Thursday, January 01, 2009

My thoughts so far on Purina Fibre3

It's been about 6 weeks since I switched everyone over, and I have mixed feelings about the results. The bunns all like it, and made the switch easily, which is good. It is a no-corn formula, which is good mainly because of corn's ability to harbor toxins from mold. It is relatively low-starch (http://www.rabbitnutrition.com/OurProducts/Products/RabbitChowFibre3/default.aspx)
which has it's benefits and its disadvantages. Benefits are that harmful bacteria have less starch to use for food, and so have lower potential for harm.
(http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/pubs/Rabbits/meredith.htm) One should see less incidence of enteritis, for example.

However, one thing I have noticed is that my rabbits have become leaner. Not a bad thing for breeding, especially for does, but not quite so desireable for showing them. Essentially, Fibre3 seems to be the Atkins Diet for rabbits. If I had Tans or another running breed, I think I'd be estatic. I do think it had a positive impact on the breedabilty of two of my (hard to breed) does. BUT everyone's pin bones are more apparent, so performance on the show table may suffer. I am also wondering how milk production will fare when said does deliver. It is nice to know, however, that with this feed I can put a rabbit on a diet without withholding feed.

I could feed one feed for show animals (Complete Plus looks good: http://www.rabbitnutrition.com/OurProducts/Products/RabbitChowCompletePlus/default.aspx) and the other (Fibre3) for brood animals. Or, I could keep using the Fibre3 and add a starchy supplement like whole oats to the show animals' feed. I used to mix oats, Calf Manna (or Sunshine Plus) and sunflower seeds (1 part Calf Manna, one part sunflower seeds, and 2 parts oats) and give that to the bunns with their hay in the morning, I could go back to that, and adjust amounts of the mix to the requirements of the individual rabbits. I'm using Calf Manna anyway.

But all this is way more complicated than I want to be. I'd like feeding to be a simple one or two-step process, easily replicated by other care-givers when I am traveling. In other words, I'd like one feed that covers all the bases.

I'm going to have to think on this. Complete Plus may be the answer.

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