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Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by MaggieJ, Jul 4, 2007.
Thanks Maggie! I'll harvest the rhubarb stalks for food and toss the leaves, then.
Look in your bulk food section at the grocery store. And find whole seeds that look like they will grow. Whole dryed peas, beans and grains. In shell sunflower seeds, Bags of bird seed. Extra veggies ect.
I am afraid to propigate the weed seeds any more than they do by them selves. i have a fear they might take over the garden.
When you get the seeds from the bulk food section you can do a search on line and figure out how to grow them pretty easy.
If your feed store has a way to buy loose items by the pound that might be a way to go too.
i am planning a bed of pea hay and corn plants.
And I am currently feeding greens from seed I saved last year. I'll leave some of the plants to save more seed too.
Huh, interesting. Will those things grow? I would expect that they'd be sprayed or something.
Also, what about rhubarb stalks? In case we have any leftover from selling/cooking them.
all of the things I listed are for human or animal consumption, so yes they should grow.
Beans are not very good for rabbits, but the foliage is fine. The bean itself contains something that can cause problems if the rabbit consumes it raw on a regular basis. This is why soybeans in animal feed are roasted or steamed. Other than that one point, I agree with SuashNut's list. Lots of good ideas there.
A weed bed can be easily kept in check by regular cutting and by not permitting the plants to set seed. If you're feeding a bunch of eager bunnies from it, I don't think it will get out of hand. What I like about weeds (apart from the great nutrition they offer and the fact that the European invasive weeds are the natural foods of the ancestors of our domestic rabbits) is that they keep coming, no matter how aggressively they are harvested.
That's good till I don't want rabbits any more.
I get about a 2 gallon flower pot of weeds from each of my beds when I weed them and the kinds here are perenial. the chick weed spreads both with seeds and roots. My rabbits get more than enough of them. BBut still for the amount i get they are not productive enough to keep the rabbits in feed, so I add additional plantings to the beds. Which will produce 5-10 times as much feed for each cutting.
Huh. All good ideas.
Any thoughts on rhubarb stalks?
I wouldn't feed them,myself
I wouldn't feed rhubarb stalks to rabbits - or any other part of the plant. Stick to things that we know are safe, nutritious and palatable.
Will do (or rather, won't do)
Is anyone feeding Paper Mulberry leaves? I feed it to my sheep and goats all the time and they love it. Wiki said it is commonly fed to deer. I have fed a few leaves to my new bun and she seems to really like it! No ill effects so far.
I don't know paper mulberry, but I know people who feed mulberry leaves to rabbits. Do you have a botanical (Latin) name for it?
Here is an interesting article about using mulberry leaves for rabbit food:
Anyone know about sword fern? We've got pretty much unlimited quantities of it... I hear bracken fern is bad for rabbits, but sword ferns are in their own family. I know goats like sword ferns, but they like bracken ferns just as well.
Annika, what is the botanical (Latin) name for the sword fern you are speaking of?
Sword Fern: if on the west coast, probably the Polystichum munitum, an evergreen, huge ground cover. http://www.rainyside.com/features/plant_gallery/nativeplants/Polystichum_munitum.html
Paper Mulberry is the Broussonetia papyrifera, I assume. Fast growing, actually fruits fairly early. quite an invasive species that's often used to feed deer.
Annika, MDKatie, check out wikipedia for a quick look at the plants there to verify those botanical names. There's actually a "sword fern" on the east coast that is totally different from the one on the west coast, which is why using botanical names is so important.
Most states have a section on their .gov pages that identifies species of trees, shrubs, plants that grow in the state. Often a VERY helpful place to go for ID help.
Sorry! Yes, Polystichum munitum is what I meant. Anyone know if it's edible to rabbits?
I googled the Latin name plus the words toxicity and rabbits, which is what I usually do when trying to establish whether a plant can be used as rabbit feed. I didn't find much, but there was this caution:
Thanks Maggie! I might try using the roots, then.
The roots? Of sword fern? I don't understand why you would do that or why you would consider feeding something that might rob your rabbits of B Vitamin complex. I would take those cautions seriously. The plants may not be "toxic" but they may still cause problems in other ways.
Oh, I think only the fronds do that. The roots are edible to people... maybe I just won't feed them, period. Oh well.