Feeding Information for Rabbits
Feeding rabbits is not a difficult task. However, they do have some absolute needs if they are going to be healthy and produce the babies that will feed us. First and foremost is protein. Rabbits need no less than 18% protein daily. If fed a diet of local grasses alone they will eventually die of starvation. Grasses will play a role in their diet, but cannot be considered a complete diet. On the other hand, if fed a diet that is overly rich in protein, a rabbit will gain too much weight and will stop producing kits.
So, we will need to look for better sources of protein. Soybeans, which contain up to 49% protein, are the best provider of protein there is and, if available, should be considered a staple in the rabbits diet. Corn and milo may also be used as a part of the rabbits diets but it is important to note that they are an incomplete protein and must be fed along with a legume to complete the protein. Good success has been seen by mixing corn and soybeans together in a ground meal. With the correct ratio, the two together provide the necessary proteins that form a complete protein.
How much do we feed? Rabbits should be fed a free reign amount of feed, but any left over food should be removed daily. A person working with his rabbit colony will learn the amount they will eat and provide it. Rabbits do most of their eating at night and the handler should accommodate this feeding time by providing most of the feed before locking the colony up for the night.
Rabbits also need a steady diet of greens and grasses. Banana leaves, mangoes, and a variety of other vegetable materials can be used. Any clean, fresh, household vegetable scraps can be used. It is important to remember when feeding your rabbits these alternative things to clean up the remaining uneaten parts daily. This will help keep your enclosures clean and prevent attracting of ants or other undesirables.
Water is essential and any water dish that is used needs to be cleaned daily and refilled with clean fresh water.
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