The OFFICIAL "Weeds for Feed" Thread

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by MaggieJ, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    11,274
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
    Oatmeal - if it is indeed just rolled oats - is fine for rabbits in moderation. If they are not getting pellets, they do need a trace mineral salt block. The reddish-brown ones for general livestock are fine. They are likely getting enough fibre from the greens and bamboo but they may be a short on protein. Some alfalfa hay or alfalfa cubes might be a good idea.

    You will have to consider what you will be feeding them when winter comes. I would start to adjust their diet soon so that there is a seamless transition when the supply of greens begins to dwindle. My rabbits get alfalfa hay free choice, small amounts of whole grain, the mineral/salt block and as many greens as the season provides. Even in the dead of winter, I make sure they get some fresh foods.
     
  2. pamda

    pamda Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,958
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Location:
    Idaho
    Thanks so much. Yes just plain old oats from the grocery. It is cheaper than feed right now and the hens do really well with it, the doe loves them a lot. I am drying long grasses and weeds for winter (never done before but worth a try). I cant get the boy to eat pellets at all, he ran all over the neighborhood where I got him for weeks. And ate what wild rabbits do i am guessing. Will go get some hay cubes on payday. And salt.
     

  3. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    841
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Location:
    Ohio
    I'd like to add to this thread a little bit!

    Purple Deadnettle (Lamium purpureum)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamium_purpureum
    http://eatingmymoccasinsnow.blogspot.com/2009/02/dead-nettle-lamium-purpureum.html

    This is a good rabbit-safe weed, but some bunnies don't like it much. It's listed as a rabbit-resistant plant. One of my rabbits eats is religiously when given, and most of the baby bunnies will try it as well but most of my adults will only nibble on the tops. Still, it is high in fiber, iron and antioxidants. It's a relative of mint.

    It's also an important spring flower for bees because there's little that blooms earlier. It dies out quickly when the heat hits, also, so you'll only find it in spring. Deadnettle is a relative of mint, not nettle.



    And another plant people might not think of is the wild carrot commonly called;
    Queen Anne's Lace (Dacus carota)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daucus_carota

    The whole of this plant is edible to rabbits. My rabbits love to chow down on the stalks and will happily consume the small, wiry taproots as well just like a normal carrot. They are edible to people as well, but are very woody in the root. This woodiness will help keep your rabbit's teeth worn down.

    This plant bears a close resemblance to hemlock so be careful when harvesting it. The key features are a fuzzy stem and a very carroty smell from broken stems and roots.
    Poison hemlock has smooth stems, often with purple dots on them. The leaves are bitter and gross smelling, a bit like parsnips. THIS PLANT IS DEADLY AND WILL KILL ANY ANIMAL THAT EATS EVEN A LITTLE OF IT. It's death by paralysis of the lungs, an awful way to go! Be careful!

    The wild carrot, properly identified, is perfectly safe, the tops grow in huge abundance so the rabbits get more of the healthy carrot tops than the relatively sugar-filled root. The nutritional value is very similar to the domestic carrot which was bred from these plants. I feed these to all my rabbits frequently and they love them.

    Please also note that like domestic carrots, it's best to harvest these on a cloudy day because they can cause photophytodermatitus (or a rash when you're in the sun!).
     
  4. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    11,274
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
    Good information, ChocolateMouse! Thanks!

    Just a note that the seeds of Queen Anne's lace have contraceptive and medicinal properties and I recommend cutting off any flower heads that have turned to the "bird's nest" shape as they set seed.
     
  5. guitarstring87

    guitarstring87 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    I live in central Florida and will be starting up a back yard silver fox rabbitry in January when our home is complete. We will be planting and keeping several Moringa trees for our own consumption because of the RIDICULOUS nutritional content. Has anyone ever tried using the leaves as a dietary supplement for rabbits? Here is a link to the nutritional values.

    http://www.themoringa.com/nutritional-values

    Let me know what you think! If no one has ever tried it, I will blaze the trail. I just don't want to needlessly poison a rabbit if someone has already found it toxic.
     
    SmokyShadow and clothAnnie like this.
  6. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    841
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Location:
    Ohio
    My biggest concern about that is the high calcium levels. Rabbits prefer low-calcium food sources which is why I love using roses and carrots so much....

    For example many of the greens we give that are considered "high calcium" are things like dandelions. But this plant has 4X's the level of calcium as in dandelions.

    If you try this I suggest using a bedding or bottom that you can see the urine on. Calcium gives rabbits urinary issues. I'd look for very dark urine and if you see it stop.
     
  7. clothAnnie

    clothAnnie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    203
    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Location:
    VA
    Guitarstring, I'm in a Facebook group called the Moringa the better :). I think done people on there talk about giving it to their rabbits. I'm personally growing some seeds right now for our family and hopefulyl chickens, too.
     
  8. feedbunns

    feedbunns Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    243
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Location:
    Iowa
    Hello every one on my most favorite sight ever.
    I have been out digging up weeds to feed to my bunny's
    I wanted to make sure that this is not poison.
    Thanks feedbunns
     
  9. cloudhidden

    cloudhidden Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    107
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2014
    Location:
    Oregon
    That looks like cranesbill, aka wild geranium. I've got the stuff all over my yard. Haven't checked whether it's safe or not but I'm doin the weeds for bunnies thing too so I will be checking it out
     
  10. Studhauler

    Studhauler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    467
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    I recently found some nettle on my property. How do i fed it to my rabbits? How can i transplant it to a closer location?

    Thanks
     
  11. slowpoke49

    slowpoke49 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Thanks for this post. Years ago, I visited the Alabama Indian reservation in eastern Texas. They told me they usually made their bows from iron wood. I had never heard of it and now I know what it is. So I learned something new today. Really appreciate the info.
     
  12. dizzy

    dizzy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,205
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2013
    Don't know for sure what he's talking about, but those that I know of as honey locust and black locust are Gleditsia triacanthos and Robinia pseudoacacia. Both are in the pea family.

    If you're using them for food sources, be sure you know which is which. The bark and leaves of the black locust can be highly toxic!
     
  13. scarlet812

    scarlet812 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    186
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Location:
    Minnesota Home for the Bewildered
    We have moved to MN, so I am encountering a lot of vegetation that we didn't have at our place in Indiana - new learning curve to tackle! :p

    One thing we have is a huge tree, next to the parking area, that appears to be a Locust tree - same leaf configuration, makes the seed pods - but I have yet to find any thorns anywhere on the branches.

    Does anyone have any idea what this specific type of Locust is, and whether it is safe to give trimmings to the rabbits? Goats, too, if anyone knows?

    The tree is HUGE and needs a lot of trimming, so I'd love to make use of what we need to remove. To explain, I am only 5'2" tall, and I am getting poked in the face walking under it. :) My husband has suggested cutting it down several times, but being the tree hugger I am, I can't agree to cutting down a healthy tree. IMO, it just needs a good haircut.
     
  14. dizzy

    dizzy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,205
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2013
    Can you take some pictures of it? It may not be a locust tree.