Is it possible to give barley to rabbits, and how correctly, the benefits and harms of cereals

Is it possible to give barley to rabbits, and how correctly, the benefits and harms of cereals

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Proper nutrition is one of the main factors in breeding rabbits in your backyard. A well-thought-out diet is essential for the health and active growth of pets. After all, they have a very vulnerable and weak digestive system. Barley, like many other types of cereals, can be given to rabbits. After all, it contains many useful substances. But this must be done correctly, without harming the animals.

Can rabbits eat barley?

Barley should be included in the rabbit menu. It is one of the healthiest foods due to its high fiber content. Therefore, with its help, meat breeds of rabbits can quickly gain weight. Decorative and skinning breeds of pets require small volumes of barley. Otherwise, obesity awaits them. But you should not give up this cereal. It contains many useful substances.

Composition and useful properties

Rabbit barley is an excellent source of protein. This cereal contains:

  • folic acid;
  • B vitamins;
  • vitamin K;
  • retinol;
  • tocopherol;
  • vitamin C;
  • calcium;
  • potassium;
  • choline;
  • lysine.

The benefit of barley is that 13 grams out of 100 is protein. Therefore, all individuals who need enhanced nutrition are advised to increase the amount of this cereal in the diet. These are lactating rabbits, young animals, as well as pets that are recovering from an illness.

How to feed properly and in what quantities?

Rabbits are ready to eat barley in any form. But the grain will be much better absorbed if:

  • mix it with other cereals;
  • prepare in one of the convenient ways: yeast, steaming, germination.

On average, it is recommended to give one rabbit 30% of barley from all dry feed per day. For beef breeds, this figure may be higher. Enough 2 large handfuls of cereal per day.


Preparation of barley for rabbits using the steaming method is as follows:

  1. The grain is poured into a bucket. There should be 10-15 centimeters of empty space to the edge.
  2. Cereal is poured with boiling water. It should cover the grain.
  3. Add a large spoonful of salt to the bucket.
  4. All are mixed.
  5. Cover with a lid.
  6. Let it brew for 6 hours.

You can now offer food to the rabbits.


The use of yeast mash is undeniable for meat breeds of rabbits. If you want to get the result faster, you should feed it with barley prepared according to this recipe.

Expert opinion

Zarechny Maxim Valerievich

Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.

There are 3 options for the yeast process: starter, unpaired, and sponge.

Whichever method is used, you need to adhere to certain rules:

  • use warm water;
  • the mixture will have to be constantly mixed (every 10-20 minutes);
  • the layer of feed should not be higher than 35 centimeters;
  • yeast is carried out in wooden boxes.

Less time consuming and relatively fast is the unpaired option. The duration of the preparation of the feed is 9 hours. This will require:

  • cereal (1 part);
  • baker's yeast (0.1 part);
  • warm water (2 parts).

All ingredients are carefully combined in one container. Stir the product thoroughly every 20 minutes until the process is complete.


Rabbits are very fond of sprouted barley. Moreover, they eat not only the grain itself, but also the green part of the plant. To germinate a cereal, you must:

  1. Rinse the grain. This should be done with running water.
  2. Soak the cereal in water.
  3. Put in a warm place for 24 hours.
  4. If, after a day, grains appeared that floated to the surface of the water, they should be removed.
  5. The rest of the grains are laid out on flat surfaces in one layer.
  6. On top of the grains are covered with gauze dipped in water.
  7. In this form, they are removed to a warm place.
  8. After a couple of days, the food can be fed to the rabbits.

You don't need to harvest a lot of sprouted barley right away. It can go bad. In addition, the more the stems grow, the less useful such food becomes.

Potential harm

When preparing food for your rabbits, you need to choose the right one. Otherwise, there is a risk of acquiring cereal unsuitable for animal feeding. You need to pay attention to what barley should be:

  • no dirty seeds;
  • all particles are ripe;
  • without stones and other rubbish;
  • the absence of rotten grains affected by pests or fungi;
  • not raw;
  • not overdried.

Feeding bad barley can lead to dire consequences. Poisoning, illness is an undesirable result. Excessive feeding of animals with barley can also be dangerous. This will cause obesity, which is an obstacle to normal reproduction. The male will not be able to cover the female. And the fat rabbit endures and gives birth to much less offspring. However, childbirth can be difficult.

Definitely, you can give barley to rabbits, but you must follow the rules for its preparation. Do not be dismissive of the amount of it in the diet. Then the pets will always be well-fed and healthy.

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