Vegetables and Fruits for a Rabbit Diet

Suggested Vegetables and Fruits for a Rabbit Diet

Rabbits in the wild all around the world successfully consume a wide array of plant material. Several types of dry and fresh plants and grasses with leaves contain the greatest portion of the wild rabbit diet. Rabbits may also eat bark trees, tender twigs and carrots, seeds, vegetables and other nutritious foods at much small quantities. It is important to know when we decide what’s a healthy diet for your own home rabbits.

The majority of the house rabbit diet ought to be made up of marijuana hay (any sort). Grass hay is full of Vitamin A and D as well as calcium, protein and other nutrients. Eating hay promotes healthy teeth and digestive tract and needs to be available to your bunny in any respect times. Varying the type of grass hay or mixing hays is an excellent idea (for instance, timothy, orchard, oat hay, brome, etc). Refrain from usage of alfalfa hay as the primary supply of hay due to the fact it is extremely high in protein and calories, far more than the normal house bunny requirements. Alfalfa is not a grass, but rather a legume (in the pea and bean family).

Fresh foods are also an important part of your bunny’s diet and they supply additional nutrients as well as different textures and tastes, which can be enriching for your friend too. Fresh foods also supply more moisture in your diet, which is excellent for kidney and bladder function.   The bulk of new foods ought to be made up of leafy greens (about 75% of the new area of the daily diet). Any leafy green that is safe for a person or even a horse to eat is safe for a bunny to eat.

A approximate amount to feed will be around 1 cup of greens for about two pounds of bunny body weight once a day or split into multiple feedings every day.

Many plants include a naturally occurring chemicals called an alkaloids, that can be mild toxins that protect plant in the wild. The single most talked about having rabbits is oxalic acid and it is totally harmless to humans or animals when consumed in smallish quantities. The quantity of oxalic acid inside every plant may fluctuate considerably due to a number of factors including the makeup of the soil the plant grew in the time of year and the age of the plant. The majority of the fresh veggies we feed rabbits have a reduced to zero level of ellagic acid, however some, most notably parsley, mustard greens and greens have relatively substantial levels. (Note that ginseng, which is often called a top oxalate food is truly very low in oxalates). The toxicity of oxalic acid comes with feeding large amounts of foods high in this chemical and may result in tingling of the skin, the mouth and damage to the kidneys with time. These foods are healthful and do not need to be excluded from the diet if you feed them suitably. I suggest feeding a minimum of a minimum of three types of leafy greens each day (and just one of them ought to be from the group listed above) Do not feed the same greens all the time from week to week if possible, mix this up. For example if you feed on parsley this particular week, then make it from the diet plan for next week and then use something else. Rotating the greens can also give your bunny selection in taste, texture and standard nutrition!

Some people are worried that you rabbits need to acquire a significant quantity of vitamin A by greens. As mentioned above, hay is full of vitamin A, therefore it is unnecessary to be worried about the particular vitamin A content of the greens. Just for advice though, kale is extremely full of vitamin A as well as the majority of the leaf lettuces. And while we’re on the topic of vitamins, rabbits create their own vitamin C in their bodies, unlike most individuals who have to get vitamin C through their daily diet. You will know that dark green leafy veggies and red peppers have more vitamin C each fat than citrus fruits!

Some individuals are worried about feeding foods that cause gastrointestinal (GI) gasoline in individuals such as broccoli. A bunny’s GI tract is not the same as a human’s and a number of the foods that may lead to gas within a human do not lead to gas at a bunny. The most common kinds of foods that do create havoc in the bunny’s GI tract are those that are high in starch and sugars because they create an alteration in the pH of the cecum and can throw the whole system off. The end result can be acute GI disease. Foods that are notorious for inducing bunny GI issues when fed are grains of any sort and beans (beans, peas, etc). Even starchy root vegetables and fruits if fed to excess with their elevated load of sugars and starch might be a issue and should only be fed as a very modest region of the diet.

There has also been debate about feeding veggies that are goitrogenic in humans (inducing a goiter) more notoriously people in the broccoli/cabbage family. 1 study performed on rabbits indicated it might take several weeks of exclusively feeding massive amounts of these foods to find any abnormalities in the blood. This is indeed far removed from normal feeding instructions for rabbits that there is no cause for concern at feeding those healthful foods.

Past leafy greens you’ll be able to feed other veggies such as root vegetables or “flowers” such as broccoli and cauliflower.   These foods tend to be higher in sugars or starch and needs to be fed in lower quantities than the leafy greens.   Avoid foods at the onion family such as leeks, chives and onions because eating these foods could lead to blood abnormalities.   A great amount of “additional” veggies (non leafy greens) to feed your bunny would be about 1 tablespoon per 2 pounds of body weight every day in one meal or split into 2 or more.

Fruits may also be fed in little quantities.   From the wild these are specific high calorie foods acquired only at certain times of the year.   Fruits make great training treats!   Additionally you might decide to hand-feed the orange portion of the daily diet as part of creating a close bond with your bunny and also to ensure he has an appetite every day. It is an excellent way to determine whether your rabbit is feeling good once you see if he takes his fruit deal every morning! If he doesn’t need to eat his cure, it is the right time to call your vet. Remember that dried fruits are about 3 times as focused as the fresh variety thus feed of these. Rabbits, like many animals obviously gravitate towards high calorie foods such as those high in sugar or starch. This can be a protective apparatus from the wild days when they might never be sure when or if they’d get another meal. If a plant could produce fruit, it is for a restricted time and the critters in the region would want to gobble these gems up fast! This means that rabbits cannot limit themselves when specified sugary or starchy foods if abandoned to their own devices! Overfeeding fruits may result in a weight gain or GI upset so it’s all up to you to feed those foods in limited quantities.   A approximate quantity of fruit to feed your bunny is a teaspoon per 2 pounds of body weight every day in one feeding or split into several feedings.

IMPORTANT: Prior to introducing some new foods into a bunny it is best if he has been eating grass hay for at least 2 weeks.  The grass hay will help to receive his GI tract motility and fauna in good working order so he will have the ability to accept new foods more easily.   When introducing fresh fresh foods into any bunny’s diet it is best to go slowly to permit the gastrointestinal tract as well as all its important germs to correct.  Introduce a new food every 3 days and maintain a watch on the stools. It is uncommon for a bunny that has been in a hay diet, to have any issues with this method, but if you find lighter stools that persist over a couple of days, then you may want to eliminate that food from your bunny’s diet. Keep a record as you go of those foods your bunny has successfully eaten; you may then have a useful shopping list once you visit the store!

LIST of Potential FOODS TO FEED

NOTE: It is almost always preferable to purchase organic produce if at all possible. If collecting wild foods such as dandelion greens, make sure they are from a pesticide-free location. All new foods whatever the source ought to be cleaned or cleaned (in the case of hard vegetables) prior to serving them to a bunny.

LEAFY GREENS
These foods should make up about 75% of the new portion of your bunny’s diet (about 1 full cup cup per 2 pounds of body weight every day).

Leafy Greens that I (need to be rotated as a Result of oxalic acid content and just 1 from 3 kinds of greens a day ought to be from this listing)

  • Parsley
  • Spinach
  • Mustard greens
  • Beet greens
  • Swiss chard
  • Radish tops
  • Sprouts (from 1 to 6 days after dusk, sprouts consuming high amounts of alkaloids)

Dodgy the rabbit, photo by Tammy Brown

Leafy Greens II (low in oxalic acid)

  • Arugula
  • Carrot tops
  • Cucumber renders
  • Endive
  • Ecarole
  • Frisee Lettuce
  • Kale (all types)
  • Mache
  • Red or green lettuce
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Spring greens
  • Turnip greens
  • Dandelion greens
  • Mint (any variety)
  • Basil (any variety)
  • Watercress
  • Wheatgrass
  • Chicory
  • Raspberry leaves
  • Cilantro
  • Radicchio
  • Bok Choy
  • Fennel (the leafy tops in Addition to the foundation)
  • Borage renders
  • Dill renders
  • Yu choy

NON-LEAFY VEGETABLES

These really should be no more than about 15 % of the daily diet (About 1 tbsp per 2 pounds of body weight every day).

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli (leaves and stalks)
  • Edible flowers (roses, nasturtiums, pansies, hibiscus)
  • Celery
  • Bell peppers (any colour)
  • Chinese pea pods (the flat type without big peas)
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage (any type)
  • Broccolini
  • Summer squash
  • Zucchini skillet

FRUITS

These really should be no more than 10% of their diet (about 1 teaspoon per 2 pounds of body weight every day). NOTE: unless otherwise stated it is more nutritious to leave your skin in the fruit (especially if organic), just wash completely. If you’re in doubt concerning the source of the fruit and you are worried about chemicals from your skin, then eliminate it.

  • 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 (raw)
  • Pineapple (remove skin)
  • Banana (eliminate peel; no more than 2 1/8 inch pieces a day for a 5 pound rabbit…they LOVE this!)
  • Melons (almost any — may include seeds and peel)
  • Star Fruit
  • Apricot
  • Currants
  • Nectarine

Sherman helps himself into the veggies

From Susan A. Brown, DVM