Rabbits have quite a delicate system and when we don’t know what is safe and unsafe for our little furry friends, we risk upsetting their systems, which for baby rabbits can be deadly.
When choosing safe foods for your rabbit, you may choose to feed with store-bought pellets, or make up your own rabbit food blend, but chances are, you will want to supplement with vegetables and perhaps a treat of fruit now and then.
When giving certain vegetables, you will want to be mindful of the effects that regular feeding of these vegetables will have on your rabbit. Some are high in oxalic acid, which is toxic and can damage your rabbit’s kidneys over time. If you choose to give these to your rabbit, they should be only one out of three greens given per day.
Some vegetables, like carrots, contain more sugar than is good for your rabbit on a regular basis. These vegetables can cause obesity in your rabbits, which can lead to other health issues.
And still, other vegetables can give your rabbit gas if fed too much of them in one sitting. Notes following each vegetable suggestion will help you to understand which vegetables are best for your rabbit on a regular basis, and which should be given sparingly.
These vegetables should make up 75% of your rabbit’s fresh portion of food each day. It is recommended to feed 1 packed cup for every 2 pounds of your rabbit’s body weight per day.
Basil (all types)
Beet greens (high in oxalic acid)
Broccoli leaves (stems or tops can make rabbits gassy)
Carrot tops (carrots are high in calcium and should be given sparingly)
Fennel (the leafy tops as well as the base)
Kale (all types)
Lettuce – romaine or dark leaf (no iceburg lettuce and no cabbage)
Mint (all types)
Mustard greens (high in oxalic acid)
Parsley (high in oxalic acid)
Radish tops (high in oxalic acid)
Red or green lettuce
Spinach (high in oxalic acid)
Swiss chard (high in oxalic acid)
Safe Non-Leafy Vegetables
These should be fed sparingly each day due at about 1 tablespoon per 2 lbs of body weight per day.
Broccoli (leaves and stems)
Edible flowers (roses, nasturtiums, pansies, hibiscus)
Bell peppers (any color)
Chinese pea pods (the flat kind without large peas)
Cabbage (any type)
These foods should be used for treats, as they are meant to be fed to your rabbit even more sparingly than non-leafy vegetables. Feed no more than 1 tsp. per 2 pounds of your rabbit’s weight per day.
NOTE: It is said that it is more nutritious to leave the skin on organic fruit when feeding to your rabbit. However, if you are not sure of the origin of your fruit and whether or not it is organic, remove the peels.
Apple (any variety, without stem and seeds)
Cherries (any variety, without the pits)
Plum (without the pits)
Berries (any type, raw)
Pineapple (remove skin)
Banana (remove peel; no more than about 2 1/8 inch slices a day for a 5 lb rabbit…they LOVE this!)
Melons (any – can include peel and seeds)
A few things to remember
- If you will be making vegetables and fruits a regular part of your rabbit’s diet, please consider purchasing organic and pesticide free veggies.
- When introducing new fresh produce to your rabbit, do it slowly and only giving one new vegetable or fruit at a time. This will ensure that your rabbit’s intestinal tract has the time to adjust, and you the opportunity to see if your rabbit experiences any adverse reactions to the new food.
- Leafy greens and new baby bunnies don’t mix well, as the leafy greens can cause diarrhea, which can be fatal to young rabbits.
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