Growing your own food and forage for pets is slowly becoming a lost skill, as we’ve been introduced to more commercial methods. However, pet owners are again starting to take a keen interest in gardening, going out in the fresh air, and providing a healthier diet for their pet rabbits.
There are many benefits to growing and foraging for your rabbits. These include huge financial savings, reduced plastic waste and a healthier diet for your pets. It’s also a great way to practise mindfulness yourself.
What you will need for foraging
If you are new to foraging, we recommend you buy ‘Foraging for Rabbits‘ by Twigs Way, available on the RWAF website. It’s a very useful guide to help you identify suitable safe plants and avoid dangerous ones.
You will also need:
- Gardening gloves
- A wheel barrow, trug, or large bag
- A mesh tray for drying out winter stock.
How to forage for rabbits, and what plants are safe
The most obvious place to start foraging is in your own garden, or your friends and family’s gardens. Many of the most common plants found in gardens are safe for your pets to eat. Here’s a list of safe plants for your rabbits.
Once you feel confident enough about spotting wild forage, you can take a bag with you when out in public areas, etc. It is always best to obtain permission to forage on someone’s land, if possible.
When picking, always ensure the forage is free from chemical sprays, litter and dog urine by picking plants a little higher up or deeper into the plant growth.
Once you have collected some forage, you can give your pets daily mixed piles of food. You should always introduce new plants in small amounts, to allow their digestive systems to adapt. As much of the safe forage is a little harder to come by in winter, it is a good idea to dry some of the forage in advance. Put the forage in mesh trays, to allow the air to circulate and dry it correctly, without harbouring mould spores. You can then store the dried forage in cardboard boxes or paper bags to give to your rabbits during the winter.