The question of whether to include corn in the rabbit’s diet is a concern not only for breeders of these lovely fluffs but also for pet owners. In this article, we will discuss the topic: “Can rabbits eat corn?”.
Can Rabbits Eat Corn?
Proper care and full feeding are some of the rules for proper rabbit rearing. Corn, or maize, plays an important role as a coarse-grained food in the diet of house dwellers such as rabbits.
It is actively used by breeders to fatten mammals, as this food is very generous in carbohydrates and proteins and therefore has a high nutritional value. Also, when pets eat corn, they develop strong jaw muscles as well.
The question of whether to feed rabbits corn and if so, in what portions and in what form, is decided directly by the owner. However, the benefits of this cereal for these animals are obvious.
Corn is one of the representatives of one-year-old cereal crops. It has a strong, well-folded stem, reaching a height of up to three meters, and the elongated, hard, hard-to-touch leaves are notched at the edges. The ears of corn with grains appear during the fruiting period in the peculiar sinuses created by the leaves.
The nutritional value of corn feed includes the following constituent particles:
- protein (their volume in corn ranges between 8 and 13 percent);
- carbohydrates (the most extensive and fast-absorbing element, 65 to 78 percent);
- fiber (the mass of nutrients, which increases the intestinal peristalsis of the animal, constitutes 2-5 percent of the total volume).
Corn kernels are a product that is not only easy to digest by the rabbit’s digestive system, but also contributes to its full and proper functioning. For the fattening of rabbits, not only the corn grain is used, but also its upper part, that is, the green and leafy part of the plant.
How and How Much to Give?
It is worth remembering that the introduction of corn into the rabbit’s diet is necessary gradually, allowing the gastrointestinal system of the animal to get used to innovations in the diet. The specificity of feeding rabbits with corn consists of the following nuances:
Before feeding the corn, it must be processed:
- Wash the ears (if you cut the corn, then it should be enough for one meal). After washing the ears, it is preferable to disinfect them only with boiling water. This food is perfect for grinding the teeth of regularly growing animals and replacing natural wood or shrub bark. Pets gnaw the cobs and directly their base. This grain is easy to digest, supplying the rabbit’s body with the necessary energy due to the rapid absorption of carbohydrates.
- Whole seeds are soaked in water for no more than a couple of hours (when soaked longer, they become bitter);
- The corn husks should not be perfectly fresh so that the rabbits are not poisoned: the slightly dried or dried leaves can be crushed and given to the animals.
Pet rabbits are recommended to be fed corn no more than twice every seven days. The benefit of this happens when the diet includes a moderate amount: then rabbits really enjoy such delicacy.
Feeding Corn to Adult Rabbits
Corn ears with the addition of greens, as well as dried rabbit mixes, are fed throughout the day. The recommended portion per day for adult rabbits (nine months to four or five years) is 150g per day per animal.
Corn husks can be given to rabbits at any age and in any quantity. Shredded corn husks, but also in combination with other green food additives, such as dandelions or burdock, will be a real treat for your pets.
Pregnant females need intensive feeding. In the third stage of pregnancy, the maximum growth rate of embryos can be tracked. If the owner is ready to get a strong and healthy future generation, he should worry about the rabbit’s diet at this stage.
Important! It is not recommended to give corn to rabbits preparing for mating. The considerable nutritional value of grain foods causes obesity and loss of interest in reproduction in males.
During the first week after birth, the female must not only renew her vitality but also ensure that the babies are fed nutritious milk. In this period, ears of corn will be very appropriate in a diet for rabbits. It would be more correct to give corn in a shredded version together with other grains with a portion of 100-150g per head.
Feeding Corn to Young Rabbits
In the diet of young rabbits (from the age of one and a half to two months), in addition to its mother’s milk, you should include food of plant origin. At this age, they are happy to consume saturated young corn shoots. Due to the high percentage of vitamins and fiber, this cereal crop is very useful for the younger body.
It is strictly forbidden to give corn to young rabbits in boiled form, and it is recommended to include corn leaves in their diet in extremely moderate amounts.
The nutrition of young rabbits differs from the diet of adults in that corn, especially young ones, like any other new food, must be introduced gradually, carefully monitoring the reaction of the kittens. It is necessary to remove the plant from the menu in the following cases:
- in case of diarrhea or change in stool consistency;
- during a reflex eruption of the contents of the stomach;
- with the manifestation of lethargy and apathy in behavior;
- in case of allergic reactions of the animal.
The daily portion of corn kernels in crushed form for young rabbits is 80g per head.
Can Rabbits Eat Popcorn?
No, rabbits should never eat popcorn. Even if we humans can’t get enough of it, a rabbit can’t handle it at all.
First, popcorn is often mixed with sugar or salt, both of which are very unhealthy for a pet.
Also, their high starch, sugar, and fat content may not be healthy for your rabbits, who rely on foods high in fiber (cellulose) and low in starch and fat. In addition, high carbohydrates can cause overweight and obesity.