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In Reply to: Feed posted by Pam on October 28, 2001 at 02:39:20:
While we've never intended to feed our goats rabbit pellets, they have from time to time made a raid or two on our rabbit room and eaten rabbit pellets. Thus we began feeding them rabbit pellets as "a treat" but not as a replacement for goat feed. I've never noticed any sudden changes in their health - I actually think, that they like them. There are a few differences between rabbit pellets and goat feed though.
Here is a breakdown of Tindle Goat Feed vs. Nutrena Rabbit Pellets (both specifically formulated for goats and rabbits kidding and kitting).
I hope this chart formats okay.
Ingredient Tindle Goat - Nutrena Rabbit
Crude Protein 18% 17%
Crude Fat 2% 2.5%
Crude Fiber 21% 18%
Calcium 1.5% 1.25%
Phosphorus 0.5% 0.6%
Salt not listed 0.75%
Sodium not listed 0.40%
Copper 11.50 ppm not listed
Selenium 0.55 ppm not listed
Vitamin A 8,000 IU/lb 10,000 IU/lb
So far you can see that there are certain minerals contained in Goat Feed that are not contained in Rabbit Feed. And there seems to be more of an emphasis on Salt and Sodium for rabbits as opposed to goats.
The other part of the feed tags indicates quite a few more differences of ingredients contained in one feed but not the other. Here is the list for the Goat Feed:
Roughage Products (Roughage Product 30.42%), Plant Protein Products, Processed Grain By-Products, Forage Products, Grain Products, Calcium Carbonate, Diatomaceous Earth, Ferrous Carbonate, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Selenium Selenite, Cobalt Carbonate, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin A Supplement.
And for the Rabbit Feed:
Grain Products, Plant Protein Products, Processed Grain By-Products, Roughage Products, Forage Products, Can Sugar, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Choline Chloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, L-Lysine, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Salt, Natural and Artificial Flavors added, Copper Oxide, Magnesium Oxide, Zinc Oxide, Ethylenediamine Dihydrochloride, Cobalt Carbonate, Potassium Chloride.
Now the big differences that I see are simple: most goats are going to be kept in a semi-controlled enviroment whereas a rabbit will be kept in a strictly controlled environment. The goat feed is most likely going to be supplemented with fresh hay, loose minerals, baking soda, etc. The rabbit on the other hand will be kept in a cage where it will not have access to natural browse of forage. Perhaps the owner will throw it a carrot or two from time to time.
There seems to be an emphasis placed on the B vitamins in rabbit feed - perhaps rabbits need vitamin B more than goats but this could be used to a certain advantage for those wanting to give their goats an oral dose of Thiamine from time to time without having to inject it.
The other concern is that "some", not all rabbit feeds do contain "animal by-products". This particular Nutrena brand does not. So I would carefully compare tags if you are not an "animal by-product" advocate.
In closing, I don't think there is immediate harm in feeding rabbit pellets to goats but I think it should be done in moderation because the two are specifically designed for different animals with different nutritional needs.
Oh, and here's a link to the GoatWorld Nutrition Section just for reference. I'm trying to get more stuff added here form time to time.
Hope this helps a bit. Best regards, Gary
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