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grandfather fed rolled barley

724 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  MaggieJ
I was just thinking, when I was a kid my grand father fed rolled barley and garden scraps to his rabbits. no supplements and no pellets.
He had a 3 way hutch. room enough for a buck and 2 does. He bred just fast enough to have small bunnies with the does and his larger fryers were raised in a small shed on the floor. The litter was made from dryed grass clippings and he shoveled it and cleaned it between litters.
he filled a old bread pan full of the rolled barley twice a day for the 2 litters worth of fryers, and had a hay type feeder for the veggie scraps.
I am not sure but I think they grew the barley them selves and had the mill prcess it for them. They also fed the barley to the rest of their live stock.
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Well I was a kid in the 50's, but I was told that is how they raised rabbits even before that. he always had rabbits.
The problem here is there is as many ideas on feeding rabbits as there is web sites describing the process. I just read on last night, and this not the only time I have seen it described, saying that pellets should only be a supplement to hay and veggies.

I have butchered both forage raised and pellet raised rabbits now and found the pellet raised ones to have a good percentage of their weight in lard on the pelt, which I had no use for.
I am trying to reach a happy medium of production and thriftyness. While trying to find out what will work the best consitering the rising cost of pellets.
I have 2 different batches of rabbits and my older back yard mixed breed ones are being raised on grain and greens, the other I just bought at the show.The new batch get very little greens and a good ration of pellets. I intend to continue both batches as is. It's like the show rabbits are snobs and aren't willing to eat enough of the greens to get along. I am not sure if their attitude will ever change either. I'll keep the older batch cause if I ever get in a pinch I know they will produce on less of a feed bill.
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