Making your own rabbit feed

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by white eagle, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. white eagle

    white eagle Hunting is my life

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    Do any of you all make your own rabbit feed for your rabbits or make a mixture of feed for your rabbits?
     
  2. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, I mix my own feed, since I no longer feed pellets. I half-fill a five gallon pail with a 50/50 mix of scratch and crimped oats. Then I heat a good tablespoon of blackstrap, a tablespoon of sunflower oil, a couple of teaspoons of pickling salt and about half a cup of water in the microwave, stirring to dissolve everything and then mixing it into the grain.

    I also feed lots of hay (both grass hay and alfalfa/timothy) and whatever fresh foods are available. My "recipe" is not finalized yet, however... I am still experimenting to get the best mix. I want to replace the sunflower oil with sunflower seed which will also give them a protein boost... but won't be going to town until next week.

    The young rabbits I've been growing out were pretty lean until I started feeding this, but they have made good gains since then... so I feel I am on the right track. Ideas are welcome, however!
     

  3. furholler

    furholler Cedar Cove Farm Supporter

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    Interesting. Seems like a lot of work though. I wish Fertrell had something for rabbits. :shrug:
     
  4. Beaniemom

    Beaniemom Well-Known Member

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    What exactly is scratch grains though? Do you think they're getting too much corn then?
    Usually diet formulas have a rougage source, a grain, and a protein suppliment. My problem is some of the grains also have protein, don't they? And so does the hay... Everytime I try to think about it it starts like sounding like math to me!

    I wish there was a specific formula, you know? Mix this many cups of this grain with this protein, etc.

    The book I have lists a gestating doe diet, says 50% alfalfa meal, 45.5 oats and 4 soybean meal. The problem is if you substitute a different grain, for example soybeans, you'd need to figure out the digestability of the grain, etc.

    I did see alfalfa pellets at the feed store though Maggie, do you think you could use that instead of the scratch?

    Dawn
     
  5. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Scratch is probably not ideal and I want to change to a mixture of crimped oats and barley and whole wheat. There is cracked corn in the mix but the rabbits don't eat much of it... it is always left in the bottom of the dish. I throw it to the chickens. Except for corn, the grains have a protein content of about 10 - 12 percent. Good alfalfa hay is usually about 17 - 19 percent.

    Dawn, you could substitute the alfalfa pellets for alfalfa hay, but the hay has the advantage of lots of fibre. It is not a substitute for the grains... different "food group". Soybean meal is very high in protein (I think about 47% which is why so little is used in a mix). It is not as digestable as other sources. It must be cooked for animals to digest it and the soybeans in most feeds are roasted. The thing is, I want to get away from processed foods for the buns.

    I figure my buns get enough protein from the alfalfa/timothy hay and the grains... although the sunflower seeds will increase it somewhat. Tne breeders and the young doe I am keeping look great. I will just keep tweaking their diet until I am happy with it, but what I am doing seems to be working well.

    Furholler, it really isn't much work. I put about four scoops of scratch and the same of oats in a bucket. I put the molasses, water, oil and salt in a mug and pop it in the microwave. Then pour it in and stir. Takes all of two minutes every few days.

    Homestead Organics near Ottawa, Ontario has an organic mix for rabbits, but the nearest outlet for it is too far away. I've used their chicken feed in the past and it is excellent, but my local feed store carries another organic brand now. There must be organic feed sources in your area too.
     
  6. white eagle

    white eagle Hunting is my life

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    Boy oh Boy if some of my rabbits are picky as all get out. I took some rabbit pellets, calf manna, BOSS, an some grain with a taste of mollase in it and 3 of my rabbits loved it an the rest wouldn't even touch the feed. So I had to make a new batch that I had what I called dry feed it has no mollase in it just plain dry feed with some corn, oats an other grains, rabbit pellets an calf manna and the other rabbits love it.
     
  7. Beaniemom

    Beaniemom Well-Known Member

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    I found that some of mine are more resistant than others to change. Like if I offered a new green, if they hadn't been used to eating greens, they looked at me like I was trying to poisen them! Most ate it the second or third time I offered it though. Just think of them as picky 2 year old kids who won't eat their spinach! :p
     
  8. Bluefirephoenix

    Bluefirephoenix Well-Known Member

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    Where do you get the soybeanmeal? Coop or Bulkbarn carry them?
     
  9. TroutRiver

    TroutRiver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't want my food producing animals to eat soy, so I mix my own grain.

    For the rabbits right now I am feeding a mix of BOSS, organic whole oats and organic barley (I can get the organic grains from a local source that is almost the same price as the conventional).

    I sprout the grains for the rabbits, which increases their volume and their nutritional content (including protein!), and it very easy and reliable. I have also found that the organic grains sprout much more consistently than the conventional (maybe this has something to do with time spent in storage... there are lots of factors there so I can't be sure). They LOVE the sprouts, including the kits. I haven't had any problems, as long as I introduce it slowly with babies and new rabbits.

    The rabbits also get free choice alfalfa/timothy hay and mineral salt blocks. When there is grass they will be outside on pasture and will get less grain (we have very rich, diverse pastures).

    They are fat and healthy.
     
  10. SherryB

    SherryB Well-Known Member

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    This type of thread is catching my attention now that I'm feeding 18 mouths and so I'm going through 50 lb bags of pellets like crazy. It prompted me to go look at my Storey's Raising Rabbits book because I remembered he had a "recipe". Will try to type most of what it says here...

    Former Pres of ARBA, Oren Reynolds, felt this did a good job of supplementing rabbit pellets. His recipe says to feed this one part to 3 parts of pellets but that he actually fed the mix in the morning and pellets at night to keep the rabbits from scratching one thing out to get another.

    6 quarts oats, 1 quart wheat, 1 quart BOSS, 1 quart barley (whole if available otherwise crimped), 1 quart ------- corn (whatever that is), 1 quart terramycin crumbles. Mix everything together except the terramycin. Add the terramycin only 1 time per week.

    Note: everytime I try to type the word for the corn it is replaced with the dashes. k a f f i r Typed here with spaces between the letters and it left it alone.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  11. nc_mtn

    nc_mtn Well-Known Member

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    I'm interested in what this is. A quick Google search said it's the South African version of the "N Word", or a K Lime... don't see feeding limes to rabbits everyday
     
  12. Bluefirephoenix

    Bluefirephoenix Well-Known Member

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    Is corn bad for them? I've been feeding cracked corn since the winter started and am adding oil to it. They need quite a few calories to stay warm in the cold. I need something concentrated so they can get the calories in quantities they're comfortable eating. I am adding oil and coconut as well as sunflower and pumkin seeds this week. I have trouble with even the indoor animals getting enough in winter they drop weight. I have to feed my dog butter, lard and bread in addition to his regular dogfood to keep his weight acceptable.
     
  13. SherryB

    SherryB Well-Known Member

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    The predecessor of today's milo and grain sorghums

    ------ corn sometimes US, kafir cornn (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Plants) a Southern African variety of sorghum, cultivated in dry regions for its grain and as fodder Sometimes shortened to ------ (US), kafir

    Sometimes shortened to: kafir an old-fashioned and now taboo name for a Southern African variety of sorghum, cultivated in dry regions for its grain and as fodder

    Amazing that this forum is able to edit out the word since it has a negative connotation to it...
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  14. AugustRED

    AugustRED Well-Known Member

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    I've played around with different mixes since most of mine are being raised in a colony these days. Just mixed up a batch - equal parts whole oats, cracked corn, & 12% sweet feed, plus 1.5lbs per 10lbs of ShowBoost (ADM protein supplement) & some DE that sticks to the sweet feed (my reason for using sweet feed instead of pelleted). They also get free choice grass hay, ear corn, & a variety of misc feed items depending on the season. I added the sweet feed & ShowBoost since the kits weren't growing as fast as I'd like on just straight grains (probably running loose like they do slows them down as well), wanted to raise the protien level & calorie density. Hopefully it does the trick, so far they're all eating it fine...
     
  15. pancho

    pancho Well-Known Member

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    I feed all of my animals and birds the same thing.
    They all eat out of the same feeders.
    I mix layer pellets, chick starter, rabbit pellets, wheat, corn, bird seed, boss, cat food, and fish food.
    I feed rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, pheasants, pigeons, parakeets, and finch.
    They are all doing great with the mix.
     
  16. Bluefirephoenix

    Bluefirephoenix Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know the Canadian equivalent to the protein suppliments. Seems to be a habit here to import stuff from the states, change the name and charge twice as much I saw fish meal in a rabbit suppliment ingredient list as well as whey protien. Both are animal based but if you think about it. They would be eating a lot of insects if foraging on their own.. especially with the roots. So they may not be as vegetarian as we think I was trying to figure out how to replicate the suppliment.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  17. Mickey328

    Mickey328 Well-Known Member

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    My first mix (using it now) is: 4 parts oats (crimped or rolled), 4 parts barley, 1 part BOSS and 1 part beet pulp. They get as much grass hay (we have Timothy at the moment) as they want and a couple of good sized handfuls of alfalfa every day, along with some of whatever fresh veggies and such we have on hand. I got a large block of salt/mineral that's actually made for horses, and broke it into chunks...it's in the cage and they lick on it as needed.

    For my next mix, I'm going to leave out the beet pulp...they won't eat it anyway, LOL. In fact, the chickens don't either, so I'm going to ferment it...bet the birds will eat it then! I use the same mix for the chickens as well, but I add cracked corn to it. There are varying opinions about corn and rabbits...I decided to leave it out of their diet. I'm going to be adding 1 part of wheat to the next batch as well.