A rabbit’s diet comprises 70% hay,20% pellets, and 10% veggies. In other words, vegetables play a pivotal role when it comes to a rabbit’s health. So what veggies can rabbits eat? Some of the best veggies and greens include arugula, carrot tops, broccoli leaves, bok choy, romaine lettuce, kale, Kohlrabi, watercress, dandelion greens, celery leaves, and mustard greens.
In general, veggies are highly nutritious and contain nutrients such as antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Rabbits are herbivores and natural grazers with a rather complex digestive system that needs diversified dietary needs.
Adult bunnies should consume a maximum of two cups of fresh veggies per serving twice or thrice per week. Dwarf rabbits weighing below five pounds should eat just a cup of fresh vegetables per serving, twice per week. This article looks in-depth at the different veggies essentially the dark leafy ones which are healthy and highly nutritious.
Dark leafy vegetables
Arugula is among the top vegetables your rabbits can eat. They are dark green and rich in calcium which makes them great for strengthening a rabbit’s teeth and bones. This is particular veggie is also rich in vitamin B9 and folic acid which helps to prevent rabbit heart diseases. Feed your rabbits Arugula moderately about twice or thrice per week.
Rabbits love carrot tops because of their high sugar content. Despite bunnies having a sweet tooth for this particular veggie, serve it moderately. Carrot tops are rich in vitamins A, C, K, and B6. The leaves are also rich in potassium, folate, manganese, and niacin which makes them a diet rich in micronutrients. It’s worth pointing out, however, that excessive carrot tops often lead to obesity.
When you want a vegetable that’s rich in fiber and low on calories, then add Broccoli Leaves to your pet’s diet. This veggie is also rich in vitamin A, calcium, iron, riboflavin, folate, selenium, pantothenic acid, thiamin, and niacin. The reason why Broccoli leaves are recommended as opposed to florets or stems is simply that they are less gassy and healthier.
This Chinese veggie has dark green leaves with low oxalic acid levels. Bok choy is also rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, sodium, manganese, and magnesium. It also contains proteins, fiber, carbohydrates, and vitamins A, B, C, and K. Serve your bunnies with Bok choy cores and stems, and if they have a sensitive digestive system, ensure that you serve it sparingly or occasionally.
Romaine Lettuce is another vegetable that’s among the top in the list. It has one of the lowest lactucarium concentrations when compared to other types of Lettuce. The rule of thumb is two cups of veggies per day for a rabbit that weighs 6 pounds. It’s worth pointing out that excessive lactucarium acts as a sedative for your bunnies, and can cause diarrhea or stomach upset. In other words, the darker and leafier your Romaine Lettuce, the healthier it is for your bunny. This particular veggie is also rich in fiber, water, Electrolytes, Antioxidants, Folic Acid, Vitamin A, K, Phosphorus & Calcium.
This nutritious veggie is low on oxalate acid and high on protein and vitamin A, C, and K. Kale is also packed with iron, calcium, and magnesium. It’s always recommended to introduce small amounts of Kale into your rabbit’s diet. This is usually because it tends to cause gas or diarrhea especially when your rabbits have a sensitive digestive system.
The leaves of the Kohlrabi or German turnip are rich in phosphorus with small amounts of calcium, sodium, sugar, fat and acidic content. This vegetable is also rich in vitamin C with is essential for a rabbit’s growth and health. Kohlrabi also contains fiber and potassium which enables a rabbit digestive system to operate effectively. Lastly, German turnip also has a potent antioxidant that helps improve a bunny’s immune system and iron absorption. It’s worth pointing out that you should always feed your bunnies kohlrabi in small amounts about once per week due to their high phosphorus levels.
This aquatic vegetable with a peppery flavor is edible for bunnies since its leaves are highly nutritious. It is packed with vitamin C and K and has low amounts of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, vitamin A, B6, and B5. We always recommend serving one or two small watercress pieces per day.
Dandelion greens are another delicious veggie to feed your rabbits. Both the leaves and flowers are edible and quite nutritious. They are rich in vitamin and minerals which essentially helps strengthen the immune system of your bunnies. Dandelion greens also help prevent heart diseases, improve a rabbit’s digestion system, and help with inflammation reduction while also preventing infections. We recommend serving your bunny four chopped leafy dandelion cups per day, twice each week.
This veggie is also essentially ideal for your bunny since it is rich in fiber, vitamin C, K, and B6. Celery leaves are highly nutritious since they also contain, Folate, Potassium, Manganese, and Phosphorous. Since the leaves are not fit for human consumption, most grocery stores usually sell celery without their leaves. For that reason, try purchasing this veggie at your local farmer’s market, or better yet you can grow it in your backyard.
Mustard green is rich in vitamin A, C, and K. It also has a considerable amount of magnesium, water, phosphorus, calcium, and iron. Although this particular veggie is nutritious, its also has high oxalic acid and should be served sparingly. The rule of thumb is to avoid mixing other high oxalic acid veggies such as spinach, beet greens, radish tips, parsley, and Swiss chard when serving Mustard green.
Non-leafy veggies are also edible however, they’re not as rich in starch as the leafy parts. Ideally, serve your two-pound weighing bunnies 1 tablespoon of non-leafy vegetables once per day. Some of the non-leafy vegetables include:
- Bell peppers
- Brussel sprouts
- Chinese pea pods
- Summer and Zucchini squash
Vegetables and other feeds that rabbits shouldn’t eat
Not all veggies are healthy for your bunnies and some are usually deadly or can cause digestive issues when ingested excessively. Below are some of the vegetables to avoid feeding your rabbits completely.
- Iceberg Lettuce
- Tomato leaves and stems
- Kidney and broad beans
- Turnip greens
- Bread and crackers
- Sugary treats
You should introduce a vegetable diet only when a rabbit is about 3 months old, of course, prior to introducing them to fresh hay. Also if a bunny has a sensitive stomach, you’ll notice that after eating the veggies they have diarrhea or loose stool. Always take note and cease serving them that specific veggie and introduce an alternative after about a week.