Electrolytes treats and water question.

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So hopefully in the right area to ask this lol.

We naturally feed and only pellets they get is a mix we started doing of beet pellets, alfalfa pellets, calf manor pellets,and sometimes depending on budget orchard grass pellets (since non are keen on Timothy hay pellets nor the alfalfa mixed ones). Plus we have a grain mix we use, alfalfa cubes or alfalfa with oats cubes, stuff off the safe list, and so forth. And good grass hay we get from my father in-law (they are addicted too and get all hoppy when they hear his truck bringing more it's comical lol)

And they have access to kelp meal and shredded beets (our one doe is a fanatic for them and any beet forms we provide we make sure are molasses free so they aren't eating for the sweet tooth) free choice as minerals, plus we do horse treats once every so many days (after long research on if they could have and what not).

Anyways, here in my part of Ohio already it's pretty humid most days.

We do frozen fruit and ice cubes etc for them to keep cool.

I was wondering, as I had to do some solution with some older kits, if we could give an option of watered down electrolyte solution (plus they would have their reg water as an option) as free choice on the hot days.

The solution we normally use (I use molasses and usually the baby cereal addition that was suggested if we have any on hand in the freezer where I keep most grains to prevent bugs) is from this post:

We also talked about doing treats by smashing up some bananas, sw potato (their fav), and some pumpkin pure (we make ourselves and is just basic) and add the electrolyte solution to it and maybe some oats to make little treats.

Either as just pure, frozen bites (but not all ours like frozen fruit they wait for it to thaw out before eating it our one buck and 2 does are funny but our other breeding stock and any kits will even munch on the soft ice (our counter top ice maker makes the ice with the hole in it) we have), or just really chilled in the fridge small balls like you'd make protein bites or something for yourself kinda.

And give them this every other day or once a week or something.

But unsure if they can get too much electrolytes (if that makes sense) or not.

As I've only done the solution on the kits recently and one large doe a few yrs ago till they got the hop back in their step lol. And usually I've done the solution when they were acting ehh/a little lethargic like and assumed it was due to the hot days as nothing in their enviro or feed/water changed.

Sorry for the long post. Just wanted to get feed back from maybe someone with more knowledge or experience when it comes to electrolytes and rabbits, as I know rabbits like sweet and know water wise may need to be more diluted to be treated as an option for those that need it instead of them just wanting it for the sugar.

My research has come to a dead end trying to figure out the question of what is too much and if it can be a part of their regimen and at what consistency (x days, 1x WK etc).

I don't want to go through with our idea and cause issues because we go over what they can handle on a daily or weekly basis even if doing free choice, removing what isn't ate/drank and next time is fresh (as what's not ate or drank the chickens, ducks, and geese will enjoy willingly lol).
 
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hotzcatz

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Those sound like some seriously well fed rabbits.

What is the purpose of your rabbits? Pets? Making manure? Meat? Fiber? Offspring to sell? If there's any sort of economic driver for the rabbits, this feeding style could put it into the unprofitable column. How many of them are there? If there's fifty of them, making frozen treats for them all could become rather a chore.

From what I've noticed, having a more or less stable style of feeding that slowly changes seems to do well. Just in case we're missing some sort of nutrient, the buns here have a base ration (pellets, rolled barley & BOSS) but they also get all sorts of additions on the side as they are available. Sometimes it's ti leaves (which they love), banana leaves (which they will eat but not with wild abandon), assorted grasses (cane and elephant grass seems to be tastier than Guinea grass), mulberry leaves (leaves and twigs seem just as tasty), citrus leaves and twigs, the occasional bit of fruit but not too much of that, etc., etc.

Litter sizes have gone up since we added in the rolled grain, although that could have also been from selecting breeding stock from large litters. Hard for say and unless there's a problem we don't really worry about it.

I have noticed that if they're given too many choices, they will waste feed trying to get the choice bits and not eat their entire ration. Since the bunnies here are a fiber herd (English angora) it's important for them to eat a lot of fiber to keep any hairs they ingest moving through their system so they won't get 'wool block'. It's an angora issue, so you probably don't have to worry about it. Which means the bunnies here get lots of grasses and roughage as opposed to concentrated nutrition.

As for the electrolytes, what issue are the rabbits having that it's a concern? Wild rabbits pretty much drink water and graze on grasses. High fiber, low nutrition. They kinda seem set up for it.
 
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Those sound like some seriously well fed rabbits.

What is the purpose of your rabbits? Pets? Making manure? Meat? Fiber? Offspring to sell? If there's any sort of economic driver for the rabbits, this feeding style could put it into the unprofitable column. How many of them are there? If there's fifty of them, making frozen treats for them all could become rather a chore.

From what I've noticed, having a more or less stable style of feeding that slowly changes seems to do well. Just in case we're missing some sort of nutrient, the buns here have a base ration (pellets, rolled barley & BOSS) but they also get all sorts of additions on the side as they are available. Sometimes it's ti leaves (which they love), banana leaves (which they will eat but not with wild abandon), assorted grasses (cane and elephant grass seems to be tastier than Guinea grass), mulberry leaves (leaves and twigs seem just as tasty), citrus leaves and twigs, the occasional bit of fruit but not too much of that, etc., etc.

Litter sizes have gone up since we added in the rolled grain, although that could have also been from selecting breeding stock from large litters. Hard for say and unless there's a problem we don't really worry about it.

I have noticed that if they're given too many choices, they will waste feed trying to get the choice bits and not eat their entire ration. Since the bunnies here are a fiber herd (English angora) it's important for them to eat a lot of fiber to keep any hairs they ingest moving through their system so they won't get 'wool block'. It's an angora issue, so you probably don't have to worry about it. Which means the bunnies here get lots of grasses and roughage as opposed to concentrated nutrition.

As for the electrolytes, what issue are the rabbits having that it's a concern? Wild rabbits pretty much drink water and graze on grasses. High fiber, low nutrition. They kinda seem set up for it.
The rabbits are rationed with the feed one day is the pellet mix, and other the grains, another is divided between pellet and grain, and there is also a hay only day.

But they get hay always and we also do BOSS too. Along with grasses a quart jar per full size (as they are the small standard Flemish giant/mixed with satins) and pint to half a quart for others. Along with branches and such.

Ours are for meat for us and honestly doing the feeding and such how we are costs us less then if we were to buy rabbit feed we'd go broke.

The thing with electrolytes is just a late spring to maybe early fall precaution for the stress from the humid heat we tend to get here during those seasons. This yr prob being the worst in the 5yrs we've have rabbits (I have exp with rabbits since I was 9 tho and 4h etc).

So I guess a thought of an aid to help with heat stress outside of the other stuff we do to help keep them cool.
 

hotzcatz

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We get humid heat occasionally, too, although rarely over ninety (Fahrenheit). We have the hutches under shady trees, the white painted side of the tin roof faces up to deflect the sun and the hutches have a lot of ventilation. The buns get sheared if it gets really hot but they seem to do okay with the white roofs in the shade along with the tradewind breezes.

If it gets really hot, would lessening their grain be a good thing? That's a higher nutritional thing and would that add heat to the bunnies? More grasses, less denser nutrition?

Not sure how expensive water is in your area, but there are those mist devices which can cool down an area. Although, not sure how well they'd work in an already humid area.
 
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