11%;
- root crops – 9-10%;
- greens - 40%;
- concentrates - 35-40%.
You need to feed animals 3 times a day. Branches and hay must be accessible at all times, and green feed and concentrates not eaten by the pet must be removed so as not to create an environment for the development of various pathogens, fungi and mold.
To make the rabbit's diet as useful as possible, greens can not be collected, but grown. A group of small boxes is suitable for this. How to feed the little rabbits?
They are suitable for:
For rabbits at the age of 1-2 months, dandelions, plantain, clover are suitable. The norm of greens in the diet of a rabbit is not more than 10 g.For young animals any useful herbs are suitable. Their volume in the summer diet is about 200 g per day (both hay and green mass are taken into account in the composition). When it is cold, the proportion of hay increases to 300 g.
Did you know? Among all types of pets, rabbits are the third most popular.
How to grow green feed in your area
You can grow salads and cereals - barley, wheat, oats, buckwheat - on the windowsill for rabbits. They are rich in B-complex vitamins, E and K, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, protein. Contain a lot of fiber, useful for the animal. Such food is not only environmentally friendly, but also healthy.
Any container is suitable for growing grass. It can even be an empty tin can or a flower pot. Greens do not need a deep layer of soil, so it is better to take plastic boxes. Plants are sometimes grown on sawdust or cat litter.
The seeds are sown randomly, and the substrate is sprayed from the spray gun. After the seeds are placed in the “soil” and watered, cover the container with a film to create a greenhouse effect. Everything will grow in 5 days.
Rabbit breeders recommend using cereal seeds for planting, which they buy to feed the pet. They germinate better and do not contain herbicides, which are used to process cereals in the agricultural sector.For planting in the soil on household plots, both grain and grasses of agricultural importance are used - mustard, clover, alfalfa. Sow need to be in shallow soil. After sowing, monitor the condition of the soil and water when dry.
To organize crop rotation, you can plant greens in batches in a few days.
Rabbit Feeding Guidelines
Rabbit digestion is designed in such a way that it must constantly chew, so hay and branches must be in the feeder constantly.
Among the main recommendations for grass feeding are:
- any plant material should be washed from dust and dried in a dry place;
- drying time - 3-4 hours;
- Dry in a thin layer on a clean surface and periodically turn over.
When choosing grass, use simple rules: if you don’t know this plant, do not give it to your pet. There are so many useful and neutral plants that you are sure to choose a quality diet for him.