Natural diet/fryers/ Is it possible?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Caelma, May 12, 2005.

  1. Caelma

    Caelma Well-Known Member

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    With all the talk about being self sufficiant
    When raising fryers one needs to buy pellets.
    I was wondering if anyone here has fed
    a natural diet year round.
    Can you feed grass grown with no fertilizers or
    weeding chemicals,
    Fresh grass and carrots and dandilions
    and such and still have them grow as a rationed raised
    fryer?
    Can normal grass/clover/pasture mix
    be dried and stored for the winter?
    If so would it change the tast of the meat?
    Would love to hear from Pat on this also.
    Is something like this at all possible?
    What other things can be grown to add to their diets?
     
  2. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

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    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    South Dakota
    It can be done! Being a newbie with rabbits I am not one to give advice (had rabbits for 1 year and 1 month!) but I am in the stages of learning.

    I started to feed my rabbits a grain mix about six months ago. I get the mix from an elevator/coop with a minimum order of 1 ton. I feed this to my chickens and goats, also. I was feeding them pellets but was going through about a bag a week and then the co-op raised the price by another $1. I started to mix the pellets with the grain mix and have since discontinued the pellets. I always offer a grass hay/alfalfa hay with this for their roughage.

    You really do need to get savy with the nutrients of the food you are feeding. I have a "Feeds and Feeding" book that I refer to a lot and "Rabbit Production". My grain mix is low in protein and metabolises hot (not sure if that is how to say that). So I feed other things depending on rabbit (bred doe, mother, friers...) that will either increase the protein and for this summer I will feed other things (greens, veggies...) and less of the grains so they will not get so hot.

    Pellets are the easy way to do it, but if you want a little extra work and do some research it is worthwhile. My rabbits get excited at feeding time. I do feed my friers longer to get them up to size (I have Satins which take about a week or two extra to get up around 5 pounds anyway). I haven't noticed a difference in taste, maybe more fat but that was over the winter.

    Hope this helps.
     

  3. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

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    Oct 15, 2003
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    South Dakota
    Oh, just another note. Since going to the grain mix which does have ADE vitamins in it, I have noticed the rabbits actually licking those mineral blocks I got for them. Never did before so you will need to offer them one if you go away from pellets.
     
  4. daytrader

    daytrader Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Metro east St Louis Illinois
    Its been a nit since I was breeding. I am getting back into it. I free range my chickens and am looking into doing organic rabbits. Just not many. Most will be commercial fed.

    We grow timithy hay. I ffind rabbits like it. I can buy alafa all day long and it will store all winter.

    Crop tops work as well. You will notice less production with better meat.

    Remember rabbits eat anything. Hell, they will eat a dang tree.

    You have to provide a well mix with good vitanins and minerals.

    Good earth is a nice licking area. Have you ever seen a rabbit in the whild like the ground? I sure have.