What to feed and what can a decorative rabbit eat
Although many people perceive rabbits solely as a source of meat and skins, some give birth to these animals as pets. But in order to keep them at home, it is necessary to provide animals with suitable conditions. And a considerable influence here is exerted by the quality and quantity of food. Each owner must know how to feed a decorative rabbit, and what food will harm him. After all, this pet is different from the usual cats or dogs.
How to feed a decorative rabbit
General differences in feed for decorative rabbits
A number of owners believe that for rabbits that are kept at home, the same feeds will be suitable as for farm breeds. This statement is only partially true. There are a number of restrictions that prevent decorative animals from eating the same diet that is used on farms. And each owner of decorative animals should pay attention to these restrictions so as not to find out the reason for the pet's well-being later. Here are the reasons why you should create a separate menu for a domestic rabbit:
- On farms, animals are kept for the purpose of slaughtering them for meat and hides. Therefore, feed is made so that the rabbits quickly gain weight, and they had a high-quality skin. They do not need to be centenarians, since slaughter usually usually occurs in the first year of life. And the food for domestic rabbits is made just so that the animal is healthy, and has lived for a long enough time.
- The second reason that pets need a separate diet is because of different conditions of detention. On farms, animals are kept in cages, a few pieces, and they have a different air temperature, different humidity, and even other stresses. All this affects both the appetite of animals and their metabolism.
- It is also worth considering the fact that on the farms the profitability of production comes to the fore. They cannot afford expensive feeds and prefer to save where possible. Of course, saving is usually not done to the detriment of the withdrawal, but it also plays an important role.
- Finally, domestic rabbits are often sterilized, which never happens with their cousins on farms. And in this case, the metabolism and behavior of the animal changes. All those nutrients that go into the process of procreation are not used in any way. And they begin to be deposited in the form of excess fats. And obesity leads to many health complications, and to a large extent shortens life.
Of course, from the diets of animals from farms it is really possible to draw certain information about how to feed a decorative rabbit. But it is necessary to consider the food that is used to feed the breeding herd. These animals must be strong and healthy in order to fully transfer these properties to their offspring. But here it is worth making certain amendments. In particular, one should not forget that when kept in the city, sometimes there is no access to the same feed base that is available on the farm.
Ready-made feed and concentrates for domestic decorative rabbits
Ready-made feed for decorative rabbits, which is commercially available, will be very useful in helping to draw up a ration. But do not take the first mixture that was found in the store. Economy food for animals is like instant noodles for humans. They cause kidney and liver problems, lead to obesity, and greatly shorten the life of the pet. Therefore, it is recommended to buy a more expensive, but high-quality feed, which will benefit the animal.
And even among the expensive mixtures, you need to choose how to feed the decorative rabbit. When buying, you should carefully study the composition, and decide whether it is suitable in this case. It is necessary that the mixture consisted of at least one fifth of the fiber that has not been cleaned. This is, in fact, the tough fiber that herbivores need so much. But there should not be too many different proteins, fats and proteins, since their excess harms the rabbit. He will benefit from various vitamins and minerals necessary for normal life.
If we talk about rabbits, then for them those mixtures in which there are proteins and proteins will be just useful. And they also need various minerals, in particular, calcium, which is required to build the skeleton and normal development of the body. From the birth of the baby, you can feed only with mixtures, sometimes soaked in water. But as you grow older, you need to reduce the proportion of finished feed in the diet, and begin to give him hay or dried grass. To maturity, at the age of 7-8 months, the proportion of finished feed is equal to half the total diet.
Combined feed for decorative rabbits
Feed can also be given to decorative eared ears. And you should not confuse compound feeds with dry mixes sold in pet stores. Compound feed is usually intended for industrial breeds, but certain varieties of it can also be eaten by decorative rabbits. Another reason why it is worth diluting dry mixes with compound feeds - the dry mix contains ground nuts and other high-calorie additives. And they lead to obesity of the pet, because of which he begins to have health problems.
Of course, rabbits with pleasure eat precisely mixes from pet stores, but they are specially made very tasty. And after prolonged use, the pet begins to pick and choose, and refuses more simple but wholesome food. It is worth buying the compound feed that is used to feed the breeding herd. A day, one animal is enough 120-180 grams of the mixture. And if he began to gain excess weight, it is worth slightly reducing the daily portion. Compound feeds are used, first of all, in the winter, at a lack of nutrients.
Grass and green feed for decorative rabbits
In summer, in order to better care for a small eared pet, he should be given green feed. Herbs such as meadow clover, green peas or alfalfa will benefit him. But, as is the case with ready-made mixtures, it is better to give a limited amount of green grass per day. For new owners, this may be news, but even fiber can lead to obesity. Therefore, it is better to reduce the portion sizes if a small pet has problems with being overweight. Here is a list of those herbs that will suit the decorative rabbit:
- Plantain. This herb is rich in nutrients, so its excess will lead to obesity. On the other hand, it saturates animals well, and is rich in vitamins.
- Nettle. This grass is given by first getting rid of the flowers. It is useful both in fresh form and in the form of hay. Fresh nettle is best treated with hot water, then finely chop and mix with ready-made mixtures. One of the best herbs for rabbits.
- Dandelions also work well as food, the only question is how much to give them to the animal. On a day, its share can be no more than one third of the total green mass. If the crawl often eats a dandelion, he may have health problems. But if a 3-4-month-old rabbit refuses food, you can give him dandelions to improve appetite.
- Clover and other similar meadow grasses. It is better to dry them slightly if an independent preparation is made. Excess of such food leads to the fact that the pet swells in the stomach. Therefore, although the crawl eats clover, it should be relatively few in the diet, due to its high nutritional value.
- Lucerne deserves special mention. Of course, it can be given to domestic rabbits. But on farms, the livestock eats it in order to increase its mass. Therefore, it is given to domestic animals in limited quantities. Moreover, it will be correct to use young alfalfa, since the old one is too tough to consume.
- Coltsfoot and wormwood. These two plants, in particular wormwood, are best given when pets have stomach problems. Coltsfoot is good for relieving the animal of constipation and other similar problems. It can still be harvested for the winter to diversify the diet. And the eared wormwood eats when parasites appear in his body. But excess wormwood works on rabbits as a stimulant, like valerian for cats.
Since feeding a decorative rabbit with herbs is necessary not only in summer but also in autumn, it is advisable to harvest them in the form of hay for the winter. Of course, a city dweller may not be able to do such things. But often the best food is one that is prepared by hand. And you can not treat the workpiece carelessly, as otherwise poisonous grass can get into the food. And you can’t let hay mold or rot, then it will certainly become unfit for food. You can harvest not only hay, but also silage.
As in the case of fresh grass, you need to monitor how much hay a pet eats per day. After all, at home, the baby does not move enough, and is able to gain weight even by eating hay. Although much here depends on the breed, for example, someone like a fold sheep is not too inclined to be overweight. But still, it will be correct not to stack excess food when feeding at home in cellular conditions. Then the question will not arise - how long does it take for the rabbit to lose weight?
If we talk about the fact that you can’t give the eared one, then there is already a separate conversation. What decorative rabbits eat is not always edible for them, and they do not know much about what is good and what is poison. Therefore, even when the crawl is kept at home, it is worth checking its health every day. From the grasses, the animal cannot be given various marsh, fleshy plants growing in dark and damp places. Wild rabbits are meadow animals, and domestic animals retained similar tastes. For example, they can not dope, hemlock, euphorbia, celandine and cornflowers.
Vegetables and fruits for decorative rabbits
Vegetables and fruits for rabbits are a pleasant addition to the diet, although they cannot serve as its basis. Even for animals kept at home, will benefit the tops of garden crops. For example, green parts of peas, beans, beet tops or carrots can pleasantly diversify the diet. But, if we talk about vegetables and fruits, then here we can say only one thing - everything is good in moderation. Excess peas or beans will lead to overweight and bloating, and too much green parsley will greatly excite the baby.
But do not flatter yourself, and consider that any fruit or vegetables are suitable as food for an eared pet. For example, contrary to popular belief, white cabbage is not always useful for rabbits. But if it can still be given (often it is to the taste of the baby), then it’s better not to feed the eared potatoes. Tomato fruits can be given to them, but the tops of these vegetables are no longer worth it. In principle, it is advisable to dispense with nightshade crops in the diet, as these vegetables can harm an eared pet.
What kind of fruit can be given to decorative rabbits
If we talk about fruits, they are usually given 2-4 times a week, since an excess of such food leads to bloating. And you should not give them something very tasty too often, for example, tangerines or bananas. As in the case of expensive mixes (with almonds and dried fruits), the rabbit gets used to such food, and refuses simpler food. Pears are given to rabbits, but as a natural laxative, since they can cause diarrhea in a healthy animal. In a small amount you can give apples.
Eared animals can be fed watermelon, in particular, watermelon peels. They will also eat melon in the same way. The babies eat both of these berries for their common cheeks, and with pleasure they eat this food as much as the owner gives it. But they should not eat watermelon or melon seeds (as well as seeds of apples and pears). As in the case of other similar fruits, watermelons and melons of decorative rabbits, it is better not to overfeed. And here is what the owners of the eared horns write about eating fruits and berries:
“Fruits and berries are the food that decorative rabbits are given in limited quantities. For example, they can eat a little currants and cherries, citrus fruits, peaches or apricots. It is worth giving apples without seeds every week. But all this is given only fresh. Any processing makes the fruit unsuitable for rabbits. Therefore, they don’t give them what is left of the compote or, especially, from the preparation of wine or liquor. ”
Decorative rabbits are not the most finicky animals. But they need to make a ration with wisdom and caution. Only then will he help an eared baby to live a long and healthy life.