What seed to lay down for Rabbits to graze?

kokos(6a)October 23, 2010

I was wondering what seed farmer's lay down for their Rabbits to graze in?

Is allowing Rabbits to graze in a sown oat field bad for them?

I Europe on my farm, when ever there was hairy vetch growing there would be tons of wild rabbits attracted to the vetch.

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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

If it is for grazing, you want plants that will come back easily after being eaten down. I would plant a pasture grass, clover blend.

Rabbits will eat almost any greens, but many are killed when the rabbits eat them to the ground. You could plant a field of lettuce for your rabbits, and they would be happy. But it would be expensive and you'd have to replant as soon as the rabbits nibbled the top off of the plant.

In my area I would plant native bluegrass and any of the perennial clovers. If you call the extension agent, he'll know what grows the best pasture in your area.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 3:24PM
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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

dittos, grass clover mix. I use rye and white clover for my area, or alfalfa when I can find the seed. Usually have to get that from a farmer friend.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 1:16PM
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rabbits get the runs and could die possibly if they eat too much lettuce....it's happened to my rabbits before. They ate too much romaine lettuce and almost died.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 6:34PM
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My grandparents used to raise rabbits in the old country (Romania). We fed them greens, like grass, clover, lettuce, just about anything and they never got the runs. However, we would not give them water when feeding them greens. Rabbits here are taught to drink water, so they end up with a problem when they eat too many greens, especially lettuce.
I didn't know rabbits needed water until I came to the US.... that's because here people feed them dry food, grains, hay...etc, so they can't extract water out of that.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2010 at 3:16PM
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A Rabbit does need some Hard food though. One rabbit I had living inside a cage near the house loved to eat wheat rusks...he munched them down in no time.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 10:02PM
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You let the Rabbits graze on Alfalfa?
nice. I read that too much Alfalfa is not good for rabbits. They have to weened off it after their young years. Too much calcium and protein and then it should be replaced with timothy hay.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 10:04PM
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Rabbits love the clover hay, we do not feed our rabbits commercial pellets. We feed them a custom ground feed from a local mill -- some grains (corn), and a protein mix with minerals and as much hay as they want. Very healthy animals and they reproduce, well, like rabbits.

We found old rabbit books from the early 20th century (before commercial pellets) to find out what the oldtimers knew that has been forgotten or maybe it's just easier to buy a bag of pellets.

We feed the lactating does clover mixed with alfalfa. If I remember correctly alfalfa is close to 18% protein and clover closer to 15%. I'll see if I can find that link and post back.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 10:27PM
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Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

I'm a little concerned by certain ideas posted in this thread. Rabbits should always have access to fresh water. It is incorrect to assume that giving them water and fresh greens will result in diarrhea. Problems feeding greens result when the rabbits' diet is changed too abruptly; they do need a transition period if you are planning to add greens to their diet.

Alfalfa is only a problem for rabbits if they are receiving it in addition to an alfalfa based pellet (as most pellets are).

For several years, I have fed my rabbits on alfalfa and grass hay, small amounts of grain (wheat, oats or barley) and as many fresh greens as the season allows. They always have water and I also provide a trace mineral salt block. They do fine on this and I have never had a rabbit with either GI stasis or diarrhea.

I used to post on this forum a lot, but as the focus of my activities changed from chickens to rabbits, I've set up my own rabbit forum. We have a whole section on natural feeding for rabbits. People interested in this topic may want to check it out.

Here is a link that might be useful: RabbitTalk

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 12:40PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

I agree with Maggie. Have water available. If they don't need it, they won't drink it. If they do need it, you want to have it available.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 4:30PM
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