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drying winter food for rabbits

Provide a well rounded diet without commercial feed, including discussions of the methods and merits of growing fodder.
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drying winter food for rabbits

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Rainey » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:45 am


I've been meaning to post this since we bundled and hung willow to dry in the loft the first days of June. Last week we got out hay in and Joanna has been cutting and drying stinging nettle, burdock, and brambles. (Sorry, Maggie, I don't have time to look up the Latin names for each of those--hope none are confusing) So glad to have that large loft to store the hay and dry the other plants--and the rabbit space is just beneath it. It seems hard to get everything in when it is in prime condition because it's the same time we're busy with the gardens. This year has been wet which made cutting anything for drying harder--and makes the weeds grow so fast. But I know how much it has helped our winter natural feeding to get a variety of plants harvested this time of year and thought it worth a post on this forum for those just getting started.
Would be interested to hear what others are drying--or growing and feeding now.
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about a third of our hay for rabbits and goats
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IMG_0231.jpg
about a tenth of the willow harvest hung in our loft
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Re: drying winter food for rabbits

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:28 pm


You're doing a great job, Rainey! Your hay and willow bunches look wonderful and your storage area and methods are super.

I know I harp on :soap: about using the Latin names for identification but I don't expect people to use them in every post about plants, especially ones that have been discussed often. I'm not that fanatical. :oops: People can ask for clarification if they need it.

Reminder that large mesh bags and old cotton pillowcases also work well for drying greens that cannot be bunched. I've stored dried greens in bushel baskets too and even in a "hammock" made of an old bed sheet with knots in the corners so they could be zip-tied to nails in the wall of our shed.

I found that sow thistles and prickly lettuce can also be harvested later in the season when they are tall enough to bunch. The quality may not be quite so high, but still quite acceptable. All the wonderful weeds seem to thrive when ground is turned over for the first time in years. If you plow an area of less-desirable land one year, you'll be amazed at the wonderful weeds you can harvest there the next.

It is difficult to get time to dry greens in quantity for winter feeding with so much other work needing to be done at the same time, but won't you and your rabbits be glad of it when there's two feet of snow on the ground!
Last edited by MaggieJ on Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: typo

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Re: drying winter food for rabbits

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Rainey » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:12 pm


MaggieJ wrote:You're doing a great job, Rainey! Your hay and willow bunches look wonderful and your storage area and methods are super.
I know I harp on :soap: about using the Latin names for identification but I don't expect people to use them in every post about plants, especially ones that have been discussed often. I'm not that fanatical. :oops: People can ask for clarification if they need it.


I wasn't complaining about your reminders--just acknowledging that I didn't include the latin names. I agree with you that they are important but it's so easy to assume that the plants I'm mentioning are common, familiar, known. Glad you're there with those reminders and appreciate all your help when we were getting started.

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