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Corn stalks for Rabbits

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I've never fed these, but have read all over of other people doing it.

My neighbors had been going through a rough time the last few month, gee me too. They planted corn all around three sides of their fence line.

They were just out dugging up the last of the yard after using a cutting down the stalks, so I asked what they were doing with them and they'll be hauling them away. I asked if I could have a few, but now I have some questions of anyone who has used them,

Can I dry them out and save them to be used during the winter? Are they alright in a dried state(that part has never been mentioned.

Are dry leaves OK for them?

If they can be saved and used for a while, I was thinking I could cut them up and dry them and put them in feed bags to be used as needed.

Anybody???

Also can they be used for chickens? There's no corn left, just the plants.

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post #2 of 23

Some feed stalks, but it's similar to feeding straw...not many nutrients, lots of fiber.  Mold can also be a big issue when drying & storing. 

Link to nutrients in feeds (scroll way down to corn stover): http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_feed_composition_tables_2/index.html

If
there's a way to plant some winter forage that'd be great.


Edited by dewey - 10/1/11 at 6:57pm
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dewey 

Some feed stalks, but it's similar to feeding straw...not many nutrients, lots of fiber.  Mold can also be a big issue when drying & storing. 

Link to nutrients in feeds (scroll way down to corn stover): http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_feed_composition_tables_2/index.html

If
there's a way to plant some winter forage that'd be great.


I'm trying to figure out a way to do just tha

I wish I had thought sooner to plant a raised bed of Timothy Hay. Trying to figure out if there's anything else I can plant that will actually grow during winter.

I have everything that I've  cut so far laying out to dry. I was just hoping that's what I needed to do.

Any suggestions of something to plant that will grow would be appreciated.  Money is tight and I'm trying to come up with a way to help drop feed costs. If I can do that I can spend more to try and build better housing for them. I want them to be comfortable and well feed and to do it at a minimum cost. I'm sure that's the goal of most.

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post #4 of 23

Have you checked into duck weed?  Also, swiss chard & bok choy have some of the highest protein amounts with good amounts of calcium (have to watch calcium intake) and are easy to grow if you have a protected area outdoors or in.  Some cheap roll plastic can make a nice mini lean-to greenhouse to get things started if it's too cold where you're at.  There's lots of winter veggies.  What growing zone are you in or sunset zone?

Alfalfa bales will last longer than pellets but the buns may get really lean (and everything that can go along with that) on just mostly hay unless great care is taken to be sure they're getting a balanced diet.  There's some good info out there on raising your own rabbit food, but it takes quite a bit and I wouldn't be able to keep up with the their needs.


Edited by dewey - 10/1/11 at 11:18pm
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dewey 

Have you checked into duck weed?  Also, swiss chard & bok choy have some of the highest protein amounts with good amounts of calcium (have to watch calcium intake) and are easy to grow if you have a protected area outdoors or in.  Some cheap roll plastic can make a nice mini lean-to greenhouse to get things started if it's too cold where you're at.  There's lots of winter veggies.  What growing zone are you in or sunset zone?

Alfalfa bales will last longer than pellets but the buns may get really lean (and everything that can go along with that) on just mostly hay unless great care is taken to be sure they're getting a balanced diet.  There's some good info out there on raising your own rabbit food, but it takes quite a bit and I wouldn't be able to keep up with the their needs.


I've been planning some type of green house project. I won't have a lot of space, but I figure anything extra will help.

ummmm I love bok Choy, so that's going to have to go in there for both me and the bunnies. Kind of hoping if it's enclosed I can get beans or peas growing for the chickens and quail too. I'm sure they'll like the bok choy as well. My green house is basically going to be covered raised beds. Best I can do right now. Also some buckets that I can hang for extra planting area. I'll also be growing sprouts this year again for the chickens. Can the rabbits eat those also? I give fruit and veggie treats, but mainly pellets and timothy hay.

I'm in the California Central Valley. I've always known my zone, but I'm working on half a brain  right now. It will either come to me or I'll look it up.

I'm also trying to find something that will climb and produce outside of the chicken runs. Not sure what that would be, but I'm looking.

Besides the hay I should have also planted BOSS. Like I said, I'm working with half a brain and the past year has been traumatic to say the least, but I'm trying to get myself together and do something that progressive and hopefully can save a little money.

I wonder with our winds and rain in the winter, if it would be senseless to try and grow any type of hay in an enclosure.

I have small rabbits, Lionheads. They have been outside all summer under the porch roof, but I want to build an area away from the house that will keep them dry and warm enough. To do that I need to suppliment the food source. I have to do this, just to prove to myself that I can. I figure if I can do it that maybe it will help someone else down the line.

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post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolftracks 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dewey 

Have you checked into duck weed?  Also, swiss chard & bok choy have some of the highest protein amounts with good amounts of calcium (have to watch calcium intake) and are easy to grow if you have a protected area outdoors or in.  Some cheap roll plastic can make a nice mini lean-to greenhouse to get things started if it's too cold where you're at.  There's lots of winter veggies.  What growing zone are you in or sunset zone?

Alfalfa bales will last longer than pellets but the buns may get really lean (and everything that can go along with that) on just mostly hay unless great care is taken to be sure they're getting a balanced diet.  There's some good info out there on raising your own rabbit food, but it takes quite a bit and I wouldn't be able to keep up with the their needs.


I've been planning some type of green house project. I won't have a lot of space, but I figure anything extra will help.

ummmm I love bok Choy, so that's going to have to go in there for both me and the bunnies. Kind of hoping if it's enclosed I can get beans or peas growing for the chickens and quail too. I'm sure they'll like the bok choy as well. My green house is basically going to be covered raised beds. Best I can do right now. Also some buckets that I can hang for extra planting area. I'll also be growing sprouts this year again for the chickens. Can the rabbits eat those also? I give fruit and veggie treats, but mainly pellets and timothy hay.

I'm in the California Central Valley. I've always known my zone, but I'm working on half a brain  right now. It will either come to me or I'll look it up.

I'm also trying to find something that will climb and produce outside of the chicken runs. Not sure what that would be, but I'm looking.

Besides the hay I should have also planted BOSS. Like I said, I'm working with half a brain and the past year has been traumatic to say the least, but I'm trying to get myself together and do something that progressive and hopefully can save a little money.

I wonder with our winds and rain in the winter, if it would be senseless to try and grow any type of hay in an enclosure.

I have small rabbits, Lionheads. They have been outside all summer under the porch roof, but I want to build an area away from the house that will keep them dry and warm enough. To do that I need to suppliment the food source. I have to do this, just to prove to myself that I can. I figure if I can do it that maybe it will help someone else down the line.


I'm really sorry that you've had a difficult year.  I hope things get much better for you.   

In raised beds especially, row covers or the like are pretty easy and can be like mini green houses.  Even cut plastic bottles over the seedlings can make the difference.

I hear ya on functioning on half a brain. hugs  My work takes me to CA on occasion...wish I could help you.  I can bring the labor help.

Are your raised beds in place already?  If not, and if you have to haul in garden soil anyway, planting directly into 3cf rectangular bags of garden soil (not mulch or topsoil) is quick & easy and they're very easy to cover, plus they act like raised beds in regards to the soil keeping warmer.  That works GREAT.  Now might be a good time to find those on sale, too.  The red & white striped bags of garden soil.  I can post a pic of the type if you need it...carried by most lowes, etc. 

Square foot gardening is also easy when planting directly into the bags.  Just poke holes in the bottom of the bags for drainage & in the top where the seeds are to be planted.  I've done this when pressed for space and/or the labor needed for new raised beds.  Buckets, 2 liter bottles, anything really that can hold soil is good. 

Although a lot of books & sites will say differently, most veggies can be grown in 6-8 inches of soil max.  Your county extension office might have some good info on winter veggies for your region, or a local garden group.  I know balmy air can be a challenge.

Pellets are complete and I don't know how to balance their diet otherwise (I raise meat rabbits for max production).  Hopefully others will chime in on what works for them.  Years ago we fed rabbits some pellets and lots of veggies, plus salt licks.  Years before that it was alfalfa, some veggies, and salt licks.   

I'm sure all that you learn and do will be of great help to others down the road.

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

No beds in place. The wood is here but still up front in my driveway. My husband was just measuring everything out last summer, but he died in July and nothing had been put together yet. Taking me this much time to even want to do anything. Doing it more now, from neccessity than fun like before. Just gotta drag those big suckers out back.

I'd like to see pics of the bags. Do you have them set up to grow now? The ground here is great for planting. It drains well and is fairly easy to work with. Lots of chicken and rabbit poop to add too. LOL

I know I'll still be using pellets. I need to keep my babies in good condition.  I have some nice show quality Lionheads and I'd like to get them to start breeding. OK they do mate, but nothing so far. Then again I put my selections together last month and haven't tried again, although I have a doe, that can squeeze through a small area of wire where the water cups are attached. Don't know how she manages but she does. She visits the buck I've tried breeding her to all the time and the only thing that's happened is her fur is getting rubbed off her back and shoulders. I bet if I stuck my grand daughter's pet doe in with one of her bucks, I'd get something from that, but it wouldn't do anything at this point other than give me bunnies that possibly won't sell and more little mouths to feed. But, the way my luck seems to run, that's exactly what would happen.

The square foot gardening is something I have wanted to try. This might be a good time since bags of soild are usually on sale, since no one but me is crazy enough to try and plant this late. LOL Wish it wasn't so dark out, I'd pull a couple of those boards out back right now.

Ever notice how you can be all amped up about something at the exact time you can do it?

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post #8 of 23

Words cannot express how very sorry I am for your great loss.  My heart goes out to you. hugs  I can not imagine what you've been through during this time, and even right now.  My older sister lost her husband very suddenly just days shy of all of our 1 year wedding anniversary (we had a double wedding & were making plans for celebrating the 1st anniversary and were in the midst of so many projects together).  Life can be so hard. hugs   I suppose many would say that it's good that you're starting to do things even if it's just going through the motions, but that's little comfort.  Yet I guess sometimes maybe that's what gets so many of us through each day.  Just one foot in front of the other.  That's a tough way to get through the days. hugs   

I googled and this is a pic of the bag: http://i54.tinypic.com/mx269h.jpg 

Wish I had planted bags pics for you, but I do not have anything planted right now for fall because I've had a little bit of physical limitations recently.  If you have enough rabbit poo to bag up or container up or gather in an area, you can plant directly in the poo for most things, just use like soil, and save the cost of bagged soil.  Rabbit poo is pure gold.  I'd leave the chicken poo to mellow until later next year since it will burn plants, unlike rabbit berries. big_smile  Planting in the bags is so easy.  Last year I had the store guys load it for me and a friend unload it.  After that, it was ON, lol.  Hoping your local extension office has a master gardener that can advise on your area. 

Oh, and yep, I hear ya on the get-up-and-go to do things at odd times, lol.  Don't know what causes that, lol.

post #9 of 23

Lookie what I found, a pic of something planted in bag: http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/4396/try-soil-bag-planting-for-no-dig-beds

That
plant's kinda big since it's a mater, but I bet you can find lots of pics online.  I started planting in bags over 30 years ago...at first with regular bags of soil upright, then later discovered that laying the "boxed" bags flat so the soil is shallow works as well while providing more surface area to plant in.  My peeps laugh at my garden of bags since we have many hundreds of acres that we raise alfalfa...meh, they laugh & I'm a good tease taker, but they love to eat from what grows in them bags. big_smile


Edited by dewey - 10/2/11 at 4:02am
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dewey 

Words cannot express how very sorry I am for your great loss.  My heart goes out to you. hugs  I can not imagine what you've been through during this time, and even right now.  My older sister lost her husband very suddenly just days shy of all of our 1 year wedding anniversary (we had a double wedding & were making plans for celebrating the 1st anniversary and were in the midst of so many projects together).  Life can be so hard. hugs   I suppose many would say that it's good that you're starting to do things even if it's just going through the motions, but that's little comfort.  Yet I guess sometimes maybe that's what gets so many of us through each day.  Just one foot in front of the other.  That's a tough way to get through the days. hugs   

I googled and this is a pic of the bag: http://i54.tinypic.com/mx269h.jpg 

Wish I had planted bags pics for you, but I do not have anything planted right now for fall because I've had a little bit of physical limitations recently.  If you have enough rabbit poo to bag up or container up or gather in an area, you can plant directly in the poo for most things, just use like soil, and save the cost of bagged soil.  Rabbit poo is pure gold.  I'd leave the chicken poo to mellow until later next year since it will burn plants, unlike rabbit berries. big_smile  Planting in the bags is so easy.  Last year I had the store guys load it for me and a friend unload it.  After that, it was ON, lol.  Hoping your local extension office has a master gardener that can advise on your area. 

Oh, and yep, I hear ya on the get-up-and-go to do things at odd times, lol.  Don't know what causes that, lol.


Insomnia? LOL

I have chicken poop cooking and with a total of 11 rabbits, there's plenty to go around.

There's on tiny flower bed in my huge yard and I've been raking rabbit goodies into it for week now. Planting some flowers with one of my grand daughters. Another one is off of school (year round) starting monday and she wants to come for a few days, so I may wait until she's here. The one my husband and I were raising is now 5, the one coming out is 13. When she was smaller she would always ask if we could have a Grandma Grand daughter gardening day. Funny how my kids just didn't get into it, but the grandkids come over and they love to get dirty with me. LOL

Sorry about your sister's husband. One year. You're at the point when you're just getting started and then the whole world crashes down around you. My husband died 11 days before our 11th anniversary. Instead of spending it alone, that's the day I had his funeral. No way was he getting out of not being with me and I didn't take death as an excuse. Yep, spoiled and selfish, but he always did things to make me happy, so I know he wouldn't have been too upset. He had just filled out life insurance papers the day before and hadn't sgned or sent them in. Been a really hard year because of that too. And yep, he had sat down and made a huge list of plans and things to take care of and do for the next 3 years. I'll never get any of it done in 30.

Soooo.... back to the subject. I'm going to try and keep this thread going. Most of my yard hasn't been touched in over a year now. It's ugly, so it's going to be raised beds. I might start taking pics and adding them as I go.

I'll look up those bags of soil tomorrow and see what I can do about buying a few. I think I actually have Bok Choy seeds. I bought them last summer, but I've had things grow from seeds that were a few years old, so I'll try those and buy some fresh too.  I'll also buy some chard. Where would I find duck weed?

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