Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by keno
Vegetables play a key role when it comes to providing nutritional value for your rabbit. In other words, they basically substitute a rabbit’s primary diet which is hay. Although we have a wide variety of edible veggies for rabbits, the main question however is, can they eat broccoli? Keep reading to find out….
Can rabbits eat broccoli?
Yes, rabbits can eat fresh broccoli. We recommend feeding the vegetable to rabbits that are 12 weeks or older. However, just like any other vegetable serve them moderately. The rule of thumb in terms of quantity is one or two pieces of broccoli leaves per serving once or twice per week. Other than the leaves, avoid feeding your bunnies the stems or florets. These parts lead to stomach bloats or your rabbits producing gas.
Introducing broccoli to your rabbit’s diet
Prior to serving your rabbit broccoli, make sure that you wash the vegetables thoroughly to remove any pesticide residue. Secondly, when it comes to introducing broccoli to their diet, do so gradually. Start with half a leaf by chopping it into small edible pieces before serving your bunny. Wait for 24 hours to see how its stomach reacts to the new vegetable diet.
A day after eating the broccoli, if your rabbit has stomach sensitivity resulting in diarrhea, soft poop, or gas, discontinue serving the vegetable. However, if your bunny has no stomach-related issues or signs of distress, increase their broccoli intake per serving from half to one leaf twice per week. Finally, after a few weeks, increase their intake from one broccoli leaf to two per serving, twice per week, alongside hay as the main diet.
The nutritional value broccoli provides rabbits
Broccoli is nutrient-packed as it contains high levels of vitamin C, E, and K, which helps improve a rabbit’s immunity. In addition, these essential vitamins also contribute to the functionality of a rabbit’s vital organs (the brain, heart, and liver) as well as promoting their growth and development. In addition, the vegetable also contains calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and magnesium which helps strengthen a rabbit’s bones and teeth.
Risks of feeding rabbit’s excessive broccoli
Although broccoli provides nutritional value for your rabbits, excessive intake has adverse effects on their health. Too much broccoli intake leads to bloating or gas in rabbits which causes pain, lethargy, or lack of appetite. The other problem caused by feeding rabbits excessive broccoli is diarrhea and obesity due to the sugar content contained in the leafy green.
As we have seen rabbits can eat broccoli, however, moderately and on occasion. When introducing broccoli to your bunnies, do so gradually to avoid any digestive issues. Lastly, always bear in mind that vegetables in general are a supplementary diet to a rabbit’s main feed which is hay, substituted with pellets and fruits as treats.