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Japanese knotweed? and other oxalate containing edibles...

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Japanese knotweed? and other oxalate containing edibles...

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Zass » Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:40 pm


Japanese knotweed, Fallopia japonica

Is this something that rabbits can have? I know it's considered safe for human consumption, and a noxious weed. A bit high in oxalates. So are other a few sour tasting edible plants like yellow wood sorrel, Oxalis stricta and sheep sorrel, Rumex acetosella that I've noticed do not appear on RT's safe list.

Are rabbits especially sensitive to oxalates??

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Re: Japanese knotweed? and other oxalate containing edibles.

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:01 pm


The RT Safe Plants list is far from complete. It lists plants that I know from experience (mine or a few others) to be safe. It is a good starting point for people wanting to feed more natural plants, but it is far from comprehensive.

I have never fed the plants you are asking about, but in general plants high in oxalates should be fed in moderation. I do feed yellow (curly) dock, Rumex crispus, but only young leaves and only with a mix of other weeds.

In my experience, usually if people can eat the plants RAW, then they are safe for rabbits as well. It's not a hard and fast rule, but it is a useful pointer.

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Re: Japanese knotweed? and other oxalate containing edibles.

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Zass » Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:04 pm


I've fed sheep sorrel in moderation, even to young rabbits that we not started on greens. No harm or digestive upset was observed. Most recipes for Japanese knotweed involve cooking the plant, but I've found no warnings against consuming it raw, and have nibbled it myself on occasion.

Oh, I found a few salad recipes:
http://www.writerbynature.com/2008/04/2 ... eed-salad/
http://www.invasiveweedsolutions.co.uk/ ... weed-salad

I think I'll try the rabbits on a small amount of this stuff. It's a shame it cannot be eaten in quantity. It would be so much more useful as livestock forage...

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Re: Japanese knotweed? and other oxalate containing edibles.

Post Number:#4  Unread postby akane » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:30 pm


Contact with plants very high in insoluble oxalic acid results in tissue damage and death can happen from compromised airway. Things we eat with oxalic acid is usually lower levels of the soluble form such as rhubarb and kiwis. This site has some good info to consider when feeding foods high in oxalic acid
http://lowoxalateinfo.com/top-six-reaso ... f-oxalate/

If you want to get more complicated try this site , http://www.greatplainslaboratory.com/ho ... alates.asp , but much of it will not apply to rabbits. Some of it is human specific disorders and some of it is from longer term ingestion than you will probably achieve with a rabbits.
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Re: Japanese knotweed? and other oxalate containing edibles.

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Zass » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:18 am


From each link:

However, the opposite is true. When calcium is taken with foods that are high in oxalates, oxalic acid in the intestine combines with calcium to form insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that are eliminated in the stool. This form of oxalate cannot be absorbed into the body.


People who do not eat enough mineral-rich foods (especially calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron) absorb more oxalate than people who each mineral-rich diets. Most minerals readily bind with soluble oxalate (oxalic acid) in the intestines, forming insoluble oxalate salts which are not as easily absorbed through the intestinal wall


Hmmm...Considering the too-much-calcium-in-alfalfa problem, it doesn't seem like most pellet fed domestic rabbits would be at an especially high risk for absorbing too much oxalates.

Actually...it looks like I'm the one who would be better off avoiding them.

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Re: Japanese knotweed? and other oxalate containing edibles.

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Frecs » Sat Jun 06, 2015 2:46 pm


I have been giving my rabbits a lot of curly dock as it is quite abundant right now and they love it so much. I went looking to see if I could discover it's nutritional benefits and protein level and discovered it is "high" in oxalates. :x So, of course, I came running over here to see how bad this could be for my rabbits.

So, MaggieJ, you say you give your rabbits curly dock along with other weeds. Usually, I give the dock along with sow thistle, fresh grass, clover, etc. Do you think the mix will mitigate the oxalates from the dock?

Looking at the quotes -- it seems as long as they are getting calcium at the same time it is okay?
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Re: Japanese knotweed? and other oxalate containing edibles.

Post Number:#7  Unread postby akane » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:15 pm


There is a risk of calcium and oxalate crystals and stones in the urinary tract if feeding high in both. This is quite common in guinea pigs but I haven't heard of anyone dealing with it in rabbits. However, if you take into account how many rabbit breeders feed fresh foods and even more so fresh foods with high calcium or oxalic acid versus what guinea pigs are commonly fed the difference might be there instead of in the biology of the animals.
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Re: Japanese knotweed? and other oxalate containing edibles.

Post Number:#8  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:27 pm


Frecs wrote:I have been giving my rabbits a lot of curly dock as it is quite abundant right now and they love it so much. I went looking to see if I could discover it's nutritional benefits and protein level and discovered it is "high" in oxalates. :x So, of course, I came running over here to see how bad this could be for my rabbits.

So, MaggieJ, you say you give your rabbits curly dock along with other weeds. Usually, I give the dock along with sow thistle, fresh grass, clover, etc. Do you think the mix will mitigate the oxalates from the dock?

Looking at the quotes -- it seems as long as they are getting calcium at the same time it is okay?


Frecs, I have to admit I have never made much of a study of the levels of oxalates or calcium and so forth in the weeds. When learning what worked for me, I relied heavily on "old timer" experience. If they said, for instance, not to feed curly dock once it put up a flower stalk, that's what I went by. Many such accounts stressed that there is safety in variety and that variety also tends to provide a better range of nutrients.

To an extent, the rabbits themselves will guide you. If they turn up their noses at something like dock that they have been eating happily until that moment, that may be an indicator that it is past its best. I've seen rabbits snatch a plant like shepherd's purse from my hands when they have a touch of poopy butt. They seem to know what they need and providing a good variety helps to ensure they have access to it.

I know this is not the most scientific approach to natural feeding, but I had good results by using it.

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Re: Japanese knotweed? and other oxalate containing edibles.

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Frecs » Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:05 pm


MaggieJ wrote:Frecs, I have to admit I have never made much of a study of the levels of oxalates or calcium and so forth in the weeds. When learning what worked for me, I relied heavily on "old timer" experience. If they said, for instance, not to feed curly dock once it put up a flower stalk, that's what I went by. Many such accounts stressed that there is safety in variety and that variety also tends to provide a better range of nutrients.

To an extent, the rabbits themselves will guide you. If they turn up their noses at something like dock that they have been eating happily until that moment, that may be an indicator that it is past its best. I've seen rabbits snatch a plant like shepherd's purse from my hands when they have a touch of poopy butt. They seem to know what they need and providing a good variety helps to ensure they have access to it.

I know this is not the most scientific approach to natural feeding, but I had good results by using it.


Well, that makes me feel much better! And, it explains why the rabbits don't eat the dock stalks but love the leaves before the stocks form. And, some days they eat every dock leaf and other days, not so much. I was sure hoping I hadn't done anything that would hurt them. Thanks, MaggieJ!
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Re: Japanese knotweed? and other oxalate containing edibles.

Post Number:#10  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:32 pm


Glad you found my post reassuring, Frecs. I admire those who bring their scientific inclinations to bear on the question of natural feeding, but when I started with it there was very little information available except from vintage publications -- and that information tended to be anecdotal. The most helpful were British books from the World War II era, when people had to find alternate ways of feeding rabbits. Butcher store meat was strictly rationed, but if one could raise rabbits at home, on gathered forage for the most part, they provided important protein for the family table.

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Re: Japanese knotweed? and other oxalate containing edibles.

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Butterfly Lullaby » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:37 pm


Hi, our rabbits have eaten Japanese Knotweed for years. And are fit and healthy. Cindy Woo, before he got shot by a nasty neighbour, always enjoyed munching on this plant when he ran free in the back garden. :pancake:

Like Doctor Michael Greger mentions, there is no profit in plants, but plenty of profit in medicine. This is why Japanese
Knotweed has got such a bad name. They never mention the many medical patents, this outstanding plant has for it's
trans resveratrol properties, good for us, and certain animals:
http://butterflylullaby.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/can-rabbits-eat-japanese-knotweed.html

:bunnyhop:

New Scientist magazine reader bucks the trend
According to New Scientist reader Ruth Burroughs, the dreaded weed isn’t all bad. Here’s what she said in the magazine’s 5th July 2014 edition:
“I was concerned to read the diatribe against Japanese knotweed. While not wishing to defend some of knotweed’s thuggish habits, your article was in my view both biased and unscientific.
To describe it as having the “biodiversity value of concrete” is absurd. It is in fact a valuable nectar source for many insects, including honey bees. Its phytochemistry is complex and fascinating and beyond the scope of this letter, but suffice it to say it has broad antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activity as well as being a rich source of resveratrol, a compound claimed to have many health benefits. The plant has a long history of use in Japan as a medicine and a food source.”

https://www.newscientist.com/letter/mg22329790-300-weedy-story/

http://www.phlorum.com/blog/2014/08/28/positive-side-japanese-knotweed-britains-hated-invader/

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Re: Japanese knotweed? and other oxalate containing edibles.

Post Number:#12  Unread postby Preitler » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:51 pm


Well...

interesting first post.

My rabbits didn't eat it. Not fresh, some say it's somewhat more palatable when dried.

Anyway, it is an awful invasive weed, not many animals will eat it. Goats, maybe, but nothing else. It renders large areas wasteland. where nothing useful will ever grow again. It's really a lot of work to keep it from spreading, and not much apart from covering the whole scene for 3-5 years with dark plastic sheets, and a lot of glyphosat has much chance to kill it.
4 years of fighting it made it retreat about 3 meters. The moment I stopped fighting it was right back.

If it were that it is indeed rabbit food: Cut and feed it as young as possible, to weaken the plants.
Never ever think about planting this stuff.
My grandpa planted it at the creek, about 40 years ago. No idea why, decoration? No weeds to mow? I don't know, whatever the idea was, he took it to the grave. Anyway, from this spot it spread downstream, about 100km, for big stretches destroying whatever lived at the riverbanks before.

Is there the slight possibility that you are more into bees than rabbits? Anyway, bees have other problems, destroying local flora with an imported plant isn't going to help.
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Re: Japanese knotweed? and other oxalate containing edibles.

Post Number:#13  Unread postby MaggieJ » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:18 pm


Butterfly Lullaby, when you write about a plant, it is helpful to include the scientific (Latin) name. Common names for plants vary with locality--the Latin names are the same everywhere. Using them when introducing a plant or recommending its use can ensure that no plant is fed in error for another.

To my way of thinking, there are three things to keep in mind when feeding a plant to a rabbit: safety, nutritional value, and palatability. Only if a plant meets all three of these should it be a regular part of the rabbit's diet.

In addition, I think it is important to feed several species of plants at the same time. This prevents the rabbit from eating a plant simply because there is no choice and also is a good hedge against nutritional imbalances.

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