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Script 14.12

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Information on this subject area was requested by DCFRN participants in Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Lesotho, Malawi, Malta, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Tanzania, Thailand, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Presenter: Barbara Peacock

Special note

Before using information in this item, please read the notes at the end concerning related DCFRN items.

Suggested introduction

We at this radio station are part of a worldwide information network that gathers farming information from developing countries all over the world. It’s the Developing Countries Farm Radio Network, sponsored by Massey Ferguson and the University of Guelph, and financially supported by the Canadian International Development Agency and by many interested Canadians.

Through this Network, we bring you information on ways to increase food supplies for your family, or to sell—ways that other farmers have used successfully.

Here’s Barbara Peacock with some advice about feeding rabbits.

PEACOCK:
If you raise rabbits, you know that they can eat many kinds of feeds, like cut grasses, weeds, sweet potato vines—any green forage like that, as well as kitchen scraps and other feeds that cost little or no money. Some people also buy commercial feed prepared especially for rabbits.

Now it’s not good to just put your rabbit feed directly on the floor of the cage for two reasons. First, some of it will be wasted because your rabbit usually won’t want to eat feed that it has trampled on and contaminated (dirtied) with its urine and manure. The second reason is that if your rabbit does eat feed that’s dirty, it’s more likely to get sick—and you don’t want that to happen!

If you’ve gathered forage for your rabbit, an easy way to keep it off the floor is to tie it together in a bunch. Hang it from the ceiling of the cage, or from a wall, so it’s not touching the floor of the cage. With the feed hanging up like this, it can’t get dirty or be trampled on and wasted. Another way to feed forage is to attach a simple rack to the wall of the cage for it.

By the way, it’s best not to feed wet forage to a rabbit, especially in hot weather. The rabbit may get sick with diarrhea, and may even die. So if forage is wet when you cut it, let it dry a few hours before feeding it.

Now when you give your rabbit things like kitchen scraps or commercial rabbit feed, put the feed into a clean bowl or other container. You might want to attach the container to the wall of the cage, so the rabbit won’t knock it over and spill it. But do this in such a way that you can easily remove it to clean out regularly.

You could do the same with your rabbit’s water container, and remember to make sure you can easily clean it— and it’s important too that you give your rabbit clean water every day.

You should also remove any uneaten feed from the cage before it goes bad, and remove manure regularly too. Keep the cage clean at all times.

Remember—fresh clean feed and fresh clean water will help keep your rabbit healthy and productive. So keep all feeds off the floor of the cage, and don’t forget to clean the cage as well as the feed and water containers regularly.

Serving Agriculture, the Basic Industry, this is Barbara Peacock.

 

Notes

 

1. Before using this item, we strongly suggest that you consult information provided in the following:

A good home for your rabbit – DCFRN Package 12, Item 6 (particularly the part about “the floor that cleans itself”).

2. In addition, you may want to re-use information from:

If You Eat Meat, Rabbit Meat May Save You Money – DCFRN Package 1, Item 2.

Keeping Farm Animals Healthy and Productive – DCFRN Package 10, Topo 1.