More on homemade feed

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by trinityoaks, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. trinityoaks

    trinityoaks Budding homesteader

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    I went to the feed store yesterday to price out ingredients for Oren Reynolds' recipe. Here's what I came up with (all prices are for 50-lb bags):

    whole oats: $8.50
    alfalfa pellets: $7.50
    wheat: $10.50
    rolled barley: $12.66
    black oil sunflower seed: $26.30

    Interestingly, a small bale of alfalfa hay, approximately 50 lbs, is also $7.50.

    For reference, here is the recipe and protein calculation:
    Code:
    GRAIN	      PARTS	      PROTEIN %        TOTAL	
    Oats	        6	x	14.0	=	84.0	
    Wheat	        1	x	12.5	=	12.5	
    Sunflower seed	1	x	26.3	=	26.3	
    Barley	        1	x	12.3	=	12.3	
    Alfalfa hay	4	x	20.0	=	80.0	
    TOTALS	       13		               215.1	
    
    	215.1	÷	13.0	=	16.5% protein
    
    I crunched the numbers, and the homemade mixture works out to about 20 cents per pound, or $130.30 for 650 lbs (a full recipe of one 50-lb bag per part). That's about $10.04 for 50 lbs, compared with $14.65 for "complete-feed" rabbit pellets. To me, that's quite a savings, certainly worth mixing my own. Not only that, but if I had to, I could grow all of those ingredients myself.

    Incidentally, MaggieJ, you were wondering about the higher proportion of oats in Mr. Reynolds' recipe. Looking at the above, my first thought is that it's because the oats are considerably less expensive than the other grains. Is it not also true that oats are more easily digested (by both rabbits and humans)? Just some thoughts. . .
     
  2. o&itw

    o&itw aka avdpas77 Supporter

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    A year or two ago wheat was less than half that price :(
     

  3. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    What do you do with digging and picking through the feed? My rabbits are bad about picking out and eating what they want and leaving the rest. The worst is the oats. They almost always leave the oats and they're bad about digging it all out to get to what they want.
     
  4. trinityoaks

    trinityoaks Budding homesteader

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    I'm still in the planning/exploration stage, so I couldn't tell you yet. However, someone else was proposing mixing a little bit of blackstrap molasses into the feed mix to bind it together and make it harder for the buns to be picky.

    Are you using whole oats, hulled oats, or rolled oats? It may be that whole oats (with the hull still on) are too difficult for them to digest, so they bypass it.
     
  5. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    Hmm, maybe I'll try that. We've tried feeding grain before and there was so much waste that it just wasn't worth it. (we have spoiled rabbits) LOL

    As for alfalfa hay, you would think it would be for sale everywhere, but it's not. I have a horrible time finding it. I may try again. I know my DH is on the verge of evicting the rabbits due to the high cost of feed these days.
     
  6. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It may be that the husks put them off. There is a trick you can try if you want to. Take a spoonful each of blackstrap molasses and vegetable oil and about twice that amount of water. Heat (I use the microwave for about 20 seconds) then stir and pour over a half a bucket of grain, mixing it in very well. Most rabbits love the molasses flavour and it makes all the grains similar in flavour. This should stop the pickiness. Once they are eating everything well, you can cut back the molasses mix and even eliminate it, although a bit of it is a nutrient-dense addition to their diet.

    You may also find that the next generation of rabbits accepts grain better. Most rabbits seem to prefer the foods they were weaned onto over those introduced later.
     
  7. o&itw

    o&itw aka avdpas77 Supporter

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    as a added point to Trinity's post:

    For those that haven't run across the nomenclature yet...hulled oats are called "groats" although some feedstores call rolled-oats groats. If you haven't bought any rolled oats yet...they are simply "oatmeal". When I used to buy them, in 50 lb. bags, they were produced by Quaker and primarily sold to institutions for just that purpose. So, if you run out of porridge for breakfast, you can get some out of the feed bag :cool:
     
  8. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You have to be careful about oat nomenclature. It seems to vary quite a bit from place to place. Here, rolled oats are just lightly rolled and still full of husks. They might more correctly be called crimped oats. It's a good idea to ask detailed questions or see a sample so you know what you are getting.
     
  9. trinityoaks

    trinityoaks Budding homesteader

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    This is true. I have bought rolled barley at the grocery store (when I couldn't find pearl barley) that was packaged for human consumption, and I have bought rolled barley at the feed store (packaged for animal consumption). As you say, the feed-store barley is really crimped rather than fully rolled, and it does still have bits of hull, non-grain plant matter, etc. in it.
     
  10. maidservant

    maidservant Finally in the UK!

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    Wow, you definately don't live near me!

    Around here Wheat is up around $14 for 50 lbs, oats are $13 for 50 lbs, BOSS are $30 for 50 lbs, Alfalfa pellets are $15 for 50 lbs, and barley is around $12 for 50 lbs. Rabbit pellets are $11.50 for 50 lbs. I hate feeding the rabbits pellets, but I do mix in some oatmeal and oats, and sometimes I'll pick out some BOSS from the chickens seed mix for them. Mine also get all of the fescue hay they want and some treats on occasion. I'm hoping that the prices of feed goes down soon, especially now that we are out of the drought.

    Emily in NC
     
  11. sssapps

    sssapps Well-Known Member

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    I read elsewhere about a concern of the buns picking out what they wanted. It was suggest to grind the food more and then you could feed it slightly moistened - it would be a bit more like the commercial pellets...and they couldn't pick through it. Just an idea I had read about! :D
     
  12. SquashNut

    SquashNut Well-Known Member

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    I feed COB, which is corn, oats, and barley with mollasses and they eat every bit of it. But it has so much mollasses it sticks together in a block in the bag.
     
  13. trinityoaks

    trinityoaks Budding homesteader

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  14. trinityoaks

    trinityoaks Budding homesteader

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    Maggie, evidently your reply got lost in the forum crash yesterday, but I did see where you replied that you've been fighting something off and haven't been able to try the peas yet. I hope you're feeling better soon!

    Someone else replied about feeding peas, as well, but I don't remember who it was. IIRC, there was something about cooking the peas first to soften them.
     
  15. Allen W

    Allen W Well-Known Member

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    trinityoaks you asked on a seperate post, that now seems to be gone, about kaffir corn, millet, and grain sorghum. Grain sorghum, milo, and maize are the same thing. Sometimes you will find someone calling corn maize. Millet is the small light colored seed you often find in bird seed. Grandma always talked about growing kaffir corn apparently it was a kind of open polinated grain sorghum.
     
  16. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Minor bug... but feeling better today, thanks.

    I believe it was SquashNut who mentioned having tried to feed dried peas to the rabbits. If I recall correctly she said that they ignored whole dried peas, but that they accepted them soaked (softened). I believe she said she makes a kind of hard biscuit for them with ground peas and that they love that and grew very well on it. Perhaps she will come back and confirm that I have that right. I read it once, thought I'd come back later and then there was the crash. :grit:
     
  17. Skip

    Skip Well-Known Member

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    I grew a variety in the garden that I didn't much care for, yet didn't have an alternative so I munched on them. Once the plants came to the end of their productive cycle I pulled the whole plant for the one rabbit I had at the time. She would eat it and the overgrown peas in the pod.

    The stalks pretty much would dry up when still in the ground. Perhaps it would be easy enough to tie them up together and hang to dry until being used for feed: stalk and peas in pod still on plant. :shrug:
     
  18. Backfourty,MI.

    Backfourty,MI. Katie Supporter

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    Is it better to feed your bun's the homemade mix rather than the rabbit pellets from the store? I mix up a similar feed mix for my goats minus the wheat & I tried it on the rabbits when we 1st got them but they left hull's in the dishes which I then put in the goats dishes & they finished them off.
    Our prices here are much higher trinityoaks on everything but the sunflower seeds are about the same price.
     
  19. o&itw

    o&itw aka avdpas77 Supporter

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    Originally Posted by MaggieJ
    You have to be careful about oat nomenclature. It seems to vary quite a bit from place to place. Here, rolled oats are just lightly rolled and still full of husks. They might more correctly be called crimped oats. It's a good idea to ask detailed questions or see a sample so you know what you are getting.

    Thanks for the additional information...I would not want to lead anyone astray. I was thinking that perhaps the difference was a country thing... but it sounds like the same thing is happening in Texas. Here "crimped" oats are simply crimped oats. I guess I need to be more careful as there is such a geographicly widespread participation in this forum. (after all, where I grew up "muck" was swamp mud :eek:) :D
     
  20. o&itw

    o&itw aka avdpas77 Supporter

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    I use peas (pulse) to feed other animals, they have all the protien without the (before cooking) toxins that soybeans have. I had been wondering if rabbits would eat them, and whoever tried had had no luck with them dry.

    I would be very careful with using them soaked, (they might be ok carefully sprouted). When soaked they will spoil very rapidly. (not talking mold here, talking spoiled like meat)