They require a balanced diet of hay, fresh veggies and fruit, and a few pellets. One long-term study done on European rabbits, in fact, discovered that wild rabbits very rarely, if at all, consume or even try to consume meat of other animal parts. Rabbits larger than 10 pounds do not need more than a quarter of a cup, since it’s not a crucial part of a bunny’s diet. About Best Friends Animal Society: A leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends runs the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as lifesaving programs in collaboration with thousands of partners nationwide working to Save Them All. While most rabbit lovers are more concerned with what to feed rabbits that are domesticated, some of you may take in wild rabbits as a pet—wondering what do rabbits eat in the wild? Every purchased batch of pellets that you buy needs to be checked for manufacturing date to make sure that they are fresh, as bunnies will turn their noses up at stale pellets. Rabbits living in the wild don’t have a food chart much different from a … Fruit is another option that can be provided for a treat, but again you should give it only in small amounts, this is because of the sugar. Obviously, when the cold starts to set in, there may not be enough food to sustain rabbit populations. Collard greens. Rabbits have very sensitive digestive tracts, so the transition to hay or pellets, or the introduction of new fruits and vegetables, must be done gradually to allow the rabbit’s system to adjust. The large antelope jacks need more food than the black-taileds and can consume G pound (118 g) of food p… Once it becomes contaminated in that manner, it can cause your rabbit to have GI Tract issues. Rabbits do not actively look for insects to eat. Twigs nipped off by jacks have clean, slanted cuts, while ends bitten by cottontails have a rougher, nibbled appearance. Take care, however, to not give “cold” water to your bunny, even if it is a hot day. Never give your rabbit hay that is discolored or odd / foul smelling. So remember, keep it off the cage-floor. However, as it is the standard rule of thumb, they should be first washed, and fed in moderate amounts of approximately no more than a 1-2 inch chunk, weekly. Add one new vegetable at a time, and watch for signs of loose stool or diarrhea because, as mentioned above, bunnies have delicate digestive systems. You should never feed them canned or cooked spinach however. Rabbits are herbivores that feed by grazing on grass, forbs, and leafy weeds. Home » What do rabbits eat? As you continue reading, you’ll find lots of information available on what is best, safe, and needed to be fed to your pet rabbit. Lily and Billy love the 'living herbs' they can eat straight from the pots, such as basil, parsley, and coriander. Look for pellets with a high fiber content — the higher the better. The reason why there is some controversy to feeding cabbage is because this is one of the products that can cause a gas to build up in the gut. We suggest reading the following paragraphs! Nor do farmers in rural areas appreciate city folks dumping live rabbits in the countryside. As with humans, treats are at the top of the food pyramid for bunnies and therefore should be fed sparingly. Dandelion leaves. So what do rabbits eat? In the wild, rabbits and insects live together. Moreover, trapping has limited value since more rabbits invariably arrive to replace any that you have moved. Type for example “weed” and the list will appear automatically! To help further answer some of the most popular questions about feed, as well as to clear up some of the myths about feeding rabbits, below you will find many answers. (Twigs browsed by deer look pinched off.) There is typically zero nutritional content to those little nuggets and if there is no nutritional value to it, it is a waste of your money to buy them. The list below includes some, but not all, toxic plants. No, toxic (small quantities dried within hay is ok), Yes, moderately, carrots are high in calcium and should be given sparingly, Yes, but only the plant, the leaves are toxic, Carrot tops (carrots are high in calcium and should be given sparingly) – yes, moderately, Artichoke Leaves – yes, but only the leaf and stems, Beets – yes, but only the roots, leaf and stems, Egg Plant – yes, but only the plant, the leaves are *toxic*, Radish Greens – yes, limited – but only the leaves, Rhubarb – yes, red stalks only, the leaf is *toxic*, Buttercup (small quantities dried within hay is ok). It is suggested to buy hay in bulk from local famers. but you should not allow them to eat the seeds. Healthy treats for your bunny include small pieces of fresh or freeze-dried fruit (the approved fruits listed above); natural, unprocessed mixes that include hay and dried flowers (the approved flowers listed above); and Oxbow brand rabbit treats. If your bunny has access to these types of areas, it is very important that you learn and know which ones are poisonous, and which ones are safe. Especially if the rabbit is less than 6 months old because the younger ones have higher tendencies to end up with digestive problems when not properly introduced to new foods. Celery – yes, limited amounts. In reality, domesticated rabbits thrive on a diet that consists of hay, leafy greens and grass-based pellets. An average-sized (6-10 pounds) adult rabbit only needs one-quarter cup of pellets daily. But your rabbits shouldn’t eat too many fruits, due to their high sugar content. Providing the food that mimics what rabbits would eat in the … Signup for our newsletter and we will keep you updated with tips, news and more! Rabbits majorly eat mostly hays and grasses. As an example, a good time to give a small piece (approximately one piece that is 1-2 inches in length) of celery to your rabbit is when travel is involved. Have a look at the infographic we created! Root vegetables (e.g. Water bottles are not easy to clean and can be difficult for rabbits to use, so bowls are better. Additionally, pay attention to the amount of dust and fines that are present in the bag, as this dust can cause respiratory issues. They will also eat a little bit of grass too. After all, your furry friends’ life depends on it. The answer to feeding watermelon, with or without the rind, is highly controversial. Ultimate Guide. So this small piece of celery can act as a preventative by encouraging a small amount of water absorption which will assist in encouraging proper GI functions to remain in tact. Always make sure each item is rabbit-safe, and only give them very small, limited amounts until you know how well their individual systems will react to that one item. } filter = input.value.toUpperCase(); This will help your bunny to be as healthy as possible. In fact, rabbits go crazy for bananas, and would typically love nothing more than to eat them daily if allowed to do so. In consequence, their diet contains large amounts of cellulose, which is hard to digest. Fresh water must be provided at all times. We will discuss the basics of diet needs, suggested treats, and rabbit-safe, healthy veggies and fruits. What should pet bunnies eat? Yes, Rabbits can spinach – if it is fresh leaf spinach only. However, always use caution when introducing any new food. Timothy hay pellets can be given to bunnies in small quantities. But no, they should not be allowed to have them daily, and they should be fed in moderation. Community Cats Program Handbook: Administration, Community Cats Program Handbook: Operations, Rabbit Grooming: How to Groom a Shedding Bunny, Rabbit Health Check: Signs of a Healthy Bunny, Herbs: basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, Lettuces: romaine, green leaf, red leaf, Boston bibb, arugula, butter, Flowers: calendula, chamomile, daylily, dianthus, English daisy, hibiscus, honeysuckle, marigold, nasturtium, pansy, rose, Berries: blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries. Rabbits in the wild are dedicated herbivores. With that said though, be sure that you wash it thoroughly before cutting it, remove all seeds, and only give a small amount, on occasion. There is a high water content in this vegetable, and that could cause life-threatening diarrhea. Those items are not “the best idea” for regular consumption. Alfalfa hay is not a good choice for an adult rabbit, since it’s a legume, not a grass, and as such is too rich to be fed on a daily basis. Otherwise, the hay might get wet and soiled with urine and feces. It may seem like rabbits can pretty much eat everything! Yes, Rabbits can eat cucumbers with the peel on or off, and allowing them to eat the seeds will not harm them. As it is with vegetables, be sure that all fruits are thoroughly washed prior to feeding them to your bunny. ©2019 Best Friends Animal Society. Some rabbit owners will place hay-racks near liter-pans also, as doing so can help to encourage liter-box training. input = document.getElementById("myInput"); Items such as pasta, and cookies though are a complete no-no. Skin and all is safe, just remember to wash the apple before you cut it and do not allow them to eat the seeds, as they can get choked on them. No, rabbits should not eat asparagus. Various types of dry and fresh grasses and plants with leaves comprise the largest portion of the wild rabbit diet. tr[i].style.display = ""; It should also be noted that when providing your bunny with hay, you need to ‘hang’ the hay off of the ground. We are here to help you answer this question, and many more. While the diet of a wild rabbit consists mostly of grass, they’ll eat almost any type of vegetable, including your flowers and vegetables. Basil. function myFunction() { No worries, you will only receive a few bunny emails per year! So, here at RabbitPedia, we suggest this rule of thumb: “when in doubt, throw it out! Even though some may say that feeding it in moderation is ok, we stand behind the rule of prevention, and not putting your furry friend in jeopardy to begin with. This means that they only eat plants and avoid meat and animal parts. Good types of grass hay for bunnies are timothy, orchard grass, brome and oat hay. Rabbits under one year of age can be fed alfalfa hay, but as they get older they should be switched to grass hay, especially if they are also being fed alfalfa pellets. The reason for this is that because any type of melon can theoretically cause diarrhea and digestive problems. Since wild rabbits tend to like wooded or shrubby areas on the edges of a particular area, [2] X Research source consider creating a small brush pile near the edge of your yard or garden for the wild rabbits. Safe vegetables for rabbits. Adult rabbits can eat timothy, grass, and oat hays, while younger rabbits should be fed alfalfa. } Actually, fresh spinach – along with kale, mustard greens, bok choy, cilantro, basil, fennel, carrot tops, and romaine lettuce make an amazing bunny-salad that will instantly put you high-favor position with your rabbit. Diet: The rabbits and hares are herbivores, feeding on grasses, forbs, mesquite leaves and beans, and cacti (for moisture). A variety of two or three vegetables is ideal. You can pick these from your garden (make sure there are no pesticides on them, and don't pick from roadsides due to traffic fumes) or you can buy herbs from supermarkets. Rabbits solve this problem via a form of hindgut fermentation. Giving a handful of damp vegetables is another way to get water into their systems, especially if they don’t seem to be drinking much on their own. Some foods are not good for rabbits under any circumstances because they can make rabbits extremely sick. It’s best to be safe, rather than sorry, and your pal will greatly appreciate it. The best recipe to follow is a regular supply of hay, pellets, unlimited supply of fresh water, and occasional treats. tr = table.getElementsByTagName("tr"); But the truth is: There are a lot of foods that rabbits can’t eat or are allergic to. Rabbits are, first and foremost, herbivores. The seeds will not cause a problem, however, use cause to introduce tomatoes to their diet very slowly because not many feed tomatoes to rabbits, so their digestive system is not accustomed to processing them. When it comes to feeding rabbits, many people have it all wrong thanks to Bugs Bunny, Easter decor and every other image that pairs rabbits with carrots. Broccoli is another controversial food for rabbits. See 'What do rabbits eat?' Cilantro. A heavy ceramic bowl is ideal, since it doesn’t tip over easily. Scroll directly to our List of safe Vegetables! if (td) { If you do not mind wild rabbits visiting your yard, you can create an area of your yard where the wild rabbits can eat. How to use? As alway though, remember to wash all of those fresh veggies before feeding them, and a good rule of thumb that a good-sized handful or two, can be provided as frequently as a daily staple. Certain vegetables can be given every day, while others should be fed sparingly, one or two times a week. if (txtValue.toUpperCase().indexOf(filter) > -1) { However, their dietary requirement for baby rabbits, young adults, nursing, pregnant queens, and elderly ones may vary. Stressed out rabbits have tendencies to have digestive tract problems. Only introduce one new item at a time; this will prevent headaches and further complications of figuring out where the problem lies if one item doesn’t particularly agree with your furry frien. Additionally, if you want to score extra bunny favorite points, haha, add a cut up strawberry or grapes, or even banana, apple, or any other ‘goody’ into the salad-mixture (remembering though to only give those extra goodies 1-2x weekly). They eat all forms of plants, including perennials, annuals, shrubs and tree seedlings. A rabbit’s primary dietary need (fiber) is taken care of through eating grass and hay. for more information. 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