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Sharing pics and question about feed

Keeping rabbits for their wool and methods of using it.
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Sharing pics and question about feed

Post Number:#1  Unread postby TDUBshop » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:59 pm


Just wanted to introduce myself! We're getting our first rabbits in the next few weeks and are getting everything set up (and figured out).

Below are the two rabbits we're getting. They're French Angoras. Not 100% sure on the sex as they were 4 weeks when we met them and the breeder, and they weren't showing their "stuff" clearly when she showed us. The white is probably a boy and the blue was supposedly a boy but may be changing it's mind. Time (and a little growth) will tell. :lol:

Question: From what I read, 17-18% protein feed is recommended. I looked for Manna Pro Gro locally, which is 18% protein, but TSC here would have to special order it. They do have bags of Manna Pro Pro which is 16%. Not good enough for angora breeds, right?

They also had bales of timothy and alfalfa hay available in the horse isle of TSC, but the alfalfa hay wasn't green like the more expensive small bags in the rabbit isle. I'm guessing this is because it (and the Timothy) hay are old/dried? Is it still as nutritious for the rabbits? I'm hoping to find someone locally but as of right now farmers aren't selling individual bales (only in large quantities). I'm still looking, though.

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Blue Pearl (buck…ish?)
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Jack Jack.jpg
REW Buck
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Thanks for your help! It's nice to have someplace to double check before making decisions.

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Re: Sharing pics and question about feed

Post Number:#2  Unread postby ottersatin » Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:47 pm


Hello TDUBshop,
Why could the breeder not sex the rabbits for you?
It should be easy for a breeder to do at that age [four weeks].
You are essentially buying a "Pig in a Poke". I would have the breeder sex them
for you before you finalized your purchase. Are there any knowledgeable breeders
near you that might ascertain the sexes for you? You want to house your Rabbits
in their own cage/territory. Once you know who is the Buck and which is the Doe
you can better assess your situation. When starting out you would be better to purchase
one Buck and two Does. As always, JMPO. We all must do what we feel is best in any given
situation. Best of luck with your new venture.
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Thank you Dennis.

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Re: Sharing pics and question about feed

Post Number:#3  Unread postby TDUBshop » Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:33 pm


Thank you!

She said they looked like boys when she sexed them earlier, but when we came to visit they weren't showing their "stuff" as well when she went to show us and it made her question herself. She seemed surprised and said she'd keep an eye on them if she was wrong about the sex and would let us know.

We have a double hutch that can be made into two separate compartments (46" x 30" each floor). While we're interested in breeding and showing some day, there's plenty of time for that in the future. Right now we're happy to spoil these two, learn how to groom and care for them properly, and hopefully learn to spin their wool. Once our lives settle (or have settlement in sight, we're still halfway to retirement for my husband), I'd love to start a rabbitry. Until then, these two guys will be pets.

There's so much to learn about rabbit care. The whole "color identification" board makes me scratch my head because I don't see the difference. Got to do more reading.

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Re: Sharing pics and question about feed

Post Number:#4  Unread postby faiththequeen » Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:57 pm


Beautiful rabbits! Definitely check your local feed stores and mills for feed. And try Craigslist for hay. I've had great luck there!!! Congrats and good luck!
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Re: Sharing pics and question about feed

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Dood » Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:41 pm


The small bags of hay likely have a preservative to prevent it from molding in the plastic bag and to be more attractive to buyers - if the large bales of hay smell "fresh" and not dusty or moldy then nutritionally they are the same.

Rabbits can and do breed through wire so a gap/space is needed between the double cage, this will also prevent them from bite each others noses off.

The following user would like to thank Dood for this post
TDUBshop

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Re: Sharing pics and question about feed

Post Number:#6  Unread postby TDUBshop » Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:13 am


Thanks, Dood. I'll give the bales a sniff to see if they smell fresh. I'm still hoping to find someone locally that will sell me a small bale for a better price, but it's nice to have back up as well.

What protein percentage is in everyone's feed? I keep reading conflicting information about that, angoras, and quality fiber production (or nutrition). Is 16% protein too low?

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Re: Sharing pics and question about feed

Post Number:#7  Unread postby owlsfriend » Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:56 am


you can boost the protein level by feeding BOSS (black oil sunflower seed) about a tablespoon per day....the hulls are good fiber to keep them from getting blocked by wool strands that they ingest while self-grooming. I give my woolers about an inch chunk of banana with peel once a week and a papaya tablet.

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Re: Sharing pics and question about feed

Post Number:#8  Unread postby skysthelimit » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:54 pm


My Angoras are on 16% and they grow wool fine. I know PSF's Angoras would have a fit on 16%.

But because it's low, they get feed more. And they get mulberry leaves, BOSS and oats in the wintertime.
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Re: Sharing pics and question about feed

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Twobirdsfarm » Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:59 pm


My buns get a 17% protein extruded pellet and local 2nd cut grass hay. The extruded pellets are easier to digest and contain papaya which helps deter wool block (an absolute must have ingredient IMHO) and yucca which cuts down on the ammonia smell, plus probios and all that other good stuff. I loooove this feed and its cost is almost identical to the other regular pelleted feeds the company makes. All the buns do really well on it, and I just add a small amount of BOSS to my pregnant/lactating does' feeders when I feed everybody.
Congrats on the new additions!!!
:D - TBF

Oh! And your blue pearl buck looks like a lilac to me (and soooo cute!). Which is a self color, a dilute of chocolate.
This is Yak, he's a blue pearl. The pearls keep most of their color at the points.
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Cheers! :)

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Re: Sharing pics and question about feed

Post Number:#10  Unread postby akane » Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:09 pm


16% is usually fine for adult bucks and nonbreeding does. Alfalfa instead of timothy would help keep the protein up but it's also high in some other nutrients like calcium that you don't always want to feed. Hay that is not green may still be recently cut and fresh but sunlight bleaches out the color very quickly. Within days a bale of alfalfa can turn completely brown on the outside. The inside is often still green and the brown still has nutrients but is not as palatable to the animals.
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Re: Sharing pics and question about feed

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Zass » Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:58 pm


The alfalfa and timothy sold by my local TSC is overpriced junk. I had a horrible time with powderized alfalfa leaves and dust. Where it isn't dust, it might as well be straw.

Anyway, I pay $5 a bale for better quality hay from a local feed mill, and when I'm very lucky, $3 a bale for some really high quality orchard grass hay from a local farm.
I can't quite wrap my head around the inverse quality to price situation.
Somehow, the better hay always seems to costs me the least.

It pays to shop around for hay!

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Re: Sharing pics and question about feed

Post Number:#12  Unread postby akane » Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:11 pm


The stuff at theisens around here isn't too bad. It's way overpriced but it's not brown all the way through and it's not all crushed up. It is cut fairly small to compact it in to the half size bales so larger wire hay feeders or putting it directly on the cage wire results in a lot of waste. For the same price I get a regular bale of organic hay about 30mins to the west of here. The feedstore stuff does make good emergency hay and it's at least better than buying tiny bags for the people who can't find whole bale hay. I've ended up with some bad, really overpriced grass hay when we couldn't get our usual hay. People don't care enough about the hay they produce since cattle survive on practically anything and nearly all are grain fed. Grass hay is the worst around here. I know one person that is very strict about growing good grass hay for his sheep and his cast off stuff is better than I'll find from anyone else. He rarely bales more than he needs though.
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Re: Sharing pics and question about feed

Post Number:#13  Unread postby PSFAngoras » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:16 pm


skysthelimit wrote:My Angoras are on 16% and they grow wool fine. I know PSF's Angoras would have a fit on 16%.

.


Aww, you remembered Sky! :)

I was feeding 18% Manna Pro Gro, but since we try to keep all of our personal food organic and soy free as possible, it didn't make sense feeding a pellet that relied on soy for an added protein boost and wasn't organic. I have since switched to Modesto Mills, which is still 17%, and all the rabbits seem to be doing just fine on it. I free feed, and have actually noticed that with the organic soy free pellets that the rabbits eat less. I'm going through a bag every week and a half with 22 rabbits, five of which are newly weaned and 8 still nursing mom. I used to use a bag a week with that many rabbits on the Manna Pro. There's also flax in the pellets I believe, and every one is doing fine with big fluffy coats. I was a bit tentative since I've seen others with the same lines have issues on 16%, but I think it must have been poor quality 16% feed. I also free feed grass hay, and give papaya tablets at a rate of 4 tablets per rabbit twice a week (except within a week of kindling on the does, just to be safe) , and feed greens and veggie scraps when I have them.

Everyone seems pretty happy on this diet. I even had one judge at the last show who was very critical on everything else about my angoras compliment me that they were "we'll put together". Since she'd already voiced her opinion on my line's low shoulders, and my jr buck's improper top line, I can only imagine she was referring to their weight.
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