Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Food Progress

It's been a while since I posted about my Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Food progress.  I have now converted almost all of my herd to the feed.  I've been trying to stay on their program so I can see exactly how their feed performs. 

NOTE: My main focus is show/fiber herd and smart breeding decisions. This feed experimentation is my little side project so I have not increased my breeding plans. Therefore, I may not have good numbers until much later. 
Pregnant does were on the Pregnant Rabbit Feed. I had my first SHNRF doe kindle with no problems in December. As per the program, I converted the doe to the lactating/growth formula (L/G) once the babies arrived.  I really liked that she did not loose condition like some of mine had previously done on other feeds.   Often, I added supplements to the diet to help keep weight on the lactating doe. This time, I added nothing, just free feeding the L/G formula. However, a sample set of 1 is not very conclusive. I am excited to see how the numbers develop as things progress.

This first litter is now on the L/G formula.  They are eating on their own quite well now. They had no problems transitioning from mother's milk. They will continue to be on the L/G formula until about 12 weeks.  All rabbits from this litter will be my show herd, so they will be with me for awhile for observation.

I'm very excited to see how their coat develops on this feed. The consensus is that Angoras need a 17-18% protein feed to grow a large show coat.  The Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Feed L/G formula is 15% crude protein and the adult rabbit formula (which they will receive after they are 12 weeks old) is 14% crude protein.  

This seems like not enough protein to grow a nice coat. However, because the protein is of better quality...My non-show/retired adult rabbits have continued to develop their dense coats. There has been no difference in wool production between my former 17% protein feeding regime and the Sherwood Forest Natural Rabbit Feed. 

These new babies will my first show litter raised entirely on the Sherwood Forest Feed. I have been very pleased with how they are doing so far. It will be interesting to see how they develop.    
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