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Rabbit and seeds

 
Cj DeWitt
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HI,
I am a newbee here but have had meat and some 4H rabbits for 3 years now. In the winter I grow Fodder for them. We own a landscaping business and can get seeds at a great price in bulk. What I would like to know is can I add just the seeds to their feed? The seeds I have on hand is Spring Barley, Winter Barley, buckwheat, . I feed pellets and grass/hay and the fodder in the winter and herbs from the bunny garden and tree limbs all spring and summer.
Thank you.
CJ
 
Shawn Harper
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Location: Portlandia, Oregon
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Im not sure about the raw seeds but you can sprout them...
 
Cj DeWitt
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Thanks Shawn I was doing fodder is there a simpler way as spring gets hectic for us and I can not keep up with the fodder. I will research the raw seeds I know people put some kind of raw in their feed when I buy a rabbit quite a few times there is sunflower seeds and Rye mixed in with the pellets.
Thanks
Cj
 
Casie Becker
pollinator
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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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forest garden urban
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I remember this question from when we had a pet rabbit. They require such a large amount of fiber in their diet that eating such calorie dense foods is something that should only be done in moderation.

I don't remember if the issue is excessive weight gain or if the rabbits become satiated and then don't eat enough fiber to keep their digestive system in good health. Without enough fiber they are prone to life threatening blockages of their intestines. I think there's also issues with not wearing down their teeth enough, but you're probably already covering that with the tree trimmings.

I found this information on a forum about pet rabbits. They recommended grains be fed as a treat rather than a staple. Incidentally, they had the same feeding recommendations as for root vegetables. It is possible, if they only problem was weight gain, that it might actually be good for raising meat animals.

 
Casie Becker
pollinator
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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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forest garden urban
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Can I ask what system you have for growing the fodder? I have a what may be a hair brained idea, which might save you labor or might increase it.
 
Cj DeWitt
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My husband built two pretty tall 6' racks with 9 slanted shelves on each of these and then 3 tubs fit on each shelf holes in the bottom of course.
I have about 20 rabbits so I do not need that much I use to have 100 last year. But I was able to have one ready to harvest then another one ready a day later. Would love to hear your idea I have seen people use little seed pots and put them in the bottom trays that have holes. If hat works I have tons of those.
Thanks
CJ
 
Casie Becker
pollinator
Posts: 801
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
44
forest garden urban
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I've seen systems which have a raised metal grate above grass, it allows animals to access the plants without killing them off. I was wondering if you could seed flats of fodder and protect them with a raised grate, just rotating the whole flat through the rabbit's areas.

If you're cutting and carrying the fodder to the rabbits, it would transfer the harvesting to the rabbits themselves. I also suspect this would extend the life of the fodder plants, and reduce seed starting labor. On the other hand, I might be underestimating the labor of maintaining and moving the flats, or overestimating the space you have for them.
 
Cj DeWitt
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That sounds like a good idea I will look into it thanks
CJ
 
It's in the permaculture playing cards. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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