Are you having a rabbit as a pet? We do love our fluffy friends and try to take care of them as much as we can. But, do we already give them the best diet option?
We know that rabbits are herbivores who eat leaves, fruits, and vegetables. We are also normally thinking about carrots as the rabbit’s favorite food. But, is it? Is there any type of fruits or vegetables that might be the next carrot for your rabbit’s appetite? Here is essential knowledge for you so you can offer your fluffy friend the best food option.
Not Only Mainstream Carrot, Here Are 24 Fruits You Can Feed For Rabbit
It is not all about carrot!
What we have to know first is that the commercial image about rabbits eating carrots and lettuce for most of their diet option is a misconception. In fact, rabbits do not naturally eat vegetables or fruits in the wild, and carrots are more suitable as an occasional treat rather than the main course because carrots have a high level of sugar.
Hay and grass are better
What is better than carrots are clean and fresh hay or grass, which should be the majority of the rabbit’s diet with portion around 80 to 90 percent. Hay is important due to the fiber in it. Fiber can help to wears down the rabbit’s teeth. Your rabbits need to grind hay or grass between their back teeth. We know that rabbits’ teeth grow continually around 2 mm until 3 mm a week. But overgrow teeth can cause a problem like mouth ulcers or difficulty eating from misalignment of the teeth or also known as malocclusions. Besides that, hay and grass are also important to keep rabbits’ gut working so the rabbits can digest properly.
Giving hay to your rabbits can also be a little bit tricky. The best kind of young rabbits or about seven months of age is alfalfa hay because it contains high calcium and protein to help the baby grow. But you should not feed the older rabbit with Alfafa hay because the high calcium in it may lead to urinary until kidney problems. From now on, you can switch the alfalfa with timothy hay or oat hay. So when it comes to feeding your rabbits, it is not only the food type, but you also have to notice the timing.
Fruits for rabbits’ treat
How about fruits? Can rabbits eat fruit? Of course, they can! You can offer your rabbit with a wide range of type of fruits from:
- some berries like blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries.
But you have to be careful with apple or pear seeds. The seeds are toxic for your rabbits because it contains cyanide, just like the pits of apricots, peaches, and plumps.
You also only have to feed your rabbits with small amount of fruits occasionally. Usually, fruits are high in sugar and too much sugar in your rabbits’ diet can cause dental problem and obesity. Oranges are also high in acid which can lead to stomach problem or mouth ulcers. So give your rabbits small portions of fruits for once or twice a week would be great!
Veggie for rabbits
You can also begin to introduce vegetables for your rabbits after three months of age. Make sure your rabbits can easily digest the type of vegetables that you offer by giving them on by one. The type of vegetables that your rabbits able to eat on a daily basis include:
- fresh hay which is, again, essential in rabbit’s diet as much as alfalfa with fiber and protein content in it
- carrot and radish leaves (yes, the leaves part is important! rabbits find it tasty, anyway) since the entire part of carrot and radish is not that good four your rabbits’ sugar level, so it is more advisable to only feed your rabbits with the leaves part.
- endive, which is good for rabbits’ liver and vitamin B and mineral supply
- watercress, a purifying plant that is suitable for rabbits who are suffering from obesity
- clover, which is one of your rabbits’ favorite and helps their digestive system and their respiratory.
- lettuce, which is very hydrating for your rabbits. Again, what you have to know is not every type of lettuce is good for your rabbits. The iceberg variety, for example, is not recommended for your rabbits’ diet at all because it contains lactucarium which is harmful to your rabbits when they consume it in large portions. Well, a large amount of any type of lettuce can cause stomach upset on your rabbits because they are unused to it, after all. So take care of the portion!
Those are the variety of vegetables that your rabbit can eat daily. But some type of vegetables are suitable for the diet but should only eat once or twice a week. Those include:
- red, green, or yellow pepper, cauliflower
Commercial food for rabbits
How about pallet food, or any other commercial food that we usually find in the market for rabbits in the form of nuggets or muesli? Unfortunately, eating those type of food may lead to weight gain on your rabbits and make them less attracted to natural hay or grass. Not all of them are well balanced for your rabbits’ diet. The muesli type for specific is actually not that healthy for your rabbits’ teeth and stomach. On the other hand, you can offer pallet and nuggets form for your rabbits’ diet by ensuring they get all the nutrients that they need. So look up the content of the commercial food, make sure at least these requirements
That is all you need to know about 24 fruits and vegetables you can feed for rabbit beside the mainstream carrot. Hope it helps and may your rabbits always healthy and happy!