Spanish moss question

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nicnmike

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Has anyone ever tried to use fresh, or dried Spanish moss as nesting material? My biggest concern would be whether or not it was poisonous to the adults and babies. There's a ton of it around where I live and it seems like it would be a great material to use.
 

MaggieJ

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Even before their eyes open, kits begin to nibble on their nesting materials, which is why I like grass hay for the nests.

According to this article, swamp rabbits sometimes use it to line their nests.
Swamp rabbits typically nest in hollow logs or stumps. Spanish moss, which is common in certain parts of Mississippi, is sometimes used to line the nest.
http://www.wildlifemiss.org/magazine/su05/species.htm

You could try a further google search using keywords like Spanish Moss toxicity to rabbits.

Decorative Spanish moss has been blamed for pet cat deaths. The theory is that it is treated with chemicals/pesticides before being sold. I take it you would be gathering it straight from the trees.
 

Morning Star

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I hate to bring an old thread out of the shadows but for anybody who's looking for information on feeding spanish moss to bunnies, I found out that people used to use it as horse forage back in the day. People's horses also view it as not only treats but forage these days as well and it's not toxic or poisonous to them - humans can also eat the green growing tips. There's been no mention of spanish moss causing anything bad in horses or humans that I'm aware of since I bet humans wouldn't wanna touch that with a ten-foot pole if it did cause problems, short-term or long term ;p lol

I've started feeding it to the to-be-culled bunnies to see how they react to it, first in smaller amounts then in growing quantities and they go BONKERS for it! Their poop is also okay and none of them are showing signs or symptoms of discomfort, they just want more, greedy bunnies. It's also GREAT nesting material.
 

MaggieJ

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Thanks, Morning Star. We always like to have first-hand information on what people are feeding to their rabbits. It would be helpful if you would post a further update down the road a few months. :)
 

Miss M

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Very interesting! Thank you, Morning Star!

Just watch out -- Spanish moss can be loaded with redbugs! :x
 

DogCatMom

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Miss M":2scmran9 said:
Very interesting! Thank you, Morning Star!

Just watch out -- Spanish moss can be loaded with redbugs! :x

"Redbugs," also maybe known as chiggers? I was going to post about chiggers often being found in Spanish moss. Grandparents all lived in Florida, dad raised in Florida, I went to high school in Florida and college in Georgia...lots of Spanish moss in them thar woods and freeway/back roads plantings.

But chiggers--nasty little bugs they are--Spanish moss....
 

Miss M

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Yes, though we always called the adults redbugs, while the larvae are chiggers and are very difficult to see. Redbugs are a little larger, so you can see them pretty well.

Of course, I imagine if redbugs are in Spanish moss, their kids probably are, too! :eek:

Chiggers = misery.
 

hotzcatz

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We've fed it to bunnies with no ill effects. It's called 'Pele's hair' around here, tho, instead of Spanish moss. The buns liked to eat it although I don't have any growing here at the new house. It is sort of an invasive species and covered the ohia tree that it had been in. Which is why it had been fed to bunnies, somebunny needed to eat it to get rid of it.
 
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