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polaris

Keeping Down Rabbit Costs

I'm just curious about rabbit feed quantities, we are having quite mild but wet weather, and the rabbits are on fresh grass at all times, with constant access to hay.
Is it really needed that they have hard feed on top? My grandfather keeps breaking out the pellets when I'm at work and he's costing me a fortune.... I'm thinking a padlock might be required so "the poor starving bunnies" don't eat me out of house and home. They've mastered the "I'm hungry" dance better than a Labrador...

I am also interested in the best feed to give my growers though, to reach a good weight as fast as possible. So advice on both situations would be great!

I've been thinking about adding a little dried seaweed to their feed for minerals, is this safe/recommended? The sheep love it and I reckon sheep and rabbits must be pretty similar on the inside... No?  
confused

I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination but i have had rabbits on and of for 60 yr s, i am far too miserable to buy much feed if any for my rabbits,  the only time i ever give hard feed is if a doe is nursing and even then only ,a small amount, i do have to buy/barter a bg bale of hay to help me through the winter, the rest of the feeding is usually allotment waste from my two allotments and also from fellow allotmenteers, some past its best fruit and veg from the local fruit shop,and sometimes some bread from the local bakery , it's amazing what a few fresh free range eggs can get you , i have never fed seaweed , ?
polaris

confused wrote:
I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination but i have had rabbits on and of for 60 yr s, i am far too miserable to buy much feed if any for my rabbits,  the only time i ever give hard feed is if a doe is nursing and even then only ,a small amount, i do have to buy/barter a bg bale of hay to help me through the winter, the rest of the feeding is usually allotment waste from my two allotments and also from fellow allotmenteers, some past its best fruit and veg from the local fruit shop,and sometimes some bread from the local bakery , it's amazing what a few fresh free range eggs can get you , i have never fed seaweed , ?


I know they can't have too much sodium, but well soaked weed seems like a fabulous free mineral treat. Dunno if they'd eat it right enough!

Anyone ever compared sheep/cattle/deer pellets to rabbit pellets I wonder? I'm going to try!  
Northern Lass

I did once feed NZWs entirely on greens for a year or two - no hay, even - and they were fine, though I spent a lot of time cutting and hauling sacks of greenery!

I don't know about seaweed - never heard of anyone feeding seaweed but I suppose if it's rinsed to reduce the sodium and then offered to them, they'll take it if they want it and leave it if they don't. Let us know how it turns out!

I think different breeds vary in their feeding requirements. NZWs grow very fast so youngsters need more food after weaning up to about 3 months, then they level off. Rexes I reckon grow more slowly and need less but they don't level off their growing until about 5 months. All my adults do get hard feed but not much except for the nursing does - I probably could keep them on just hay but then I might have to fiddle about moving the breeding does on and off pellets depending on  when they're due/nursing and not so it's simpler just to feed a small amount all the time. The youngsters are black holes for anything that's edible and I have to watch out or they get more pellets and less hay just because it's so easy to shovel pellets into the hopper...

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