What to feed baby rabbits eat
Feeding Your Rabbit | VCA Animal Hospital
Rabbits are herbivores (plant eaters) and are considered grazers, in that they eat continuously. They have complex digestive systems and are very efficient at processing food. They also have very specific dietary needs. If you introduce new foods too quickly, or feed inappropriate food choices, the rabbit's normal digestive flora (normal bacteria) will be disturbed, gas- and toxin-producing bacteria can overgrow, and the rabbit may become very sick and possibly die.
What do rabbits eat?
Rabbits should have a daily diet of mostly hay, a smaller amount of fresh vegetables, and a limited number of pellets. Hay is the most important part of a rabbit's daily intake. Unlimited, high-quality grass hay, such as Timothy, orchard or brome, should make up the bulk of a rabbit's diet. Grass hay is high in fiber, which is critical to maintaining a rabbit’s healthy digestive tract. While young, growing rabbits can eat any type of grass hay, alfalfa hay is not recommended for adult rabbits, as it is too rich in protein and too high in calcium.
Timothy pellets can be offered at approximately 1/8-1/4 cup per 5 lbs (2.25 kg) of bodyweight. Over-feeding pellets to adult rabbits is a common cause of obesity and soft stool (caused by an overgrowth of abnormal bacteria in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract), as pellets are generally low in fiber and high in carbohydrates. In addition to hay, wild rabbits eat a lot of other fresh vegetation.
A pet rabbit's diet should be supplemented with a variety of leafy green vegetables every day. Rabbits can consume as many vegetables as they want to each day as long as they do not get diarrhea and as long as the vegetables are not high in carbohydrates, as carrots and potatoes are. Variety is important. Introduce new vegetables slowly and in small quantities, and monitor for soft feces, diarrhea, or signs of gas pain.
"Carrots should be fed sparingly, as they are very high in carbohydrate and may upset GI bacterial flora."
Particularly good vegetables include the dark leafy greens like romaine lettuce, bok choy, mustard greens, carrot tops, cilantro, watercress, basil, kohlrabi, beet greens, broccoli greens, and cilantro.
Some leafy greens, such as collard and dandelion greens, parsley, kale, Swiss chard, and escarole, should be fed in limited quantities, as they are high in calcium and may contribute to the development of calcium-based bladder stones if fed in excess. Other acceptable vegetables include broccoli, green peppers, Brussel sprouts, endive, wheat grass, radicchio, and squash. Iceberg or head lettuce should not be fed, as it is mainly water and contains few nutrients.
Carrots should be fed sparingly, as they are very high in carbohydrate and may upset GI bacterial flora. A small amount of many different vegetables is much better than a large amount of one food item.
Young rabbits, under approximately 7-8 months old, should be fed alfalfa pellets and alfalfa hay free-choice; they need the extra protein and calcium as they grow. They, too, can have a variety of vegetables. At approximately 7 months, they must be weaned onto an adult diet, as described above, since their growth slows down.
How often should I feed my rabbit?
Rabbits should be fed and provided with fresh water daily; hay should always be available. As nibblers, they should have food available at all times.
Do I need to give my rabbit vitamins?
No, rabbits do not require extra vitamins. They just need a varied, high-fiber diet.
Can I offer my rabbit treats?
Yes, but first be sure to check with your veterinarian about the types of treats that are recommended. Rabbits certainly can become overweight if fed an abundance of high-calorie treats. Cookies, nuts, seeds, grains, and bread should not be fed to rabbits.
"Cookies, nuts, seeds, grains, and bread should not be fed to rabbits."
Fruits can be fed in very limited quantities – no more than 1-2 tablespoons of high-fiber fresh fruit (such as apple, pear, or berries) every 1-2 days. The high sugar content in fruits (and even carrots) may upset the normal GI tract bacteria if given in excess.
What are the water requirements of rabbits?
Fresh water should be available 24 hours a day. Some rabbits prefer water bowls, and others prefer sipper bottles. If you offer water in a sipper bottle, be sure to inspect it for clogs and fill it with clean water daily. If you offer your rabbit water in a bowl, make sure the rabbit does not spill it in its cage or soil it with feces.
Is there anything else I should know?
Rabbits need to chew to maintain the health of their continuously growing teeth. Chew toys should always be available; hard wooden chew toys (blocks and sticks) and cardboard are best.
"Rabbits engage in coprophagy, which means they eat their own feces."
Rabbits engage in coprophagy, which means they eat their own feces. This occurs at night, and these fecal pellets are different from the ones normally excreted and seen by the owners. They are called cecotropes, cecal droppings, nocturnal droppings, or night droppings. They are usually small, soft or pasty, darker, and have a strong fermented or sweet smell. These pellets serve as a rich source of nutrients for the rabbit, specifically protein and vitamins B and K. Most owners never observe this behavior, as it happens in the early hours of the morning. If you do, remember that it is normal and necessary for the health of your rabbit.
What To Feed Baby Rabbits — Rabbit Care Tips
The first six months of a rabbit’s life are pivotal to their long-term health. At this key stage of their development, a rabbit is constantly growing. Their diet needs to reflect this fact. Ensuring that your baby rabbit is sufficiently nourished will mean healthy bones and muscle mass into adulthood.
Hay and water are essential foods. Baby rabbits need more protein, so give them pellets and alfalfa hay. Your rabbit should be weaned. If not, use kitten or goat milk to imitate their mother’s milk.
Make sure that you get a baby rabbit into good eating habits. It’s tempting to overfeed young rabbits, but this can lead to obesity in later life. When their growth spurts subside, your rabbit needs less protein and more fiber. We will explain what the optimal diet plan for a baby rabbit is. You should also read our comprehensive guide to caring for baby rabbits.
New owners are sometimes surprised to learn what baby rabbits eat. Excessive carrots and iceberg lettuce can cause health issues. Instead, domesticated rabbits mainly sustain themselves on hay.
This replicates the experience of wild bunnies, which graze on grass all day. It would be impossible to provide a pet rabbit with enough grass to sustain itself. Hay is a substitute, and pet rabbits munch on it throughout the day.
In addition to hay, rabbits enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables and specialist pellets. The former must be offered sparingly. Too many vegetables can cause a stomach upset.
Pellets are also optional once a rabbit reaches adulthood. Pellets are critical for young and baby rabbits, as they provide a range of vitamins and nutrients. They’re also calorific. Pellets must be reduced in quantity as the rabbit gets older. Don’t panic if your rabbit has stopped eating pellets.
Hydration is also just as important to a rabbit. Bunnies must always have access to fresh water. You can provide this in a bowl, or a bottle that’s attached to their hutch.
What to Feed Pet Rabbits
The three core elements of a rabbit’s diet are pellets, hay, and fresh vegetables. If we were to draw a diagram of a bunny’s needs, hay would be at the base as the most critical.
This is because a rabbit’s digestive tract is engineered to process the fiber found in grass. There are several different types of hay available, each with slightly different qualities.
- Grass Hay (aka Meadow Hay or Timothy Hay). This is the most popular hay feed among rabbit owners. This hay is fresh grass that has been cut and dried out. This means that it replicates a wild rabbit’s diet.
- Oat Hay. This hay is made up of oat grass, which is harvested before blooming. Once the oat blooms, this hay no longer contains any nutritional value for a rabbit. It can be used as bedding, though.
- Alfalfa Hay. This is a little different; it’s a legume, rather than grass. Alfalfa hay is usually fed to larger animals. It contains more protein and calcium than other hays, so it leads to weight gain.
Pellets are considered to be an essential part of a rabbit’s diet. Many claim that pellets are unnecessary for adult rabbits though, and are just empty calories.
If your rabbit is looking overweight, pellets should be sacrificed. Adult rabbits can happily sustain themselves on hay alone. Pellets are essential for helping a young rabbit grow, though.
These should always be kept as a treat, especially fruit. Rabbits love sweet tastes, so they enjoy berries, raisins, parsnips, and carrots. Their bodies are not designed to process carbs, though.
A rabbit can enjoy a tablespoon of fresh fruit and vegetables for every 2 lbs. of their body weight.
Again, an overweight rabbit should not receive any fruit and veg for a while. Rabbits do not necessarily need these to flourish. They’ll get all the vitamins they need from hay.
Baby Rabbit Feeding Guide
Young bunnies need to eat more, as they are continually growing. Baby rabbits also use food to stay warm ahead of the first shedding of their fur. Here’s some info on when baby rabbits get fur.
The diet of baby rabbits adjusts steadily as they grow. They’ll start eating solid hay at around 2 weeks of age. This will be supplemented by milk from their mother, though. By the time they reach 4 weeks, baby rabbits eat pellets and hay.
Feed alfalfa hay to a baby rabbit. The protein and calcium found within will help them grow strong muscles and bones. Also mix in some standard hay, though. This will make the transition easier when your rabbit reaches adulthood.
You should also ensure that you pick up pellets designed especially for young rabbits. These will provide everything that a growing bunny needs.
Whatever you decide to feed your baby rabbit, keep it consistent. Any bunny is sensitive to changes in diet, but young rabbits are especially so. Don’t chop and change unless it’s strictly necessary.
Baby Rabbit Food List
Before you even bring your rabbit home, you should pull together a shopping list. Healthy food for baby rabbits is pivotal, so don’t make any best guesses after their arrival.
You’ll need to buy hay in advance. Prioritize alfalfa hay, but get some traditional meadow hay too. Your bunny cannot eat alfalfa hay forever, so don’t let them get too attached to the taste.
You’ll also need pellets. Have a chat with a clerk in your local pet store, and get the ideal pellets for your bunny. There will be numerous options, tailored to different life stages.
Avoid the temptation to buy a huge bag of pellets. You may be told that baby rabbits can eat unlimited pellets. Pellets can grow moldy quite quickly. Smaller bags are preferred.
It’s advisable to make pellets part of your baby rabbit’s meal plan. These will help your young bunny grow up happy and healthy. Both quality and quantity should be carefully managed, though.
Tread carefully around claims that baby rabbits can eat unlimited pellets. In theory, this is correct. The ever-growing body of a bunny will cope with the calories consumed while they’re so young.
All the same, this is teaching your bunny bad habits. They’ll grow accustomed to having a constant supply of pellets. If you remove this option as an adult, they’ll grow distressed. It’s better to teach a young rabbit to enjoy hay early.
Also, ensure that you pick up the highest quality pellets possible. They should make up at least 22% fiber. Protein should not amount to more than 14%. Avoid anything with more than 1% calcium, as this can be harmful.
Don’t be tempted by muesli-based pellets. These will be tastier, as they contain nuts and seeds. A baby rabbit will pick out the nutrient-deficient fun ingredients, and ignore the rest.
Alfalfa hay is ideal for baby rabbits. For the first months of their life, a rabbit will enjoy the protein in this hay. As pellets also contain alfalfa, your baby bunny will be in good health.
Even though alfalfa hay is good for baby rabbits, it shouldn’t be all they have. Aim for a ratio of around 60:40, mixing alfalfa with traditional grass hay. This will make the eventual transition to meadow hay only less jarring.
Another thing to remember is that your rabbit’s hutch will be filled with hay. They’ll sleep on it, and generally surround themselves with the substance. This also means that your rabbit will pee and poop in their hay.
As baby bunnies have immature brains and bladders, they take a while to be litter trained. This needs to be handled with care. Urine can turn hay moldy, and moldy hay is toxic to rabbits. Clean their hutch regularly.
It’s vital that your baby rabbit sees hay as a source of pleasure. Get them into the habit of grazing on hay as early as possible. Incorporate it into playtime, and exercise.
Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
In the past, popular opinion dictated that baby rabbits should not be fed fresh food. This is because young bunnies have particularly sensitive digestive tracts. The truth is, fresh fruit and vegetables are fine in moderation.
The misconception that fresh vegetables are dangerous to baby bunnies arose through a lack of education. Feeding a rabbit of any age-inappropriate vegetables will cause stomach upsets. A bunny needs time to adjust to dietary changes.
When bringing home a baby rabbit, learn what fresh food their mother enjoyed. Once the bunny reached 4 weeks of age, they would have nibbled on these vegetables too. Their stomachs will be able to cope with them in small doses.
Fresh vegetables will also help a young rabbit manage the size of their teeth. Rabbit teeth never stop growing. By crunching on tough, solid vegetables, they’ll be filed down.
Fruit is best avoided in baby rabbits, unless used as training treats. Offer small amounts of vegetable as a treat, once your bunny has eaten sufficient hay.
Should I Give a Baby Rabbit Meat?
Meat must be avoided. While baby bunnies need protein, they don’t need meat. They’ll suffer from an excess of protein, and experience stomach upsets as a result.
Your rabbit may develop a taste for meat. A little won’t kill them, but it will make them uncomfortable. A rabbit’s digestion is engineered to process fiber, not protein. The older they get, the more problematic this will become.
Rabbits are herbivores. They do not want or need to eat meat. Babies are no exception to this rule.
Can Baby Rabbits Drink Water?
Baby rabbits can drink water. It should be actively encouraged.
Rabbits will start to hydrate from their mother’s water source at around 3 weeks old. As baby bunnies eat more dry food, water becomes particularly important. They need to hydrate regularly to stay healthy.
It’s vital to learn how your baby rabbit enjoys drinking. Some bunnies find water bottles fun. Others would rather lap from a bowl. Encourage your pet to drink in whatever way they prefer.
If you use a bowl, ensure that it’s heavy and shallow. Baby rabbits are playful and curious. They will splash around in water if they can. This can turn their hay moldy, and wet rabbits suffer a drop in body temperature.
Can Baby Rabbits Drink Cow Milk?
Baby rabbits drink milk from their mother’s until they’re 8 weeks old. A bunny should never be separated from their mother before this. If you’re offered a rabbit younger than 8 weeks by a breeder, walk away.
If you must provide a rabbit with milk, don’t use cow milk. This is too dense in calcium. The closest equivalent is kitten milk. Warm goat milk will be suitable in a pinch.
Rabbit milk contains more calories than kitten milk, though. As a result, mix in a tablespoon of sugar-free heavy cream. Baby bunnies should be fed milk twice a day.
Also, don’t forget that baby rabbits are not sustained on milk alone. Once they reach 2 weeks, they also need water and solids. Failing to provide these will leave a rabbit malnourished.
How Can I Tell if My Baby Rabbit’s Diet is Healthy?
Young rabbits need to nap regularly, but they’ll be energetic in between. If your young rabbit is lethargic, it may be due to dietary deficiency.
Another way to check on a rabbit’s condition is their droppings. Rabbit poop is a fine way to assess your bunny’s digestive health. Rabbit’s produce two types of poop:
- Pellets, which will be littered throughout their cage.
- Cecotropes, which are bunches of fecal matter that the rabbit eats.
A healthy poop pellet will be light brown, and will crumble when picked up. If your rabbit’s feces pellets are dark, it suggests they’re eating too much protein.
Diarrhea in a baby rabbit is a medical emergency. This condition can be fatal in hours. Administer the first aid suggested by the University of Miami, and make an urgent vet appointment.
My Baby Rabbit Eats Too Fast
This is nothing to worry about. Even if it leads to hiccups, these will pass in a short period of time.
The main reason that baby rabbits eat quickly is food insecurity. Until they get into a strict routine, bunnies worry about when they’ll be fed. They’ll guzzle food in case they don’t receive any more.
Rabbits that share a hutch are particularly likely to eat fast. They’ll be worried that another, older bunny will eat their share otherwise.
Also, remember that baby rabbits are always growing. This means that they’ll be hungry pretty much constantly. Once they establish a routine, they’ll calm down.
My Baby Rabbit is Not Feeding
If your baby rabbit is refusing to eat, it’s essential to find out why. A rabbit not eating at any age is worrying. This goes double when the bunny is young.
A young rabbit eating less as they reach adulthood is not as concerning. As they grow older, rabbits need fewer calories. They may take to eating more hay than pellets. This is a good thing. Don’t let them eat too much alfalfa hay, though.
You should also check that your bunny is not just being stubborn. If you have changed their diet, they may be holding out for a favorite. This needs to be managed carefully.
Baby rabbits need to eat, but if you cave too quickly, you’re setting a dangerous precedent. They’ll refuse to eat anything that doesn’t like into adulthood.
Move the bowl around in the first instance. If a rabbit feels a draught, it will put them off eating. Food that’s too close to a preferred elimination spot will also deter a bunny from eating. Rabbit pee has an overpowering smell.
Also, ensure that your baby rabbit is not anxious. Being separated from their mother and siblings can be distressing. Offer plenty of TLC and a welcoming home environment to help your bunny settle.
Spaying or neutering young rabbits also leads to behavioral changes. Your bunny may temporarily lose their appetite. This should pass quickly. Observe them, and take action is necessary.
Alternative Food for Baby Rabbits
If your baby rabbit is refusing to eat, you’ll need to offer the formula. This is often easier said than done. Seek professional help to ensure your bunny is sufficiently nourished.
Use kitten or goat milk if you cannot source rabbit-specific milk. Zooh Corner recommends feeding milk at the following quantities, at least twice a day. If your rabbit will not eat hay or pellets, they’ll need more:
- 1 – 2 Weeks of Age – 10 – 15 cubic cm
- 2 – 3 Weeks of Age – 15 – 30 cubic cm
- 3 – 8 Weeks of Age – 30 cubic cm
You can pick up a syringe to provide this milk from a pet store. Many baby rabbits will not take to this, though. Bunny-savvy suppliers will stock a product called the Miracle Nipple. This imitates the nursing experience.
This is not a permanent solution, though. You must learn why your rabbit is not eating, and resolve the issue.
Feeding a baby rabbit is largely similar to nourishing an adult equivalent. Young bunnies eat more, and show more interest in pellets.
What’s most important is that you get your rabbit into good habits surrounding food. Like any animal, a rabbit’s formative experiences will play a significant role in their adult persona.
Help a rabbit eat appropriately while they’re young, and they’ll reach adulthood in a healthy condition. From there, you can enjoy a long and happy relationship.
How and what to feed small rabbits of different ages
Feeding rabbits and getting a healthy livestock is not difficult if you work hard. After birth, babies in the first weeks of life receive good nutrition with rabbit milk. Then they move on to food. There are some differences in the diet for babies and adults. Properly selected nutrition will improve the quality of fur and meat , and for this you need to know how to properly feed young animals of different ages. In this article, you will learn how to feed little rabbits, as well as consider all the nuances of artificial feeding.
Table of Table of Contents
- What to feed rabbits from the moment of birth to feed
- How much feed for rabbits per day
- How to feed rabbits without rabbits
- to 7 days
- after 7 days
- from 20 days from 20 days from 20 days from 20 days and up to a month
- At the age of one month and older
- A few tips for artificial feeding of newborn baby rabbits with milk
- How to feed baby rabbits after weaning from their mother, how to make food
- Winter feeding, %
- Summer feeding, %
What to feed rabbits from birth to weaning
From birth to complementary foods, the main food for them is mother's milk. When the rabbit is behaving normally and she is healthy, then there is no reason to worry. At this time the concern of the rabbit breeder is to provide them with good conditions . This is an abundance of quality food and water. At this time, the female experiences a great load on the body, so increase nutrients in the diet . She has 170 grams of milk per day, or even more. And with it 25 grams of protein. Therefore, for replenishment, she needs more nutritious food than before the lactation period. For a rabbit with an average weight of 5-6 kg, the consumption rate of feed units is 330-700 grams (1 feed unit is equal to 1 kg of oats). The menu should be changed every week.The female rabbit feeds the young rabbits
At this time the female rabbit should be fed:
- in summer: clover, alfalfa, oat mixture, forbs;
- in winter: bean hay, boiled potatoes, silage, carrots.
Also in the menu is added a mixture of peas , oats, bran and cake.
How much feed for a rabbit per day
- from hay 100-300 grams;
- sunflower cake 40-60 grams;
- sunflower grotto 30 grams;
- fodder yeast 5 grams;
- fish oil 4 grams;
- meat and bone meal 7 grams;
- bone meal 4 grams;
- chalk - 3 grams;
- table salt 2 grams.
Be sure to introduce green and succulent foods. The increase in lactation is influenced by the shoots of dill and elecampane.
During the feeding period for the female, it is better to make feed mixtures,%:
- oats - 60;
- alfalfa - 30-40;
- mineral supplements.
- bran - 12;
- corn - 10;
- alfalfa - 10;
- mineral additives -2.
The female rabbit should be fed 20 to 500 grams of feed mix per day. On day 20, the amount of food is increased, because the babies begin to eat with their mother.
To increase lactation during this period, you can pour some milk in addition to water . In the morning 0.5 l and in the evening 0.5 l. To train her, use a 5 gram syringe. Pour a little into your mouth and then offer it to her in a bowl. Be careful with milk in the summer so as not to drink it sour. Otherwise, there may be problems with the intestines. Cow's or goat's milk can be replaced with dry or mixtures.
How to feed rabbits without a rabbit at home
Sometimes there are cases when newborn rabbits are left without rabbit milk. How to get out of this situation? In this position, they can be fed artificially, even at home.
Up to 7 days old
Babies up to 7 days old can be fed with cow's milk, goat's milk or powdered milk mixtures. Cow's milk is diluted 1:1 with condensed unsweetened, the milk mixture is made in double concentration, and goat's milk is given in its pure form. Enter milk with a syringe or make a nipple. We wash the penicillin vial and put a nipple on it. We make a nipple from a pipette rubber cap.Baby rabbit eats from a teat
Baby rabbits need to be fed 3 to 5 times a day.
- once in the early morning;
- 3 times a day;
- once in the evening.
One feeding of takes approximately 1 ml.
For artificial feeding of rabbits, goat's milk is preferable. In concentration and composition, it is closer to rabbit milk.
After 7 days
Until 1 week of age milk only. After 7 days of age double the amount of food and reduce the feeding to 3 times a day. By 15 days the portions are tripled.
Feeding is difficult in the early days of the baby, so take a cotton swab, dampen it and gently wipe the mouth with it. Wait until he licks and continue on. When the rabbit gets used to it, switch to a syringe or a pacifier.
In the first days, the little one needs a tummy massage and hygiene. Wipe the body with a damp cloth. Pay special attention to the anus. Also wipe the muzzle after feeding.
From 20 days to month
From 20 days of age, rabbits can drink milk on their own from bowl . We adhere to the dairy menu until the age of one month. After that, it will be possible to give them high-quality hay, grated carrots and moistened compound feed in small quantities. Feed mixers should be given in small portions, avoiding souring. You can buy herbal granules for feeding rabbits in a veterinary pharmacy. How much food to feed a rabbit? The serving is calculated by the weight of the baby and should be 3% of the mass.
One month old and older
From the moment of milk reduction, they need to drink additional water. First, we force water to drink with the help of a pacifier. Later, when they begin to drink on their own, the water should be in the bowl at all times. Lack of water threatens rabbits with kidney disease . Until the age of 45 days, milk feeding and a smooth transition to an adult diet are possible.
A few tips for formula feeding newborn baby rabbits with milk
If such a disaster happened and the babies were left without mother's care and milk, then rabbits can be fed artificially . Although this process is troublesome and requires great patience. And the result is not 100%, but rather deplorable, but you need to try. Such rabbits are usually retarded in development.
Keep clean when feeding . All nipples and dishes should be scalded with boiling water. Since the babies are naked, they should be kept warm. You can put a heating pad in the drawer where they are kept. When they grow fur, it can be removed.Artificial feeding of a baby rabbit
It is better to feed goat milk , but if this is not available, then powdered milk or mixtures for fattening puppies can be purchased at a veterinary pharmacy.
Feed often enough. They should eat 5 times a day in small portions . Before feeding, the baby needs to be helped to empty. Under natural conditions, this is done by the mother, but in this case, you need to do it yourself.
With a damp cotton pad, massage movements, wipe the body . Let's start massaging the tummy. With light pressure, we draw several times from the navel to the tail. We do this procedure until the baby is emptied. Then we wipe the anus and feed the rabbit. Massage for emptying to do within 2 weeks. Then it will empty itself.
It is important to monitor the presence and color of poop. They must be green. If they are not, then the baby needs help.
If it does not empty, it means that it is not getting enough food. You need to add some milk. A well-fed baby behaves calmly. Doesn't bounce in sleep. Doesn't crawl on the box. The tummy is plump and elastic.
By 15 days in the box should be allocated a place where it will be dark . Rabbits by this time like to sleep in a dark place. Cover one corner with a cloth.
If the feeding process is successful, then by the 20th day the baby can drink milk from the saucer . You can also give him finely chopped carrots. Green, quality hay or dried grass. If this happens in winter, then the greens can be grown hydroponically. Babies can also be given hay flour . Gradually, small portions of moistened compound feed should be added to the diet. Boiled thick porridge.
Do not give cabbage leaves, although they eat them with pleasure. The digestive system is not yet formed, so the baby may have bloating and diarrhea. This will most likely lead to death.
As already mentioned, cleanliness must be maintained. Feed must be fresh . No souring, no mold. Mixture prepare immediately before feeding. Vegetables must be washed.
Perhaps these tips will help you feed a healthy baby.
How to feed baby rabbits after hatching from their mother, how to make food
Baby rabbits are deposited at different ages from 28 to 45 days . But it is best to do this at the age of 45 days. Jigging at this time reduces the mortality of young animals. Since by this time his digestive system is formed. Together with his mother, he eats hay and other food from the adult diet.Black rabbits with a rabbit
In the beginning, they are given the same food that they ate with their mother. New foods for rabbits, introduced gradually in small portions. It is recommended to drip vitamin B into the water. 1 liter requires 50 ml. It prevents stress.
The diet of rabbits should include:
- Dried greens or quality hay;
- boiled potatoes ;
- milk powder;
- vitamin preparations if it is winter;
- hay meal;
- carrots, grated or cut into pieces ;
- wetted compound feed ;
- crushed grain ;
- bone meal;
During this period it is useful to feed:
- St. John's wort;
- tree branches with leaves.
Baby rabbit should receive:
- 70-125 feed units;
- 145-170 c. u.;
- 170-225 c.u.;
Since rabbits grow rapidly during this period, digestible protein should be 18 grams per 100 k.u. From the age of 4 months old rabbits are transferred to an adult diet .
When distributing hay, look carefully for toxic herbs:
- henbane; and many others.
For older rabbits from 4 months of age, change the feed ration . Reduce the proportion of compound feed. It contains a lot of fat, which in large quantities is harmful to animals. They give plenty of vitamin hay, green grass and vegetables.
Winter feeding, %
- hay 10-20;
- compound feed 55-65;
- juicy food 20-30.
Summer feeding, %
- green grass 30-40;
- concentrate 60-70.
Food is distributed 3-4 times a day . At the same time, if some food remains from the previous feeding, then its rate should be slightly reduced. Do not let the mixes turn sour. Such food must be removed. Dry grass before feeding . Remove dirt from vegetables and cut into pieces.
Feeders must be constantly fed. The digestive system in rabbits is designed in such a way that in order for him to empty himself, food must push food. So hay should always be . Even a little hunger can lead to problems.
Rabbits should not be fed bread or pasta.
It is important for a rabbit breeder to raise healthy offspring of rabbits. After all, these are females in the future, bearing offspring, and hence a good income. For rabbits to be healthy, they are needs to provide proper nutrition and containment.
How to feed rabbits at home
Proper feeding of rabbits requires balanced mixtures containing a certain norm of the necessary products and having a high nutritional value. Without observing this condition, it is impossible to achieve good growth and strong immunity in animals. By adjusting the diet of rabbits, you can improve the quality of meat and fur, increase the survival of offspring and maximize the potential of the breed.
- What can rabbits eat?
- Specialty feed benefits
- Benefits of compound feed produced by MEGAMIX
- Feeding rates and rations
- Self-preparation of feed
- Nuances of feeding rabbits depending on the season
- What should not be fed to rabbits?
What can rabbits eat?
The metabolism of rodents is so intense that they need to constantly eat for the proper functioning of all body systems. If the rabbit for some reason stops eating, then during the day there is a malfunction in the digestive tract. This entails serious consequences for health, up to and including death.
Compound feed for rabbits is complete and concentrated. The first one provides all the needs of animals in calories and nutrients. The second is used as a supplement to the main diet. Young rabbits reach a commercial weight of 3.5–4.5 kg, provided that they are properly fed, at the age of 4–5 months, and an adult female brings 30 or more cubs per year. If the diet is balanced and meets the needs of the breed, the rabbit is capable of the next reproductive cycle as early as 3-5 days after birth.
Livestock specialists have repeatedly researched the best way to feed rabbits. The diet of meat and decorative animals should include the following products:
Cereals (concentrated feed) have the highest nutritional value. They contain a large amount of protein and a minimum of water. Oats are considered the best grain, as they are well absorbed, have a positive effect on intestinal motility and reproductive functions, and do not contribute to obesity. It is used in the form of whole or crushed grains. Rye, barley and wheat are offered to rabbits in the form of crushed, mixed with other feeds.
It should be remembered that you can not give a lot of wheat, and it is better to remove the shell from barley. These grains are difficult to digest, often leading to bloating. Many farmers recommend pre-treatment of grain products: soaking, sprouting, steaming or yeasting. Sprouting allows you to increase the amount of vitamins and increase protein digestibility. Yeasting improves the digestibility of fiber, but feeding animals with such grains for more than 5 days in a row is undesirable, as it can provoke fermentation in the intestines.
Green foods form the basis of the rabbit diet from spring to late autumn. This type of food includes: vegetable tops; fodder cabbage; wild herbs; seeded cereals and legumes. Nettle, wormwood, dandelion, couch grass, plantain, quinoa are considered the most suitable wild plants. Freshly cut greens are recommended to be slightly dried and dried in the sun. The tops of fodder and sugar beets, carrots, turnips, rutabaga, Jerusalem artichokes are also suitable as green fodder. Sugar and fodder beet tops are not recommended for young animals. It has laxative properties, therefore, along with it, animals are advised to give plant foods that have a fixing effect. For these purposes, yarrow, comfrey, branches and leaves of oak and alder are suitable. In the mass of green fodder beet tops should not be more than 30%.
The aerial part of legumes, legumes and cereals is rich in vitamins and minerals, and also contains a large amount of proteins. However, experienced rabbit breeders advise using the above plants in a mixture with other feeds, since herbs alone will not be able to provide good nutrition and can lead to bloating in animals.
The diet of rabbits should be approximately 25% roughage. These include: hay, straw, tree branches. The optimal harvesting time is in spring and summer. Such food is very important, as it creates a feeling of satiety and contains fiber necessary for the normal functioning of the digestive tract.
The main share of roughage is hay. Harvest it using the same herbs as for green fodder. Legume hay has much more plant protein than grain hay, so it is more nutritious. Haylage is under-dried hay pressed into briquettes. Rabbits eat it with gusto, and also love clean straw if it's well dried.
Juicy food (vegetables)
- Potatoes: high in fast digesting starch. It is recommended to give in boiled form;
- Carrots contain C and B vitamins vital for breeders, pregnant/nursing females and growing rabbits. It is the main source of carotene in winter. The daily norm for an adult animal is up to half a kilogram. Young rabbits are started on portions weighing 20–30 g.
- Cabbage contains many minerals, vitamins C and E. Helps to improve the quality of the skin and fur. Introduced into the diet of animals gradually, used both raw and boiled.
- Zucchini helps to better digest other foods. They are given fresh.
- Pumpkin improves coat quality and has a positive effect on milk production in lactating rabbits. It has a good effect on digestion and weight gain in animals. Offered to rabbits both raw and boiled.
- Feed and sugar beet improves metabolism and blood quality, improves immunity. Use raw or boiled, no more than 150–200 g for young animals and 250–300 g for adults per day. Excess beets can lead to diarrhea in animals. Table varieties are strictly prohibited.
- The diet of rabbits also includes melons, watermelons, turnips, Jerusalem artichokes, and radishes. However, their nutritional value is not very high.
Processed products of legumes and oilseeds (meal, cake of soybeans, peas, beans, sunflower, hemp, flax) are sources of fatty acids necessary for the body, including essential ones.
The composition of feed mixtures necessarily introduce products of animal origin: meat and bone or fish meal. Meat and bone contains about 40% protein and 14% fat, while fish contains about 45% protein and 7% fat. Flour is mixed into wet food in small portions - 5–10 g per individual.
Also, table salt must be present in the diet of rabbits. The rabbit needs 0.5–1 gram per day. For adults, the rate is increased by 1.5–2 times. When fattening animals, the daily amount of salt is 2-3 grams per individual.
Benefits of specialty foods
Complete nutrient mixtures can be prepared independently, but this is a very time-consuming work. To produce a quality product for feeding rabbits, you need:
- crushers, crushing components to the desired size;
- stocks of various grain crops;
- meat and bone and fish meal;
- protein-vitamin-mineral complexes;
It is important to check the quality of incoming raw materials to minimize the risk of mortality. In the process of preparing mixtures for feeding rabbits, it is necessary to know exactly how much and what components are required, and at home or in a small enterprise it is difficult to achieve proportions. Because of this, there is a possibility of an excess of some nutrients and a deficiency of others, which can lead to improper formation of rabbits and young animals.
For the storage of compound feed, it is necessary to maintain normal ventilation in the room, a humidity level of not more than 75% and a temperature of up to 25 ° C. It is desirable to place bags on lattice racks or pallets. For small farms and medium-sized farms, buying ready-made feed can be more profitable than own production. The higher cost of the product is offset by guaranteed quality and time savings.
Benefits of compound feed produced by MEGAMIX
Our compound feeds for rabbits are presented in correctly formulated complete mixtures, which contain all the necessary nutrients:
|universal||for lactating queens|
|Ideal for weaned rabbits and fattening animals.||Also suitable for queens and rabbits. on milk feeding.|
Feed is produced in the form of granules and packaged in convenient packages: standard bags of 25 and 40 kg or big bags for large customers. The composition of the mixtures contains only valuable components that improve productivity, strengthen the immune system, positively affect the quality of the fur and the resulting meat, increase the growth and activity of rabbits.
Thanks to our own science-intensive production, we create recipes that best meet the needs of a particular breed of animal. The quality of incoming raw materials and the final product is carefully checked against more than 280 indicators in our analytical center, accredited to the international standard. Our requirements for commercially available compound feed for rabbits are stricter than GOSTs. All products undergo mandatory certification.
The company closely cooperates with VolGAU. The effectiveness and safety of all feeds are tested in a research center. Due to this, we are able to quickly navigate the needs of customers, clearly analyze each request and select the most profitable option for the customer. Our production facilities are designed to produce up to 180 tons of products annually.
We work not only in the central regions of Russia (Moscow and nearby regions), but also organize delivery to the cities of the Urals, Western Siberia, the North Caucasus, Crimea through an extensive network of dealerships.
Feed mixtures from MEGAMIX are effective for breeding rabbits at home, on medium-sized farms or large complexes. Using them, you will provide the animals with all the necessary trace elements, vitamins and mineral supplements, get a high average daily weight gain and reduce the risk of livestock infection.
Norms and diet
For agricultural breeds (meat and fur)
In summer, one rabbit needs 40-50 grams of concentrated and roughage plus a pound of green. During preparation for mating, the amount of food increases: green for 600 grams, concentrated and coarse - 70-80 grams. For a pregnant female, you will need 550–700 grams of greenery and 70–90 grams concentrated and coarse. A lactating female needs at least a kilogram of greens per day and up to 150 grams of roughage.
In winter, the basis of the diet is succulent food (150–200 grams) plus hay (120–150 grams). The amount of rough and concentrated feed remains the same. During preparation for mating 150-200 grams of juicy, 90-100 grams of concentrated and coarse and 150-200 grams of hay. A pregnant rabbit needs 200-250 grams of juicy, 100-130 grams of coarse and 150-200 grams of hay. A lactating female will need 300-350 grams of juicy, 140-160 concentrated and coarse and 200-250 grams of hay.
Fattening of meat breeds usually occurs in autumn and winter. When fattening, the amount of concentrated feed, bran and root crops (especially boiled potatoes) is gradually increased.
In ornamental breeds, digestion works worse than in agricultural ones. They can be given the following foods.
- Hay is the main feed for ornamental breeds. It should be clean and dry and should be replaced as needed.
- Grass - it can be added to the diet in summer. It is desirable to collect grass away from roads and other sources of pollution.
- Granular food - 2 tablespoons per day.
- Vegetables and fruits - can be given little by little, in small pieces and only washed and fresh. Radishes, parsley, carrots are good. It is better to exclude beets and cabbage in order to avoid stomach problems.
A complete balanced diet for rabbits, of course, should include the main vitamins:
- A - has a positive effect on the functioning of the nervous and reproductive systems in wards, improves their general physical condition;
- B1 - responsible for the metabolism of carbohydrates in the body, normalizes the activity of the cardiovascular system, indirectly improves the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract;
- B2 - improves the condition of the skin and fur, optimizes the general physical condition of animals;
- B5 - normalizes the digestive system;
- B6 - is responsible for the absorption of proteins and simple proteins, as well as for the enzymatic balance in the body;
- B12 - promotes the absorption of proteins, is extremely important for the health of newborn rabbits;
- C - strengthens the immune system and normalizes the digestive tract;
- D - necessary for the proper development of the eared musculoskeletal system, promotes better absorption of minerals;
- E - is responsible for the development of the muscular system of pets. Stabilizes the work of the heart and reproductive system;
- K is an essential vitamin for rabbit breeding.
The mash is a delicacy for rabbits. The most popular recipe includes:
- boiled potatoes;
- germinated wheat;
- table salt;
- chopped hay.
The mixer is prepared using a blender or other chopper. To enrich it with biologically active substances, concentrated feed additives are added to it.
Hay is harvested using the same herbs as for green fodder. It is important to mow the plants before they bloom. The resulting raw material is dried on the street, and then allowed to lie down for some time in a well-ventilated place under a canopy (without direct sunlight).
Silage ingredients are crushed to fragments no larger than 1 cm in length. The resulting mass is placed in a sealed barrel and covered with a layer of sawdust 5 cm thick. The resulting substrate is compacted until juice appears and pressed down with a wooden circle, on which a load is placed on top. In the process of silage maturation, the barrels are stored in a moderately warm place, and then removed to a cool room.
Nuances of feeding rabbits depending on the season
The summer diet of animals should consist of cereals by 30-40%, and in winter and with intensive fattening - by 50-70%. In the summer, green food predominates in the diet of rabbits, but with the onset of cold weather, juicy food - silage and vegetables - become the main part of the menu. The owners who grow vegetables and melons on their plots give the animals various root crops, cabbage, zucchini and pumpkins. Such food contains many vitamins, but little fiber and protein; in lactating rabbits, it contributes to more intense lactation.
When planning the volume of the product harvested for the winter, farmers proceed from the calculation: 40 kg of hay for a rabbit; 10–15 kg per head of potential offspring. If there is not enough hay for all the livestock, then first of all it should be fed to pregnant and lactating females, young animals. For adult males during the dormant period (if mating is not planned), the above product can be replaced with pea, lentil, oat or millet straw. You can’t feed it for a long time, because there are very few nutrients in the straw.
Branch fodder becomes a good help in winter. Timely harvested young twigs of trees contain quite a lot of vitamins. In addition, rabbits that have a constant opportunity to eat such food are much less likely to express a desire to gnaw on cages. Branches of only certain tree species are suitable for harvesting: willow, willow, maple, linden, acacia, mountain ash, poplar, aspen, ash, oak, alder. The content of nutrients in tree shoots is highest in the first month of summer.
Vitamin supplements are administered most often at the end of winter - in early spring, when there is a shortage of green and succulent fodder. To fill the need for vitamins A and D, animals are given special concentrated preparations or fish oil is added to food. At the same time, the amount of fish oil required by rabbits is calculated depending on their physiological state.
What should not be fed to rabbits?
It is better to refrain from adding birch branches to the diet, as they can lead to kidney disease. The same can be said about the branches of cherries, sweet cherries and plums. They contain hydrocyanic acid, which is quite dangerous for the body of animals. Branches of wild rosemary, buckthorn, bird cherry, apricot and elderberry are strictly forbidden to give to rabbits.
Even beneficial plants in excess can harm rabbits. From freshly cut grass, they have bloating of the intestines. Therefore, before feeding rabbits, it must be dried in direct sunlight. As a rule, an excess of cabbage leads to intestinal upset. It is also not recommended to give dirty vegetables to rabbits. This negatively affects the work of the digestive tract.