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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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Interesting. I like to learn how critters were raised "back when". Do you know if he fed hay as well?

I think I would hedge my bets by feeding mixed grains. Crimping or rolling makes them more palatable and likely easier to digest. Likely your grandfather fed what he had available, as did most people before commercial foods became widespread. About when would this have been? 1930s, 40s, 50s???
I was a kid in the 50s too. :) Thanks, just trying to get a timeline of trends in rabbit feeding.
Bernadette said:
With all the talk of mixing your own feed, and feeding natural forage to the rabbits, I find with the type of life I lead, and the resulting time constraints, I have to put my faith in the brand of feed I have chosen (not the cheapest either!). The feed mix has been formulated with consultation of some of the larger rabbit producers in southern Ontario (western) and my rabbits do VERY well on it. I feed it as their sole ration, as it is designed. It does have corn in it.
It's all a matter of personal choice, isn't it? The natural feeding interests me and so I have chosen to pursue it. It is certainly cheaper for me, with only a trio of breeders.

It also strikes me that organic "wild fed" rabbit meat might find a niche within a niche that would make the effort worthwhile -- just an idea tucked away in the back of my head for future consideration.

There also may be opportunities for me as a writer in this area. I'm happy to share here what I learn as I go, but I hope to get a book or at least a few articles out of it eventually.

It seems to me that natural or mix-your-own feeding are best suited to the small backyard rabbitry intended simply to put meat on the family dinner table. I doubt if anyone raising rabbits for sale to a processor would find it feasible.
swampgirl said:
Mary Ann at [email protected] PM'ed me a great article about rabbit feed. I don't recal her name her on this forum, but bet you could look back for that article. I am very interested in raising lespedsa (Sp ?) hay for rabbits.
Yes, it was a good article. I have it in my document files if anyone needs a copy. Just PM me. :)


I posted the article as a separate thread since I couldn't see any way to add an attachment to a PM. Titled: 1919 Article on Natural Feeding

MaggieJ... Technopeasant! :rolleyes:
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