17% protein vs 15% protein?

Ebers

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I have been feeding a 17% protein pellet from my local feed store to all my rabbits from grow outs to adult bucks & does but I have found a 15% protein pellet that would save me 50% over the 17% pellet I've been feeding... this wd save me quite a bit of $$$ over the course of a year but I'm unsure of the affect from lowering the protein & whether or not it wd cause any problems. Any & all feedback wd be appreciated, thanks in advance
 

promiseacres

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When picking a feed make sure you're considering other factors besides protein, like fat and fiber. I would think fat content would be very important for meat rabbits . We have mostly easy keeper show Velveteen lops. We feed heinhold, their rabbit feed varieties can be seen at www.heinoldfeed.com under rabbits.
Most our rabbits get the show but the lactating does and young kits get the family.
 

Ebers

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When picking a feed make sure you're considering other factors besides protein, like fat and fiber. I would think fat content would be very important for meat rabbits . We have mostly easy keeper show Velveteen lops. We feed heinhold, their rabbit feed varieties can be seen at www.heinoldfeed.com under rabbits.
Most our rabbits get the show but the lactating does and young kits get the family.
I was gonna take the tag off my current feed sack with me to compare the 2... you have a very good point
 

DutchBunny03

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17% protein is often advertised to be better, but really is not. The rabbits just don't use the extra protein. It accumulates into fat, making lazy bucks, disqualified show rabbits, and dams with kindling trouble. 15% is definately better. The rabbits use all the protein, giving them good muscle tone and fewer weight problems.
 

Ron Bequeath

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When I was a youngster I raised 150 rabbits, building my pens, runs, and my equipment. I would go every night after school and cut fresh alfalfa, leafy greens when my dad wasn't watching the garden, oats, (mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy, a kid will eat ivy to wouldn't you), corn, on the ear, and anything else i felt was nutritious for them. Very little pellets. My rabbits made weight in 8 to 12 weeks, had the majority of my does kindling 8 to 10 kits, and one, and old flemish, even blessed me with 23. My bucks would just hop by the does cages and I'd have a litter on the way, jump ahead about 50 years i give my rabbits 8 cu ft of floor space, feed 18 percent pro with all the minerals, fats, and required vitamins and haven't had a litter in 3 years even after buying the best stock around and even paying hundreds for them, they will get thin on 18 pro and hay which is what all the youtube and websites say to do, give them a gallon of water a day and check on them and the next thing you they just up and are gone. I'm running a little experiment turned two out and watch them and leave two in , will catch the two out in thirty days and compare. Why are they drinking so much water, I think they are giving to much salt in those gmo pellets. The soybeans made me very Ill what's to say it isn't sickening my animals. Be glad to hear feedback.
 

Nao57

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When I was a youngster I raised 150 rabbits, building my pens, runs, and my equipment. I would go every night after school and cut fresh alfalfa, leafy greens when my dad wasn't watching the garden, oats, (mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy, a kid will eat ivy to wouldn't you), corn, on the ear, and anything else i felt was nutritious for them. Very little pellets. My rabbits made weight in 8 to 12 weeks, had the majority of my does kindling 8 to 10 kits, and one, and old flemish, even blessed me with 23. My bucks would just hop by the does cages and I'd have a litter on the way, jump ahead about 50 years i give my rabbits 8 cu ft of floor space, feed 18 percent pro with all the minerals, fats, and required vitamins and haven't had a litter in 3 years even after buying the best stock around and even paying hundreds for them, they will get thin on 18 pro and hay which is what all the youtube and websites say to do, give them a gallon of water a day and check on them and the next thing you they just up and are gone. I'm running a little experiment turned two out and watch them and leave two in , will catch the two out in thirty days and compare. Why are they drinking so much water, I think they are giving to much salt in those gmo pellets. The soybeans made me very Ill what's to say it isn't sickening my animals. Be glad to hear feedback.
Wow amazing.

This sounds like a neat experience.

And you had one with 23 kits?! :O
 

Nao57

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Regarding the differences in protein, there must be some allowances for survival as nature can be harsh and sometimes animals deal with it. And I'd heard of people raising cattle and some livestock on sagebrush before (though it does take time to adapt.)

So maybe it won't matter?

What do others think?

However...

Another point of view is that if there is a point where it will matter and be a problem, its going to be when they get their growth spurt. I am saying this because that's how it is with chickens and ducks. And yes, I get that they aren't the same, but there's a pattern in the body metabolism and changes where thats where the resources in the body would be really being pushed and stretched the most. And that's why I think its the same.

(With ducks, I have to lower the protein a bit around weeks 3 through 5 of life, or they'll be growing so fast their wings can deform. Angel Wing.)

I get that rabbits don't get angel wing. But again, the body would be changing the most when they are hitting a growth spurt. So the question in the opening post, people could think about it in terms of this probably.
 

Niele da Kine

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We feed 18% pelleted feed augmented with rolled barley, some BOSS and occasional calf manna. Lots of fresh forage but no hay since it's too expensive and gets mildew too quickly. But, the bunnies here are English angora and have some crazy coats on them and need the extra protein for their coats.

We've started getting bigger litter sizes with the rolled grains added to the pellets.
 
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