DRAFT Safe Plant List for Rabbits

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by MaggieJ, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. NewGround

    NewGround Single Hillbilly

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    I'm new to raising meat rabbits and still researching, and thanks for this wonderful thread, but let me fly with a few ideas...

    What about

    Comfrey, the root propagated kind (not sure if answered earlier and thread is looooong)

    Wheat sprouts? and other grain sprouts for that matter... maybe grown in winter?

    Duckweed? I read somewhere that people grow for animal feed. I am also thinking of an aquaponics corner in my basement as some people grow the duckweed for fish food...

    http://www.mobot.org/jwcross/duckweed/feed-supplement.htm

    That site lists a link back to HT about duckweed for rabbits but I didn't find it here...

    "Duckweed is probably the fastest growing multi-cellular plant. It grows naturally on waste water and can double its weight in 24 hours. It is unique amongst plants in that its protein content can be manipulated according the nitrogen content of the water in which it is growing. This is important because it integrates with the biodigester. It is the ideal water plant to introduce into an integrated farming system because it can use the nitrogen in the effluent coming from the biodigester to enrich its protein content to a level only slightly lower than Soya Bean, approaching 35%. In terms of protein production, grown under ideal conditions in can produce 10 tonnes of protein per hectare per year. This compares with Soya bean which produces less than 1 tonne per year.
    Duckweed is good for the environment because it doesn’t require artificial fertilizers, on the contrary it cleans up waste by removing organic and inorganic nitrogen coming from decomposition of organic matter, contributing to the fight against eutrophication. It doesn’t need fungicides and has no significant natural pests.

    Duckweed can be eaten by chickens, ducks and pigs and can supply all of the protein needs for locally adapted breeds."

    http://www.microponics.net.au/?p=181

    That site mentions use as rabbit feed but anyone here with duckweed experience?
     
  2. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Comfrey can be fed to rabbits. High in protein. Most rabbits prefer it dried which makes it ideal for winter feed.

    Wheat (or other grain) can be sprouted for rabbits. There are several threads from last winter about this. Try as search of the Rabbit Forum for sprouting grain. You can also grow grain grass in plastic dishpans etc. for winter greens.

    Duckweed has been mentioned several times but no one I know of has first hand experience of it for rabbits. I look forward to looking at the links you posted.
     

  3. stormrider27

    stormrider27 Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know if water hyacith (Eichhornia crassipes) can be fed to the four legged meat and poop machines? I have found that people can eat them as well as chickens. Down here they are one of the most invasive weeds known to man. it is worth noting that it is also illegal to grow them (lots of tasty stuff is like that in Florida like : muskovy ducks and tilapia)

    Storm
     
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  4. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I did a very quick search for Eichhornia crassipes toxicity and came up with a lot of hits about how they absorb heavy metals, mercury in particular. I don't think, given that, that I would want to feed it to any of my critters or to eat it myself. You might want to do a bit more research.
     
  5. rmest

    rmest Well-Known Member

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    I have not seen catsear mentioned. Some people call it false dandilion. I feed it to my rabbits regularly and they love it. When I pick them their handful of greens everyday it is the first thing they pick out. They love the stalks and the flowers. The latin name is Hypochaeris radicata or hypochoeris radicata. Does anyone else feed this weed to there rabbits. I have had no problems feeding it, but want to be sure it is OK since I have not seen it mention anywhere?
     
  6. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm not familiar with this plant, but it seems it is fine... edible raw for humans, which is always a good indicator.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catsear

    When you want to do a check, google the botanical name plus key words like toxicity or edible. This will help you to do your own research.
     
  7. rmest

    rmest Well-Known Member

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    Here in southwest Michigan this is a very common plant. Lawns are just full of it. You can drive past someones unkept lawn an see nothing but yellow flowers. Does anyone else feed this to their rabbits? Hypochaeris radicata or hypochoeris radicata(Catsear)
     
  8. wasakat

    wasakat Member

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    What about pine tree needs? Anyone know if they're safe? I'd suspect yes given that you can make a tea from pine needles, but...?
     
  9. nicnmike

    nicnmike Member

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    Hi, just wanted to add one of my standard rabbit foods: Spanish needle (Bidens alba). I've only had rabbits for a short while, but a friend has used Bidens as the main green for her rabbits for years (during the summers when its too hot to grow mustard greens). My bunnies do enjoy it and it is so very plentiful, at least here in FL.
     
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  10. Mac_

    Mac_ Well-Known Member

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    Could someone please be so kind as to tell me where the most recently updated Safe List of foods for rabbits is posted?

    I have looked for it, but had no luck.

    From doing a couple searches, it appears that there is agreement that both sweet potatoes and sweet potato greens can be fed to rabbits.

    My Am. Chin. rabbits have been fed an assortment of greens for several months, and right now I can probably cut an almost unlimited amount of greens from our sweet potato plot (just to keep the vines out of the adjacent bed), so I was looking for confirmation before feeding.

    Thanks!

    Mac
     
  11. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sweet potato greens are safe for rabbits, but they are very rich and you would want to feed a variety of greens with them. Some people keep one on their windowsill in winter and cut the greens to provide fresh feed when other greens are in short supply. You might try air drying some of the surplus... Most greens dry surprisingly well and it can be helpful to have dried greens in reserve.

    The Safe Plants list has not been updated for a long time. I simply have not had the time... In fact I only pop in now and again on this forum. Too busy over on my own forum, RabbitTalk.
     
  12. Mac_

    Mac_ Well-Known Member

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    Maggie, thanks for "popping in"! Much appreciated. My wife is stir frying some sweet potato greens this evening for suppper using a filipino recipe. The extra vines/greens will be fed to the rabbits with some millet greens in the morning.

    Mac
     
  13. ChuckNora

    ChuckNora Well-Known Member

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    I've been making a list based on this thread to print and post up in the kitchen, so my husband will know what is okay for the buns to eat. I've also been doing some research...

    I came across this site : http://www.rabbit.org/care/veggies.html : and this particular article states "anything that is safe for human or horse consumption is safe for rabbits. However, that statement is completely contradictory from what I've read here.

    AND I read rabbits can't have cabbage, cause it could cause stasis. So now I'm worried about anything this article says.

    Thoughts?
     
  14. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Cabbage can be fed, but it must be phased in very slowly to avoid problems. I find it useful in winter when it is hard to provide enough fresh foods. This is true of any of the brassicas.

    I'm not too enthusiastic about that particular article. They don't use botanical names for the plants and they put too much emphasis on vegetables and fruits. Their statement that "anything that is safe for human or horse consumption is safe for rabbits" is best viewed as a guideline only. I am not too knowledgeable about what horses can eat, but humans eat beans and they are not good for rabbits.

    The European invasive weeds on my list are the natural food of the wild European rabbit from which our domestic rabbits have been developed. Nature's best for the buns. The House Rabbit site mentions only a couple of weeds such as dandelion and totally ignores the wonderful abundance available.

    The Toxic list shows Wild Carrot as toxic. Since they do not give the botanical name, I am assuming they are referring to the plant that many call Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota) In reality, it is the exact same plant as garden carrots and all parts except the seeds can be fed. The seeds have contraceptive properties. I remove the flower heads once they start to curl up and develop seeds.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daucus_carota
     
  15. pjzipf

    pjzipf Member

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    I believe I posted this question in the incorrect thread last time. But are there any types of ivy that buns can eat?
     
  16. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As far as I know, ivy is mildly toxic. I wouldn't feed it to the buns without considerable research.
     
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  17. Wvfarmer

    Wvfarmer Active Member

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    How about autum olive branches and leaves? They are everywhere here, and our goats eat them.
     
  18. JudithCS

    JudithCS Well-Known Member

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    I recently acquired 4 cavies and I plan to breed them. My goal is to grow and gather most of their food. I know this is a rabbit list, and I belong to the cavy forum here, but in looking for plants for the cavies, your draft list is very helpful.

    Reading the thread, I learned that the "wild geranium" all over my yard is actually common mallow, Malva neglecta, or round-leaf mallow, Malva rotundifolia. And apparently it's good rabbit food, so probably OK for my cavies too. But I wanted to ask: do these mallows have an odor, a bit like pine? Mine do, and I need to be very sure the plant is what I think it is. Rubbing the leaves or bruising the stem, the smell is sharp, something between pine and rosemary or thyme. The leaves look identical to photos of Malva sp., but the descriptions I find don't mention the odor.

    I'm discovering that many bothersome weeds in my yard are great cavy food. If anyone has Microstegium vimineum (bamboo grass, Japanese stilt grass), I asked the local agricultural agent if it's toxic to livestock, and she said no. My cavies like it, and it's taking over the yard (along with the Southeast) but I'll feed it sparingly just in case. Most livestock won't eat it so I want to be cautious.

    Thanks.
     
  19. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've never noticed any herbal odour from the Malvas, Judith, and heaven knows I've picked bushels of the stuff. I do use my sense of smell to help with identification of plants. I suggest you take some of it to your agricultural agent to be certain.
     
  20. Kentr

    Kentr Active Member

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    I just found ALL the rabbit herbs and plants that I was looking for in this one stop shop!!!

    http://www.outsidepride.com/

    Found: Comfrey, Red Clover, Echinacea, Alfalfa, Orchard Grass, Chicory, Yarrow, Dandelion, Stevia, Peppermint and tons more! Go on their facebook page to request a 10% discount... decent shipping prices as well!!!!