Last Updated on May 31, 2023 by keno
Often confused as vegetables, cucumbers are actually a fruit due to the presence of seeds. Nonetheless, rabbit caregivers who want to provide their pets with a balanced diet often wonder, can rabbits eat cucumbers? Besides answering the question in detail, we’ll also look at the nutritional value the fruit offers, among other relatable topics around a rabbit’s cucumber diet.
Can rabbits eat cucumbers?
The short answer is yes; rabbits can eat cucumbers. However, they need to be at least 12 weeks old. Considering that cucumbers are fruits, you need to feed your bunny as treats. In other words, do so occasionally and moderately. This is due to the fact that fruits only make up 5% of a rabbit’s entire diet.
The rule of thumb is to feed your rabbits a thin slice or two of cucumber per serving twice per week. This is after incorporating their main diet of hay substituted with vegetables and a limited pellet amount. Besides the fruit, other edible parts of the cucumber plant for rabbits include the skin, seeds, and leaves which you also need to feed your rabbits sparingly.
Introducing cucumbers to your rabbit’s diet
As you introduce cucumbers to your rabbit’s diet, always ensure that they’re properly washed to get rid of any dirt or harmful pesticide residue. After that slice the cucumber into two thin slices per serving, then again cut them into smaller bite-sized pieces. This makes it easier for your rabbits to consume the fruit and also makes it easier to gradually feed your pet while monitoring their reaction after eating the cucumber.
Within 24 hours after your rabbit has consumed the two cucumber slices, check for any abnormality. This could be your pet displaying signs of discomfort or restlessness. Perhaps they could be having softer poop or diarrhea. These signs and symptoms are clear indicators that the cucumber has negatively affected your rabbit’s digestive system. Under such circumstances, stop feeding your bunny any pieces of cucumber and consult your veterinarian immediately.
The nutritional value cucumbers provide rabbits
Cucumbers have a high water content, around 96% which essentially helps keep your rabbits hydrated. This particular fruit also contains limited amounts of vitamins C and K and minerals such as silica which contribute to the proper functionality of a rabbit’s organ and overall well-being. To be specific, the vitamin C contained in cucumbers helps strengthen your rabbit’s immunity. Vitamin K on the other hand is essential when it comes to bone development. Lastly, silica contained in cucumbers is an essential mineral that helps to strengthen a rabbit’s connective tissues in their bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
Risks of feeding rabbits excessive cucumber
Due to the high water content contained in cucumbers, feeding your rabbits excessively may lead to diarrhea or a rabbit producing soft stool. Additionally, due to the low nutrient levels, the fruit contains, feeding bunnies too much cucumber may lead to fill-ups. This may, in turn, prevent them from eating their main hay diet, as a result, leading to nutritional deficiencies.