Feeding Rabbits

tortoise

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My rabbits have been free-fed. We processed 5 and they were fat! I started reading up on rationing rabbit food and turns out free-feeding rabbits is not a good idea! (who knew!) I'm starting an experiment of food rationing. I will weight them weekly. I think they can lose about 4 oz each (on 2 - 3 pound rabbits), guessing by how much fat on those I processed.

My calculations show I should be feeding 2 - 3 tablespoons of pellets per day! (wow!) Which is approximately 10% of their diet - and the rest of their diet hay. DH doesn't think much about hay costs, but buying bagged feed sure bothers him! I want to keep feed costs down as much as possible because 1) budgeting/frugality is an entertaining challenge for me and 2) bagged feed isn't exactly self-reliant and 3) the less we spend on livestock feed, the more animals I can have. :D

We have 20 acres of pasture by DH isn't motivated to buy hay implements for his tractor. Making hay with hand tools is a pain! But I almost want to do it again anyway. It's pretty much a waste for my sheep - they're soo fussy about hay and most of it is wasted. But my rabbits don't seem as fussy. Maybe someday - I doubt I'll tackle making hay this year - at least not in significant quantities.
 

Denim Deb

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I only have my pet bunny, Thumper. And, I don't give her a lot of pellets. If I do, she dumps them. But do give her other things, like chick weed, hay, carrot scraps, etc. A 50 lb. bag lasts for about a year.
 

Medicine Woman

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I have heard about foraging for rabbits. I think I might have had a book about it before the storm. So today I was looking around at videos and I was wondering if anyone here touched on it.
I might order a book or just make a comprehensive list of edible stuff I can forage. Somehow DH was concerned about supplies coming to a halt. I mean we practically the same age but while my grandfathers served in WWII, his dad served. My dad was like 5 years old when his dad left and he was drafted for Vietnam so me being the oldest and him the baby… he heard stuff that I maybe didn’t hear about because of having younger parents but he was concerned about possible war and shortages so he bought feed today but I was thinking if that’s the fear let’s take it a step further and shoot for free. 🤷‍♀️
So this is maybe halfway between Rabbits and Emergency Preparations.
 

Medicine Woman

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DH’s farm ran out of pellets yesterday and I still had 6 rabbits left to feed so they all got a chunk of Timmothy hay and some plantain. I guess I can bring them pellets if Paul can steal from Peter. But seriously want to feed weeds all around.
 

Chic Rustler

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DH’s farm ran out of pellets yesterday and I still had 6 rabbits left to feed so they all got a chunk of Timmothy hay and some plantain. I guess I can bring them pellets if Paul can steal from Peter. But seriously want to feed weeds all around.
feed em. i feed mine anything green. if they dont like it they wont eat if. they need pellets tho. a diet of just grasses and weeds isnt enough.
 

CrealCritter

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feed em. i feed mine anything green. if they dont like it they wont eat if. they need pellets tho. a diet of just grasses and weeds isnt enough.
Please don't think I'm try to be rude or confrontational, I'm just curious. If rabbits need pellets how is it wild ones thrive and are tasty 😋 is it the breed of rabbit that matters if they need pellets or not? Or is it more of a feed & harvest timing thing?

A little true story from North Carolina. One of the kids a few doors up the street from us had pet rabbits. Well I guess he grew tired of them one day and let them all loose in the back yard. The years following the whole street had a bumper crop of large white rabbits. Nothing green was safe, including but not limited too vegatable and flower gardens. Eventually the large white rabbits either moved on or died off because one year they were no where to be found.

Jesus is Lord and Christ 🙏❤️🇺🇸
 

Alaskan

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Please don't think I'm try to be rude or confrontational, I'm just curious. If rabbits need pellets how is it wild ones thrive and are tasty 😋 is it the breed of rabbit that matters if they need pellets or not? Or is it more of a feed & harvest timing thing?

A little true story from North Carolina. One of the kids a few doors up the street from us had pet rabbits. Well I guess he grew tired of them one day and let them all loose in the back yard. The years following the whole street had a bumper crop of large white rabbits. Nothing green was safe, including but not limited too vegatable and flower gardens. Eventually the large white rabbits either moved on or died off because one year they were no where to be found.

Jesus is Lord and Christ 🙏❤️🇺🇸
The pellets have the advantage of being nutritionally balanced and having vitamins and minerals added and such.

So... if you forage for them, you have to have some understanding of diet so you don't cause nutritional issues.


I did a bunch of foraging for my goats. We harvested and dried weeds, and brush, and oodles of pumpkins.
 

Medicine Woman

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Someone may have trapped them. All our escapees seem to be thriving just fine until dogs, cats or other predators show up and snatched them up. The thing about pellets are the convenience and really they still very cheap meat when managed properly. But apparently there are people out there who either use considerably less pellets or none at all and can still manage a herd. I am aware I might only be able to do this because of my location. As far as the USA goes, you can’t really get further south than me unless you are standing in the Gulf of Mexico. I mean I think I have seen snow 5 times in my 56 years of life. It’s almost always green. I will start a list of everything I know is edible and see if I can always access at least 7 different types of plants for a mix. I am pretty sure I can. I might need more grapevines.
 
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