feeding program - less pellets?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by sassy_mare, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. sassy_mare

    sassy_mare Well-Known Member

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    Hello all!

    I have 2 adult rabbits that are just pets. They are going through a lot of pellets lately! I have been checking the ground beneath the cage, but they don't seem to be spilling any - must be fattening up for winter!

    so, my question is - what can I feed to cut down on the amount of pellets? I supplement with veggie scraps and hay and alfalfa cubes every once in a while. They seem to just make a mess with the hay and not eat it. Any ideas?

    Those that raise for profit - how do you manage?!? I am spending plenty on just 2!

    Thanks!
    Sheri
     
  2. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    What kind of feed are you using? Most feed bags will have a recomennded feed amount on the bag. Feed them the recomended amount per day and thats it. You did not say what breed or sixe of rabbits but an 18% protein feed for a non breeder is 8 ounces a day [1/2 cup] for a NZ rabbit.

    I free choice feed my breeding does and weanling but these does are bred 11 days after kindle and need the extra feed. Pet rabbits dont.

    By letting a rabbit get to fat it is not healthy. If you go to breed later a fat rabbit will not concieve.

    You can always put some grass hay on top of your cage so the rabbit has something to chew on if they eat all their pellets.

    As far as raising for profit? I buy feed in 3 ton quantities [I split this with another grower 1 1/2 tons each] and my cost per bag is $5.57 per 50 lb bag. You have to be able to buy in bulk for a price decrease.
     

  3. Kumi_Ori

    Kumi_Ori Active Member

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    How do you go about buying in bulk? Do you have your own pellets made? None of the retailers here discount the price per bag. I need to do this. I am going thru 50 lbs per week with 25 rabbits, only 9 are adults. Does that seem unreasonable? They have timothy hay at all times and the show rabbits get 1 tb of treat mix in the morn. I just think I spend a lot on feed. :waa:

    Also, I agree with Tracy, put some grass hay on top of the cage for your bunnies to munch on. It will keep the mess inside the cage down (although it will not eliminate it) and because they have to stand and stretch to get to it gives them a little bit of exercise. Good Luck. :)
     
  4. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    You mention retailers? Are you buying from a feed mill or store? Feed mills will give quantity pricing on bulk orders. Most retail stores wont.

    You have to be able to use the feed with in a couple months time so it doesnt go bad. I buy 3 tons that is 120 bags and then for every ten bags I get 1 free so this is a total of 132 -50 lb bags of feed. This is split with another grower who has about the same number of rabbits as me so it works well.

    50 lbs of feed for 25 rabbits does not seem like that much, I go through 50 lbs a day.
     
  5. Kumi_Ori

    Kumi_Ori Active Member

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    I am buying from a feed store. I do not know if there is a mill near by. Do you purchase what the already produce or do you have it specially made?
    Kristi
     
  6. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Sheri, my feed store has 20 pound bags of rabbit pellets for about $5. One bag lasts our pet rabbit for 3 months (Peter is a dwarf). I keep the bag inside the house or the garage so moisture is not a problem and the feed stays good.
     
  7. Jack in VA

    Jack in VA Well-Known Member

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    Can you grow a small patch of Alfalfa? Maybe as acover crop. Dual purpose.
     
  8. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    My DW's grandparents are crop farmers and they just gave me several 5gal buckets of corn, wheat, oats and soybeans (spilled on the ground while loading the silo). I have been tossing it out for the chickens to eat. Can I feed a mix of this to my rabbits or will that be too much for them?
     
  9. suzfromWi

    suzfromWi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have two pet rabbits also. I was told that they should have a ready supply of hay at all times. They feed on pellets whenever they want as I have an automatic feeder. Lots of fresh water and I also give them parsley, small carrots and a piece of apple on occasion. The female has been sneezing and coughing of late. Gave her some raw pineapple But shes not fond of it. She eats and runs around so I just dont know. No nose stuff on her face at all. Sometimes shes worse then others. any thoughts on this?
     
  10. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like she has snuffles. It's a disease that is uncurable, and she will probably pass it to the other one, if she hasn't already. It's not a big deal for pet rabbits, though, just for someone who doesn't want their whole herd sneezing! :) It's very common, as you can imagine, since it's not treatable & is passed to the offspring. Not much serious about it other than the sneezing though...
     
  11. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sneezing can be caused by a variety of things, and the name "Snuffles" is used to describe anything which involves sneezing or nasal discharge. This does not necessarily mean that the rabbit has the dreaded p. Multocida, which is incurable. Unfortunately, the chances that it is do outweigh the chances that it isn't. However.... you might want to try something to see if it makes a difference:

    Since you free-feed hay at all times, try eliminating the hay for a few days and see if that clears up the sneezing. She could have developed an allergy to the dust in the hay, or whatever. It's worth a try. Rabbits really don't need to have hay constantly if they are receiving a good pelleted feed. In fact, any supplements will upset the nutritional balance of the pelleted feed.

    Pat Lamar
    President
    Professional Rabbit Meat Association
    http://www.prma.org/