Corn along with pellets

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Lynnette, May 1, 2006.

  1. Lynnette

    Lynnette Michigan Hobby Farmer

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    Any thoughts on mixing cracked corn in with pellets? My bunnies love ear corn, but I am thinking of cutting the pellets with cracked corn to make it stretch. I just had 40 babies born and about 20 more on the way, along with about 15 breeding adults. I am thinking 1/2 corn 1/2 pellets, or 2/3 pellets, 1/3 corn? I give the babies some calf manna just before weaning to give them an extra boost when they seperate from Mom.
     
  2. Michael Leferink

    Michael Leferink Well-Known Member

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    Lynnette,

    I think a lot of us can relate to the idea of stretching our feed. With the high cost of fuel everything else seems to be going up as well, including feed. Frankly, I have not found a way to do it. Every time I have tried to add something to the rabbits diet, the growth rate slows down and the rabbits production falls off. This ends up costing more per pound of rabbit raised and that's the wrong direction. If I had my own hay fields and was only concerned with raising a few for my own table I might give them hay. I have tried this and it adds another 2 - 3 wks. to their grow out. So the choice is feed more pellets per day over a short time or feed less pellets per day over a longer time. Either way will at best break even, so why waste labor and/or time feeding hay? You asked about corn and not hay, but I believe you would see the same thing with corn or most anything else. Remember that quality pellets should provide a balanced diet for your rabbits. Adding anything else will throw off that balance. Also, corn can be hard on a rabbits GI tract, especially young kits. We use a feed that contains oats and a variation of that feed that contains calf manna (for does, 2 wks. pre-kindle to 3 wks. post kindle). Hay and pine shavings in the nest and that's it. Other than the occasional blackberry leaves, as a treat. Some folks have excellent results using feed that contains some corn, but a lot of corn would most likely cause you problems (IMO). We tried corn based feeds in the 1980's and lost kits due to GI problems. Now I'm no expert and I could be wrong, I'm just posting my personal experience.

    Another thing to add is I do a lot of math. Even with the increase cost of rabbit feed, rabbit meat is less expensive to raise than to purchase in a grocery store. For that matter, it is also less expensive than full price chicken. Of course, we can pay less for chicken if we catch it on sale but rabbit is healthier and all white meat. As I'm sure you already know.

    When ever I notice our feed to growth ratio has gotten too high it has always been because we have allowed our herd to include rabbits that are not needed. Too many bucks, kept too many juniors, did not cull lower producing does, etc. Right now we have 17 fryers eating feed that should have been slaughtered already. I got behind due to bad health and bad weather. Management is the key. If it's not needed or is not producing within your needs, then it must be sold or eaten. Unless you can afford a lot of pets.

    Best of luck,

    MikeL
     

  3. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    I've had the same experience as Mike.
     
  4. woolyfluff

    woolyfluff Well-Known Member

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    CORN can and does kill Rabbits
     
  5. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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    The bad news about corn is that it is low in protein and fiber and
    loaded with carbs. If you are adding corn in the quantities suggested,
    you are lowering the protein and fiber content of the ration significantly. Although my feed contains corn, it is properly formulated to prevent
    digestive upsets. At least with the ear corn, the rabbits are getting
    *some* much needed fiber.
     
  6. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    has anyone used oats, whole or rolled? i have been told useing oats especially when the kits come out and are starteing to eat solid food its good to mix some rolled oats in with the pellets,
    would this help strech the food as well?
     
  7. Lynnette

    Lynnette Michigan Hobby Farmer

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    Thanks everyone, no corn, got it
     
  8. rickd203

    rickd203 Well-Known Member

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    I tried a squirrel mix that was mostly corn. Some rabbits will eat it and some don't. I'm probably not going to give them any more. They do all seem to love dandelion greens which I'm more than happy to provide.