Is it possible and how to give raw potatoes to rabbits, the rules of introduction to the diet

Is it possible and how to give raw potatoes to rabbits, the rules of introduction to the diet

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In the autumn-winter period, the diet of herbivores does not have enough vitamins and microelements, which they received with greens. Rabbit breeders introduce vegetables as complementary foods to the main diet. A controversial question remains, is it possible to give rabbits raw or boiled potatoes? The consequences of feeding tubers depend on the form and volume in which the animals eat them.

Is it possible to give potatoes to rabbits

Potatoes are a valuable vegetable crop. The tubers include:

  • carbohydrates;
  • vitamins;
  • macro- and microelements;
  • cellulose;
  • amino acids.

The raw tuber contains vitamins of group B, C, H, PP, folic acid. Of the extensive list of minerals, potatoes are the richest in potassium, magnesium, and iron.


Under natural conditions, rabbits do not eat raw potatoes. The reason is starch, which is poorly absorbed without heat treatment. But because of the vitamin component, it makes sense to teach the animals to eat raw potatoes in small quantities.

Tubers can be given:

  • peeled;
  • peeled (clean);
  • entirely;
  • cut into pieces;
  • separately;
  • as part of a mash with other vegetables and herbs.

Potatoes must be healthy, ripe, free from damage, rot, greening, sprouts and eyes.


Boiled potatoes can be used to feed animals as they are easy to digest and give a good weight gain. During heat treatment, most of the vitamins are destroyed, but starch and fiber are retained. For rabbits, boiled product will be useful from 1 month. Rabbits of meat breed can be given boiled potatoes daily, bringing its volume to 50% of the weight of the fed feed.

Boiled potatoes can be given:

  • mixed with compound feed;
  • as part of moistened mash;
  • separately.

On the basis of boiled potatoes, you can prepare acorn briquettes with the addition of bran and water. Acorns are astringent and are helpful in treating animals with intestinal upset.

Dried and chopped acorns are mixed with boiled potatoes, a small amount of bran and water until they are doughy.

The resulting mass is laid out in molds and dried in the oven or in the sun until it becomes dry and light, like a cookie. Briquettes are not only a medicinal and prophylactic product, but also satisfy the natural need of rabbits to gnaw. The addition of briquettes to the diet protects the cell from destruction.

Potato tops

You can feed rabbits with potato tops if there are no traces of pesticides from the Colorado potato beetle on it. In dry summers, potato tops are harvested as an addition to hay and twig feed. In the summer, the tops are dried before being given to the rabbits. Stems and leaves should be clean, without signs of disease.

Peelings of potatoes

Potato peelings are added to feed in small quantities after boiling or drying. The peel should be clean, without eyes and green. Boiled and dried peelings are ground and mixed with the main feed as a vitamin-carbohydrate supplement.

Diet introduction rules

Potatoes are not a natural food source for rabbits, which requires knowledge about their introduction into complementary foods.

For young animals

Raw potatoes are offered to rabbits after 3 months, when their digestive system is able to assimilate starch without heat treatment. The initial serving is 10-20 grams, in the form of finely chopped pieces. The maximum amount is 50-70 grams per day mixed with grain, mixed feed. Boiled vegetables are given starting from 1 month. Potatoes are introduced into the diet of young rabbits in the autumn-winter period to increase the calorie content of the feed. The number of boiled tubers in the feed mixture should not exceed 10%.

For adults

For rabbits, starting from 4 months of age, potatoes are given raw and boiled. Meat breeds for quick weight gain can be given up to 200 grams of boiled potatoes (or up to 50% of the total feed weight) per day. Raw tubers give in chopped or whole form no more than 70 grams. The boiled product should be given to decorative animals with caution so as not to cause obesity. With cellular content, the daily rate should not exceed 50 grams, for free-range - 70 grams.

When is it better not to give potatoes

Tubers, neither raw nor boiled, are not given to rabbits after rounding and during lactation. The starch will cause blockage of the mammary glands and the death of the rabbits. The vegetable is contraindicated for breeding animals (males and females) a week before mating. High-calorie food leads to obesity, which affects the reproductive ability of animals. Males and females who have gained excess weight refuse to mate. For animals weakened after an illness or having digestive problems (liquid feces), raw potatoes are not introduced into the diet.

Useful Tips

For introducing raw potatoes into complementary foods, you should choose varieties with a low starch content. Such a vegetable is easier for the digestive system of animals to digest, and will not cause obesity. Potatoes are protein-free. The predominance of this vegetable crop in the feed will cause muscle atrophy, the degeneration of muscle tissue into adipose tissue.

Green or sprouted potatoes are harmful to animals, both raw and cooked, due to solanine, a toxic substance. The content of vegetable glycoside (alkaloid) in healthy tubers for food is 0.01%. During germination and in the light, its percentage in the composition of the vegetable crop increases sharply. The organic compound tastes bitter. Ingestion by both humans and animals can cause poisoning. For rabbits, the lethal dose is 0.06-0.12 grams per kilogram of live weight.

In potato tops, flowers contain the most solanine (0.73%). Feeding large amounts of tops before and during flowering can kill the animals.

In the stems and leaves, the alkaloid content changes during the growing season:

  • before flowering - from 0.085 to 0.114%
  • during flowering - 0.055%;
  • after flowering - 0.037%;
  • in dried tops - 0.01%.

Solanine irritates the intestinal mucosa and affects the nervous system. With a mild form of poisoning in rabbits, diarrhea is observed, with a severe form, a disorder of coordination of movement, reeling of the rear, a decreased response to external stimuli.

Before boiling potatoes, the eyes and sprouts of the tubers should be removed. After boiling the tubers, water cannot be used in the diet of animals.

Watch the video: All Your Cat Food Questions: Answered! (July 2022).


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