Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Friday, April 13, 2012

Weed Safe List for rabbits

Since I talked about picking weeds for the rabbits in my last post I thought I would post a list of the weeds that I know are safe for rabbits. Always introduce greens very slowly to rabbits and in small amounts. A large change in their feed can lead quickly to enteritis which can and will kill a rabbit. So here is my list of rabbit safe foods.

Shepherd's Purse
Curly Dock
Creeping Charlie
Wild Cherokee Rose
Honeysuckle (without the seeds)
Sow Thistle
White clover
Purple Clover
Wild Strawberry
Apple and Pear branches
Most grasses or grain crops
Sweet Gum Leaves
Catalpa Leaves

Each Year I make it my mission to firmly identify at least one more weed to add to the arsenal. Of course, there are many things from the garden that you can feed the bunnies also. When I thin the carrots this week then they will get the carrot thinnings which they love. I thin a little bit each day so that they don't get too much of a new thing at once. I need to thin the broccoli a little more and they will get some of that also. Here is a list of garden safe foods:

broccoli thinnings
carrots (not too much root as it is high in sugar)
radish tops
bean and pea plants
beets (again not too much root because of the high sugar content)
turnip greens
collard greens
corn thinnings
sunflower (thinnings, seeds, flower heads)
kale in very limited amounts
swiss chard
lettuce (preferably the dark green or red varieties)
sweet potato vine trimmings
herbs (lemon balm, catnip, basil, rosemary, mint, etc.)

So as you can see there is a wide variety of things that you can feed your rabbits and cut down on the feed bill. They are so happy to see that bucket of greens coming also. Mine hear my voice in the morning and come running to the colony door and then dance around my feet until I dump the bucket. Then all you hear is munch munch munch! I think they stay healthier also when they get to eat what they were designed to eat. Rabbits were designed to eat a wide variety of foods, not just one food. I think it keeps a healthier digestive system which is a very good thing in rabbits.
Please make sure that you firmly identify your plants before feeding them and if you don't know what a plant is take it to your extension agent for identification. If you have a plant and want to know if it is safe for rabbits or not then the best thing to do is google the plant name and rabbits. If you can't find information that way then you can have one test bunny to test a plant by eating it for several days before feeding it to the whole herd. Then if the plant is not safe you only lose one rabbit instead of all of them. Another word of caution, please make sure your weeds are safe and come from an environment that is not sprayed with chemicals. Rabbits are very sensitive and do not have the ability to survive eating pesticides and herbicides. If in doubt, leave it and get something that you know is safe. Blessings, Kat


Missy said...

I really need to have the kids start picking greens for the rabbits. There are some things even they know are safe but I always tell them to make sure they know what it is before they feed it to them. We currently have 4 does and a buck but haven bred this year as we may be moving and I really want to try a colony set up for them although I've never had trouble getting them bred in a cage situation. Will you be posting any pics of your colony now that it's up and running? It would have been nice to see pictures of your butchering day but I know how hard it can be to remember to take pictures of that stuff!

Cara said...

According to the HRS, kale has gotten a bad rap, but is fine!

Unknown said...

I've got creeping Charlie all over my yard, I've seen the leaves are safe, are the flowers safe too?

Kat said...

Yes, the flowers are safe.

Judy Anderson said...

I don't know 1 weed from another, and my bunny (Leo) runs free in the fenced in back yard often. It gets mowed at least once a month but Leo will nibble anything left standing. Is this safe?