GOOD THINGS TO EAT
September has to be the BEST month to spend time with the bunnies out in the barns. All sorts of energy abounds in the cooler air to get things cleaned up. Hurricane Isabel is barreling in and up the East Coast and I am spending the day getting the barn ship shape, for we are supposed to get fringe 30 mph winds and rain for 36 hours starting tonight.
So, today was feed mix day.
I started feeding my bunnies this mix back in the mid 1990's when I discovered Betty Chu and her incredible English Angoras. I read about what she feeds her herd in The Northern California Angora Guild Handbook...Ed K. Spelding and C McLelland. I have modified her mix a tad to accommodate the heavier German Angora Crosses I breed and raise and to meld better with what I can get here locally grown.
There are a number of field crop farms here in eastern NY and I get my black oil sunflower seeds and whole oats from VR Saulpaugh. They grow up 5 miles from here.
The Heinold Wool Rabbit Feed I get from my local Agway in Claverack, NY. They bring it in and keep it stocked for a number of us angora folks. It's worth every penny. My bunnies have and keep good weight and excellent health. Heinold Wool Formula is alfalfa based, with no corn in the mix, which is great for meat rabbits that live only a few years, but lousy for angoras who will have a life span of almost 10 years if all goes well.
So, into my feed bin (which is varmint proof!) goes:
1 - 40 pound bag Heinold Wool Rabbit Food (17-19)
16 pounds field oats (don't they look yummy!)
8 pounds (and no more!) black oil sunflower seeds:
8 pounds sweet textured horse feed (Nutrena Triumph 14% is best)
And here is what we get:
This stuff gets fed to them twice a day. They get 1/3 cup (level measure) in the morning and a HEAPING 1/3 cup at dusk (which I sift to remove dust, by the way), along with fresh water
and a handful of good smelling grass hay
Field oats have to be a bunny owner's best friend. I can tell you tales of rabbits who worked through wool block on hay and water and oats for a month, and who are better for it. Read old rabbit raising books and you'll see they all loved whole oats. Even rolled oats from the grocery store are a fine substitute if you have one single bunny with an upset stomach.
I used to go broke buying special water bottles, but now I use bottle converter kits on disposable quart sized water bottles, which I recycle when they get less than fresh. No more bottle sterilizing!