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Country Discussion Topics
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What to feed rabbits, and about water for chickens
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Zenia    Posted 07-07-2004 at 12:36:16       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi-

I have a pair of rabbits (one is a neuter) that refuse to eat pellet food, no matter how hungry they get. I feed them lots of greens, veggies, fruit (dandilion greens, kale, parsley, celery, carrots, broccoli, apple bits, dried papaya, etc.); Timothy hay, a bit of alfalfa, pieces of whole wheat bread, oats, shelled sunflower seeds, etc. Is there a concern about them becoming impacted or something, from eating a haphazard diet like this? Anything I should add? They only get red leaf or green leaf lettuce, once or twice a week, mostly other veggies. They have a salt lick, too. I keep them outside, in an 800 sq. ft. enclosure, with the chickens. They will sometimes eat the chicken's safflower seeds, corn & layer pellets. The rabbits look healthy but seem kind of thin to me. One has really shiny fur, the other is rather dull. She could be old; she was a stray. Is there a good source for cheap mixed grains that would work for them?

About the chickens, they get their water from hanging water bottles (rabbit/ rodent/ ferret type waterers). They go through an awful lot of water, and they seem to be able to get it from the bottles. I have tried other watering systems but they foul the water so quickly or bury it in straw. Think the hanging bottles are adequate? I live in a very hot climate - Sacramento, CA area (supposed to be 94 today).

Thanks!


KellyGa    Posted 07-07-2004 at 14:12:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
Just so happens I have both. I bought a Flemish Giant purebreed from a guy 2 hours away from me. My daughter intends on showing him in the fair in October. Since your rabbit is a pet, not for show or meat, I think you will be okay. Just don't feed too much lettuce. It has no nutritional value and it gives them diarrhea. I give mine Manna Pro Show Formula pellet food, and Timothy Hay. Alfalfa can be to rich for their system, so only feed that as treats, if at all. What kind of pellet food were you trying to feed? Mine loves his pellet food. You may try switching. I get mine at the feed store. They have a regular formula also.

On chickens, I have 5 speckled sussex and 5 buff orpingtons. I have raised them by hand from day old chicks. They are very friendly, especially the speckled sussex. They will come in the houe ans sit with me. I have even taken one to Petsmart! That was a hoot! She was actually very well behaved. I spent a lot of time with them when they were young, held them a lot. My buffs are almost 6 months old and my speckled sussex are almost 4 months old. I feed them Manna Pro chick feed, and I am fixing to switch over to laying feed.
As far as waterers go, it has been a daily experiment. I have two 2 gallon wateres I fill up. I usually set them up on a cement block to keep it from getting dirty. I also have them a big bowl out in the yard just as back up. They do make hanging wateres and feeders, my feeder is a hanging type. You can go to a good feed store and find the white and red plastic waterers like I have for about 6 bucks a piece.

Hope this helps. I just so happened to notice my buff hen doing exactly what you just described, the hunching down thing. Guess she sees me as the dominant chicken! Not a bad thing. :)

Oh yeah, try some of those mixtures Petsmart has. They have a mixture of rabbit food that is made by them, Nutriphase. Has the pellets, but also has pumpkin seeds, dried carrot, timothy hay, stuff like that in it. Thats what I got before I got the Manna Pro.


SusanMo    Posted 07-07-2004 at 13:08:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
got that right larry we had to put a net over our small chicken yard they kept getting out. one nite i was watching them sitting in my swing and this one hen kept trying to fly thru it lolol i never laughed so hard! as for the rabbits we raise rabbits for our meat and sell a few but ours eat pellets i would say if they are not starving they should be ok just make sure they have plenty of water


Larry (MO)    Posted 07-07-2004 at 13:30:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
We got a couple of ducklings at the same time we bought a mess of chicks. As they grew up together, one of the Rhode Island Reds wasn't sure if she was a duck or a chicken. One morning the ducks were swimming in their little wading pool and the Red decided she was a duck and decided to hop in for a swim. Well, needless to say she found out that morning she was a chicken. I've never seen a little pullet move so fast.


Ron MS    Posted 07-07-2004 at 16:08:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
Chickens float dont like ducks. Good thing she found out in the pool not a pond. ;)


Taylor Lambert    Posted 07-08-2004 at 08:56:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hey ron what part od Mississippi from, Im in Iuka. I hate to sound nosey but thers not alot of us MIssissippi folks on here lol. Take care.


Larry (MO)    Posted 07-07-2004 at 12:48:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
Can't help with the rabbits. My thoughts for rabbits are strictly what to serve with them for dinner. Sorry to all the rabbit lovers out there.

Chickens - It depends on how many birds you have regarding the bottles. How often do you (or anyone else) check on them during the day? If it is at least once or twice, the automatic waterers ($21.50 cheap from Strombergs on the internet) are just fine. You just dump out the water and straw daily and you're all set. If you have room, you might try a five gallon galvanized fountain. I personally like the galvanized better than the plastic. They are gravity fed and work just fine. You will have to check the fountain's water level often to figure out how often it needs fillin'. Good luck.

Aren't chickens fun to watch. They do the craziest things.


Zenia    Posted 07-07-2004 at 13:29:44       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Aw, I think my rabbits are too tough, they would be chewy. I never intended to get a rabbit, let alone two but the first was a stray. The second one keeps her company (good thing he is a neuter). They are not cuddly. One will tolerate being pet, that's it. I have considered starving them into eating pellets, just because I think they hold out for the good stuff (fresh greens) and it gets tiresome buying extra greens for them. Fortunately I get scraps at the Farmer's Market.

Regarding the chickens, yep, much more fun then I ever thought. I always just thought they were not too bright (they aren't) and boring (they are not boring at all!). Thanks for the watering tip, I don't like having to change the water but I guess I'll just have to do it that way. They have plenty of room.

Now here is a dumb question -the Barred Rock hen does this funny squat, wings low to the side when I approach her to pick her up. What's up with that? It's absurd, kind of like she is preparing for a rooster (I have no roosters!) She only does this when I approach; she skips away from the kids. She is really pretty friendly but the kids overwhelm her. but she doesn't mind me, she will come up to me and be held. The Arucana is not friendly. I just got two more chicks, an Amerucana and a Buff Orpington.


Larry (MO)    Posted 07-07-2004 at 13:38:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sorry to say it sounds like the Barred Rock thinks you are a rooster. You don't have to have any roosters for the hens to prepare for one. Kind of instinctive for them. Strange but funny. Our Auracana and Leghorn are not friendly either. Our most friendly type is the Amerucana and the Jersey Black Giant. Next ones I am getting are Buffs.


Jimbob........Read This    Posted 07-08-2004 at 11:49:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
Speaking of water, we use water with electrolytes. Great for rabbits & the fast growing Van Truss meat chickens do not get those ugly twisted toes with electrolyte treated water.

As for bottles, not an issue for our rabbits.


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