Feeding dry leaves

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HTAcres

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I feed fresh weeping willow, mulberry, rose and plum as that is what I have on my property. I collected willow and mulberry to have through the winter. I simply cut branches pruning the trees and collected in feed bags. It is very dry here so no worries about mold. They appear to love them almost as much as fresh though it is a little harder to get the leaves to them intact. I am planting more rabbit friendly trees this spring like moringa. When fresh, I sometimes give it to them instead of hay. This dry stuff is just for a snack because I don't have as much of it.
 

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HTAcres

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The Safe Branches list is excellent! It mentions that mulberry is more popular dry and I have noticed that. It was their lest favorite forage fresh but they go after it as much as the willow dry.
 

MuddyFarms

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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.

Yes; sorry about that! I agree and it's something I definitely try to do. I will need to get a couple trees/bushes identified more specifically!

I believe the one I have is the Rocky Mountain Maple or Acer glabrum.
 

eco2pia

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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.
You are absolutely right. "our native big leaf maple" is Acer macrophyllum.

In my area it is literally everywhere, and most things that will eat greenery are happy to eat it. I have not tried drying them deliberately, but most crispy-dried tree leaves are likely to be ok IN MY AREA, which is the pacific north west of the US. There are of course caveats, like our local native rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum), which, like any rhododendron, is not good forage at all.

A good field gude and wandering thru local plant nurseries are both excellent tools for learning to identify plants.

 

Olbunny

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You are absolutely right. "our native big leaf maple" is Acer macrophyllum.

In my area it is literally everywhere, and most things that will eat greenery are happy to eat it. I have not tried drying them deliberately, but most crispy-dried tree leaves are likely to be ok IN MY AREA, which is the pacific north west of the US. There are of course caveats, like our local native rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum), which, like any rhododendron, is not good forage at all.

A good field gude and wandering thru local plant nurseries are both excellent tools for learning to identify plants.



I've been gardening my whole life. And don't know the botanical name of one plant. And suspect that if I did use botanical names around the majority of folks I know. They wouldn't know what I'm talking about.
For the folks who do know those names. Is it an issue if you use the common name and the botanical name ?
 

MnCanary

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For the folks who do know those names. Is it an issue if you use the common name and the botanical name ?
There is nothing wrong with using both, plant and bird books do that all the time. That's what I was asking for, yes. I know that, most of the time, the botanical name won't be used. But it is the speaker or writer's responsibility to be clear, so that others know just what is being said. Thus, adding the botanical name when talking about a plant increases clarity and decreases the chance of being mis-understood.
 

eco2pia

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I've been gardening my whole life. And don't know the botanical name of one plant. And suspect that if I did use botanical names around the majority of folks I know. They wouldn't know what I'm talking about.
For the folks who do know those names. Is it an issue if you use the common name and the botanical name ?
I think, if you are a confident gardener, you can easily learn the local common names and be assured of your identification.

The trouble with the internet is that we reach far beyond our local area, and what is a "cedar" tree here is a western red cedar or Thuja plicata. In alaska it is likely to be Cupressus nootkatensis. On the east coast a "red cedar" is Juniperus virginiana. And for most of the rest of the world a "cedar" is variably Cedrus elegans, C. deodara, C. atlantica, etc.
 

Olbunny

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Maybe you all think I have more time than I do and have to try n do my best with what I have. And just don't have the interest in learning the botanical names of the plants we use.
Just doing my own thing
 

eco2pia

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Maybe you all think I have more time than I do and have to try n do my best with what I have. And just don't have the interest in learning the botanical names of the plants we use.
Just doing my own thing
fair enough. I am literally a biologist, so I do this kind of thing the same as breathing, I have no excuse not to, but it was not my intention to place a barrier for anyone else.

This is where I think the regions help a lot. I know you are in alaska, so If I am in alaska we probably use the same words for the same things. If you are in Indonesia, not so much, so I better be smart about that and be more careful which advice I take or give. And if I really really want to know about something I should probably research for myself. But worth remembering for all of us that when trading advice on the internet we should be sure we are all talking about the same things.
 

Zee-Man

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hmm. not sure if this is true. There are many kinds of tree called "maple" however. Our native big leaf maples are ok, and bunnies love the
Sugar, A. Saccharum, Silver, A. Saccharinum, and Swap, A. Rubrum all grow on my lot. The leaves I feed are most likely A. Rubrum, but I am sure the others are there too. The spouts I feed are likely all A. Saccharum. I think the entire maple family is likely safe for rabbits. Although, certain variants may be more preferred than others.
 

Zee-Man

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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.
...
Interesting the conflict in the two lists. I noticed the one author cited phenols are the problem with pines. But, phenols are a wide group of compounds. Phenolic compounds are found in most plants. So don't feed most plants?

Unless an author takes the time to give their expertise, citations, or experimental data I have to always consider it as spurious. There is a whole lot of mis-information rolling around out there is guise of "common sense". Often times the information is cut and pasted form one spurious article to another and another and another. You can sometimes spot the chains. I once followed a chain that was founded on a self-referential article, ie the author wrote something without foundation in one article, and then in another cited himself.

This all leads me to appreciate the empirical evidence given by all of the folk in this thread. The first hand experience is more valuable than some list. Which is why I really like @MaggieJ ' s list (ithink I remember you as the member) since it is comprised of all things they she or another member has actually fed.
 

Olbunny

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With the variety of different shrubs, trees, leaves. And most of them on any good to eat list. I don't think it would be too hard to find good forage from woody plants. Willow birch poplar n such. Raspberry . Varaties that grow in many areas
My experience is that if I put alder in there pen they don't eat it. Starving moose won't eat it. I don't feed it.
Anyhows rabbits like dried leaves. The potato chip of the rabbit kingdom. And you can probably find some that are healthy for them.
I could probably figure out what your taking about when using botanical names but just telling me the common name is easier. Kinda like trying to figure out what folks are talking about in this thread.
 

a7736100

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If they are on the loose they will usually eat what's safe for them. I have lots of azaleas and was afraid that loose rabbits would poison themselves. So far I've never lost a rabbit due to azalea nor seen signs that rabbits ate any.

Dandelions are one of their favorite foods in the cage but when loose I don't see them choosing it over another plant. I've seen them picking the tender young leaves of barberry carefully avoiding the sharp spines. I guess one way to see if something is safe is to let your rabbit loose and see if it eats the stuff.
 

Zee-Man

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...Dandelions are one of their favorite foods in the cage but when loose I don't see them choosing it over another plant. ...
That is a method called free choice. It can be replicated in the hutch. Offer them a favorite food (maybe pellets) and some known fodder and the new fodder. Sit back and watch. Maybe it is a a new fav, maybe it gets ignored, maybe something else is eaten first.
 

jajtiii

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I have horses and cows (and am surrounded by similar farms.) I have never, ever heard anyone worry about oak or maple leaves (and, I certainly don’t - they are very prevalent in my area) I have heard of folks having problems with black walnut, but the main problem tree for animals is wild cherry (or maybe it’s officially black cherry) in my area.
 

HTAcres

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With the variety of different shrubs, trees, leaves. And most of them on any good to eat list. I don't think it would be too hard to find good forage from woody plants. Willow birch poplar n such. Raspberry . Varaties that grow in many areas
My experience is that if I put alder in there pen they don't eat it. Starving moose won't eat it. I don't feed it.
Anyhows rabbits like dried leaves. The potato chip of the rabbit kingdom. And you can probably find some that are healthy for them.
I could probably figure out what your taking about when using botanical names but just telling me the common name is easier. Kinda like trying to figure out what folks are talking about in this thread.
The potato chip of the rabbit kingdom
That's great!!!!!
 

MuddyFarms

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I have horses and cows (and am surrounded by similar farms.) I have never, ever heard anyone worry about oak or maple leaves (and, I certainly don’t - they are very prevalent in my area) I have heard of folks having problems with black walnut, but the main problem tree for animals is wild cherry (or maybe it’s officially black cherry) in my area.

Yeah- wilted cherry leaves contain cyanide and cyanide precursors and can kill animals very quickly.
 

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