Raising rabbits at home requires some knowledge. Indeed, in addition to content, animals need to organize a balanced diet. The food rabbits eat should be nutritious and healthy. A significant part of the daily diet is plant-based feed. It is green grass and dried.
All of them are divided into useful and poisonous herbs for rabbits. If the former contain useful and nutritious elements, have a therapeutic effect, then the latter, on the contrary, pose a huge danger to a furry animal. The difficulty lies in the fact that domestic rabbits have lost their ability to understand herbs, so they eat all the plant food that they get. Consequently, all responsibility lies with the breeders. Therefore, before starting to breed rabbits at home, you need to study which herbs are useful for them and which are contraindicated.
In addition, there are general rules for feeding rabbits plant foods. Firstly, it is best to give the animals young grass, mowed before it bloomed. Secondly, in no case should you feed rabbits with wet plant foods: with dew or after rain. Thirdly, you can’t feed the animals with freshly cut grass, you should give it a couple of hours to lie down and tighten it. And, fourthly, at first they give cereal feed or compound feed, and only after that - grass.
Herbs that are contraindicated in rabbits
As we have already indicated, not all herbs are suitable for feeding rabbits. Some of them pose a serious danger to furry animals. In addition, there are some features of vegetation that you need to know. Herbs should be considered from such positions:
- poisonous, in principle, but you can’t use them,
- pose a danger at a certain period of their growth,
- become toxic
- lose their toxic properties after drying.
And so, which plants are dangerous for rabbits? Of course, we will talk about wild vegetation, which is found in large numbers in meadows, roadsides, ravines, and other territories not cultivated by man.
The most poisonous representatives of vegetation are buttercups. They are represented by perennials and annuals. Meet everywhere. You can recognize them by bright blooming yellow flowers and long dissected leaves.
Fresh buttercups are poisonous to all animals without exception. They contain the active substance - protoanemonin, which causes intoxication of the body. As a result, the animals begin vomiting, abdominal pain, bloating, and excessive salivation.
But when the plants are dried, the poison from them disappears and they can be given to adult rabbits in the composition of hay. However, you should observe the measure and start with a small amount, with a positive result, gradually increase the amount of dried grass.
Also poisonous herbs, which are dangerous for rabbits, include lumbago.
The toxic substance in them is protoanemonin and saponins.
Just like buttercups, when dry they become quite suitable for human consumption.
Among the lumbago the most dangerous are:
- Sleep grass
- Lumbar yellowing
- Meadow chamber.
There are such perennial herbs in the family of buttercups as wrestlers or aconites. These are plants on tall twenty-centimeter stems with wide leaves and large flowers. They can be found everywhere.
The plant contains alkaloids and the poisonous substance isconitin. Grass Wrestler is poisonous not only for rabbits, but also for other animals. The most dangerous plant during flowering, when it accumulates the highest concentration of poisons. The wrestler or aconite cannot be used as feed in any form, since neither drying nor silage does not relieve it of toxic substances.
In nature, there are many varieties of this plant, but they all belong to poisonous herbs and are contraindicated for feeding animals.
The next grass that is dangerous is hellebore. This is a perennial belonging to the lily family. There are several types of it that are poisonous:
You can recognize these herbs by a tall thick stem, the height of which reaches a meter or more, on which there are many large leaves. But the flowers are small and plain.
Hellebore contains poisonous alkaloids. The danger is the whole plant. The highest concentration of toxins is observed in young grass. When dried, the concentration of the poison decreases slightly, but it does not disappear completely, so the plant remains dangerous for animals and can lead to death.
Note also that the toxicity of the plant is affected by natural conditions. For example, hellebore, growing in Altai, is not toxic at all and is actively used as plant food.
Danger for rabbits is also a winter meadow. It is also a perennial grass from the lily family. It is toxic and fresh and dried. Therefore, you need to ensure that its parts do not get into the hay and are not fed to animals.
Zimovnik contains colchicine, a poisonous substance that affects the vascular system, and the rabbit dies after severe torment within 24 hours, in extreme cases two.
Digitalis is also contraindicated for rabbits. This plant, on a high stem, up to four meters with long oblong leaves of a lanceolate form. It blooms in large red-violet or yellow flowers. Attracts with a beautiful appearance. Often used for decorative purposes, its medicinal properties are also known. However, despite this, it belongs to a poisonous group. The composition of the herb includes toxic substances - glycosides. They are dangerous for the heart and blood vessels. They have a cumulative effect, therefore, when a small amount of grass enters the body, it does not cause poisoning, but after a while, when the concentration of the poison reaches a certain level, the animal begins to have a heart rhythm disturbance, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions and the rabbit dies.
Celandine, it is found not only in the wild, for many it grows in the courtyard. All parts, both fresh and dried, are poisonous in him.
You can’t feed rabbits with plants such as cicuta or milestones. This is a perennial grass, is a tall, up to one meter plant, whose stems are very branched. Grows in moist places.
Cicuta contains a toxic substance - cycutotoxin. When poison enters the body of an animal, it causes a violation of the respiratory system, a spasm occurs, and the rabbit dies.
Contraindicated for rabbits and hemlock. This is a fairly common plant, which is known to almost everyone. It is easy to recognize it by a large, up to two-meter branching stem, with leaves of deep green color and umbrella-shaped flowers of light color. The hemlock smells disgusting.
When harvesting, the poison from the grass does not evaporate, so it is not used as vegetable feed.
Larvae is also dangerous for rabbits. This plant is about forty centimeters in height. Often found in fields with grain crops, therefore, when harvesting feed, it can get into the grain. Which is fraught with hidden danger, since the poison has a maximum concentration in the seeds. But this does not negate the toxicity of other parts of the plant. Once in the body, larkspur causes paralysis, convulsions, leading to death.
Such a common perennial, like wild mustard, is fraught with no less danger. It contains allyl oil, which causes poisoning in animals.
In marshes, wet meadows or near rivers, a marsh wingfly grows, which, despite its external attractiveness, is contraindicated for use as animal feed. It contains a solanine-like substance, which in rabbits causes poisoning. It is forbidden to use a calla in fresh form. When drying herbs, toxins disappear.
Often in the crops of spring crops you can find such a weed as cockle sowing. It also refers to poisonous plants, since it contains a substance called histagin, which causes poisoning of the body. This poison, in high concentration, is found in weed seeds, which are mixed with grain and when ingested by animals cause poisoning.
This is only a small part of those plants that are contraindicated for rabbits. Therefore, if you are not familiar with some kind of grass, then it is better to exclude its entry into the diet of animals. In this case, proven feed should be preferred.
Poisonous plants for rabbits
Everyone knows the bright yellow buttercups are harmful. Protoanemonin, contained in large quantities, causes bloating, diarrhea and significant weight loss.
Backache (many confuse it with a snowdrop). Shaggy stems and beautiful bell-shaped flowers of violet and yellow shades to the above symptoms can add cramps, malfunctions of the heart and paralysis.
Aconites. Very dangerous plants. Aconitine poison is most dangerous during flowering. Animals poisoned by them become aggressive, the pulse slows down, increased salivation begins, the mucous membranes turn yellow. From a large number of aconites, rabbits can die, as the respiratory center will be paralyzed.
White hellebore and lobel - signs of poisoning are similar to the previous ones. The outcome is most often fatal.
The beautiful digitalis flowers that are found in many gardens when they eat rabbits gradually create an accumulation of harmful substances in their organisms and quietly lead animals to convulsive death.
Celandine, a plant in which all parts are poisonous, will not kill pussies, but will cause pain in convulsions with diarrhea.
Larkiness (flower growers know it as a delphinium). The alkaloids found in all parts of these flowers lead to vomiting, convulsions and paralysis.
Wild mustard is dangerous when seeds with mustard oil appear. Bloating may cause bloating and bloody diarrhea.
Among the most common plants that are not recommended for eating by eared pets are marigold, periwinkle, aloe, white acacia, potatoes, mushrooms, cornflowers, beans, hemp, juniper, buckthorn, turnip, rhubarb, sorrel, bird cherry and others. If you doubt the safety of any herb or vegetable, it is better not to give. Fortunately, the list of useful herbs is also not small.
Plants that can be given to rabbits
Nettle - a burning and healthy weed will bring a lot of good to rabbits. Until budding begins, it can be given calmly. Before serving, pour over boiling water and mix with animal feed. Nettles can also be dried for the winter, like most other herbs. The plant is very nutritious, fortified and has an antimicrobial effect.
Burdock is mixed with other herbs. It has fixing and anti-lichen properties.
Mother and stepmother. The well-known medicinal plant is an excellent addition to the diet of rabbits, who eat it with great desire. Its value lies in the fact that it appears early, and animals can receive fresh vitamins in the spring.
Pussies perceive dandelion as a delicacy. In order for rabbits to actively consume other foods, the leaves of this healing weed are added to it. In the green diet of young rabbits, in order to avoid slowing their growth, dandelion should be no more than 1/3.
What herbs can and should be given?
Begin feeding rabbits with vegetation in early spring, and end in late autumn.
During this period, it is not just possible, but it is recommended that the following herbs be given to pets:
- Dandelion - contains protein, which is necessary for the growth of young animals. It helps to improve appetite. The optimal volume is not more than 30% of the total mass of green food.
- Hogweed - enhances lactation in females. For feeding use exclusively leaves.
- Wormwood - improves appetite, serves as a prophylaxis of intestinal problems and cleanses the body of the animal from worms.
Important! A rabbit can be given no more than 150-200 g of wormwood per day, depending on the weight of the animal. With an increase in volume, the grass can provoke a nervous overexcitation in the animal.
- Coltsfoot - normalizes digestion and helps with stomach problems.
- Nettle - due to its high content of protein and vitamins, has a complex effect: it treats indigestion, enhances growth, and helps with hemorrhage. Nettle leaves are particularly useful, but the flowers of the plant are not intended for consumption.
- Alfalfa - has a large supply of protein and is especially useful for pregnant individuals.
- Plantain - helps to heal wounds and helps fight the microbial environment.
- Wheatgrass - is characterized by increased nutritional value, therefore, helps young individuals gain weight. Only thoroughly washed rhizomes can be given to rabbits.
How to harvest grass
Even the most useful vegetation with illiterate harvesting can harm rabbits, so it is extremely important to know how to handle grass during and after the harvest. To your attention a few rules.
Firstly, raw grass is contraindicated for rabbits; therefore, before feeding animals, all vegetation needs to be dried. This applies not only to the very wet greens collected after the rain, but also to the grass picked early in the morning with dew.
Tip. In order to properly prepare the nettle, it is first scalded with boiling water after collection, crushed and only then dried.
Secondly, the green food must be thoroughly cleaned - make sure that there is no mold, any excrement and other foreign products on it.
Thirdly, if possible, pick grass by hand, and not by a lawn mower: when in contact with metal, plants oxidize. In extreme cases, you can use an ordinary scythe or sickle.
Fourthly, for rabbits it is impossible to collect grass near roads, along streets, on the carriageway, near industrial enterprises. It is advisable to collect plants in the forest or in distant plantings. And an even more optimal option is to grow fodder grass on your own site.
Fifthly, if you want to prepare plant food for pets for the whole year, prepare a well-ventilated room or attic for drying herbs. Before you plant a batch of fresh grass on the hay, check to see if mice and rats are wound up in the storage area - they carry diseases that are dangerous for rabbits.
What herbs are bad for rabbits
We figured out useful herbs - let's start considering dangerous plants that can cause poisoning and a lot of diseases in rabbits. Especially harmful to rabbits are the following varieties of herbs:
- Swamp callas - causes the animals to produce strong salivation, uncomfortable bloating and nervous anxiety.
- Datura - leads to dysfunction of the heart system and partial paralysis.
- Hemlock - sharply reduces body temperature, causes paralysis of the hind legs and cramps.
- Sleep-grass - provokes the development of diseases of the stomach and intestines, causes disturbances in the functioning of the heart and often leads to seizures of the extremities. Having consumed a lot of sleep grass, a rabbit can die from an upset stomach.
- Feline parsley - leads to paralysis of the respiratory muscles and nervous anxiety with cramps.
- Horned cornflowers - have a large supply of harmful alkaloids that cause rabbit diseases in the rabbits, accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting.
- Digitalis - negatively affects the work of the heart system: provokes a rapid heartbeat.
- Celandine - leads to a sharp decrease in appetite and loss of strength.
- Kaluzhnitsa - causes severe colic in the stomach, vomiting and frequent urination.
Rabbits will not eat some of these harmful herbs themselves - animals, especially adults, are well versed which plants are suitable for them and which are not. But you don’t need to rely only on the quick wittedness of the pets - carefully check the green food, so that among the useful herbs, dangerous ones are not accidentally cluttered.
Now you know that not all herbs are equally useful for rabbits: some of them are really indispensable due to their rich nutritional composition, and some may be real poison. Therefore, when planning the diet of rabbits, take into account the effect of the influence of one or another vegetable feed and be sure to follow all the rules for preparing green food - the only way you can not worry about the health of pets.
General information about harmful herbs
There are not so many poisonous herbs for rabbits. For the most part, they can become harmless if given during a certain period. For example, in spring, before flowering begins, or in autumn, after that. In addition, some are fresh harmless, others, on the contrary, lose their toxic properties only after a good drying.
Drying the grass in the sun is a widely used technique. It is used to avoid toxic substances from entering the body of rabbits. That's just it is exactly half effective. The problem is that there are herbs (aconites, hellebore, digitalis, lily) that accumulate toxins in the roots. And this happens just as a result of drying. And even the most hardworking rabbit breeder will not sort out all the mops of mown greens, separating the roots.
And in fresh or silage form, some plants can be completely deadly for rabbits. This happens due to the complete conservation of toxic substances inside the plant. Although it is undesirable to give “allowed” herbs fresh, as this can cause bloating in rabbits (the most common problem).
Perhaps you should start with buttercups. Yes, these deceptively pretty flowers are among the fairly poisonous plants. Moreover, they are dangerous not only for rabbits, but also for most other herbivorous pets. Buttercups are preferred to grow in lowlands or floodplains. Fortunately, noticing them is easy. Their head gives out a bright yellow color of flowers.
Fresh buttercup is the most dangerous. However, dried, it does harm if you give it to rabbits in a sufficiently large amount. The venom of buttercups is not very strong, and it is unlikely to lead to the death of the animal, but it can greatly harm health, causing diarrhea, bloating and simply food poisoning.
These relatives of buttercups are also harmful to rabbits. However, their local preferences are different. Lumbago prefer forest glades, sandy soil or dry, hilly terrain. In appearance, these are flowers with fairly large heads, most often yellow or purple.
In terms of danger, these plants even surpass buttercups, although when dried, they almost completely lose their toxic properties. However, fresh lumbago is very dangerous. They, in the spectrum of symptoms brought, are not limited to bloating and diarrhea. With severe poisoning, even convulsions or paralysis are possible, but this is a serious health problem for rabbits.
The relatives of the two above plants include wrestlers, or aconites. And they are also poisonous. It seems that among buttercups this is a prerequisite. However, in terms of danger, wrestlers are superior to buttercups and lumbago. When they feed in large quantities, a lethal outcome for rabbits is ensured.
Moreover, drying does not help here, the poisonous properties are kept fresh, that dry flower. Therefore, the main way to “fight” them is simply to avoid getting aconites in the diet of animals, and for this you need to know well how these dangerous flowers look. Their flowers resemble the same in nettles, but slightly wider and with pronounced fringe. Flowers hang in the manner of frozen elongated bells. In order to more accurately imagine the appearance of wrestlers, you can refer to the photo of these flowers.
This is also important because aconites are extremely tenacious and unpretentious in nature. They grow quite calmly in almost any climate, regardless of the level of humidity or relatively low (or high) temperatures.
Also applies to poisonous herbs for rabbits. Chemeritsa belongs to the lily family. Not noticing her is hard enough. It is very high, sometimes reaching one meter in height, and is all strewn with white and greenish flowers. It grows in forest-steppe and mountain areas.
In terms of the degree of toxicity, hellebore may be different. Depends on the species. But, so to speak, it is advisable to avoid it by default. Even the most harmless species can do some harm to the digestion of rabbits, while others already pose a real threat. An exception is hellebore, growing in the Altai Territory, where hay is harvested absolutely calmly from it. However, the hello, which was collected in any other territory, is much more dangerous. It often leads to diarrhea, bloating and even difficulty breathing in animals. Sometimes, the effect is so strong that the rabbit breeder simply does not have time to save the poisoned ward.
The lily family has another representative that is poisonous to herbivores. Including rabbits, of course. This is colchicum, or meadow wintry. Its flowering period is the end of summer, and it was at this time that it was most noticeable. Bright pink or lilac elongated colchicum flowers are very beautiful. And also dangerous for rabbits.
However, at any other time in any other form colchicum can cause irreparable damage to animal health. Therefore, it is desirable to find his images, and to remember well the appearance of this dangerous flower.
Another very common plant, which is among the poisonous. Moreover, drying does not relieve it of these properties, but everything is poisonous in it: flowers, stems, and roots. Belonging to the poppy family somewhat explains such an abundance of poison.
The appearance of celandine is well known to many. Four-petal flowers are yellow, with light green, like plastic leaves ... This plant can be found in almost any climate. In rabbits, it causes digestive problems, diarrhea, bloating and cramps. Lethal outcome is possible.
Other poisonous plants
There are many other plants that are no less harmful to rabbits. They vary in appearance, habitat and degree of toxicity. In general, they can be distinguished by thicker stems, which contain poison. In addition, these are, as a rule, beautiful flowers, clearly visible in the general “sea” of plain and safe grass for rabbits.
Here is a list of plants that are also poisonous to rabbits:
- stinky dope,
- wild mustard
- wild radish
- Avran officinalis,
- Calla Marsh,
These are not all plants that can be dangerous for rabbit breeders, however, they are the most common or dangerous. To protect rabbits from poisoning, make sure that the mowing grass is not poisonous or harmful to animals.
To do this, compare its description with the above features of dangerous plants. In addition, you can select and compile a list of herbs that are among the most valuable for rabbits, and collect them exclusively, filtering out everything extraneous and suspicious.
Following these recommendations can greatly increase the chances of a healthy and productive rabbit life. And this is one of the main goals of any rabbit breeder, regardless of the size of the farm. Be it utility or industrial. Largely for rabbit breeders involved in breeding at home, this information is more valuable, due to limited funds and great difficulties in calling veterinarians.