Tom Connolly wrote:This thread has done a bit of meandering - hope I didn't miss anything that I am commenting on now. I am reading up on raising rabbits now and have been interested in the idea of growing wheat grass for bunnies. I have read some posts that say that rabbits love it but I think they were fed the wheat grass from weaning time. There are many systems available to grow your own wheat grass - takes about 2 weeks. Some are large enough to use to feed cattle. It is always a good idea to use what is growing locally, but in winter, if you live in an area that is cooler, there may be less of a choice.
I read through this whole thread, three pages long and starting four years ago to see if anyone was feeding their rabbits wheat grass. Unless I missed it, no one commented on your post. I don't have rabbits any more but I do have goats. And they get fresh wheat grass in winter. If I had rabbits I would definitely consider growing wheat grass for them in winter if you live in a cold climate. The beauty of wheat or barley grass for that matter is that the plant can pick up all 70+ minerals if they are available. So fertilize your wheat grass with ocean water. I know of at least one dairy that feeds fodder growing it with one of those fancy set ups and their dry cows thrive on just fodder with no supplementation necessary. They do supplement their lactating cows with grain. This thread is about all the variety available for a rabbit diet. Growing your own wheat grass and vegetable sprouts would be very doable for a few rabbits. And inexpensive. And easy peasy with the right method. I got that method.
I grow wheat grass in soil in 4 X 8 solid bottom containers in my house for some of the goats all winter and green them in the window. I start six trays per day for a treat for just the ones I am milking right now. I bought special window shelves because I do a lot of sprouting for myself. With four shelves per unit, one window is now worth five windows as far as sunshine goes. I get a green salad every day with exotic greens like sunflower greens, buckwheat lettuce, pea shoots, radish greens, turnip greens, cabbage, kale, cress, arugula, and on and on and all done in 7-10 days. Pea shoots are cut and come again several times and my most prolific green. The others are cut and then they are done. I don't need a tractor or grow lights, pumps, a greenhouse or other expensive equipment. I recycle the root cakes and compost them in a five gallon bucket so after a while potting soil will not be an expense. I have all the trays I need and now the shelves. Sunshine is free. I already heat the house. I didn't realize I was living in a greenhouse. It is 0° out there today in southern Michigan but balmy inside and the plants are happy. I fertilize with liquid kelp and ocean water in a soil less mix. Everything is delicious and I think because those plants have all the nutrients they need for their short life.
It takes a little bit of time to plant the trays, which I thoroughly enjoy. Then you do nothing for four days while they are in the dark. This makes the sprouts get "leggy" the opposite of what you want in normal farming. But you are harvesting the sprouts for their first leaf and stem, think biomass. It only takes about five minutes per day to water the whole window garden. Each tray gets one or two tablespoons of water. Remember there are no drainage holes so you have to be careful not to over water. I go by weight. If a tray feels heavy I skip a day. You are bottom watering so there is no mold, unlike you get with those spray systems. And you use a lot less water. No drainage holes, no muss, no fuss, no mess. And they look great in the window. Marilyn