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deer fern for rabbits?

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deer fern for rabbits?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby shazza » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:56 pm


i have a lot of deer fern i'm clearing out on my new property and from what i've read online, it's a food source for deer, elk, etc and i was just wondering if anyone here knew if i could feed these to my rabbits. i'm cutting them out anyway, it would be great if i could use them as food for something rather than toss em on the burn pile.
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Re: deer fern for rabbits?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:04 pm


Do you have a Latin name for deer fern?
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Re: deer fern for rabbits?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby shazza » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:16 pm


oh, of course. completely forgot. google is telling me it's Blechnum spicant :)
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Re: deer fern for rabbits?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:24 pm


I took a look (not, I admit, a thorough search) but couldn't find much about it. Apparently humans can eat it as an emergency food, so it is unlikely to be highly toxic to rabbits. This is a separate question to determining if it is a good forage for your rabbits. I always consider three qualities when recommending greens for rabbits, First safety, then nutritional value and palatability.
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Re: deer fern for rabbits?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Preitler » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:58 am


I think it wouldn't hurt in moderation, served with enough other stuff, but I wouldn't use it as staple feed.

A german website says it's rather high on bitters and tanins - which is responsible for its medical properties - and Thiaminase, which destroys vitamin B1 and can lead to a shortage of that, it gets destroyed when cooked. Young sprouts and the roots were used as food.

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