Rabbits love food and tend to graze throughout the day to sustain their appetite; getting the right balance for your pets diet is important so they can maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are many misconceptions over what a rabbit can eat, and feeding your pet the right diet is essential to keeping your rabbit healthy.
Rabbits are natural foragers, so they enjoy a mix of this kind of food daily which can help prevent boredom, keep them engaged and make their habitat more interesting.
What human food can bunnies eat?
Fruit. Pretty much any fruit will make a good sweet treat, though the high sugar content means it should only be given in moderation. ….Vegetables. Similarly, most vegetables are safe for rabbits to eat. ….Herbs. ….Garden plants. ….Chocolate. ….Iceberg Lettuce. ….Avocado. ….Meat.
What foods are toxic to rabbits?
Avocados..Chocolate..Fruit seeds/pits..Raw onions, leeks, garlic..Meat, eggs, dairy..Broad beans and kidney beans..Rhubarb..Iceberg lettuce.
What fruits and veggies can rabbits eat?
Apples (seeds removed) High in sugar, apples should only be fed to rabbits as a treat..Banana. Also high in sugar, it’s safe for rabbits to eat bananas occasionally..Blackberries..Blueberries..Carrot tops. ….Dandelion. ….Grapes.
Rabbits in the wild all over the world successfully consume a wide variety of plant material. Various types of dry and fresh grasses and plants with leaves comprise the largest portion of the wild rabbit diet. Rabbits will also eat bark on trees, tender twigs and sprouts, fruits, seeds and other nutritious foods in much small amounts. This is important to know when we decide what is a healthy diet for our house rabbits.
Fresh foods are also an important part of your rabbits diet and they provide additional nutrients as well as different textures and tastes, which are enriching for your friend as well. Fresh foods also provide more moisture in the diet, which is good for kidney and bladder function.
The one most talked about with rabbits is oxalic acid and it is completely harmless to animals or humans when consumed in small amounts. The toxicity of oxalic acid comes with feeding large quantities of foods high in this chemical and can result in tingling of the skin, the mouth and damage to the kidneys over time. You may know that dark green leafy vegetables and red peppers have more vitamin C per weight than citrus fruits!
Foods that are notorious for causing rabbit GI problems when fed improperly are grains of any kind and legumes (beans, peas, etc). There has also been discussion about feeding vegetables that are goitrogenic in humans (causing a goiter) more notoriously those in the broccoli/cabbage family. One study done on rabbits indicated that it would take several weeks of exclusively feeding huge quantities of these foods to see any abnormalities in the blood.
These foods are often higher in starch or sugars and should be fed in lesser amounts than the leafy greens. A good amount of other vegetables (non leafy greens) to feed your rabbit would be about 1 tablespoon per 2 lbs of body weight per day in one meal or divided into two or more. You also might choose to hand-feed the fruit portion of the diet as part of developing a close bond with your bunny and also to make sure he has an appetite every day.
It is a great way to see if your bunny is feeling good when you observe if he takes his fruit treat every morning! When a plant would produce fruit, it is for a limited time and all the animals in the area would want to gobble these gems up quickly! Overfeeding fruits can result in a weight gain or GI upset so it is up to you to feed these foods in limited amounts.
IMPORTANT: Before introducing any fresh foods to a rabbit it is best if he has been eating grass hay for a minimum of 2 weeks. The grass hay will help to get his GI tract motility and flora in good working order so that he will be able to accept new foods more easily. When introducing new fresh foods to any rabbits diet it is best to go slowly to allow the gastrointestinal tract and all its important microorganisms to adjust.
All fresh foods regardless of the source should be washed or scrubbed (in the case of hard vegetables) before serving them to your rabbit. LEAFY GREENS These foods should make up about 75% of the fresh portion of your rabbits diet (about 1 packed cup per 2 lbs of body weight per day). Carrots Broccoli (leaves and stems) Edible flowers (roses, nasturtiums, pansies, hibiscus) Celery Bell peppers (any color) Chinese pea pods (the flat kind without large peas) Brussel sprouts Cabbage (any type) Broccolini Summer squash Zucchini squash
Apple (any variety, without stem and seeds) Cherries (any variety, without the pits) Pear Peach Plum (without the pits) Kiwi Papaya Mango Berries (any type) Berries (uncooked) Pineapple (remove skin) Banana (remove peel; no more than about 2 1/8 inch slices a day for a 5 lb rabbitthey LOVE this!) Others have found that kale fed in large amounts on a daily basis may contribute to bladder sludge and other health issues.
Rabbits are amazing animals with beautiful coats of fur that make us want to pick them up and cuddle them. But while some rabbits are domesticated and ready for snuggles, most rabbits are wild, found throughout the world in meadows, forests, wetlands, grasslands, and deserts. Wild rabbits are used to living in nature, not with humans so they do not usually want to cuddle, let alone be touched, by someone in their natural habitat.
Young domestic rabbits should be offered an unlimited number of pellets and hay, but when they reach about 7 months of age, it is time to ask the veterinarian how many limited pellets and hay should be offered each day to meet the dietary needs of your rabbit based on things like their activity level, health, and medical history. The average adult rabbit will eat about cup of pellets and/or hay each day in addition to leafy green vegetables.
Fresh, clean drinking water and good quality hay and grass should make up the majority of your rabbits‘ diet. A rabbit’s digestive system needs hay or grass to function properly so a healthy supply is extremely important. You can supplement with leafy greens and a small amount of pellets. Root vegetables such as carrots or fruit, should only be given in small portions as a treat, as rabbits don’t naturally eat these type of foods. Always avoid muesli-style food, as these are unhealthy for rabbits and has a number of associated health problems.
– Rabbits‘ digestive systems need grass and/or hay to function properly. – Rabbits‘ teeth grow continuously, needing wearing down and keeping at the correct length/shape by eating grass/hay/leafy green plants.
– Avoid sudden changes in diets and do not feed lawnmower clippings as both these upset rabbits‘ digestive systems causing illness.
The best foods for a rabbit
Once your rabbit has been provided with the bulk of their diet (hay), choose from a range of fresh greens from the list of vegetables below. It’s important to provide your pet with a variety of safe greens to make sure they have a balanced diet.
Foods you should never feed your rabbit
One of the most common misconceptions of a rabbits diet is that they should be fed muesli-style foods. Unfortunately, muesli is high in sugar and starch which are difficult for rabbits to digest and can cause health problems. If your rabbit is fed a high sugar diet this can lead them to gain weight and develop other health problems.
Various Grasses and Hays
All rabbits are herbivores and do not eat any meat. In the wild, rabbits will eat all kinds of different types of grasses and hays as the bulk of their diets. They will eat whatever kinds of grasses they come across such as wheat, Bermuda, orchard, alfalfa, and oat. Wild rabbits eat tons of grass each day to meet their nutritional needs. It can be tough to find all these grasses at the store, and growing them can be quite a time consuming, space intrusive, and expensive quest since your domesticated rabbit would need to eat so much of it.Luckily, there are many hay and pellet products on the market that are made of different grasses and hays which would be found in the wild. The grasses are broken down into shreds and then condensed together into little pellets that are easy for rabbits to chew and digest. Rabbit pellets are dense in nutrition and calories, so they do not need to eat as much of it as they would unprocessed grass in the wild. The texture of rabbit pellets is all the same, which can get boring for domesticated rabbits. Therefore, your pet rabbit should be fed hay and other foods to ensure a varied and interesting diet.
Fruits and Vegetables
Wil rabbits will eat different kinds of vegetables in the wild, especially green ones like kale and amaranth. Wild rabbits will also eat wild berries and other fruits that they happen to find while they forage. But they do not typically have access to veggies like carrots as domesticated rabbits do. Domestic rabbits should replicate their wild diets as close as possible, so carrots and other veggies not usually found in the wild should be offered to them sparingly.In addition to occasional treats of carrots, domestic rabbits should be offered a variety of dark leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, watercress, cilantro, and beet greens daily in addition to the pellets and hay they get. They can also be offered greens higher in calcium like kale, collards, and parsley, a couple of times a week. Fruits such as berries, bananas, apples, and melons can be offered sparingly.
Babies vs. Adults
In the wild rabbits spend all their time foraging for food and will eat however much they need to fulfill their daily nutritional needs. In captivity, rabbits can eat too much and become obese, because they are not nearly as active as wild rabbits are. Young domestic rabbits should be offered an unlimited number of pellets and hay, but when they reach about 7 months of age, it is time to ask the veterinarian how many limited pellets and hay should be offered each day to meet the dietary needs of your rabbit based on things like their activity level, health, and medical history. The average adult rabbit will eat about ¼ cup of pellets and/or hay each day in addition to leafy green vegetables.