What can rabbits eat?
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.
- Brussel sprouts
- Chinese Cabbage
- Choy Sum
- Tat Soi
- 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
- Tomato (absolutely avoid all green parts, stem, vine, leaves --
- 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
Rabbits can eat:
- Beans (all varieties) // Actually, this is widely advised
- Capsicum (all colours)
- Mushrooms // Actually, this is widely advised against!
- Sweet Potato
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
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.