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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:#181  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:#182  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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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#183  Unread postby rabbit@rtist » Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:15 pm


Some of the best info I've seen

Super video and info from MediRabbit.com
about which fresh vegetables and how to feed them to your rabbits.
Including another most important component, how to check for gas and what to do!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxCWDf0Wauk

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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#184  Unread postby Sagebrush » Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:32 pm


I have a question, is the ficus tree (Ficus exasperate) safe to feed the leaves to rabbits? I cannot find any information about it. I also have a fig tree (Ficus carica) that I would like to add the leaves and fruit to the rabbits forage if safe.

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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#185  Unread postby EnglishSpot » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:12 pm


English Primroses--the type you can get from the store in late winter and early spring (primula vulgaris). I am aware that the leaves themselves are poisonous but last spring our rabbit would just decimate the flowers off the primrose--and not touch the plant itself. She snapped off the primrose flowers so quick that I didn't need to deadhead at all and it kept blooming til early summer!!

Wikipedia states that for humans the flowers and leaves are edible.

Obviously, the rabbit isn't dead and she never touched the leaves themselves, but does anyone know if there is an accumulation effect with primrose flowers?
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#186  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:36 am


JMHO--I have learned a lot by trial and error, [sometimes that is a bad thing] but-- I feel that as long as your rabbits have plenty of safe things to choose from, they will "USUALLY" eat the good and leave the bad.] - but-- some things build up in the system and then become a problem, like malva neglecta [cheese weed] chenopodium species [lambsquarters] amaranth [red root pigweed to some]
--plants that are loved and "safe" for rabbits still need to be fed along with some palatable "always safe foods [ like grass hay]. so that when the rabbits get enough of a particular food, they have something else to move on to for a few days until their system clears whatever it is that is building up. Rabbits will eat things that are poisonous if they are hungry, or just hungry for greens, so -- as long as you don't introduce questionable foods to a hungry rabbit there is less chance they will eat very much of things that are toxic. again JMHO -- we have all heard stories of rabbits that killed themselves eating toxic plants , -so reasonable caution is advisable. BUt-- as a general rule, things people can eat --rabbits can eat-- including cooked meat /meat byproducts [avocados are possibly one the exceptions]
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#187  Unread postby EnglishSpot » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:01 pm


She had a wide variety in the yard to eat from (willow, snapdragons, petunias, geranium, marigolds, pot herbs) and I tried to keep the prims above rabbit level, but inevitably the pots got moved off the outdoor table and back on the ground.

I'm a bit uncertain now as to the 'poisonousness' of primrose leaves.... if I can eat them, she can too?? I'll have to do some more research!! Thank you, Michael!
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#188  Unread postby lereg15 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:08 pm


I'm a complete idiot when it comes to research on the computer, so can anybody tell me what this is and if they're safe for rabbits?
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#189  Unread postby Susie570 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:19 pm


Thistle maybe? Thistle would be rabbit safe (does it have stickers on it?)

Kind of looks like dandelion weeds too, but they would probably have flower head on them by now (many of ours do)
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#190  Unread postby lereg15 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:32 pm


Syberchick70 wrote:Thistle maybe? Thistle would be rabbit safe (does it have stickers on it?)

Kind of looks like dandelion weeds too, but they would probably have flower head on them by now (many of ours do)

It's sure not dandelions!! I have thousands of them (I should have taken a pic of a portion of my yard).
No, they don't have any stickers on them, but they do have a fuzzy feel to them. They kind of look like the weeds we had in Fl, but those had little 'lady finger firecracker' type flowers that came out of them. As far as I know, these dont have that kind of flower to them, if any at all, ( I'm slacking on my yard work so far), so I usually weedeat them or mow them down.

Here's a close up of them:
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#191  Unread postby Rainey » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:37 pm


Chicory? I'm not so good at telling from photos, but if it is chicory the rabbits love it and it's good for them and that would be at the right early stage. (Chicory has blue flowers and gets stemmy later in the season.)
If you can, find someone in your area that knows their plants and if possible find out the Latin name as the common names vary widely around the country and around the world.

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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#192  Unread postby lereg15 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:50 pm


Rainey wrote:Chicory? I'm not so good at telling from photos, but if it is chicory the rabbits love it and it's good for them and that would be at the right early stage. (Chicory has blue flowers and gets stemmy later in the season.)
If you can, find someone in your area that knows their plants and if possible find out the Latin name as the common names vary widely around the country and around the world.

Possibly, I don't know, but they seem to have a broader leaf than some of the pics I've seen of them. I asked a grounds keeper about it, and he said he would let me know, ( if he does or not is a different story).
I think I found it, but not 100% sure. Dwarf Plantain or Plantago virginica. I know it's from just pictures, but could anybody verify this for me, Please?
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#193  Unread postby Rainey » Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:44 pm


Plantain is also good rabbit forage but all the ones I know have smooth leaves, not fuzzy.

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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#194  Unread postby the reluctant farmer » Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:05 pm


I don't think so. The plantains I see, including plantago virginica, have...lines..like fibers inside of the leaves..running the length of the leaves. Sometimes they're spade-shaped leaves, sometimes rounded, but they always seem to have this thick, smoothish texture with the fibers running the length of the leaves. If you tear a leaf, you'll feel
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the "strings". I've attached a picture from the web & will take one if I get a chance from my yard. Whatever it is that you have, I hope the groundskeeper ID's it, because I have it, too!

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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#195  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:29 pm


Shepherd's purse starts out looking kind of like that, but i think the leaf edges are kind of jagged, -or maybe- Hawkweed, - [is edible]
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