Many novice farmers ask the same question: is it possible to prepare compound feed for rabbits? During the year, these animals need a nutritious diet with a sufficient content of vitamins, but not everyone can provide them with fresh hay.
What is feed
To fully answer the question of what the compound feed is, you need to understand what it consists of. Compound feed is a mixture of raw materials of plant origin, the composition of which contains a number of trace elements and vitamins. First, the mixture is crushed, then mixed, pressed and divided into granules. Therefore, feed is a granular feed for the proper nutrition of rabbits. You do not need to buy such feeds with a margin, as they deteriorate quite soon, which will harm the animal’s stomach. It is best to store them in a cool place inaccessible to sunlight.
Compound feeds are divided into several groups:
- feed additives;
- concentrated feed.
If we consider full-feed feeds, then their composition allows you to fully meet the animal's food needs without additional additives. Concentrated feed complements succulent and coarse feeds. Supplements are a collection of proteins, vitamins and minerals. Depending on the group of rabbits, i.e. from the breed, the age of the individual, etc., the percentage of ingredients will be different.
Best rabbit food
The composition of feed for rabbits can be different, but the main ingredients are:
- herbal flour;
- sunflower meal;
- fish and meat and bone meal;
- fodder yeast;
- complex of vitamins and minerals;
- table salt.
The percentage of the mixture for the preparation of feed for rabbits is as follows:
- Cereals 30-45% (corn, barley, oats, wheat).
- Wheat bran, meat and bone meal, yeast, soybean meal, as well as sunflower meal. These components saturate the food with proteins.
- Vitamins and minerals. Their composition, as well as the percentage ratio, can be different, which depends on the purposes for which compound feed is used. The main elements are chalk, premixes, salt, tricalcium phosphate.
Mandatory feeding of rabbits with compound feed implies the constant availability of clean and fresh water.
Despite the variety of ready-made feeds, some rabbit breeders make feed for rabbits with their own hands. At first glance, it seems that the process is time-consuming, but if desired, it can be mastered. The first thing you need is to purchase the necessary equipment:
- crusher for grinding grain;
- screw oil press;
- hay dryer;
- hay shredder;
Of course, this list of equipment, if you buy it for independent production of feed, will pay off only with a large number of rabbits. You need to start with the preparation of the components of the feed: dry the grass and take the ingredients (cereals, oilcake, bran, etc.) in the right proportions in accordance with the selected recipe. After grinding, the resulting mixture must be mixed in water, and then passed through an extruder. This equipment performs the mixing, shaping and heat treatment of ingredients. Granules for rabbits can vary in size, depending on the nozzle used. If you produce feed only through a granulator, i.e. Without heat treatment, its shelf life will be shorter. In the absence of the above technology, feed in granules can be made using a kitchen grinder. In extreme cases, you can give the animals a mixture without granulation.
How to feed rabbits feed
As a rule, in the total diet of rabbits, combined feeds make up 50-65%. An important point is the inclusion in the daily diet of herbal flour within 35% of the total diet. This ingredient contains a lot of fiber. With a properly formed diet, the following tasks will be performed:
- milk quality and female performance becomes higher;
- growth rate of young growth increases;
- the total number of females increases;
- the viability of young animals is increasing;
- the height and weight of the animal increases;
- immunity is strengthened.
During the first two weeks after birth, rabbits eat only mother's milk. Starting from the third week, balanced high-quality compound feeds begin to be included in the diet. Rabbits are separated from the mother at the age of 40-45 days. After separation of the young, feeding is carried out only with a balanced feed, which is called starting compound feed.
For 3-4 weeks after separation from the mother, rabbits need to pay special attention. The diet should consist of compound feed (50 g) and 30 g of hay. Water must be mandatory before feed intake. Starting from two months, you need to change the feed to another, appropriate for the age. The daily feed rate should be 80-110 g, hay - 50-100 g. With the onset of the summer period, the feed rate is reduced by 10%. Rabbits are fed several times during the day (2-3). In the morning hours, the average daily feed rate is given, in the afternoon they give hay, and in the evening you can give, for example, root crops.
Making an inexpensive rabbit mix
Feeding rates for rabbits depend on many factors: breed, season, physiological characteristics. If mixed feeding is expected, then females and males per day need to be fed:
- in summer: green feed 450-550 g, concentrated feed 50-60 g;
- in winter: green fodder 200-250 g, concentrated feed 60-70 g, and hay 110-160 g.
When using complete granular mixed feeds, adult animals are fed 3-4 times a day. The diet of pregnant rabbits should be set based on 600-750 g of fresh feed, 70-90 g of concentrated feed. During lactation, the norm is slightly different: green food - 1200-1500 g, concentrated - 130-160 g and hay - 250-300 g. It should be noted that in winter the ration of rabbits should be varied with twigs. They are harvesting this type of food in the summer: twigs are tied into brooms and dried. For the manufacture of one broom, 5-7 branches are used, and oak, apple tree, hazel, maple, raspberry, pine, alder are suitable as trees and shrubs. There is one broom per rabbit per day. Animals use this type of food with pleasure.
A few words should be said about the mishmash. If we talk about private farmsteads or small farms, then a mix of rabbits is the basis of the entire diet. Thanks to this type of feed, their total cost is halved. Various ingredients are used to prepare the mixers: potatoes, straw, bran, pumpkin, zucchini, peel, etc. There are a lot of examples of mixes, and each rabbit breeder can make his own recipe. Consider one of the options for such a feed based on straw. It will take a large chop of corn stalks or straw. Then they are densely packed in a suitable container and poured with boiling water for 10 hours, after which they are mixed with fodder beets (you can use pumpkin, zucchini), grated on a coarse grater. Half the volume should be steamed straw. Add 2 tbsp to the feed bucket. l salt, after which all components are thoroughly mixed.
With independent production of feed, you can use one of the simple recipes for compound feed for rabbits:
- grass flour or hay - 35%;
- barley - 25%;
- sunflower makukha - 20%;
- corn - 15%;
- wheat bran - 5%.
If you feed rabbits according to this recipe, then in a month the animals will gain about 1 kg of weight. Depending on the season, the composition may vary slightly. If we consider the recipe for the winter period, then hay or grass meal is added, and in the summer the animals are given freshly cut grass. Fresh grass has its own nuances: in no case can it be given with dew, and the likelihood of poisonous herbs getting between plants also exists.
The best option would be targeted grass sowing for rabbits. When feeding on grassy flour, there are no such concerns.
In winter, the above recipe will have the following composition:
- grass flour or hay - 35%;
- barley - 30%;
- corn - 20%;
- wheat bran - 15%.
By increasing the share of cereals, the deficiency in the cold period of vitamins and minerals is compensated. The average daily rate of feed should be about 80-110 g per head. In fact, recipes can be different, but the main thing that a rabbit breeder should be guided by is to give animals a good balanced feed.
The choice of feed
In Russia, the largest producer of animal feed is Miratorg agricultural holding. Among the young companies, one can single out “Russian Rabbit”, whose main task is the development of rabbit husbandry in the country. To determine which feed is better, you need to give preference to trusted manufacturers. In this case, you can be sure of the quality of products that are made in compliance with production technologies. In addition, when choosing feeds, one should proceed from the goals pursued: food is needed for raising animals for meat, fur, for what age, etc. All data can be obtained from the manufacturer.
As a result, the following can be noted: feed in rabbit breeding is a priority type of feed, as it is endowed with a number of advantages. First of all, feed in granules preserves the health and number of livestock, reduces the time of their cultivation. For each group of animals there is an opportunity to choose the optimal composition of the feed. And in conclusion, it is worth adding that combined feeds facilitate both the feeding process itself and animal care.