Our new rabbits get a standard organic rabbit food ration but as a supplement receive Mallow and Filaree everyday for extra nutrients. These edible, nutritious weeds below are also great for rabbits when they are sick, to help them recover.
It is extremely important that you make sure the weeds you pick have not been sprayed with weed killer or other chemicals. That will kill your rabbits with one helping. All weeds and natural growing herbs should not be picked within 200 feet or more of a major road. The weeds near the roads may have been sprayed or are contaminated with exhaust from the cars. Pick safely and know your plants.
Here are three weeds below commonly found in your yard that are wonderful food for bunnies, ducks, chickens, and larger livestock.
The native weed above is called Cutleaf Filaree. Most consider it a nuisance. It grows in various areas around the US including California, Nevada, and Arizona. This wonderful weed is considered important forage for cattle, sheep, horses, rabbits, chickens and ducks. If you raise livestock it is additional feed for your animals. It contains protein, calcium, minerals and fiber. It is free food.
Mallow. This does get very tough when allowed to grow. You want to use this nutritious weed when the plants are small, young and tender. Leaves are edible raw in salads or can be cooked and eaten like spinach. They can be dried and infused in tea as a good source of vitamins & minerals with significant calcium, vitamin A, & vitamin C. Small round seed pods can also be eaten
Dandelions are another very nutritious plant considered by many to be a weed. I don't have any pictures yet to show on this one. The young tender leaves are good for humans and animals. They contain 14% protein, Vitamin A, iron, calcium, minerals, trace minerals, and are good for cleansing. I would give small portions of these to the rabbits because of their cleansing properties. Dandelion tea is good for the liver. Dandelions can be purchased from the store as well. I don't think I will be needing to do that here.
When we get ducks next month, these weeds will become important forage. Ducks can be raised completely on forage if you have enough and the right kind. One advantage to ducks is they require less feed than chickens once they are several months old. So all these weeds in our yard are future food for the ducks. I also have an area out front that is full of every kind of forage food. We have a small creek on the property as well. In emergencies, this is important. Lets say there is a time when stock feed is not available. If you have forage material on your property, your ducks, chickens, rabbits, and sheep will survive. One of the reasons we rented this property is because of the creek and the land avail for planting. In the city, this is one of a kind piece of property. Many people would see the work involved only. We see the potential for growing herbs, veggies, and Moringa. It is located in one of the most temperate areas of San Diego, Ca.
These weeds can also be eaten in your salads as well . You need to pick them when they are young and tender. Make sure you wash them to rinse off dirt and insects. If you have a dog, you also need to pick an area of nutritious weeds that is free from possible dog contamination.
This is it for this blog...Blessings to All of You! Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin
Update we now live in Indian Mound, TN 1-15-2015
Buy USDA Organic Certified Moringa Powder, Tea, and Capsules from Ecuador. The products are tested and shipped from a US/GMP compliant lab in Connecticut.
Thanks, Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin
Thanks, Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin