Friday, August 22, 2014

Feeding the Rabbits, Homestead Style

I've been working out a diet list for the rabbits, trying to figure out what and how much of the local feed stuffs they will eat. So not to have raging hunger interfere with the results (heck, I think I'd eat cardboard if I was really hungry), I've been making sure that they have constant access to hay cubes. 

Items offered so far that they will eat.....

...cucumbers & the leaves 
...bananas, leaves, and cut up trunk
...strawberries & the leaves
...papaya
...apples
...tomatoes, ripe or green
...carrot tops & roots
...anything in cabbage family (cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, etc)
...any of the bok choy types
...celery, stalks & leaves
...oranges & tangerines (I remove the rind) 
...sugar cane, cut up and split
...radish & daikon, leaves & roots
...turnips, leaves & roots 
...mango fruit
...lettuces
...seeds and pulp from pumpkins and winter squash
...flesh of pumpkins and winter squash, but they are not crazy about it
...zucchini squash
...fresh corn on the cob, they will eat the cob too
...beets & the leaves
...chard
...sweet potatoes & the leaves
...pipinola leaves and fruits
...thimbleberry leaves
...young leaves of pumpkin and squashes
...false staghorn fern, young leaves- not crazy about it but they will eat a bit
...ginger leaves, they will eat some but not a lot. They like the white ginger flowers. 
...dill
...parsley
...various basils
...mint
...cilantro
...green bean leaves
.. honohono grass 
...greenleaf desmodium 
...mamaki leaves
...plantain (the weed)
...ti leaves
...guava fruit
...oregano
...yacon leaves
...rose bush trimmings

I'm still in the process of trying foods. So the list will grow.

Next on the list to offer: 

...cooked taro corm
...star fruit
...papaya leaves
...string beans
...peas
...pea vines

Things they've rejected or barely nibble include:
...molasses grass
...kikuyu grass
...guava leaves
...mango leaves
...guinea grass

Bummer. I've got a LOT of that stuff growing around here. 

Some of the things on the "will eat" list they really like, such as cucumbers, apples, parsley, cabbage.   Other things they just eat a little at a time, such as ginger, ti leaves, banana trucks. And I've noticed individual preferences. While some of the rabbits will eat every bit of honohono offered, others will only eat a couple tips. Since I've just started this, I don't know if there are any seasonal differences. I'm aware that some plants are more preferred at different times of the year. So that will be something I will discover in time. 

1 comment:

  1. This is interesting because it's a similar process to what I go through with my goats, except I have the advantage of seeing what they'll go for out in the pasture. You really have an impressive list there! Lucky rabbits.

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