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Conflicting info - please help

Discussion in 'Meat Rabbits' started by Suzy74, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. Dec 31, 2017
    Suzy74

    Suzy74 Just born

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    We are in the process of setting up our small rabbitry. We would like to finish them on pasture, but have also heard to NEVER to feed young rabbits greens. So I guess i'm confused on how pasture finished rabbits works. Can someone clarify? Thanks!
     
  2. Dec 31, 2017
    Pastor Dave

    Pastor Dave True BYH Addict

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    I would guess their systems have to get use to it gradually. It will also slow down their growth and probably change up the flavor of the meat. Do you plan to supplement other pellet feed or grains?

    The young born to a doe already accustomed to this style of eating will not need to change over gradually. They will have the nutrients in the milk and begin nibbling on some if mom's food. I don't think it would work well to go back and forth on feeding styles. I would think you need to pick and stick with one or the other.

    I feed alfalfa pellet feed at 16% protein and supplement in grass hay each night. I also use BOSS and Calf Mana as a supplement.
    My herd gets a few pickings of red clover and rose blooms when in season just as a treat.
     
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  3. Dec 31, 2017
    Bossroo

    Bossroo True BYH Addict

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    The question is WHY ? Pasture raising is very inefficient and will cost more to raise them to slaughter waight in terms of rate of gain, time and labor. Also, there is a huge increase risk of getting all mannor of pathogens increasing the chances of illness and mortality.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
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  4. Dec 31, 2017
    Tale of Tails Rabbitry

    Tale of Tails Rabbitry Exploring the pasture

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    I begin giving my bunnies a few greens as soon as they are interested in eating them, usually around 3 to 4 weeks they start trying to get nibbles when I feed their mother some greens. Organic cilantro seems to be a favorite first green and it really is not much more than a taste the first few weeks. However, a steady supply of greens we do not do; greens remain the smallest portion of their diet.

    I am in agreement with Bossroo about the parasite and bacteria issues that come from having rabbits on the ground. I will not even consider buying from other breeders unless they keep their rabbits off the ground.
     
  5. Dec 31, 2017
    DutchBunny03

    DutchBunny03 Loving the herd life

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    The moisture content of green food can wreak havoc on the digestive system of young rabbits if they have been fed only dry food all their lives. If you are going to give kits greens, introduce it to them as soon as they can chew. Otherwise, wait until their digestive systems are more developed.
     
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  6. Jan 4, 2018
    alsea1

    alsea1 True BYH Addict

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    Rabbits can indeed be tricky. The digestive system is so easily upset at weaning time.
    I have thought about trying to raise them in a colony setting but still have mine in cages. I would rather see them frolicking about but am still on the fence about it.