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Natural Feed Formula List

Provide a well rounded diet without commercial feed, including discussions of the methods and merits of growing fodder.
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Re: Natural Feed Formula List

Post Number:#16  Unread postby mamax6 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:21 pm


Stone Soup - I am in Nevada and just started with the Am Chins. We are raising mostly for meat - will you post your taste results for the pellets vs. grain diet? Thanks!

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Re: Natural Feed Formula List

Post Number:#17  Unread postby tomfc2 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:32 pm


question: right now I have lots of finished plants in my large garden like watermelon, squash and pumpkins my bunnies love these fresh leaves and vines, but they will not be able to eat it all before frost kill. I am trying to pull the whole vines and hanging them in the sun to dry for winter forage. is this a good idea? or will the nutritional value suffer?
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Re: Natural Feed Formula List

Post Number:#18  Unread postby MaggieJ » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:28 pm


You can dry most greens, tomfc2, but fleshy ones like watermelon, squash and pumpkins may be more difficult. I usually dry my greens away from sun but in a hot dry place like our mudroom. As long as they don't develop mould, they should be fine. Even if some nutrients are lost, they will still be useful as fibre and to add interest to a winter diet.

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Re: Natural Feed Formula List

Post Number:#19  Unread postby bobqdevon » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:01 pm


I feed alfalfa hay, supplemented with BOSS, oats, and a mineral block. the Does get a pellet supplement (1-2 ounces per day) from 2 weeks until the kits are out of the cage.
And of course, they all get the carrot and oat horse snacks. Just put one in on the floor of the cage, and watch them take a nibble, then it goes rolling across the cage and they chase it... good times :)
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Re: Natural Feed Formula List

Post Number:#20  Unread postby sassytassie » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:53 pm


Hi this is my first post so I apologize if I sound less than smart. I am about to purchase a meat trio (Californians). I want to research all that is involved prior. I can definitely afford to buy feed etc, no problem. However, I live in the Los Angeles national forest and have about 9 acres at my disposal and would like to bring that to their diet as well. Am I able to create runs for my rabbits to forage naturally and just move them around? I am not familiar with the sticky in regards to no-no foods yet but will take a look at them after this post.

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Re: Natural Feed Formula List

Post Number:#21  Unread postby MaggieJ » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:12 pm


Actually, the sticky is a list of SAFE PLANTS.
safe-plants-for-rabbits-list-t55.html

Some people do pasture their rabbits, but between predators digging or climbing in and rabbits digging out, the pens need to be very secure or protected with electric fence.

I prefer to keep my rabbits in an indoor colony in a shed and bring the greens to them. Prior to that, I kept them in cages and brought the greens to them. It isn't as much work as it sounds. I feed free choice alfalfa hay, small amounts of whole grain and as much fresh forage as possible. Rabbits not eating pellets need a trace mineral salt block.

You might want to look at the Rabbit Colonies forum as well. I believe most posts about moveable pens (often called rabbit tractors) will be found there.

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Re: Natural Feed Formula List

Post Number:#22  Unread postby OneAcreFarm » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:01 pm


sassytassie wrote:Hi this is my first post so I apologize if I sound less than smart. I am about to purchase a meat trio (Californians). I want to research all that is involved prior. I can definitely afford to buy feed etc, no problem. However, I live in the Los Angeles national forest and have about 9 acres at my disposal and would like to bring that to their diet as well. Am I able to create runs for my rabbits to forage naturally and just move them around? I am not familiar with the sticky in regards to no-no foods yet but will take a look at them after this post.


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Re: Natural Feed Formula List

Post Number:#23  Unread postby Hannah » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:49 pm


My "formula" is still in the works, right now I feed a diet of free choice Alfalfa/Grass Hay, along with kitchen scraps and a small amount of Oats and BOSS. They also have a mineral/salt lick so I can be sure they're getting enough salt, vitamins and minerals. So far they seem to be doing really well on it, and enjoy the fresh stuff.

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Re: Natural Feed Formula List

Post Number:#24  Unread postby marmca » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:17 pm


Hi,
I have a question about TRANFERRING pellet fed rabbit's to hay and natural diet. In particular, my buck shuns hay, will eat Loquat leave,branches and fruit. He looks and feels anorexic. Giant Angora, was discovered how thin when harvested wool.
Has had access to over a flake a day (I bought 50 lb bales of Timothy/Orchard ("horse hay") My crossbred (mutt), dwarf and Flemish all know what it is.and have pretty good eating habits. The German does pick at it. The buck waits for pellets, sweet feed or grain doesn't even spread hay about cage, will sit on it, use it for a bathroom. I put him in yard the other day he found his way out of pen and spent afternoon evening in yard; neighbor had caught and put back in cage where I found him next morning. Put him in house in a cage to monitor his diet, That day he happily chewed most of the day, branches, leaves even some hay, but picky like the does. I've tried Oxbow brand Timothy hay, these newer ones even shunned it for a time and still waste a lot. Not like my 'mutt' who eats what is good for her and delights in pellets or especially sweet feed but cleans most of her cage of stray hay. Newly acquired German Giants are junk food junkies. If he weren't so thin I am familiar with "they'll eat when they are hungry" attitude. Before spent the night outside, only way to get him to eat was pour molasses on the hay. Or let him live on Loquat leaves, branches. As garden is not at harvest-able stage yet and can not spend $60 week buying fresh greens. Anyone else have any experience, knowledge on how to break them of junk food habit? He will nibble whole beets and tops in moderation - I've read tops are not too good for them. I bought 10 bales of Timothy / Orchard anticipating this was bulk of their diet. Am now faced with finding feed that he will eat. Even Calf Manna pelleted rabbit Pro he would nibble but usually left plenty in food dish. Have to put some weight on him. :| (help) Any suggestions?

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Re: Natural Feed Formula List

Post Number:#25  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:08 pm


Marmca, I found your post a bit hard to follow, but it sounds to me like the German Angora buck may have an underlying issue if he is very thin and will not eat heartily of either hay or pellets.

Orchard/grass/timothy hays are not high enough in protein - about 12% maximun, same as most whole grains. Many of us who feed a natural diet base it on a hay with a good alfalfa or clover content, which is more like 16-18 %. This is approximately the same protein content as most pelleted feeds. Angoras in particular need a bit more protein because they are growing all that wool... and fur and feathers are composed mainly of protein.

I feed my rabbits free choice alfalfa hay, some grass hay, gathered greens (weeds and safe tree branches in spring, summer and fall and root vegetables and cabbage in winter) and a small amount of whole grain, mainly wheat. If rabbits are not being fed pellets, they also need a trace mineral salt block. The youngsters grow more slowly on this diet than on pellets, but the adults maintain a healthy weight, as long as you do not overdo the grain.

Some rabbits are resistant to the change to natural feed. Sometimes it is more efficient to save some of their naturally-fed offspring and cull or sell the resistant adults.

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Re: Natural Feed Formula List

Post Number:#26  Unread postby Princessivy » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:39 pm


I wondered if any of you have experienced calcium issues from feeding alfalfa? I am looking for lower my feed bill and become less dependent of pellets. how would I know if my rabbits are having issues from calcium deposits from Alfalfa?

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Re: Natural Feed Formula List

Post Number:#27  Unread postby akane » Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:34 pm


Simple feed
1/2lb rolled oats
1/2lb barley
1/4lb black oil sunflower seeds
unlimited 20% protein organic clover/alfalfa hay off a field treated for increased trace minerals
a soft mineral block for horses per colony
as needed oats or pellets rolled in horse coat supplement: soy oil, sunflower oil, flax oil

Fell back to manna gro temporarily and currently working on this much more complete mix with the same hay and no fresh foods most of the year
how-is-this-supplement-and-chamomile-question-t20670.html


Yes it may be overkill. Part of the excessive mixture aside from covering everything is palatability testing. Number crunching is in process to see exactly the protein, carbs, fat, Ca:P, fat soluable vitamin numbers and trace mineral percentages. Then things will probably get cut from the mix and others adjusted to reach my goals and have something that everyone will finish off happily.
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Re: Natural Feed Formula List

Post Number:#28  Unread postby Princessivy » Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:17 pm


How long does that mix last? How much do you feed per rabbit? How do you determine how much 7-8 kits growing out should get or a nursing momma with kits not eating food yet.

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Re: Natural Feed Formula List

Post Number:#29  Unread postby Graceful Meadows » Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:43 pm


How do you keep this affordable? I am probably missing something, but it seems more expensive, especially in the winter when there isn't anything fresh outside. What am I missing? I think it would be really cool to go all natural (or at least mostly natural) but it seems way more expensive. :-?

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Re: Natural Feed Formula List

Post Number:#30  Unread postby zee » Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:26 pm


Taking notes...

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