Rabbits and ragwort?

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doofaloofa
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Rabbits and ragwort?

Post: #275847 doofaloofa
Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:41 pm

My rabbits seem to enjoy eating it, but it's so poisonous to some other animals

Any one had a rabbit die from ragwort poisoning?
ina wrote: die dümmsten Bauern haben die dicksten Kartoffeln

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Re: Rabbits and ragwort?

Post: #275848 diggernotdreamer
Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:43 pm

I am surprised the rabbits are eating it, it is so bitter, all I know about ragwort is that it is a cumulative poison, so it will not kill them immediately, have you cut it down and dried it a little, that makes it more palatable which may be why they are eating it

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doofaloofa
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Re: Rabbits and ragwort?

Post: #275849 doofaloofa
Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:12 pm

They eat it growing in the ground and fresh picked, though I've stopped purpously giving it to them
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Re: Rabbits and ragwort?

Post: #275851 tosca
Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:15 pm

It's poisonous to almost all animals including humans, and a skin irritant to boot.

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Re: Rabbits and ragwort?

Post: #275854 diggernotdreamer
Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:51 pm

Your rabbits are right, ragwort (Marsh at any rate) tastes good, my rabbits just ate some, I tasted it, and it was fairly pleasant, the paca's don't touch it, causes liver failure over a period of time

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Re: Rabbits and ragwort?

Post: #275859 doofaloofa
Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:25 am

I read on the interwebz that sheep can eat it
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Re: Rabbits and ragwort?

Post: #275861 tosca
Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:01 am

Sheep and cattle are more tolerant, but they are usually slaughtered before they die. Most animals would only eat it when really hungry, even when it is wilted and more palatable.

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Re: Rabbits and ragwort?

Post: #275866 doofaloofa
Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:28 pm

tosca wrote:Sheep and cattle are more tolerant, but they are usually slaughtered before they die. Most animals would only eat it when really hungry, even when it is wilted and more palatable.


This is my quandry

they have other food available, but choose to eat it fresh

I'm thinking they would avoid it if it was bad for them

I supose I should just avoid it, but I hate to live in fear

Not seen any Cinibar moths catapillas this season
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Re: Rabbits and ragwort?

Post: #275867 Crickleymal
Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:36 pm

Our chickens used to eat rhubarb leaves (until I moved it). They'd eat enough to make themselves ill, stop eating it untril they got better then start again. They never learnt.
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doofaloofa
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Re: Rabbits and ragwort?

Post: #275870 doofaloofa
Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:57 pm

The rabbits eat the rhubard leaves also to no ill effect
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Re: Rabbits and ragwort?

Post: #275878 daz101
Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:11 am

This is a very toxic plant and as has been said it is cumulative. I would not let any animal of mine eat it.
http://www.gov.je/SiteCollectionDocumen ... eaflet.pdf

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Re: Rabbits and ragwort?

Post: #275883 doofaloofa
Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:47 am

"Sheep and goats will eagerly eat the rosettes and crowns over winter
and early spring, and providing the weed is not
too abundant, they rarely come to harm "

From the informative pdf you posted daz, thanks

It seems ragwort is a problem for horse and cow owners, and then if it is in hay/silage, or if the animals are forced to eat it due to poor management
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Re: Rabbits and ragwort?

Post: #275885 doofaloofa
Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:10 pm

"Common ragwort (Senecio jacobaea)
has finely divided leaves with a blunt end lobe and appears as a rosette from which a tall flowering spike develops in April/May topped by a large flat topped head with yellow flowers borne on one or more stout stems. It prefers lighter drier, lighter soils, but can occur anywhere.

Marsh ragwort (Senecio aquaticus)
has less divided leaves and a smaller, more irregular head on a shorter, slender stem. It occurs on heavy or poorly drained soil, and is particularly abundant on Orkney; locally elsewhere.

Oxford ragwort (Senecio squalidus)
is similar to marsh ragwort, but the leaves have a pointed end lobe. It is found locally in drier areas, particularly near railway lines and roadsides. It is, however, found more commonly in the south of Britain.

A related weed, Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris)
is also poisonous to stock, but is much more rarely a weed of grassland.
"

(my bold)

More from the SAC pdf.

The rabbits also devour groundsel
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Re: Rabbits and ragwort?

Post: #276863 tizzy
Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:39 am

Rhubarb leaves (and the green parts of the stems) contain oxalic acid, so do dock leaves. This is a cumulative poison and it is best to avoid it for rabbits. I don't worry too much if the odd baby dock leaf is in the grass and herbs I cut for mine but never let them eat the bigger leaves or any with rusty coloured spots on them.
Sheep love docks and are ok to eat them, mine make a bee-line for them unless there is ground elder to scoff first, but as a rabbits GI system is so easily disrupted with fatal results I think it's best to be selective about what you feed them. There are so many common herbs, deciduous leaves and cultivars they can eat that it's probably best to play safe and remove the dodgy ones.
Also, if you are keeping them as meat rabbits, wouldn't that mean that you too are ingesting the cumulative toxins?


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