Asked in Care of Rabbits
Care of Rabbits

What do rabbits eat?

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Wiki User
01/11/2018

Wild rabbits Wild rabbits spend much of their time foraging in meadows and fields eating wild grasses, herbs, flowers, leaves, and twigs. They also consume some fruits, vegetables, and grains as they come across them, but these do not make up a large part of their diet. They get much of the water they need from the fresh leaves and grasses they eat. Rabbits mostly eat lettuce, carrots and vegetables. Rabbits eat grass because they don't have sharp teeth.

Pet rabbits Pet bunnies require a special diet high in fibre, moderate in proteins, low in fats, calcium, and sugar, and with the right mix of vitamins and nutrients. This diet basically mimics the diet of a wild rabbit. Refer to the question below for more information and links about a healthy rabbit diet.

The best way to encourage rabbit health and wellbeing is by providing unlimited access to hay and water. A common rabbit diet is also to offer fresh dark leafy greens, and high-quality pellets daily. Aside from leafy greens, fresh vegetables and fruits should be limited as treats because they're too high in starches, proteins, and/or sugars for rabbits to eat on a regular basis. Rabbits also need water, it keeps them going, and if they don't have any food or water they are most likely to die.

Rabbits should not eat any dairy, meat products or bi-products, grains, nuts, seeds, or processed "human" foods (cereals, crackers, cookies, etc). Avoid giving your rabbit any plants that have fertilizers on them, pesticides, or parasites left by other animals. If you aren't sure the plants are organic, wash them in a vegetable soap. (Dish soap is not a suitable alternative to vegetable soap; it will permeate the vegetable skin and you won't be able to completely remove it, and it isn't safe to consume.)

Rabbits are individuals, like humans, and they have individual responses to foods just like humans do. Some rabbits are more sensitive to some "gassy" foods than others, and they shouldn't have this foods at all. Gas can be life-threatening for a rabbit! Always observe your rabbit carefully and modify its diet according to individual responses and your vet's directions.

Some previous recommendations:

  • Juicy grass (moist or green) - note: plants from outside may be contaminated with chemicals or parasites
  • Hay (BEST for rabbits - they should have 100% 24/7 unlimited access to hay!)
  • Spring greens
  • Broccoli - note: broccoli is healthy for rabbits, especially the leaves, but it's also indicated in gas and should be limited
  • Sprouts
  • Carrots and carrot tops - note: carrot greens are great but carrots are high in sugar and should be considered a treat
  • Chopped celery - note: celery greens are great; celery itself is not as nutritional but is an OK treat, but cut it into pieces because the celery spines can cause problems
  • Coriander/cilantro - note: the fresh herb only; do not feed rabbits dried herbs or spices, they're too potent
  • Clover - note: high in protein, should be limited as a treat
  • Dandelion leaves
  • Green peppers - note: indicated in gas, should be limited
  • Parsley
  • Watercress
  • Sweet corn - note: this was recommended by a previous user but, in fact, fresh corn is very dangerous for rabbits because it's indigestible and can lead to gut impaction, so it should be avoided; dried corn is sometimes an ingredient in rabbit pellets, which is fine, but corn is high in starch and sugar and should not be a part of a rabbit's diet (aside from as an ingredient in pellets)
  • Sow thistle
  • Dock leaves
  • Brambles
  • Spinach
  • Kale - note: good for rabbits, but indicated in gas and should be limited
  • Cabbage - note: dark-coloured cabbages are okay, although they're indicated in gas and should be limited; light-coloured cabbages are low in nutrients and indicated in diarrhoea, and should be avoided entirely
  • Lettuce - note: dark-coloured lettuces are healthy, but too much lettuce can lead to diarrhoea; light-coloured lettuces are low in nutrients and should be avoided or limited as a treat
  • Cucumber - note: very low in nutritional value, but can be offered as a treat
  • Most fresh herbs
  • Apple - note: treat only; seeds are toxic and should be removed, but apple twigs and branches are wonderful for rabbits (high fibre, good for the teeth and digestion)
  • Banana - note: very sugary, should be very limited as a super-sugary treat
  • Pineapple - note: treat only
  • Melon - note: very sugary, should be very limited; remove the seeds first
  • Peach - note: treat only
  • Pear - note: treat only
  • Strawberries - note: treat only
  • Seedless grapes - note: treat only
  • Raisins - note: dried fruits are extra sugary and should be extra limited
  • Chopped tomato - note: all parts of the tomato plant, except the fruit, are toxic to rabbits; completely avoid leaves, stems, etc.
  • Rabbit food pellets - note: not all rabbit pellets are good for all rabbits. Rabbits who live in high-stress situations (breeding, outdoors, etc) might need more protein and fat than an indoor pet rabbit. Do some research, read labels and nutritional information, and make sure you're giving your rabbit the right kind of pellets.

Do NOT feed a rabbit:

  • Tiny bits of pancake - note: this was recommended by a previous user, but is very unhealthy for rabbits - egg, dairy, sugar, flour, oil, preservatives, etc. are all bad for rabbits. Rabbits should not eat human foods like this. Aside from their pellets, rabbits should only eat whole, fresh foods: nothing processed, cooked, store-bought, etc.
  • Onions - note: this was recommended by a previous user, but all plants in the onion family are bad for rabbis and may be toxic, and should be strictly avoided. The only exception is chives, which m ay be offered in extreme limitation (only once in a rare while).
  • Guinea pig or hamster pellets - note: these were recommended by previous users, but you should only feed rabbit pellets to rabbits. Commercial pet foods are formulated specifically for the pets they're sold for and should only be given to those pets. Each pet species has different nutritional requirements, which is why they need their own species-specific pellets.

More users write:

rabbits eat alot of things like pellets,grass,carrots,broccali,cabbage,some leaves,and a little bit of lettuece but not every day. rabbits also need water it keeps them going and if they don't have any food or water they are most likely to die.

Bunnies need a diet high in fibre to keep their digestive system going and to grind down their teeth. HAY is the biggest part of a rabbit's diet and the most important source of fibre (although many rabbits also like chewing on apple wood and willow twigs, and even plain cardboard, like the kind toilet roll inner tubes are made of).

In order to ensure your bunny is getting the right mix of vitamins and nutrients, you should also feed your rabbit some FRESH GREENS and high-quality PELLETS daily. Choose pellets and greens carefully: most pellets on the market are too high in protein and fat, and too low in fibre; and many plants are unhealthy for rabbits, even toxic.

Oh, and WATER, of course!

Healthy rabbits eating the above diet don't need vitamin pills or nutritional supplements; in fact, many such products can be unhealthy. An exception to this rule is digestive enzymes (such as in papaya enzyme tablets, or even fresh papaya or pineapple), which help keep a rabbit's delicate digestive system running smoothly. Either way, you should speak to your rabbit-savvy vet about your rabbit's needs before feeding it any supplements.

Rabbits have a sweet tooth and will enjoy the occasional treat. TREATS can consist of fresh fruit (like berries, peach, apple, papaya, pineapple, apple -- no seeds!), fresh carrot (a very sugary veggie), or whole oat groats. Treats should be limited to a couple of bites every couple of days or so. Grapes and banana are EXTRA sugary and should be extra restricted. Over-indulging in sweets can result in a variety of different health complications, even leading to death.

See the related question below for more detailed information, sources, and links.
raddish
veggies; carrots
You feed your rabbit pellets, meadow hay, carrot, pear, watermelon, strawberries, apple, peas and so on. You don't feed your rabbit the things it leaves in its bowl, lettuce, oranges or chocolate.
dont give him lettuce feed him grass or food from the pet shop and carrots are good once and a while

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Wiki User
02/26/2017

Like humans, rabbits must have a balanced diet. Rabbits should eat foods like fruits, vegetables, hay, pellets and grass. Rabbits like to eat things like dandelions, seeds, and spinach. Rabbits cannot eat most flowers, some lettuces, or cabbage. The most important food that a rabbit needs is hay. Pellets are also good for rabbits too because they have a mixture of alfalfa, hay, and legumes.

There are also lots of food that you should not feed to a rabbit. One of them surprisingly is lettuce. Lettuce contains lactucarium which causes diarrhea in a rabbit. Some other foods that rabbits shouldn't have are beans, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, parsnips, potatoes or potato peelings, rhubarb, spinach, swedes and tomatoes. They should never eat Sweet Clover which can cause a Bleeding Disease.
if a rabbit eats a lot of fresh food it will gain wait which will make the rabbit unhealthy and possibly get sick. Rabbits should not have a lot of fruits because to much sugar is bad for them. Their water needs to be really clean because if there is bacteria in the water the rabbits can get really sick and the infection will start growing around the rabbits ears.