I saw a Facebook thread the other day that shared how people were taking drastic measures to cut back on feed bills. Our country and even our world is in uncurtain times and making decisions out of fear. Don’t make short term decisions that will have long term results.
While culling is a part of farm life and I don’t have a problem with it when it is necessary. Don’t do so out of fear. That is all I am going to say about that.
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Now, let’s get into some alternative feed options if you run into the feed store being out or you are in a pinch and need to get through until feed comes in. If you are wondering how to feed your rabbits normally then this post will help you with that.
I will say I don’t recommend feeding rabbits on only vegetables or homegrown vegetation on the regular because it one, is not sustainable. And two it is a lot harder to get a rabbit the full nurturance it needs.
But it can get you by when you are in a pinch.
Grocery Store Or Back Yard Garden Options
If you are at the store, try to get things that have low amounts of water in the vegetable. Also, avoid veggies that can cause large amounts of gas. Bloat is a real problem for rabbits and you don’t want to have to battle that as well.
Get things like carrots, bananas, sweet potatoes, oats, green beans, apples (take out the seeds).
Rabbit digestion is very sensitive and you need to be careful not to get too crazy at first. Especially if this is just a short term thing and you will be going back to pellets as soon as you can.
How Much To Feed
Vegetation is going to look like a whole lot more than pellets. So the best thing you can do is go by the weight of how much feed you normally give to your rabbit. If you do not have any feed left then you are just going to have to guess.
But if you have had your rabbit any amount of time you should know how to read their behavior. Start with giving them how much they should clean up in about an hour or so. Then give the same about again in the evening.
If you are home and they are acting hungry in-between then give them more during the day. There is no right way to do it. Just go with feeding less but more often if your schedule allows to avoid feed waste.
Start Growing Fodder
In short, this means you are sprouting a whole seed to grow fresh grass. You can use any whole grain but most often people use wheat, barley, or oats.
Fodder made from barley has:
- 15.5% crude protein
- 14.1 crude fiber percentage
A 50-pound bag of seed will 5 to 6 times its weight if you decide to sprout it. You don’t need any dirt. Just chose any container and just cover the bottom of it with seed and add water.
Tips To Sprough The Fodder
I love using shoe/boot trys for this because they are really big and easy to move around. Plus they deeper than a cookie sheet.
You can also use things like Tupperware containers, buckets, gardening containers, and pot trays. Anything that has at least a 1-inch ridge.
This is also another handy option that is affordable if you like to keep things neat. The trys are less then half the size of boot trys so I think one of these will work if you have 5 or less rabbits (depending on the size of course) where you can also be sprouting seed on rotation.
Steps To Sprout The Fodder
- Take just enough seed to cover the bottom of whatever you are using.
- Add just enough water for the seed to absorb in a few hours. Normally about 1/4-1/2 the amount of water to the seed. You can keep spraying water on later but you don’t want to add so much water you cause the feed to start to rot.
- Keep the seed you are trying to sprout at about 70-degree temperatures. If you go to hot you will not get as hight of nutrients.
- Give them about 18hrs of light. If you have less then that its ok. It just might take a little longer to sprout.
How Much Fodder To Feed
For rabbits, you want to feed about 5% of the animal’s body weight. If you have other animals you want to feed the fodder to you can find other livestock ration amounts here.
One of the best things you can do when you are trying to find a way through a hard time whether it is financially or actual resources and supplies are slim is to stay calm.
Is it easy? Nope. But you have to keep practicing that each and every day. Your animals will sense when you are nervous or afraid and cause behavior issues that you don’t need to deal with on top of the stress.