Care of Rabbits
Rabbits and Hares
Food Chains and Food Webs

What can rabbits eat?

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2012-08-11 15:49:52

Rabbits can eat certain fresh fruits and vegetables. Pet rabbits

should also eat rabbit pellets, and hay. A healthy diet for a

pet rabbit is lots and lots of hay (the most important thing!),

with some daily pellets and fresh leafy greens; other fruits

and vegetable can be offered in small amounts as occasional treats.

See the related question below for more info and links. Some things

rabbits can eat include:

  • Dandelion weeds
  • Lettuce and cabbage -- stick to dark-coloured leaves only, and

    avoid the light-coloured varieties. Lettuce does have high water

    content, but also contains folic acid (important during pregnancy),

    calcium, iron, chlorine, sulphur, bromine, potassium, vitamin E

    (fertility vitamin) and is rich in silicon. Apart from the rather

    ordinary 'Iceberg' variety of lettuce there are many other

    interesting, colourful varieties. You can grow a selection of Asian

    varieties: Mizuna, Mibuna, Tah Tsai or Red Mustard or any others

    originating from different parts of the world such as; Radicchio,

    Rocket, Romaine Oak Leaf, Red and Green Coral, Endive, Cos, Butter

    head, Mignonettes, Red and Yellow Witlof. Cabbage contains vitamins

    A, C, and K, sulphur, silicon, calcium (more than cows milk), and

    is rich in chlorine. The dark green outer leaves that most people

    discard are much higher in nutrients than the pale coloured inner,

    heart, and leaves. Cabbage or other fresh foods will not cause

    diarrhoea or bloat unless eaten in excess.

  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Kohlrabi
  • Choy Sum
  • Kale
  • Tat Soi
  • Beetroot
  • Carrot
  • Celeriac
  • Chicory
  • Radish leaves are rough and hairy and the veggie is quite tasty

    but more important the whole plant is edible rabbit-wise

  • Peas (edible pod varieties, like snow peas; do not serve peas

    themselves)

  • Radish
  • Spinash
  • Tomato (absolutely avoid all green parts, stem, vine, leaves --

    they're toxic)

  • Watercress
  • Pumpkin
  • Fruits: Whatever fruit we consume they are also quite edible to

    rabbits the only precaution is to not feed them in excess. Rule of

    thumb should apply to the juicy types or parts of individual fruit.

    For instance the skin of a watermelon can be fed in moderate

    amounts yet only a little bit of the actual fruit is offered to a

    bunny due to high water and sugar content. As with all food we must

    also make sure any selected fruit fed to rabbits is not overly ripe

    or bruised. Although we discard many varieties of fruit skins such

    as banana or mandarin these are not wasted when given to a rabbit

    with a hearty appetite. Too many fruits and sugary vegetables (like

    carrot) will lead to illness. The House Rabbit Society recommends

    no more than 2 tablespoons of these sorts of treat foods per day

    for a normal, healthy 6 pound rabbit.

  • Fennel (cultivated)

The following is not widely recommended information: do

your own research and when it comes to your rabbit's health, better

safe than sorry! Avoid any foods you're not sure of.

Some people write:

Why not grow sunflowers - The whole plant can be supplied as

rabbit food; leaves, stalks chopped into short lengths (e.g. 15 to

25 Cm for easy handling), flower petals and flower heads. Flowers

are fed to bunnies' whether mature or not. Sunflower seeds are

remarkably rich in vitamins and minerals and have a high

twenty-four gram protein content. For that reason no more than a

daily teaspoon of seed should be added to the feed bowl. The rest

of the plant is perfectly safe and can be fed generously.

Raw Corncobs can be gnawed (preferably without the kernels or

just a few) as they contain high starch content and are fattening.

Even the silky tassels (a good source of Potassium) stripped off

the corncob. If the leaves are huge they can be torn into meal size

pieces and the thick fibrous stems are cut into smaller meal size

pieces with secateurs. // NEVER feed fresh raw corn, because it

isn't digestible and can lead to gut impaction and serious

illness.

Rabbits can eat:

- Beans (all varieties) // Actually, this is widely advised

against!

- Capsicum (all colours)

- Mushrooms // Actually, this is widely advised against!

- Cucumber

- Sweet Potato

- Okra

- Parsnip

- Swede

- Turnip

- Courgette

The following are generally not consumed:

Vines and leaves of all varieties of Pumpkin, Zucchini, Squash,

Cucumber, Watermelon, Rockmelon.

Asparagus spears and their ferny leaf stems.

Leeks, Onions, Shallots, Eggplant, Choko, Avocado skins.

Globe or Jerusalem Artichokes

Most citrus peels. Some bunnies love mandarin peels but turn

their noses up on most of the other citrus peels.

The majority of rabbits do not eat pieces of zucchini or squash

though the not so fussy ones will. If there is one thing for

certain each and every bunny is an individual and they all have

individual tastes.

Caution: Rhubarb leaves, Tomato vines, Potato plants and green

potatoes are known to be poisonous.

Lastly - dried bread as a treat preferably wholegrain rather

than processed white bread - dried or toasted as a small treat as

rabbits can get addicted to bread (though I've read that it's

certainly not true for my bunny he didn't touch it he much prefers

apples and carrots)! Many sources recommend avoiding bread

entirely: there's no nutritional benefit for rabbits, and it's very

unhealthy for them. If you want to give your rabbit a treat, stick

to something with at least some nutritional benefit but that

they'll love just as much, like carrot or apple.


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