Feeding dry leaves

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Olbunny

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I haven't seen much about feeding dry leaves as a supplement for their diet. We have bags of dry leaves that were raked up, by someone else. So better. Rabbits enjoy them. And they contain minerals that are important in their diet.
 

SixGun

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I know my rabbits love mulberry leaves, and apple and pear leaves.
I've only ever fed them as snacks however. I would worry, like I do with anything outside of timothy or bermuda hay that there would be concentrations of something toxic in a dried leaf.
Do you know what type of tree the leaves are from? Soft woods like Aspen and Birch are safe, but I'd worry about Oak.
 

SixGun

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If only rabbits could eat pine and fir needles!!!!!!!! I would NEVER run out of feed for them!
Our rabbits love pine cones as chew toys, and it doubles as a great stray wool collector after they've chewed them down to nubs. I don't find that they actually eat them though, more of a chew up kind of toy, as we find the discarded pieces under the cages. I'm guessing though that they are eating the actual seeds they uncover, as we've never had a pine take root underneath, yet.
 

RabbitsOfTheCreek

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Our rabbits love pine cones as chew toys, and it doubles as a great stray wool collector after they've chewed them down to nubs. I don't find that they actually eat them though, more of a chew up kind of toy, as we find the discarded pieces under the cages. I'm guessing though that they are eating the actual seeds they uncover, as we've never had a pine take root underneath, yet.
We have a lot of pine trees and usually give them to the rabbits. They love them
 

SixGun

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I should try that. I have just been concerned about mold growth in them, but maybe if I collect them at the right time of year it could work fine.
We are always very dry here, so luckily I don't have to worry about mold or fungus. I would recommend late fall just as they drop, that way you will collect the majority of the seeds. As the cones dry thats when they release the seeds.
 

MuddyFarms

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Good to know- thanks! You feed pine cones, not fir cones, right? I wonder if they can have both or if I should just stick to the pine cones. It seems the pine cones may be nicer for them than the fir.
 

SixGun

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Here we have primarily Chihuahua pine. Its a smallish cone but plentiful. A young lady who just bought a rabbit and lives in the mountains above San Diego was talking about football sized pine cones.
I have to say I have zero experience with fir cones.
 

MuddyFarms

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Here we have primarily Chihuahua pine. Its a smallish cone but plentiful. A young lady who just bought a rabbit and lives in the mountains above San Diego was talking about football sized pine cones.
I have to say I have zero experience with fir cones.
That's huge! Well, I suppose I will have to check out both cones and see what they like. I have been told by a breeder in the area to stay away from Red fir wood for them to chew on, I believe. I haven't confirmed that it is really a problem, yet, but I think maybe the tannins in it is what she was concerned about. I have all three trees, anyway, so I'll have some kind of cones for them to chew!
 

Olbunny

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We have mostly birch poplar/aspen, willow cottonwood. Also do not use alder rabbits probably won't eat but not good. They have little pinecones on them. Also feed them branches from these trees fresh cut all year. Look at safe list.
I believe our rabbits are healthier because that's what wild rabbits eat to get a balanced vitamin n mineral in their diet.
We have several bags free food to last the winter
 

MnCanary

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It would help a lot, and maybe save some rabbit lives, if we could use Genus + species for these tree names. Common names cause a lot of trouble! Different parts of the country use different common names for the same thing. Even worse, some different plants have the same common name, depending on where you live. Some common names are altogether misleading (i.e. a tulip poplar is not a poplar).

There are smart phone apps that will identify plants, or the Extension agent in your county will, or even a garden club member. Then, when you say Acer negundo (Boxelder) everyone in the world will know exactly which plant you're talking about.

There is a lot of resistance to learning proper names for plants. But we can do it, we learn proper names for people every day.

By the way, this site lists a few trees that are toxic for horses. I don't know about rabbits, but horses have a similar digestion system.
 

a7736100

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Lists of safe leaves and branches. Of course just because it's on a safe list doesn't mean your rabbits will not have a reaction. For example maple is on a safe list but also on an unsafe list. Test with small amounts on your rabbits before feeding massive amounts.



 

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