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How do alfalfa pellets compare to rabbit pellets?

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How do alfalfa pellets compare to rabbit pellets?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby a7736100 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:20 pm


It's cheaper but can rabbits live on just that?

DuMOR Alfalfa Pellets are a premium protein source of nutrition for animals needing maintenance to higher levels of digestible energy. Alfalfa is often the preferred forage for horses because of its high quality and good forage value.

Ingredients:
Alfalfa Hay (Ground), Cane Molasses

Guaranteed analysis:
Crude Protein 15%
Crude Fat (min.) 1%
Crude Fiber (max.) 33%
Moisture (max.) 12%
Ash (max.) 14%

Alfalfa pellets should be fed at ground level and can be soaked with water to form a mash for animals that may have dental issues, feeding disorders or are prone to choke. Feed by weight and not by volume; 1-2% of a horse's weight should be fed daily in hay forages; this amount may vary depending on the animal's nutritional needs and level of activity. Make feed changes gradually over a period of 7 days. Consult your veterinarian or nutritionist to develop a total health care and nutritional program for your animal. All health care programs should include regular deworming, vaccination and dental care.

Specification Description
Product Type: Forage
Animal Type: Horse, Sheep, Goat, Cattle, Rabbits
Brand: DuMOR
Cattle: Yes
Deer: Yes
Goat: Yes
Horse: Yes
Life Stage: Any
Package Size: 50 lb.
Pig: Yes
Poultry: No
Rabbit: Yes
Sheep: Yes
Type: Pellet
Manufacturer Part Number PELLET LARGE

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Re: How do alfalfa pellets compare to rabbit pellets?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby shazza » Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:56 pm


rabbit pellets are not just alfalfa - they are also other vitamins and minerals that rabbits need to stay healthy. alfalfa pellets are JUST alfalfa, and don't have all the requirements to keep them healthy. you could feed it in a pinch, but long-term you'd start having issues.
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Re: How do alfalfa pellets compare to rabbit pellets?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby MeadowView » Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:14 pm


Exactly what shazza said. Rabbit pellets are designed for rabbits, and every ingredient serves a purpose. I would expect fertility and condition problems very quickly on an unbalanced alfalfa only diet.

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Re: How do alfalfa pellets compare to rabbit pellets?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby akane » Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:17 pm


Hay loses many vitamins within the first couple months and more over time. While the molasses is helpful it is not made to balance hay for a complete diet and will still be deficient in many of the same areas. Molasses can cause diarrhea and digestive problems in small herbivores in large quantities. Domesticated rabbits have also been bred to produce beyond what their original native diet of only plant forage provided.

Most people feed 16% protein minimum with 18% being common. Fat content of pellets is low but still 2-2.5%. The alfalfa pellet has no guarantee of even calcium or phosphorous content to know if you are providing enough and staying around the 2:1 Ca:P. That's just the very basics of what you look for on an analysis. You'd have skinny rabbits that might not produce enough milk, may have lots of runts, you may have a lot of kits fail to thrive, and whether breeding or not will probably end up with vitamin/mineral deficiencies causing everything from poor coats to bone and teeth issues. Depending on molasses content they could even all end up with diarrhea and the resulting dehydration or bloat and stasis can result in death.

It's ok as a supplement instead of hay if they will even eat it and do not get enough molasses to be a negative instead of a benefit but not at all a complete diet. Alfalfa pellets are only supplemental for large livestock as well and you usually provide mineral blocks with full pasture when feeding just a form of hay to large livestock. I have mimicked similar with rabbits in colony using complete mineral blocks. The soft ones with powdered grains and a full range of minerals rather than the hard trace ones. Then mostly just good quality alfalfa hay but there is no situation you can ignore the rest for just a form of hay long term with large or small herbivores.
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Re: How do alfalfa pellets compare to rabbit pellets?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:29 am


As mentioned above---
I have tried that approach [only alfalfa] while it will work reasonably well for a while, if fed fresh and green,[for breed stock] it will not work for very long when fed dry and baled, or pelletised. Milking does and growing rabbits don't get what they need to be productive, and obvious issues develop almost immediately. When I fed "naturally" I fed root crops [Jerusalem artichoke, and or sugar beet] with the alfalfa hay [or good grass hay] , and as Akane mentioned above- I also fed a "complete" sheep mineral supplement with this diet. With the addition of the root crops, they got the energy needed for growth and milking. In some areas .. where good soil still exists, and manure is still used instead of commercial fertilizer, the addition mineral supplement might not be so critical. But,... in my opinion-- those days are pretty much gone.. Even 50+ years ago, on the "farm" I was raised on- with only natural fertilizers being used, the addition of the sheep minerals produced a very noticeable improvement .
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Re: How do alfalfa pellets compare to rabbit pellets?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:35 pm


I fed my rabbits a natural alfalfa-hay based diet, but I also fed greens, root crops, pumpkin and kitchen scraps along with small amounts of whole grain and a mineral block. The hay was not completely alfalfa but about 75%.

One year, I realized that I was going to run short of hay before the new crop was ready, so I was looking for a temporary subsitute for that part of their diet. I asked on the forums and the consensus was that rabbits don't really like alfalfa pellets and I'd be wasting my money. Someone suggested the alfalfa hay cubes that you can get for horses. I found them a reasonable short-term substitute.

The next year, I made sure to order more hay.
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Re: How do alfalfa pellets compare to rabbit pellets?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby akane » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:40 pm


I found pumpkin quite useful every year for guinea pigs and rabbits. If you ask around for people who set them out decoratively without carving or leftovers at pumpkin patches if you can get there between halloween and first frost they will let you have them free to only a couple dollars each. 1 average carving pumpkin goes a long way and squash stores a fair amount of time. Not near as long as root crops but considerably longer than other vegetables in cool, dry conditions.
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Re: How do alfalfa pellets compare to rabbit pellets?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:46 pm


Pumpkins are very useful, both for the flesh and the seeds. The seeds are packed with nutrients and are also believed to act as a wormer. My rabbits weren't wild about pumpkin offered raw, but when I put chunks in the microwave for a few minutes, they ate it like it was pumpkin pie. ;)
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Re: How do alfalfa pellets compare to rabbit pellets?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:47 am


when I had a hog farm, I had a sign on the fence near our driveway- "recycle leaves, grass clippings, and food scraps here"
I got loads of pumpkins after halloween, some folks even brought their kids to toss the pumpkins into the sow pasture and watch the very short show....
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