Features of granular feed for rabbits
With a lack of healthy vitamins and minerals, the immunity of the lagomorphs becomes susceptible to various diseases, which is why many breeders recommend buying or making granulated rabbit food with their own hands.
Granular feed for rabbits
Breeding rabbits is not an easy task. Each breeder needs to know about all the nuances of keeping these animals, care and feeding. It is especially important to monitor the diet of rabbits. Immunity of animals, their growth and development depends on the quality of the products used. Nutrition should be complete and balanced. How to choose the right diet for pussies and what should be included in it?
Advantages and disadvantages of granular feed
Granulated feed is a concentrated compressed herbal mixture.
Its composition is determined by the need of rabbit-like in certain products, vitamins and minerals. Specialized feeds are available in several variations, replacing the main animal nutrition, cereal diet and individual additives. Feeding rabbits with specialized food has a lot of advantages. The composition of such feeding meets all the necessary criteria for a balanced nutrition. This feed includes herbal flour, hay, grain and mineral additives.
Experienced rabbit breeders believe that the less additives there are in a product, the better it is.
Only natural ingredients allow animals to grow faster and gain muscle mass. Especially beneficial is the feeding of such food in the winter, when there is a problem of lack of plant food. Checking the quality of the feed in granules is easy. It is enough to throw a few granules into a container of water and observe their condition. A high-quality product almost does not change its condition. If it has additives, it increases in size. Such granules are not recommended for rabbits.
But there is one drawback: it is a high price for the finished feed. With the content of a large number of goals, the costs of its purchase will significantly exceed the profit from the breeding of animals, therefore, many rabbit breeders resort to independent production of feed in granules. The only problem is to find special equipment with which you can make the same high-quality and balanced feed. In addition, the granular concentrate in its composition has most of the food products that grow on gardens, fields and farms, so the cost of such feeding will be minimal.
Specialized Granular Concentrate
If you can’t produce granular feed yourself, you can purchase it. But those breeders who have not yet bought such products need to know about its varieties and features. Having found packaging with pellet feed on the counter of a specialized store, you need to make sure that it is suitable, because some concentrates cannot completely replace fresh plant components and are only additives. The composition of the feed should include:
- from 20 to 25% of plant fibers;
- 13 to 15% protein;
- no more than 2% fat.
The composition of the feed may be different. Most often in such products there are grain and herbal mixtures, including:
In addition, the granular concentrate may include sunflower meal, as well as minerals (meat and bone meal, chalk, etc.). A particular product may have a large amount of vitamins and minerals. Such concentrates are used only as dietary supplements. A full-fledged animal feed for rabbits should not contain more than 1% vitamins.
Some rabbit breeders prefer to avoid buying specialized food in stores, choosing an alternative type of product - market. It is difficult to determine the exact composition of such a product. Experienced breeders recommend paying attention to the appearance of the feed, its color component and its uniformity.
What to look for when buying
When buying feed, you need to know about some tricks of recognizing high-quality balanced feed in appearance. Granular concentrate for rabbits can be:
- yellow or gray;
- dark green or brown.
If the concentrate in the granules is yellow or gray, grain predominates in it, and if green, grass. If the farmer sees a dark concentrate, this indicates that there are vegetables in his composition. Such a product is less quality than grain. In addition, it is not suitable for constant feeding. Rabbits should provide the necessary amount of plant fiber and protein, and in such a feed it is most often in shortage.
It is equally important to pay attention to the uniformity of the granules. All should be the same color and size. These factors indicate product uniformity and purity. But still, avoiding crumbling feed is not always obtained. When transported by the seller, and sometimes even by the farmers themselves, some of the granules crumble into dust. Rabbits rarely eat a product that could not be saved, so it is important to transport the purchased concentrate carefully, avoiding unnecessary bumps and shaking.
The nuances of self-preparation of granular feed
The feed concentrate for rabbits in granules is an indispensable product for the growth and development of animals. Having decided to make it yourself, you need to know not only about the percentage component of the individual components included in the feeding, but also about what equipment is used in its manufacture. The breeder should get:
- crusher or other grain grinder;
- a dryer for grass;
- hay shredder;
- a mixer;
Having prepared all this equipment, it will not be difficult to make the required amount of granular feed. In addition, many farmers consider only one device indispensable in the manufacture of granules - a granulator. But some craftsmen can create it with their efforts from improvised materials.
For beginning farmers, as well as for those people who do not want to test their skills in designing a home granulator, the best way out of the situation is to buy a ready-made device. Extruders (the official name) have a large number of models that differ not only in price, but also in equipment and performance. The cost of such equipment may seem high, but it will quickly pay off with proper operation of the device.
Feed Consumption Calculations
Many farmers often ask what granulate will be beneficial for animals and what it should be made of. The answer to it requires knowledge of the needs of animals in certain products during certain periods of life. That is, for dwarf rabbit-like, outside the mating season, 150-180 g of feed is required daily. In other circumstances, you need to increase the dose:
- when mating, up to 230 g;
- pregnant rabbits - up to 180 g, additives (hay) - 70 g;
- the first 2 weeks after okrol - 300 g of granules and 100 g of additives;
- from 3 to 4 weeks after okrol - 500 g of granules, additives - 200 g;
- from 4 to 6 - 0.7 kg of feed 0.220 g of the additive.
In order to calculate the costs of the manufacture or purchase of granular feed, it is necessary to calculate how much product is consumed per year. The average weight of feed consumed by one rabbit is 180 g. This value should be multiplied by the number of heads kept. It is also necessary to add the average increase in the need of animals to increase the dose of the product during mating, pregnancy and the postpartum period.
The feed for the beginner farmer can be made by experienced breeders. Many farmers who produce granulate on their own are aware of the average annual consumption of it. For 30 individuals, it often takes 400-440 kg of feed. The same calculations can be used by a novice breeder.
Granulated Feed Production
If the farm already has all the necessary equipment for the preparation of granular feed, you should calculate how many kilograms of all the ingredients will be needed for the procedure itself. One individual eats 0.18 kg of the finished product. To feed a livestock of 10 animals, 1.8 kg is needed. We must not forget about the supplement to those rabbits that need it. Most often for the manufacture of feed is used:
- hay - 35% (or grass meal);
- flour of their barley or oats - 25%;
- sunflower meal - 20%;
- legumes - 15%;
- bran - 5%.
You should also know about the benefits of the individual components of grass and grain feed. Vitamin A, necessary for growth, contains alfalfa, as well as meat and bone meal. Group B vitamins are found in bran, flour, potatoes and carrots, therefore, it is important that these products fall into the feed. Each breeder must himself change the recipe for the production of granular feed, composing it again if necessary.
For high-quality balanced feeding of pregnant females, it is also important to add sulfa drugs that are necessary for rabbits to carry the fetus normally. But veterinarians do not recommend introducing them into the diet on their own. It is best to consult with specialists before purchasing them.