4 Frequently Asked Questions About Calf-Manna for Rabbits

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Welcome to Part 3 of our Calf-Manna blog post series (be sure to check out our posts about show rabbitCalf-Manna for Horses and Calf-Manna for Goats if you own either of those species). Today's topic...rabbits!

Calf-Manna has been fed to many (most) species on the farm and in the barn in its 80+ year history, and has become a go-to solution for many rabbit breeders, helping to solve a wide variety of problems and to get their show bunnies ready to do their thing.  But even a quick internet search about Calf-Manna for rabbits reveals that many rabbit owners have questions and some level of reservation about using Calf-Manna in the rabbitry. 

Here are the 4 most frequently asked questions and concerns among rabbit owners who are considering the use of Calf-Manna with their rabbits:Calf-Manna package

  1. What is the proper feeding rate for a rabbit? Most of the species who are fed Calf-Manna are much (much) larger than a rabbit, so in most cases we are measuring the product in pounds, not teaspoons or Tablespoons, and if you give a little too much or a little too little, there won't be any issues.  Rabbits, however, due to their size, will need to be fed with more precision.  There are many sizes and breeds of rabbits, as well as differences in age. Our feeding directions (1T for lactating does and large breeds and 1t for growing rabbits and small breeds), should be considered the maximum rates, and can be adjusted by breed, age, and production level. Calf-Manna is available in 10 lb, 25 lb, and and 50 lb bags, perfect for any size rabbitry.
  2. Can feeding Calf-Manna cause soft feces in my rabbits? Soft feces are a sign of improper digestion.  Two of the primary causes of this digestive upset are a low feed fiber rate or pathogenic organisms.  Calf-Manna is not intended as a supplemental fiber source.  Hay, preferably grass hay, is commonly used by rabbit breeders to increase fiber and reduce soft feces.  As the primary source of fiber, the main rabbit feed used should contain a sufficiently high fiber level.
  3. How should I feed Calf-Manna? Should I top dress Calf-Manna, mix it in with the feed, or feed it separately? I've heard that if I feed it with my regular feed, the rabbits will sift for it and I'll end up wasting a lot of feed.  Calf-Manna contains several ingredients that rabbits (and most other animals) love.  While there is no right or wrong way to feed it, it is normal for rabbits to prefer a limited amount of Calf-Manna to "all they can eat" of their regular feed.  If feed wastage is an issue when Calf-Manna is fed with the regular feed, a separate feeding may be necessary.
  4. Is there a place for Calf-Manna in a regular "maintenance" rabbit diet? Or should it only be used for lactating does, before a show, and in "special circumstances?" Calf-Manna is fed to every type, breed, and age of rabbit.  Competitive rabbit breeders are very resourceful in the ways they use Calf-Manna.  It can be used to improve hair quality and/or volume, to maximize gain, increase milk production, to prep for a show, get rabbits back on feed when they are stressed, or just as a treat.  Stay within the feeding guidelines mentioned above and see the difference with your rabbits!

What are the most common uses rabbit owners have found for Calf-Manna?

  • calf-manna for rabbitsThe doe is not producing enough milk to provide for her litter. Calf-Manna's quality proteins help increase milk production quickly!
  • Kits are not transitioning to dry feed, or rabbits have gone off feed due to stress of travel, weather or feed change, or other environmental factor.  Calf-Manna's unique aroma and palatability attracts rabbits to feed and keeps them coming back!
  • Show rabbits are too soft for the ring. Calf-Manna's high-quality proteins and carbohydrates ensure firm body condition.
  • Rabbits have poor coat quality. Calf-Manna both increases fur growth and adds sheen and luster to the coat!

We'd love to hear from you! Have you ever tried Calf-Manna with your rabbits? What was your experience?


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