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Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Provide a well rounded diet without commercial feed, including discussions of the methods and merits of growing fodder.
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#166  Unread postby ek.blair » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:50 am


Any one heard of feeding Mertensia paniculata, also known as the tall lungwort, tall bluebells, or northern bluebells? It is in the same plant family as Borago officinalis, Borage (family, Boraginaceae). I have come across quite a bit of it while foraging for the buns and was curious if it was ok for them. I did some research yesterday and it seems that the wild snowshoe hares up here eat it. And I found this about it too; "While the Tall Bluebell's organs are not edible whole, it has been used in the past as a pot-herb in the north and in areas of Scotland, due to its place in the borage family. It also has been used for medicinal purposes. The dried leaves of the plant could be made into an herbal tea to stimulate the respiratory system."
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#167  Unread postby Cspr » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:57 am


Any idea what this red-seeded plant is? I thought amaranth at a distance, but the leaves are wrong. Would like to know what it is, since it's all over.

http://imgur.com/IMcCpUr

Also, can rabbits eat fig leaves?
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#168  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:29 am


Cspr wrote:Any idea what this red-seeded plant is? I thought amaranth at a distance, but the leaves are wrong. Would like to know what it is, since it's all over.

http://imgur.com/IMcCpUr

?


dock [probly ,yellow dock]
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#169  Unread postby MaggieJ » Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:03 pm


Yes, I agree, it is dock.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumex_crispus

You can feed the young leaves in moderation, but it contains a lot of oxalic acid and the older leaves are not recommended. Once it puts up its flower stalk, I remove it from the rabbits' menu. But it is very useful in spring, when a lot of other plants are slow to start.

Feeding a variety of plants is your best safeguard against the rabbits getting too much of any one thing.
Last edited by MaggieJ on Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Typo
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#170  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:18 am


On another thread Lilac was asked about [as rabbit feed] does / has anyone here feed it successfully ??
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#171  Unread postby blue sky » Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:22 am


anyone know if i can feed my rabbit parsely?

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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#172  Unread postby Sagebrush » Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:26 am


As far as I can tell they seem to LOVE parsley. :D

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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#173  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:01 pm


Parsley is good rabbit food, [just start them out slow so you don't get runny poop.]
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#174  Unread postby craneman54 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:15 pm


I was just looking to see if pecan tree leave's and bark are toxic to rabbits and found this info. This may help answer some questions here.

http://www.adoptarabbit.com/articles/toxic.html
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#175  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:36 am


craneman54 wrote:I was just looking to see if pecan tree leave's and bark are toxic to rabbits and found this info. This may help answer some questions here.

http://www.adoptarabbit.com/articles/toxic.html


Toxic plant lists can be a starting point, but there are several problems with them.

1. They rarely list the Latin names for plants and common names often vary regionally. Confusion as to what plant is meant can be dangerous for our rabbits.

2. They are not comprehensive (how can they be?) and people tend to assume if a plant is not on the toxic list it must be okay for their rabbits. Not necessarily so.

3. They often contain inaccuracies. In this list sweet potatoes are listed as toxic. If they mean the sweet potato whose Latin name is Ipomoea batatas, they are not toxic to rabbits and both the greens and the tubers can be fed in moderation. They are a rich food, but useful, especially in winter.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_potato
Another error is listing wild carrot as toxic. Again, assuming they mean the plant a lot of us call Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota) it is botanically the same plant as garden carrots and all parts are safe for rabbits, except the seeds. The seeds have strong contraceptive properties.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daucus_carota

There may be other inaccuracies in this list that I did not notice at a glance. Please use lists like this with extreme caution.
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The following user would like to thank MaggieJ for this post
michaels4gardens, Zass

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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#176  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:46 am


it also lists Morning Glory, my rabbits love morning glory. and eat a large amount of it when I weed the garden , they like it better then Lambsquarters, Cheese weed [malva neglecta] ,or amaranth , and they eat a lot of those also.---
I think-- people who come up with lists of toxic plants for rabbits, sometimes- just do a search for plants that are toxic to something, or could be toxic in large amounts, they often have never really raised rabbits, and tried feeding different questionable plants to them. I do see the need for caution, I believe moderation is the key to many problems, -as feeding too much of a lot of "relatively safe" plants [like Lambsquarters] can become a big problem- --, - I see Garlic is not on the "toxic plant list" but it was probly just an oversight.
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#177  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:52 am


You're right, Michael, that moderation is important when feeding a certain plant to rabbits. Moderation and variety are both key.

I generally gather a little or this and a little of that - usually five or six species per feeding. The rabbits do occasionally get a large amount of one plant (such as downed branches of willow after a storm) but since they are fed such a variety most of the time, they can manage these occasional one-dimensional feedings.
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#178  Unread postby rabbit@rtist » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:19 pm


Here's a VEGETABLE LIST
I've been using for 9 years (and the minirex bun just went down, but with lung cancer-- so hay + mycotoxins is my next post!)
The water you rinse the greens with helps hydrate, so leave it wet. (Distilled water will help keep kidneys clean and free of buildup.)
I feed a "salad" in the morning along with dry food and fresh water in clean crock, repeat all early in the evening and free feed timothy hay at all times.

Select at least 3 kinds of vegetables daily. I feed all organic.
A variety is necessary in order to obtain the necessary nutrients, with one each day that contains Vitamin A, indicated by ( * ) .

Add one vegetable to the diet at a time. Eliminate if it causes soft stools or diarrhea.

(!)= Use sparingly. [/b]High in either oxalates or goitrogens and may be toxic in accumulated quantities over a period of time.

Also, watch for gas-- espec broccoli and other root vegetables. And feed small amounts!
Not every rabbit likes or tolerates all of these, they will let you know. Watch the poops!-- like reading tea leaves. Very important especially when giving new food. Also the quality of the food makes a big difference.

Alfalfa, radish and clover sprouts
Arugula (!) *
Basil
Beet greens (tops)*
Bok choy
Broccoli (mostly leaves/steams) *
Carrot and carrot tops*
Celery
Cilantro
Clover
Collard Greens*
Dandelion greens and flowers (no pesticides)*
Endive*
Escarole
Green peppers
Kale (!)*
Mint
Mustard greens*
Parsley* flat leaf is best
Pea pods (the flat edible kind) *
Peppermint leaves
Radish (tops only)
Rasberry leaves
Romaine lettuce (no iceberg or light colored leaf) *
Baby Spinach (!)*
Watercress*
Wheat grass

I also use organic flat leaf parsley, basil and others for "treats" instead of commercial items. My rabbits prefer the list... and won't even eat anything from a bag. Bonus also-- these are all non-fattening. :D Bun appetite!

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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#179  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:08 am


MaggieJ wrote:You're right, Michael, that moderation is important when feeding a certain plant to rabbits. Moderation and variety are both key.

I generally gather a little or this and a little of that - usually five or six species per feeding. The rabbits do occasionally get a large amount of one plant (such as downed branches of willow after a storm) but since they are fed such a variety most of the time, they can manage these occasional one-dimensional feedings.


I try to never let my rabbits be overly hungry when introducing new food plants to the feed mix, and I try to watch and see what they are eating and what they are leaving in the manger, and I always clean out the manger each night before refilling it [ the "waste" feed goes to sheep, who seem to be great garbage disposals for almost anything] My rabbits will eat a great quantity of some things for a few days, [like Cheese weed "malva neglecta"] -- I fed 3 wheelbarrows / day of malva neglecta for 3 days, along with kale, a little amaranth, and lambsquarters, and misc greens and garden weeds, the first 3 days they gobbled it up completely,to the exclusion of other "normal feeds", but after the 3rd day they had stopped eating any of the cheeseweed at all, so-there must have been something in it they needed, -and-- there must be something in it that has a limiting / toxic effect that accumulates. If I had let them just be hungry until it was eaten, I could have caused some kind of "poisoning" [or other negative consequences]
-same with willow, and cottonwood branches, after a storm there are lots available for feeding, but I always watch to see when they have had enough, and make sure there are other foods for them to move on to. Kale, Chicory, and radish greens are my staple green feeds I grow here, that they seem to always be ready for, so I try to make sure that some of that is available to them to "move on to" .
anyway-- JMHO
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#180  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:27 pm


michaels4gardens wrote:I try to never let my rabbits be overly hungry when introducing new food plants to the feed mix, and I try to watch and see what they are eating and what they are leaving in the manger, and I always clean out the manger each night before refilling it [ the "waste" feed goes to sheep, who seem to be great garbage disposals for almost anything] My rabbits will eat a great quantity of some things for a few days, [like Cheese weed "malva neglecta"] -- I fed 3 wheelbarrows / day of malva neglecta for 3 days, along with kale, a little amaranth, and lambsquarters, and misc greens and garden weeds, the first 3 days they gobbled it up completely,to the exclusion of other "normal feeds", but after the 3rd day they had stopped eating any of the cheeseweed at all, so-there must have been something in it they needed, -and-- there must be something in it that has a limiting / toxic effect that accumulates. If I had let them just be hungry until it was eaten, I could have caused some kind of "poisoning" [or other negative consequences]
-same with willow, and cottonwood branches, after a storm there are lots available for feeding, but I always watch to see when they have had enough, and make sure there are other foods for them to move on to. Kale, Chicory, and radish greens are my staple green feeds I grow here, that they seem to always be ready for, so I try to make sure that some of that is available to them to "move on to" .
anyway-- JMHO


This is excellent advice, Michael! Thanks for posting it. :)
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