What do rabbits eat? Decorative rabbits: care and content
Currently, not only cats and dogs, but also rabbits, are taken as pets for children. Every owner of such an animal should know what rabbits eat, what they like most, what to give and what does not, what conditions are necessary for the animal to make it feel comfortable.
Choice of pet
If you decide to start a domestic rabbit, then before you buy it, you need to understand all the nuances of caring for it. The fact is that such animals are very different from the usual dogs and cats. It is necessary to understand what rabbits eat and whether you will be able to provide normal care. Feed the animal from the table just will not succeed, so the choice of a pet should be weighed and responsive.
Next, decide on the breed of the animal. Many confuse the very concepts of "decorative" and "dwarf" rabbit. And this is not the same thing at all. An ornamental animal is an ordinary rabbit living in your house as a pet. It can be of absolutely any size and does not meet any standards.
But dwarf rabbits are an animal of a certain breed, corresponding to certain parameters (mass and size). So, for example, for the rabbit-eared rabbits, the standard provides for a body weight of not more than 1.3 kilograms and an ear length of not more than seven centimeters. Currently, there are more than sixty species of ornamental animals. Among them: protein, butterfly, rex, ram.
Specialists recommend buying rabbits in special nurseries or from breeders, since in stores they do not always observe all the rules for keeping rabbits. So, there is no certainty that you will acquire a healthy pet.
What to buy for a rabbit?
In order for your new friend to live comfortably, you should buy for him a spacious cage. It should have enough space for drinkers and feeders, a house, a tray. The pallet must be taken plastic, it will be uncomfortable to walk along the latticed rabbit, its legs are not adapted to the grid. At the bottom of the cage should be put hay, and in the tray sawdust of hardwood, paper. On the twigs you need to fix a nursery for hay, a car.
A rabbit cage should be placed in a place inaccessible to other animals away from heaters, batteries, TV and doors. Rabbits are afraid of drafts, and you should not put your pet's home in a sunny place. Direct rays should not fall on the cage. For animals, the most comfortable temperature is + 18-20 degrees.
Living conditions of animals
Rabbits are very timid creatures, therefore, in order to avoid unnecessary stress, it is better to isolate them from communication with cats and dogs. Do not take yourself such a fragile pet, if you have a small child in your house that can grab the animal by the ears and skin. As a result of improper handling, the rabbit may simply wither.
It should be remembered that delicate animals have a fragile spine, so you need to take them on hand so that they do not fall from a height. Do this as follows: one hand to pass under the chest between the paws, and the second to hold the pet, pressing to him.
It is preferable to choose short-haired breeds, with long-haired, there is more trouble. Even if you comb a pet's fur every day, you can still face such a problem as a knuckle. Combing them is simply impossible, and therefore they are cut in special salons. With short-haired breeds such problems do not arise. Rabbits take care of their fur on their own. To bathe an animal makes sense only in very rare cases, for example, if it has diarrhea. After this, the pet must be protected from drafts until the coat is dry.
If the animal is hot, you can wipe his ears with a damp cloth. It is through the ears of rabbits that thermoregulation is carried out. Also inside the cage, you can put a bottle of cold water. This will help lower the temperature.
Decorative rabbits: care and content
Clean the cage for rabbits several times a month, and wash the tray - twice a week, and preferably after each use. This will avoid the appearance of an unpleasant smell in the room, and the coat of the animal will always be clean and tidy. If you let your pet walk around the house, then you need to arrange several trays around the apartment.
Rabbits love to gnaw everything, so it's best to remove from their field of view plants, shoes, electrical wires and other dangerous items. It is better for a pet to buy special toys, about which he can whip out his teeth.
The very first question that confronts the new masters of the animal - what do rabbits eat? After all, the pet should receive all the necessary elements for a full-fledged development. Nature is so arranged that rabbits constantly eat something, their teeth need to be grinded. And the nutritional value of plant food is much less than meat. Therefore, to replenish the body with all the necessary substances you need to eat a lot of food. All these features make rabbits real gluttons. They eat both day and night. Surprisingly, these small creatures can be applied to the stern up to 30 times a day. If we talk about how best to feed the domestic rabbit, it is worth noting that there are a variety of foods that can be given to the pet. But only they can not be limited. In the diet of the animal must be present a variety of food. What is the best food for ornamental rabbits? All livestock breeders divide the feed into juicy, coarse, concentrates and food of animal origin. Each of these groups has its own specific features on the content of moisture and nutrients.
What do rabbits eat? In their diet must certainly be present roughage. They contain a huge amount of fiber and very little moisture. But in terms of nutritional status, they are very different. These feeds include straw, hay, raw material.
Thinking about what to feed a domestic rabbit, you need to realize that hay is the most important ingredient in the pet's diet. At first glance, it might seem that hay is a tasteless dry grass. But this is not so. It has a lot of protein, vitamins, carotenoids. For humans, fiber is an indigestible substance, but rabbits perfectly reprocess it, thanks to the presence of certain bacteria in their bodies. They live in the so-called pockets of the cecum. If rabbits get a little fiber, then they may be impaired metabolism. Therefore, in a cage a pet should always have a lot of hay, even in summer, when there is a lot of grass. Unlike other feeds, it can be given in any quantity, since it does not deteriorate.
Quality hay is the best food for rabbits. It should have a pleasant aroma, green leaves and should not be moist. Unbelievably useful is nettle hay. It has a lot of vitamins. And in terms of protein content, it can replace concentrated food. For its preparation, the nettle needs to be harvested before the flowering period, after which it should be dried in the shade.
Also useful are branches. Rabbits can offer aspen, willow, linden, hazel, Canadian maple, acacia, fruit trees (currants, raspberries, apples) and raspberries. Animals gnaw on the bark, thus stitching their teeth. But poplar and walnuts are not recommended for pets. Rabbits can also eat dried stems of dried crops: hops, asparagus, marigold.
As for straw, it is not tasty, and there are few nutrients in it. It is good to make litter in the cage of the animal.
Talking about what can be given to domestic rabbits, and what - no, it is worth paying special attention to juicy forages. It's all kinds of greens and vegetables. They contain a lot of moisture, little fiber, lots of vitamins. Due to the presence of water, such feeds have a high nutritional value.
Very often novice breeders are wondering if rabbits can beetroot. Of course, beets, carrots, Jerusalem artichoke can be introduced into the feeding of animals. These vegetables have a milk property, and therefore are useful for females during the feeding of offspring.
Beetroot contains a lot of potassium and iron, but still it sometimes causes diarrhea. Also it is worth remembering that in the root crop, all nitrates accumulate, if it is grown on the ground, into which a lot of fertilizer was applied. Such a vegetable is dangerous for the pet. If you offer rabbits to the tops and beets from your site, then it is completely safe, because you are sure of their quality.
Is it possible for rabbits to pumpkin? For animals, pumpkin, carrots, cucumbers, kohlrabi, zucchini, turnips, potatoes, apples, tomatoes are useful. Vegetables do not necessarily need to be cleaned, but wash with warm water is necessary, and then cut into small pieces. Products should only be fresh, not spoiled and not frozen.
Can rabbits eat cabbage? Very often, it is associated with a vegetable that is harmful to the pet. In fact, this is not so. It can be given, but in moderation, as it can cause frustration and flatulence. And for an animal this is dangerous. Therefore, inexperienced rabbit breeders are better not to conduct experiments, but choose proven and safe products. Less dangerous are the thin, almost dried leaves of the plant, but juicy with veins in general should not be given. Color and red cabbage also gives a breakdown.
Fresh feeds have the property of quickly deteriorating, so their residues must be regularly cleaned in a cage, otherwise they can cause diarrhea. If the animal begins to have similar problems, then it should be transferred to hay for a few days.
No less necessary for animals grass. They should be collected away from the road. Rabbits like chicory, spores, leaves of a young thistle, dandelion, quinoa, rhubarb, wheat grass, nettle and all sown herbaceous plants. Of the garden crops, the tops of radishes, carrots, turnips, strawberries, Jerusalem artichoke are excellent.
In the spring, fresh herbs should be administered with great care, as they can cause bloating. You should start to give them gradually after a portion of hay. It is also possible in this period to offer the pet a twig branch, which has astringent properties.
What to feed a domestic rabbit? In his diet should be present concentrated feed. They are called so because they contain a large amount of carbohydrates, proteins, rather than other species. They are very nutritious and well absorbed. Such grains include wheat, soybeans, corn, oats, bread, bran. Concentrates can also be classified as specialized mixtures for animals based on grain. Pets, as a rule, eat this food well, but at the same time they quickly recover, which can lead to metabolic disorders. In a day rabbit enough 20-30 grams of concentrate. Lactating portions of the female can be slightly increased.
If you give the pet concentrated food, then it makes sense to choose granular. From it, animals do not choose only what they like. On sale now there are concentrates with vitamin and mineral additives.
Rabbits can include in the diet fish oil, milk, meat-and-bone meal. These products should be added to the finished feed. The need to receive animal feed in animals arises in the case of a lack of protein nutrition. Especially they are useful to nursing rabbits.
Rabbits willingly consume vitamin fodders. These include berry bushes, mountain ash, nettle hay, needle branches, sprouted grain. It is recommended to take winter coniferous branches, since they have less resin.
General scheme of feeding
If we summarize all the information on the nutrition of rabbits, then it can be reduced to the following scheme. In summer, the animals should be given juicy and green fodders with the addition of concentrated fodder and hay. In winter it is necessary to give hay with concentrated fodder and vegetables. An indispensable condition for keeping a pet is a constant presence in the hay cell. It can be hung or purchased for him a separate feeder, then it will not get dirty. It is very important to give food to rabbits for the night, as they are in nature a twilight animal, so they can have a snack in the dark.
Juicy foods are preferable to give in the morning, so that the remnants can be removed in time. It is also worth observing if there was a breakdown after eating. Concentrates can be given at night. If you just bought a pet, then on the road it is recommended to feed only hay. And then gradually move on to other food. It is always necessary to remember that rabbits have a very sensitive digestive system. Sometimes they even react to diarrhea with an easy stress. But at the same time, pets quickly adapt in new conditions.
Dwarf ram is a rabbit of decorative breed, which is very popular nowadays. The fame of the animal is quite understandable, because the pet looks just charming. Rabbits of this breed really resemble small lambs. Their characteristic feature is the presence of ears in the form of a horseshoe. Their length is 23-28 centimeters.
Animals have a small body of a cylindrical shape and a small tail. Female are more modest in size than males. The ears of the rabbits are omitted, and the head is quite massive, with a broad forehead, for which the breed got its name. Animal fur is soft and even, with a thick undercoat.
A dwarf ram is a rabbit whose weight does not exceed two kilograms. Individuals with a lot of weight are not allowed to the exhibitions, because they do not meet the standards. Acquiring thoroughbred pets is recommended for experienced breeders, since inexperienced buyers can purchase a small rabbit, as a thoroughbred animal. Thus, dishonest salespeople sometimes deceive customers.
In Russia, this breed appeared recently - 10-15 years ago, but has already become very popular among fans of ornamental animals. The young breed appeared as a result of crossing of miniature individuals with meat French breed. She was brought to Holland in 1950, she was universally recognized in 1964.
Dwarf sheep are common all over the world, they are great for keeping at home. Such a pet can become a best friend for children over the age of 10 years. If you buy an animal for a small child, you need to monitor their communication so that the baby does not cause injury to the pet.
Small creatures have a rather proud nature, despite their modest size. Animals keep a fairly active lifestyle, and therefore they will have to devote a sufficient amount of time.
Interesting facts about dwarf rabbits
The smallest rabbit in the world was bred in North America. Its weight was only 400 grams.
Animals have an unusual structure of the eyes: without turning their heads, they perfectly see everything that happens behind.
Even during rest, the muzzle and whiskers of the rabbits are in constant motion, as they are constantly sucking in air to know in time about the approach of the predator.
The longest ears in the world have a pet named Nippers Geronimo, their length is 79 centimeters.
Instead of an afterword
In our article, we talked about what are such lovely pets as decorative rabbits. Care and maintenance of animals at home is not an easy matter. Therefore, you should know all the nuances before you get yourself such a nice fluffy. We tried to describe in detail the rules for feeding rabbits, since nutrition is the most difficult moment in the care of animals.