Friday, May 2, 2014

Homestead Research - How to Worm Rabbits

There is some debate as to whether it is necessary to worm rabbits at all.  Some keep their rabbits in pens or cages on the ground, or hutches off the ground.  Some NEVER give their rabbits wild greens from their property for eating, and some do.  Some have raised their rabbits from birth from their stalwart and well known adult rabbits over the years, while some have just purchased rabbits from sources unknown.

Having seen a bot fly larva with my very own eyes.... I felt that regardless of the housing, raising and care I give them, that I MUST worm my animals.  (If you are brave, you should go Google that.  Nasty, horrifying creature from hell.)

The most commonly used methods of worming are described in this article, listing the medications and dosages that would be needed to safely worm your rabbits.

Ivormectin, Piperazine, Sulfamethazine

But as I, apparently, have a hippy streak, I mean 'holistic approach', I continued my search for organic methods to worm my rabbits.

Pumpkin Seed, Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceus Earth

Grapefruit Seed Extract

So here is a run down of my favorite methods that I will using.  I won't have pumpkin seed until this fall, so for my initial worming this spring I will be using Diatomaceous Earth.

Pumpkin Seeds
1 handful a day for 2 weeks, twice a year

Diatomaceous Earth
1/4th-1tsp per day in food, for 1 month, twice a year
sprinkled around cage and hutch

Grapefruit Seed Extract
5-10 drops per gallon of water for 2 weeks, twice a year

WARNING:  Unlike in the organic treatment of worms and diseases in OTHER animals, you CANNOT use Cayenne or Garlic for rabbits.

Cayenne is a deterrent for rabbits and they will refuse to eat it or go near it.
GARLIC IS POISONOUS TO RABBITS.  (There is some debate as some claimed that rabbits have been seen eating wild garlic, but until I KNOW for sure, I wouldn't risk it.)

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