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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I lurk on this section and read most of the posts and have learned a great deal on feeding rabbits. Here is my inquiry: why can't you feed rabbits grass/lawn and little else? I have wild rabbitts that just love my lawn--it looks like a putting green (with clumps of pooh berries every so often). Couldn't you cut some grass and put it in a feeder, along with hay and the occasional treat and call it good?
 

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The wild rabbits that you see in your lawn also go into other areas and eat a whole lot more than just your grass. Grass or hay alone is not a complete nutritional food. I don't have the nutritional breakdown for lawn grass in front of me but it alone does not contain the proper mix of nutrition for good rabbit health. I do feed my rabbits lawn grass in the spring and summer, along with leaves and branches from various plants, and pellets and some grain.
 

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I know some folks in Kenya that have been doing that. Their rabbits are puny.
 

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STILL not Alice
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My rabbits also get grass, but other types of plants and hay as well.

Wish I'd transported some of the wild plants I had growing in the yard back in IL. I don't think I've seen plantain or the other weeds I'd come to rely on. The only weed that seems to do well here is hemlock, and no way am I going to give THAT to the buns!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I should add, that at the Polyface field day, I spend some time with Son Daniel who has built field pens for finishing. He provides some pellet feed along with water. With selection breeding, he has hit a group that gets the majority of feed from grasses and has dramatically reduced costs. THis is more of what I would hope to accomplish.

His pens are wood with 2" wood slats so grass pops up and there is enought room for the rabbit to get at it. The width is too small for digging out; he moves every 3-5 days and pens moms and weanlings at 3 weeks.

Thoughts on this?
 

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STILL not Alice
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I should add, that at the Polyface field day, I spend some time with Son Daniel who has built field pens for finishing. He provides some pellet feed along with water. With selection breeding, he has hit a group that gets the majority of feed from grasses and has dramatically reduced costs. THis is more of what I would hope to accomplish.

His pens are wood with 2" wood slats so grass pops up and there is enought room for the rabbit to get at it. The width is too small for digging out; he moves every 3-5 days and pens moms and weanlings at 3 weeks.

Thoughts on this?
Interesting! I thought you were talking about just regular old "lawn" type grasses.

What sort of grasses does he seed?
 

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aka avdpas77
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I should add, that at the Polyface field day, I spend some time with Son Daniel who has built field pens for finishing. He provides some pellet feed along with water. With selection breeding, he has hit a group that gets the majority of feed from grasses and has dramatically reduced costs. THis is more of what I would hope to accomplish.

His pens are wood with 2" wood slats so grass pops up and there is enought room for the rabbit to get at it. The width is too small for digging out; he moves every 3-5 days and pens moms and weanlings at 3 weeks.

Thoughts on this?
Fresh forage is a great supplement. But there are a fair amount of do's and don'ts. Maggie has a great (sticky) Thread going on the subject and many of us are trying to work toward similiar solutions, that fit our own local. Wild rabbits can go where they need and choose what they need to a great extent. Caged rabbits, even in a colony outside do not have that choice and must choose between what is set before them. The line of rabbits may make a difference. "mutts" "San Juans" and "Zils" may be more adaptable to this than some show breed lines. It is obvious that it can be done, it probaly can not be done without some care and careful planning, at least for a long period. Rapid change in an animals feed usually always caries negative results. There must be somewhat of a balance between certain food groups.
While certain diets may keep a rabbit alive, and even fat, vitaming and mineral dificiences will show up to the animals detriment over time.

A rabbit fed pellet's of any calibre, would be well off grazing on grass ocasionally, because most of the basic nutients are provide by the pellets and the grass further enhances the vitamins and palatibility. This being said, changing over to large amounts of green material quickly would likely be hazardous and possibly fatal.

There are 3 "sticky" threads by MaggieJ..which always remain towards the top of the forum and reading thorugh them will give one a much better understanding of the subject.
 
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