winter hay feeding

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rabbit chaser
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:50 pm
Location: dubuque iowa

winter hay feeding

Post by rabbit chaser » Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:01 am

Anyone here use much hay for feeding your rabbits in the winter? If so what type have you found the rabbits like best. I.E. pure grass, alfalfa, etc. I have access to most kinds here but not sure what kind to use. Has anyone found any advantages/disadvantages to using hay over the winter months? We're always looking for something better to help the bunnies make it through the winter.
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rabbitatfarm
Posts: 867
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Location: Michigan

Re: winter hay feeding

Post by rabbitatfarm » Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:08 pm

Are you talking wild or pen rabbits? I don't see a lot, if any, sign of rabbits digging down through snow to find wheat sprouts or other grasses. Rabbits have a variety of winter foods available in good habitats. If I were going to supplement with anything, it would be corn. I think having green browse, winter wheat or clover, available in the spring is more valuable. A wildlife biologist told me deer go through a change of digestion enzymes in winter and will actually starve to death with a bell full of hay because they can't digest it. Don't know if rabbits go through similar changes in the wild.

Larry
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Rcoff
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Location: Hayesville, Ohio

Re: winter hay feeding

Post by Rcoff » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:04 pm

Having wild rabbits in one pen and Swampers in another, I feed corn all year round because they get ran hard. During winter when snow is covering everything and food is scarce I always supplement hay as well. I can't afford sick rabbits. The best hay you feel you can afford to put out for them is best, but as long as it isn't moldy most any type will be fine, don't give them weedy trash hay.
Thanks,
Bob
Coffman's Y.C. Dougie Macrae (HOF Happyrun Calico Clem)
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rabbit chaser
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:50 pm
Location: dubuque iowa

Re: winter hay feeding

Post by rabbit chaser » Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:46 am

yep, i'm talking about all wild eastern cottontails at the club. We have always fed corn at the club and will continue to do so. We too are just looking for something else to supplement our feeding program and hay seems to be the best viable option. price is extremely low compared to most other feeds.
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sbeagler
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Re: winter hay feeding

Post by sbeagler » Thu Nov 27, 2014 10:59 pm

they love alfalfa hay(very very nutrious) i put it in a wooden crib with a piece of tim over it to keep it dry. the wind gets worse there than here in NC so wind might blow it over there. i lived in Iowa for about a year. corn has a lot of carbs to help keepem fat and warm. check craigslist for the hay its good for them- last long time too.

rabbit chaser
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:50 pm
Location: dubuque iowa

Re: winter hay feeding

Post by rabbit chaser » Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:27 pm

We have had the feeders out for about a month now. Its been a mild (for Iowa) winter so for with almost no snow to speak of. we checked the feeders today and they are certainly using them even though the native grasses are all still exposed and usable. Hay has been pulled down and they seem to be using them like we intended. The design of the feeders we got from North eastern Wisconsin have worked flawlessly and are VERY easy to make. I also added salt "doughnuts" inside each barrel and they seem to be using those as well. We have also found that it will be much cheaper than corn to use.
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rabitruner
Posts: 366
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 5:33 pm
Location: COALTON OHIO

Re: winter hay feeding

Post by rabitruner » Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:37 pm

Can you post the directions you used I am very intrested in how you made these feeders?

Andy Canterbury

rabbit chaser
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:50 pm
Location: dubuque iowa

Re: winter hay feeding

Post by rabbit chaser » Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:26 pm

Andy ill get some pics in the next couple weeks when im at the club and post them.
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rabitruner
Posts: 366
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 5:33 pm
Location: COALTON OHIO

Re: winter hay feeding

Post by rabitruner » Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:33 pm

Ok thanks

rabbit chaser
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:50 pm
Location: dubuque iowa

Re: winter hay feeding

Post by rabbit chaser » Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:16 pm

First off I want to say thanks to North Eastern Wisonsin (N.E.W.) beagle club as they are the ones that turned me onto these when I was at their trial this fall. They report good results using them up there. As you can see even though we have had a very mild winter so far the rabbits are still pulling down and eating our hay. each barrel will hold 1/2 of a bale of hay. based on what Im seeing so far its going to be way cheaper than feeding corn/pellets/ etc!

Here is a picture of the outside of the barrel. we have two 4" holes in ours. I think NEW was using one single hole that was narrower. We were afraid a fox could still get his head in our holes so we put in a second one for escape reasons

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Here is a pic of the inside. we just used two pieces of rerod shoved though holes we drilled 10" up from the ground. The bale just sits on the rerod when being used so the hay never touches the ground to get wet and rot.

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I also bought some salt circles from the local farm supply stored and wired them to the pieces of rerod to keep them off the ground and have a constant supply of minerals.

Image[/URL]
Thumper Jumpin Kennels-home of:
Thumper Jumpin Luck-E-Colt
Thumper Jumpin Lil Terror on Paws
Behne's oopsie daisy
Behne's lady

rabitruner
Posts: 366
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 5:33 pm
Location: COALTON OHIO

Re: winter hay feeding

Post by rabitruner » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:08 pm

Thanks I will be using this!

Andy Canterbury

rabbit chaser
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:50 pm
Location: dubuque iowa

Re: winter hay feeding

Post by rabbit chaser » Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:57 pm

Now that we have some snow I'd say they are working great. Almost every one we have out has a "cattle path" like this one to and from!

Image[/URL]
Thumper Jumpin Kennels-home of:
Thumper Jumpin Luck-E-Colt
Thumper Jumpin Lil Terror on Paws
Behne's oopsie daisy
Behne's lady

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