Bunny food: milk
From the moment of birth until weaning, the bunny will take breast milk in different proportions according to age. In the immediate postpartum period, the baby will mainly ingest colostrum which is nothing more than a suspension of antibodies produced by the mother and very important as they give the newborn a sort of protection against certain pathologies while waiting for his immune system to complete its development. Once the colostrum production is finished, the actual milk will begin with the following composition, very different from that of cow's milk:
For the first 15 days of life the feeding of the bunny will be exclusively based on breast milk in increasing proportion as a function of weight gain, with the maximum peak around the 15th-16th day. Around the 16th-17th day, the first attempts to ingest solid food will begin, simultaneously with milk intake and following explorations outside the nest. From this moment until weaning, the intake of feed will increase slowly and progressively and linearly with weight gain, and milk intake will decrease until it reaches the age of 28 days where the milk will constitute just 15-20% of the total ingested food. The 28th day of life is the time when weaning is carried out on the industrial farm. In organic breeding, however, there is a tendency to extend the lactation period up to the 35th day in order to have a heavier bunny on weaning. To facilitate the transition period from liquid to solid feeding, it is possible to supply the weaning feed in the formulation of which also includes milk powder.
Dr. Cristiano Papeschi - University of Tuscia (VT)
Bunny at birth
Professional breeding of rabbit for meat and affection
Angeli Gamberini - Edagricole
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