Let's understand what to feed the little rabbits, and how their diet differs from the adults. The survival of the new generation will depend on how well the diet will be compiled. Only in the first weeks of life the health of babies depends on their mother. All further care of the animals falls on the breeders. After studying the article, you will learn how to select food for them, learn what to do if the female has lost milk, and understand how important seasonal changes are in feeding.
The responsible mother will feed the newborn babies up to the age of two months. In the first month of life - this is their main food. The breeder must do everything so that the calves receive it in full.
And in order for the children to grow up healthy and develop on schedule, it is necessary to monitor the diet of the female. Her body spends a lot of resources on feeding newborn rabbits, especially protein. During this period, the proportion of concentrates in its diet should be increased to 70-80%. Give her more oats, meal, or bran. In the summer, focus on clover and alfalfa, and in the winter - on potatoes and good quality hay.
If the newborn rabbit lacks breast milk, then they may begin to have problems with digestion. In some cases, the young die from lack of food. To avoid this, carefully monitor whether they receive enough food. This can be determined by the fullness of the tummy and regular stool.
First week of life: replacement ration
If mother refuses her duties or cannot fulfill them, feeding the little rabbits will fall on your shoulders. It will be especially difficult in the first week, when the organism of babies cannot perceive anything but milk. Alternatively, goat, cow or concentrates can be used.
Feeding young rabbits is preferable to goat milk, as it is closest to the rabbit. But the cow product should not be given to children in its pure form: it is diluted 1: 1 with unsweetened condensed milk (see the sugar content on the package). If you decide to use the finished mixture, for example, for babies or puppies, then its concentration is doubled.
How many times a day feed rabbits, depends on the farmers. It can be 3 to 5 times. But it is recommended to adhere to this schedule: the first feeding in the early morning, the second or fourth meal - in the afternoon and the fifth snack - in the evening. At one time, the baby eats about 1 ml of the mixture or milk.
Diet from 14 days: change or not
In the second week of life, rabbits, as we said above, continue to be fed with mother's milk or its substitute. Please note that during this period the diet for mothers increases. More information about this can be found in the article "How to feed a rabbit after a dog." Baby portions are also getting bigger.
In 2 weeks the rabbits are transferred to food 3 times a day, increasing the serving size by 2 times. If you notice that the babies are not gaining weight well, then you can begin to lure hay or dry food. If the development is normal, and the growth of the cub is not out of the graph, then additional feeding is not required.
Up to two weeks, rabbits are completely defenseless. Therefore, you are required to pay special attention to them. The main thing is to monitor their hygiene, as they cannot take care of themselves on their own. Wipe them regularly with wet wipes, especially after a bowel movement. Muzzle wash after each meal.
Twenty Day Frontier
The rabbit feeds the rabbits with milk even in 20 days, but this period is a peculiar milestone when other products can be given to the young. At this age, babies are already fed up with hay and dry food. The animals change their teeth, and they can easily process food.
In 20 days it is important not only to start feeding the rabbits with other products, but also to give them fresh water. Before this age they do not need liquid. With slow weight gain, you can buy specialized dry mixes or dried herbs at the pet store. But from the succulent feed should be abandoned.
From 20 days the rabbits become more independent. They can already drink water and milk from the dishes. You can enter in their diet small portions of the mash (only fresh). Vetaptek sells special herbal granules, they can also be given to kids. The amount of feed varies with the growth of calves and is 3% of their weight.
30 days - transfer to adult diet
We got to the topic, than to feed the monthly rabbits. This is an important moment in their life, because at 1 month babies are taught to adult food and are removed from their mother. Of course, the milk remains in their diet until about 45 days, but its amount is reduced to 20-25%.
Monthly rabbits are already fed dry food, fresh hay, grass and mash. Most of their diet should be foods containing fiber (buckwheat, oatmeal and other grains), as it helps to normalize the bowels.
Because of jigging, rabbits are under serious stress, and during this period they need a lot of attention. It is recommended to give them vitamins of complex B (50 ml per 1 l of water), as they help the digestive system and calm the nerves.
Monthly rabbit should be abundantly watered with water. At this age, he should already have a separate bowl for liquids. Because of its lack of babies, kidney problems can begin. If they do not try to drink themselves, then they can be taught with the help of a nipple.
Pre-adult diet, or 60 days of life
Another month has passed and the rabbit can be transferred to good nutrition. Now he will have to live alone. At this age, the animals will no longer experience such stress, as in the earlier jigging, but it is recommended to keep this process under control.
Create the most comfortable conditions for rabbits and constant access to food. The most convenient way to organize this is with an auto feeder. How many days have passed, it is already known, and now you can give them:
- up to 300 g of dried grass;
- 50 g of crushed hay;
- up to 50 g of pumpkin or zucchini;
- about 75 grams of boiled potatoes;
- 200 g fodder carrots;
- 300 grams of cabbage;
- 75 g beets;
- about 50 g of branches of fruit or conifers;
- 50 g of grains;
- about 30 grams of cereals;
- 10 g of oilcake;
- 5 g of seeds;
- 50 g of feed;
- 3 g of bone and fish meal.
Legumes are also allowed to give to rabbits from 2 months, but be careful, as they cause bloating.
Recommendations and Tips
In the article “On Artificial Feeding of Rabbits,” we told you how to feed small animals if they were left without a mother. I would like to remind you that it is not enough to provide them with suitable food. If you want kids to survive without rabbit milk, then you need to take care of comfort.
Means for raising baby rabbits left without a mother, we described above. However, this is not all that a newborn needs. Firstly, only born babies do not have fur, therefore it is necessary to provide them with a warm atmosphere. You can put a heating pad in their cage, or put a lamp over them.
Secondly, newborns cannot empty the stomach without help. In the natural environment, this is done by mom, but in her absence these concerns fall on you. Before each feeding, give your baby a circular tummy massage. Although bottle-fed rabbits are a bit slow in development, with proper care, the difference will practically disappear.
Smooth transition, the basis of survival
At 3 months of life, rabbits are transferred to good nutrition, and by the 4th month their diet is similar to adult individuals. But the translation should be carried out smoothly to minimize stress for the body. New products in the menu are introduced one by one and in small portions.
The rabbit menu should definitely have a little dried grass or high quality hay. They are given boiled potatoes, pumpkin, zucchini, hay, bone meal and fish meal, they must include milk powder. You can give carrots, grated or cut into small cubes. At this age, chicory, yarrow, chamomile, St. John's wort, and mugs are useful.
With age, rabbits need more food, so you need to increase their diet in accordance with the schedule:
- in 45-60 days - from 70 to 125 k. e .;
- in 61-90 days - from 145 to 170 cu. e .;
- in 91-120 days - from 170 to 225 km.
After 120 days, rabbits are considered adults, and their diet is calculated using a different formula (based on weight). Be careful when preparing hay and make sure that it does not fall into a dope, henbane or other poisonous plants.
By the time the rabbits reach about the adult age, their diet at home is undergoing major changes. Up to this point, seasonal changes do not affect their feeding, but from 4 months the situation changes and the animals require a new menu.
Providing vitamins and minerals
The little rabbit, who just gave birth, like the little ones themselves, needs an enhanced diet and replenishment of the vitamin balance in the body. Properly composed menu can increase lactation and fill milk with elements necessary for the health of newborns.
To find a suitable diet for lactating mothers and small animals, provided with vitamins, you can use the article "About vitamins for rabbits". But be sure to from the first day of life of the kids, give them fish oil. When the rabbit grows up, enter into the menu oatmeal and chalk.
But if it is difficult for you to regularly make up a full menu for kids, then you can give them vitamin complexes, for example, Chiktonik, Aevit, Prodevit, or E-Selen. True, supplements are only suitable for grown-up rabbits, while babies get everything they need with their mother's milk.
Food prohibited for kids and the cause of death of young animals
When you make a diet, be sure to consider what you can not feed the rabbit. Sometimes, errors in the menu lead to intestinal blockage. Rarely cause the death of young. To avoid this, never give the animals flour, sweet, mushrooms, wet grass, spicy foods, fatty foods. It is forbidden to feed them with waste from vegetables and fruits, rotten fruits, tomato tops. Avoid poisonous plants.
The transition from the "child" to the "adult" menu takes about a month. If you change the diet faster, the body may not cope with the load and the rabbit will die from indigestion. Poison for babies is spoiled grain, as their digestive system is very gentle.
Always keep an eye on the freshness of the products given to the little rabbits. If from the previous meal there was a mixture, it should be checked before being included in the diet. Never cook a lot of mash at a time, as it quickly becomes unusable.
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