We are often asked whether it is possible to give corn to rabbits and how it affects their health. Unlike traditional cereals, which are great for feeding animals, corn kernels have their own characteristics associated with the large amount of fats and carbohydrates they contain. At the same time, the amount of calcium and proteins necessary for the full development of eared pets is not enough to make corn cobs the basis of their diet.
Especially nutritious cereal plant
Corn is a unique cereal, yielding high yields at minimal financial costs. It is very profitable to grow in central Russia, and feeding with corn grain increases the profitability of the livestock farm.
Corn is advantageous to use as fodder, because of the nutritional caloric content of 1 kg of its grain corresponds to 1.34 feed unit (1 cu. = Nutritional value of 1 kg of oats). It contains:
- protein - 9-12%;
- fats - 4-8%;
- carbohydrates - 65-75%;
- fiber - about 2%;
- vitamins of groups PP, C, A, E, B;
- easily absorbed by the body trace elements potassium, zinc, phosphorus, iron, magnesium. selenium, silicon.
The substances contained in corn kernels improve metabolism, promote the accumulation of fat deposits and have a positive effect on the nervous system of animals.
Below we will analyze in detail whether it is possible to feed the rabbit with corn, how it affects its appearance and how the meat is produced.
Heavy for gastrointestinal tract product
The lack of smooth muscle complicates the patency of the gastrointestinal tract of the rabbit, which is provided only by the receipt of new portions of food. Therefore, any problems associated with intestinal obstruction or abdominal distention are very serious and can be fatal.
High carbohydrate content in any food that you plan to give to rabbits contributes to the rapid development of intestinal bacteria and provokes abundant gas formation.
Abdominal distention is a very serious problem that leads to a rapid deterioration in the general condition of the animal and its death.
Read more in the article "Causes and treatment of bloating in rabbits."
It is the high carbohydrate content that casts doubt on the advisability of regularly feeding pets with this product, although it is possible to use corn as a food additive.
Now it is clear whether it is possible to eat corn for rabbits, but it remains to understand its quantity.
Accelerates pre-slaughter weight
Add to the above, that maize can be given in almost unlimited quantities to rabbits in the pre-slaughter period. As a result of enhanced feeding, the animal accumulates very tasty and healthy fat. Delicious rabbit becomes soft and juicy, acquiring a peculiar taste. And meat penetrated with fatty fibers is excellently sold in the markets and in the trading network.
Adult corn is not required to grind. They perfectly eat whole cobs, independently gnawing grains.
If the grains are very dry, soak them beforehand in cold water. You should not bury them, because rabbits are less willing to eat boiled corn, while she herself loses most of the vitamins and other nutrients.
The recommended daily rate of corn grain in the diet of rabbits should not exceed 170 g per adult animal. Remember that these feed rates are applicable only in the pre-slaughter period, and at other times it is very dangerous to give this amount of corn and can lead to death of the animal.
Accelerates biological processes
When growing young corn, rabbits are given in crushed form no more than once a week. This is an indispensable condition that allows an animal to get a sufficient amount of microelements and vitamins without the risk of disrupting its digestive system.
The average daily rate of crushed corn for a young rabbit is about 80 g, and as it grows it can be increased to 170 g.
Corn for rabbits is very useful in the period of their biological activity. This is especially true of mating time, pregnancy of females and feeding their babies with milk.
By systematically adding rabbit corn, you will stimulate the good development of its offspring, which should be born healthy and have strong immunity.
It is best for nursing mothers to mix crushed grains into boiled and finely chopped vegetables. Animals will eat such food well and produce a large amount of milk rich in lactose and fat.
Starting feeding pets with corn, make sure that they do not have swollen tummies. At the first sign of bloating, such feeding should be stopped immediately.
Add leaves and stalks to your diet
Almost all breeds of rabbits have an excellent appetite and are happy to eat any vegetable food. Therefore, the task of the rabbit breeder is to limit the diet and fill it with exactly those products that will contribute to the rapid weight gain of pets and improve their health. Along with traditional greens, hay, vegetables and cereals, animals can be given leaves and even corn stalks.
Rabbits with pleasure gnaw hard stalks, but very poorly digest the cellulose contained in them. Therefore, to abuse such feeding is not worth it.
Quite different is the situation with the leaves of corn. They can be fed rabbits at any age and in any quantity.
For young animals, gradually being transferred to adult feed, the leaves of the corn are finely chopped and mixed with other greens.
Adult rabbits can be given young shoots of corn and green leaves, which are previously required to be thoroughly washed and boiled over.
Rabbits are very fond of young corn cobs, which can be given in a whole form, without clearing from greenery.
Inexpensive high-calorie feed
In the countryside, many rabbit breeders specially sow the area with corn. When the seedlings reach a height of 10 cm or more, the farmer starts thinning them, and the remote shoots are an excellent feeding for rabbits.
Such greens with pleasure eat milk rabbits at the age of 1-2 months. Greens first need to cut into small pieces, and small rabbits begin to grind growing teeth.
Corn can be harvested for the winter. The leaves must be separated from the stems and dried in the shade as usual hay. In the winter of them you can prepare the feed mixture, which will be an excellent addition to the basic diet.
Stored such food in the attic. Be sure to monitor its humidity and prevent mold. Moldy leaves are strictly forbidden to give to rabbits.
Corn cobs harvested for winter with grains must be crushed before they are added to rabbits. This is best done with a fiber-rich core. In winter, rabbits enjoy eating such a mixture, added to the purchase of feed or silage, quickly gaining slaughter weight.
Corn is a high-calorie product that allows rabbits to gain muscle mass quickly. But its excessive nutritional value can lead to the development of obesity and digestive problems of your pets.
Do not abuse corn grain, introducing it into the diet no more than once a week.
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Tell us in the comments if you feed your pets with corn and how profitable it is.