Juju Bisch Pollock wrote:VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure plants you seek to feed are rabbit safe!
There are too many regurgitated/non-researched/ cut and pasted lists on the internet!! Wood from all stone fruit trees is TOXIC (Like peach on list posted above). Do not feed.
While many trees are wonderful miners of nutrients and there are many you can use for fodder, some should not be fed. Most evergreens should not be fed. (Oleander, Holly, Conifers (pine cones ok)
Another point- Elm causes miscarriages and should not be fed to pregnant does.
Feedipedia has some very good information including nutrient profiles.
We raise varietal pomegranates which tend to grow a lot of suckers at the base of each tree.
Turns out Pomegranet contains tannins that prevent coccidia! We thin the smaller fruits to get larger fruit. Cut in half these are frozen and fed in the heat of summer. (one half per rabbit)
Plants containing PRE-biotics encourage beneficial gut bacteria=
(some examples- leaves and stalks from Sunflower and Artichoke)
In winter we feed Black Oil Sunflower Seeds ("BOSS") and diy grain mix for extra calories.
We are traditional feeders & raise less common Lilac breed rabbits that we show, so Flesh condition is still a concern. As a vegetarian- I NEED bunnies for my soil and plant health: Our rabbits recycle/reduce plant material into instant plant food/ compost,( we call them silent environmental insta-chippers) We turn the compost beneath the hanging cages daily covering waste keeps flies down(sometimes employing Laying hens- win/win)
Rebekah Harmon wrote:There is a book: Beyond The Pellet by Boyd Craven. My girlfriend at dirtpatchheaven YouTube channel has a a few informative videos about how she does it. I've grown oat grass "fodder" for my rabbits. Plus weeds all summer. I tried ONLY a rabbit tractor last summer, and my babies died of not enough protein, my vet said. So I still supplement with pellet food in my rabbit tractor. But it's so much less!!
And I have an alfalfa patch growing this year that I hope will pump out hay for them this winter.
There are so many ideas 🙂
Juju Bisch Pollock wrote:RABBIT GRAIN Mix=
WHOLE or crimped wheat, oats and/or Barley plus Black oil sunflower seeds('BOSS')
We feed grains dry or sprouted. Crimped, steamed or otherwise altered grains will not sprout.
Adults get about Tablespoon dry grain -More during cold weather: NONE of this mix when weather is hot!
Some rabbits hull the grains, some will eat them whole.
If you think rabbit isn't eating them, make sure bowl isn't full of hulls!
We feed grains separately in a tip proof dish, otherwise rabbits will dig through it for their favorites.
Very young bunnies get rolled "5 Grain Cereal" from grocery Bulk Bins.
If we feed sprouted grain, then we don't feed dry grain blend.
If you smell ammonia in your rabbit area, back off on the % amount of grain / protein you are feeding.
Karen McVause wrote:My contribution to this thread is that you can do "tree hay." Last summer, I pruned my willow and mulberry trees in the fall right before the leaves dropped and cut them into pieces and stored them in old feed bags. Now, it is very dry where I live so it dried fine this way for me. You might need to dry it first in a very humid area. Anyway, my rabbits went after the dried willow as well as they did fresh. They liked the mulberry better dry.
My current goal is to be feeding them 50% forage by the end of this year. I do still use pellets and timothy hay now. Whatever you are feeding the mamas, you can feed the kits but you always want to start slowly with any new foodstuff of course. I don't have any pasture at all and it is hard to grow veggies. I have some success but if I micro irrigate the willow trees, they will produce a lot for me. And the nutritional composition is excellent for rabbits.
Heather Staas wrote:Another good fast growing tree type fodder that rabbits really like (and other animals too) are lilacs.
Thomas A. Cahan wrote:
..... cutting the branches into straight sections before lobbing them to the buns provides you with straight peeled sticks of woodstove fuel when the buns are done with them