Natural Feed - will this work?

Rabbit Talk  Forum

Help Support Rabbit Talk Forum:

Skai

Well-known member
Rabbit Talk Supporter
Joined
Apr 7, 2022
Messages
47
Reaction score
53
Location
NW Arkansas
Out of curiosity, what do you have against GMOs? There is a huge misconception about them; without GMO food, much of we enjoy today would not exist. Corn, soy, canola, alfalfa, and potatoes are my favourite examples. More palatable, bigger yield, pest/drought/disease/etc. resistant, etc. are all things that traits that were introduced with selective and variation breeding.

In fact, most "non-GMO" products are not actually "non-GMO" at all. Foods from even 20 years ago compared to now are genetically modified. Brussel sprouts used to be bitter and gross, but now they are delicious and buttery. That's not your taste buds changing; that's "GMO."

I would bet that even the "non-GMO" feed you found is actually GMO. So I suppose what I'm trying to say is if you are still hard anti-GMO, a forage diet would have less GMOs (but probably not none, realistically). But I digress.



I currently feed pellets, and I'm also wanting to switch to natural when I have the acreage to do so. However, I was tired of the waste, mess, and storage of hay and tried out cubes last summer. I loved them and they were super easy. Most of my fryers went crazy for them, but the breeders were relatively uninterested.

Again, I fed pellets as well, but everyone did great on the cubes and no loose hay. The only issue I had with it was, at least the brand I got, there is molasses in it to keep it compressed. I didn't have anyone get too fat on them, but I did feed less than I would have feed loose hay to avoid those extra sugars. If you're ever worried about fibre then you can feed corn stalks as well, which I find easier to store than loose hay.



You got it. Diet changes should be gradual to not upset their gut. Almost every rabbit I've had prefers fresh forage over pellets anyway, so I'd suspect you have an easy transition.

What I do is start off with a handful of rabbit-safe forage on top of the pellets. As it gets closer to summer, I slowly increase the forage until they get free fed the forage (and also measured pellets) for the entire summer. I don't have any good way to do winter forage, so they gradually go back to pellets, grains, and hay for winter.

I think if you were to do it gradually how you describe, ensuring they have access to the mineral lick in this time, the rabbits should be fine. But, again, I also feed pellets so would love other input here!
There is a huge difference between GMOs and selective breeding or hybridization. Cross pollination does not result in a GMO. Breeding two rabbits for different traits does not produce a GMO rabbit. GMOs are created in a laboratory by inserting a gene from one thing into another, like salmon which has had a growth hormone gene from an eel inserted into it. Mother nature doesn't screw up but we have no idea what could happen to us over time when we eat something a scientist decides to recreate. Rats fed GMO corn developed golf ball size tumors and there are many studies showing a decrease in fertility of animals fed GMO feed. I don't know how far down the food chain effects from GMOs go but I'm not willing to be their guinea pig. If you buy organic it has to be non-GMO.
 

JG3

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2022
Messages
174
Reaction score
92
Location
Southwestern Ontario
There is a huge difference between GMOs and selective breeding or hybridization. Cross pollination does not result in a GMO. Breeding two rabbits for different traits does not produce a GMO rabbit. GMOs are created in a laboratory by inserting a gene from one thing into another, like salmon which has had a growth hormone gene from an eel inserted into it. Mother nature doesn't screw up but we have no idea what could happen to us over time when we eat something a scientist decides to recreate. Rats fed GMO corn developed golf ball size tumors and there are many studies showing a decrease in fertility of animals fed GMO feed. I don't know how far down the food chain effects from GMOs go but I'm not willing to be their guinea pig. If you buy organic it has to be non-GMO.
Sadly, many people don’t know this. In fact, when I looking for a hay source, I ran into a company that grows and sells hay for pets among other things. I inquired about their pellets and they also tried to tell me seedless grapes and other organic food was GMO. Come to find out the guy had degrees from an agricultural program and he didn’t even know the basics 🤦🏼‍♀️ How embarrassing. When I corrected him he tried to lie. Safe to say I didn’t and would never buy anything from them. Clearly schools are teaching people there is no difference between seedless fruit and genetically engineered “food“.
 

Skai

Well-known member
Rabbit Talk Supporter
Joined
Apr 7, 2022
Messages
47
Reaction score
53
Location
NW Arkansas
Hi Mariah,

I have no issue with cross breeding, selective breeding, asexual reproduction, or genetic mutations that happen naturally. I do not consider that GMO, by the definition it’s known as today. It’s the genetically engineered biotechnology in a lab I take issue with. But I rather not get into the whys and debate over that. Everyone has their own opinion on it. GMOs aside though, we also avoid corn, soy and canola in general, as they are not healthy foods. So I don’t like the idea of feeds with that anyway, genetically engineered soy and canola is just an extra facet I want to avoid. I don’t expect every aspect I do to be perfect, but I’ll certainly try my best to create the healthiest meat I can for my family.

Good to know your rabbits liked the cubes and good point about any binders! The ones I found, they make pellets and cubes. The pellets don’t have a binder, but everything I read, it seems rabbits don’t like plain hay pellets and I’m going for the long fibre so pellets seem to defeat that purpose. LOL I’m unsure about the cubes having a binder. I’ll double check so I know if they’re getting anything extra like that, to keep in mind.

Im really hoping the transition will be easy. I’m banking on the rabbits instincts kicking in and preferring natural foods. LOL!

Question: If you had the option of buying breeders from a large commercial rabbitry, likely only a pellet and hay diet, OR breeders from a backyard rabbitry colony that would have more exposure the other foods like forage and veggies, which would you choose?

Im trying to figure out which is better, factoring in the commercial ones would likely love forage/fodder and I could transition them to what I want. Where the others may have already picked up picky eating habits?

Healthwise too, which would be healthier? A colony with more exposure or commercial in a barn with biosecurity protocols? And since I want to feed forage, that would mean exposure to bacteria off the ground, like possible cocci, which do you think would have a better resistance to that?

Weighing the pros and cons here but thoughts from experienced people would help.
For a meat rabbit I would select from a backyard breeder that feeds a variety of forage and breeds for fitness and feed-to-finish-weight conversion. Those rabbits would be healthier in my opinion. Many plants are natural coccidiostats, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasite and high in phytochemicals.
 

Skai

Well-known member
Rabbit Talk Supporter
Joined
Apr 7, 2022
Messages
47
Reaction score
53
Location
NW Arkansas
Okay. Day 6 of my experiment. One container was soaked in regular town tap water, nothing added. I wanted to see if what they do to the water with chlorine and such would be enough to keep mold at bay. The other container was soaked in same water with apple cider vinegar added. I read you could do that instead of bleach or peroxide to prevent mold and wanted to try it.
Results... the ACV soaked one grew slower. One day behind but seems to have caught up today, on day 6.
The regular water soak, I found a corner of it a bit fuzzy today. So I cut it off before it infected anything else to inspect. I put it on my counter then went to do something and came back and it has turned pink! And the fuzz seems to be there less now, but you can still spot a little near the bottom. Can anyone confirm if this was/is mold?
I haven't sprouted for fodder yet, but I sprout all the time for human consumption. Generally speaking, you have to be very careful to make sure your sprouts are fully drained every time you water them.
This video shows what I think is a great setup and is what I plan to implement.
 

Zee-Man

Well-known member
Rabbit Talk Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
239
Reaction score
313
Location
Delaware, USA
OK, I get what is being said about gene splicing. What is the difference between some RNA being inserted in the laboratory with deliberation and the accidental different chromosome from an alternate pollen? Is it the deliberate action? Is that deliberation only wrong because of the level of technology used? Is random chance truly better? Is it the involvement of a human? If so, then is it because the lab has walls and a roof? If so is it because the walls and roof are not translucent? Is a mutation from exposure to a mutagen or teratogen actually natural? How would you tell the difference? Was allosaurus and it's cohorts not a mistake? Tomatoes are suspected as a source of lectins. Did we have any idea that would come to light? Will that prove to be a serious issue? I don't pose these questions as an attack. I do so to get a better idea of what motivates thought on any side of the idea.

Now, I prefer to use heirloom and standard plants (and animals) because I can save seeds and have a reliable source for propagation. I believe genetically modifying a plant to cause reliance on a certain pesticide is morally reprehensible. I think that lawsuits over the use of intellectual rights to those genetic modifications is also morally wrong. But, considering the influence of humans outside of nature isn't correct either.
 

MnCanary

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2010
Messages
151
Reaction score
139
Location
central Kentucky USA
One good thing about GMO is that lots of people in this world are able to eat because of the increases in production. Starving people are fine with GMO food. I'm a big fan of all God's children being fed. If you choose to avoid GMO, that is your choice and I'll support your right to choose.
 

Skai

Well-known member
Rabbit Talk Supporter
Joined
Apr 7, 2022
Messages
47
Reaction score
53
Location
NW Arkansas
OK, I get what is being said about gene splicing. What is the difference between some RNA being inserted in the laboratory with deliberation and the accidental different chromosome from an alternate pollen? Is it the deliberate action? Is that deliberation only wrong because of the level of technology used? Is random chance truly better? Is it the involvement of a human? If so, then is it because the lab has walls and a roof? If so is it because the walls and roof are not translucent? Is a mutation from exposure to a mutagen or teratogen actually natural? How would you tell the difference? Was allosaurus and it's cohorts not a mistake? Tomatoes are suspected as a source of lectins. Did we have any idea that would come to light? Will that prove to be a serious issue? I don't pose these questions as an attack. I do so to get a better idea of what motivates thought on any side of the idea.

Now, I prefer to use heirloom and standard plants (and animals) because I can save seeds and have a reliable source for propagation. I believe genetically modifying a plant to cause reliance on a certain pesticide is morally reprehensible. I think that lawsuits over the use of intellectual rights to those genetic modifications is also morally wrong. But, considering the influence of humans outside of nature isn't correct either.
I agree that these are all good questions and I wouldn't have any problem with a laboratory technician inserting a gene from one tomato into another. My problem is if they insert a pig gene into a tomato. I'd rather have my pork free-range ;>)
 

mrscllc

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
6
Location
crystal Springs, MS
Has anyone tried/looked into growing sweet potato vines in a bed of tomatoes? I would need to grow both in my greenhouse beds as we can have frosts all year. I'm excited about using the vines for rabbits and for chickens (etc) as well; I'm just limited on useable space for both. I've seen sweet potatoes mentioned as a companion planting option for trellised tomato plants; just wondering whether anyone out there has done this.
I had 3 tomato plants volunteer in my sweet potato bed this year. 1 cherry tomato and 2 beefsteak plants. We assume they were csrryover seeds from last summer when the raised bed was solely tomatoes. They have all done very well, although my tomato plants grew laying over instead of standing up. They are rambling around with the potato vines. It's a bizarre set up that makes it a bit difficult to find all the cherry tomatoes when ripe, but both types of plants are thriving.
 
Top