Feeding rabbits entirely for free?

Nao57

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So I've been wondering if its possible to feed rabbits entirely for free? (At least for most of the year.)

There are a few Youtube videos on this but sometimes Youtube people like to embellish a bit, in part because they are there for advertising money pay checks. And of course all of them are 'experts'. This means you have to sort of go over what they say with a fine toothed comb.

Curious what real people think about this?

This topic highly interests me now expecially now that its not entirely possible to know what's going on with a grocery store from day to day and a turbulent market.

In my area ground beef's cheap price is 5.88 a pound right now. And chicken isn't far behind it. So I think people should be thinking about sustainable efforts.

Plus, I wonder if it should be treated differently for a pregnant doe versus non-pregnant rabbits too, thanks.
 

Mini Horses

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Obviously they eat for free in the wild. Nutrition and availability is a concern. We expect so much of our rabbits if raising a supply of bunnies from them and they need more than wilds. Plus we want them to live longer. Yes, if you meet their nutritional needs, you can grow and feed "for free". What does "free" cost?

My livestock's primary feed is grass! Sounds easy? Well, if I want good milk production it has to be good, nutritious varieties -- plus various types -- to assure they get all vit/ min for their body maintenance, the kids they gestate, they feed and extra for me! It's not free but with planning it is a reduced cost.
 

Niele da Kine

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They can be fed either very inexpensively or for free if you're willing to cut and carry feed to them. There's a lot of things that can be grown for them although if you live in a climate without much wintertime greenery, it will be more difficult.

We feed several days a week of just forage, that keeps the feed costs lower. however, we've planted various things to harvest for them. Mulberry leaves and twigs are a good feed source.

Also, there's a lot of things that they shouldn't be eating, so make list of what's available in your area as far as what they should and shouldn't eat.
 

Beekissed

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Rabbit tractors for the grass months and stockpiled cut and dried grass for winter, along with tender brush shoots they like to nibble. You can also feed them in the winter months on things you've grown in your garden~millet, corn, winter squash, pumpkins, carrots, turnips, kale, etc.

I don't see why it can't be done. Then you cull your rabbits to the ones who thrive and produce well on that kind of management and breed more of the same.
 

secuono

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But don't forget parasites and other nasty things they can & eventually get from fresh grass or down on the ground themselves.

My cavies I feed by mostly pulling greens & hay, with a tiny bit of pellets to even things out. In winter, its pellets n hay. But these are pigs doing nothing.
When I had rabbits, I tried grass for them, but they couldn't eat enough to sustain their weights.
 

Mini Horses

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Well, that happens! :lol:.

Preparation for supplies was first thought -- then you hit a big issue with litters. :)
 

Silly_me

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I currently have 2 dozen rabbits free ranging in a 5000 square feet enclosure. These are Flemish Giants to feed my dogs.
They have 24/7 access to grass and young brush shoots and I feed them pellets twice a day as well as whatever is available from our garden. Pellets have supplements that helps keep health issues to a minimum. Winter here is harsh so pellets, sunflower seeds and hay is what they get. I have the occasional rabbit that manages to escape and forage outside the enclosure for a bit until one of the dogs notices there’s a snack hopping around... sometimes it makes it back to the enclosure and sometimes the dog gets a treat!
I suspect it will be a challenge to only feed free stuff, you might end up paying just as much for supplements and what not. Also expect to loose a rabbit for unknown reasons sometimes, usually young ones, it just happens when you have a bunch of them. And one time a kid was a bit unruly, running to try and pet them and one just keeled over from fear.
Good luck 😉
 
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