Vegetables

Fresh vegetables should usually make up approximately 10% of your adult rabbit’s diet. Hay should consist of 80% of your rabbit’s diet. Vegetables provide additional nutrients and different textures and tastes — an enriching experience for your rabbit. Wet vegetables are also a good source of water if your bunny does not drink very much from his water bowl or bottle.

Amount to feed

For baby rabbits, vegetables should only be fed to after 12 weeks of age and introduced one at a time in quantities under 1/2 oz.[1]

For adult rabbits, a good rule of thumb is approximately one cup of packed greens for every two pounds of rabbit.[2] You may decide to feed more or less but keep an eye out for any change in litter habits and behavior. Some vegetables will cause diarrhea or gas. If you are introducing new greens to a rabbit, introduce only one type one day. This way you can easily tell if the food will not agree with your bun. Wait 24 hours to make sure there are no soft stools or gas problems before adding another vegetable to your rabbit’s diet. If the droppings are soft or the rabbits are gassy, discontinue the vegetable.

Be aware that every rabbit is different, and it is up to you to find the right balance for a healthy bunny. Some rabbits may not react well with greens at all and can thrive on a pellet/hay only diet.[3]

Serve your vegetables wet to increase your rabbit’s intake of liquid. It will help keep his GI contents moving.

Do not serve your bunny spoiled vegetables. If you wouldn’t eat it yourself, don’t feed it to your rabbit. Rabbits can be even more sensitive to spoiled food than humans.

Acceptable vegetables

Care should be taken when feeding some of these as some vegetables may cause gas or other issues in some rabbits. Vegetables with a high water content can cause diarrhea and runny stool. Other vegetables contain higher amounts of sugar and so should be fed in moderation and best as a treat.

There are vegetables and flowers that a bunny should not eat and are covered in Vegetables to Avoid. Detailed nutrition for rabbit-safe vegetables can be found at Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Data.

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens should make up approximately 75% of the fresh vegetables fed daily.[2]

The following list contains leafy greens known to be safe to for rabbits to eat.[2][4][5][6][7][8][9]

Non-leafy greens

The remaining 25% of your rabbits vegetable intake may come from non-leafy greens, around 1 tbsp per 2 lb of bun.

The following are some known rabbit-safe foods in this category.[2][4][6][8][15][16]

Edible flowers and plants

These plants and flowers can also be used to spice up a rabbit’s veggies. Rabbits have more taste buds than humans and will appreciate food that actually tastes strong.[19] You can also grow them fresh indoors in a pot if you’d like. If you pick them from outdoors, make sure they have not come in contact with cat, dog, or fox feces or treated with pesticides and chemicals.

Below is a list of known rabbit-safe flowers and plants.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29]

See Homeopathy for Rabbits for some more flowers you may feed in small amounts as well as the nutritional and medicinal uses of various plants.

Vegetables to avoid

Like any other animal, rabbits should not eat certain plants. Our main Toxic plants article will address the plants that should be kept out of a rabbit’s reach. Always check that list first before feeding your rabbit anything new.

The ones listed below should be avoided for various reasons.[31]

  • Bamboo shoots – contains compounds that destroy nutrients.
  • Cassava (Yuca) – contains compounds that destroy nutrients.
  • Chocolate – poisonous to most pets.
  • Coffee plants – contains compounds that destroy nutrients.
  • Corn – rabbits cannot digest corn hulls, and they are just the right size to block the small intestine if not chewed properly.
  • Diatomaceous earth – made from finely ground shells, and when ingested or breathed in, can act like razor blades; do not use in litter or food.
  • Iceberg lettuce – safe for rabbits to eat, but low in nutrients and higher in water content than other darker lettuces. Large amounts can cause diarrhea.
  • Maize – contains compounds that destroy nutrients.
  • Garlic and onions – See Can my rabbit eat onion and garlic? for details.
  • Potatoes
  • Raw anasazi, broad, common, lima, black, fava, horse, runner, garden, pinto, navy, kidney, soy beans and sprouts – contains high amounts of lectins which can damage intestinal walls and reduce nutrient absorption, but are destroyed by cooking and reduced by soaking, sprouting, or fermenting.[32][33][34]

How should I store my bunny vegetables?

Vegetables tend to spoil easily and can be a hassle to prepare everyday. There are several products on the market that can help you store prepped vegetables for your rabbit in the fridge for longer periods of time than a normal food container or plastic produce bags.

Further reading

See also

References

  1. House Rabbit Society, FAQ: Diet
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 House Rabbit Society, Susan A. Brown, DVM, Suggested Vegetables and Fruits for a Rabbit Diet. Accessed Sep 21, 2015.
  3. Kathy Smith, Greens and Pellets: Finding the Right Balance
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kathy Smith, The Perfect Salad
  5. Barbi Brown, NUTRITION
  6. 6.0 6.1
    Rabbit Advocates, ABC’s of Rabbit Safe Vegetables & Fruits
  7. Phyllis O’Beollain. (n.d.). Lamb’s quarters is easily foraged for rabbits or other small pets. Retrieved 19 Oct 2012 from http://www.examiner.com/article/lamb-s-quarters-is-easily-foraged-for-rabbits-or-other-small-pets
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 MediRabbit, Camilla Bergstrøm, Feeding the house rabbit 2: Vegetables
  9. Rise and Shine Rabbitry, Safe Food List for Rabbits
  10. YouTube, marshmallow0219, 小松菜を食べるももさんMomo eats Komatsuna leaves
  11. Robert, H.G. (1927). Raising Rabbits For Fur, Meat And Profit. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=1Cx8CgAAQBAJ&pg=PT64&lpg=PT6
  12. Samkol, P. (2009). Water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) as a feed resource for growing rabbits. Retrieved 27 April 2016 from http://mekarn.org/msc2003-05/theses05/samkollitrev.pdf
  13. Phyllis O’Beollain. (n.d.). Purslane is a good choice for small pets. Retrieved 20 Oct 2012 from http://www.examiner.com/article/purslane-is-a-good-choice-for-small-pets
  14. Phyllis O’Beollain. (n.d.). Wild thistles provide healthy benefits for house rabbits and other herbivores. Retrieved 20 Oct 2012

    from http://www.examiner.com/article/wild-thistles-provide-healthy-benefits-for-house-rabbits-and-other-herbivores

  15. kanin.org, Rabbit-safe vegetables
  16. Save A Fluff, Safe fruit, vegetables, herbs and plants suitable for rabbits
  17. RSPCA Victoria. (n.d.). Rabbit care. Retrieved 22 Oct 2016 from http://www.rspcavic.org/health-and-behaviour/rabbits/
  18. The Rabbit House. (2012). 5 Rabbit Safe Flowers — Flowers. Retrieved 22 Oct 2016 from http://www.therabbithouse.com/blog/2012/02/29/rabbit-safe-flowers-annuals/
  19. 19.0 19.1 MediRabbit, Camilla Bergstrøm, Feeding the house rabbit 3: Fresh herbs
  20. Lucile Moore, Rabbit Nutrition and Nutritional Healing, 2e
  21. kanin.org, Safe herbs
  22. kanin.org, Rabbit-safe plants (grass/flowers)
  23. MediRabbit, Camilla Bergstrøm, Feeding the house rabbit 5: Flowers
  24. The Rabbit House, 5 Rabbit Safe Flowers – Annuals
  25. I Must Garden, Plants Rabbits Will Eat
  26. www.rabbitnutrition.co.uk, Rabbits…naturally
  27. 3 Bunnies Rabbit Rescue, Inc., Non Toxic Plants
  28. Frances Harcourt-Brown, Favourite wild plants to pick for rabbits. Accessed Aug 18, 2015.
  29. Frances Harcourt-Brown, More plants to pick for rabbits . Accessed Aug 18, 2015.
  30. Illinois Wildflowers, Woodland Goosefoot
  31. 3 Bunnies Rabbit Rescue, Inc., Feeding Your Bunny
  32. Y-Not Bunnies, Diet and Information
  33. Raw Evolution, What not to sprout
  34. The Kitchen Physician, Carolyn Swicegood, Sprouting for Healthier Birds

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *