Fresh Food for Rabbits: Vegetables, Fruit and Herbs

Fresh food is an essential part of a healthy diet for rabbits. Vegetables, fruit, and herbs should therefore have a permanent place on the rabbit’s diet. We explain what to look out for and which fresh food is well tolerated by rabbits.

The main component of rabbit food is high-quality hay. However, fresh food is also very important for a balanced, healthy rabbit diet. In addition to grasses, this also includes vegetables, fruit, and herbs. To ensure that your rabbits also tolerate the fresh food well, we have a few basic tips for you.

Fresh food for rabbits: You must observe these 3 points

Give your rabbits fresh food several times a day but in smaller quantities. Test carefully which types of fresh food your rabbits like and tolerate well.
Rapid feed changes should be avoided as they can lead to gastrointestinal problems. Slowly get your rabbits used to new (fresh) foods.
Only feed seasonal fruit and vegetables or those from organic farming, as they are less polluted.
In addition, note that the largest component (at least two-thirds) of the fresh feed should consist of leafy green fodder.
Rabbits should eat about 100 grams of fresh food per kilogram of body weight per day. Be careful not to give too much or too little of it: too much fresh food can lead to digestive problems.

If you follow the tips mentioned and only feed your rabbits well-tolerated types of fresh food, you will ensure that your rabbits are healthy and well-being. To help you, we have compiled lists of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that rabbits tolerate well.

Rabbits can eat this vegetable

Especially in the winter months, vegetables are a valuable alternative to fresh meadow herbs and plants for rabbits. Make sure you feed them as much leaf as possible. Because nibbling on leaves promotes tooth abrasion and dental health in rabbits.

As a rule of thumb, vegetables should make up about a quarter of the daily food ration for rabbits. When putting together the feeding plan, use the following list of vegetables that rabbits tolerate well as a guide.

Well-tolerated vegetables for rabbits:

  • chicory
  • iceberg lettuce
  • endive salad
  • fennel
  • Lamb’s lettuce
  • Garden bamboo (not lucky bamboo!)
  • carrot + carrot greens
  • lettuce
  • parsnip
  • Celery with leaves (stalks and celeriac)
  • turnip
  • Jerusalem Artichoke

There are other vegetables that are suitable for rabbits, but with a few conditions. These are:

  • Spinach leaves (in small quantities and with other vegetables)
  • Cucumber (feed slowly, otherwise the droppings may be too soft)
  • Pumpkin (feed only in small amounts)
  • Radishes (are spicy and therefore only feed them in small amounts from time to time; leaves are well tolerated, however)
  • Cabbage varieties (e.g. cauliflower, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, savoy cabbage, rocket) have a flatulent effect and should therefore be fed very slowly. Start with easier to digest cabbage varieties (kohlrabi with leaves, broccoli). If your rabbits are given dry food, cabbage is not suitable!

Note: You should absolutely avoid onions and avocados, in the worst case you can poison your rabbits with them. You should also avoid spicy vegetables and tubers such as ginger, chili and garlic.

Rabbits tolerate these herbs

For rabbits, herbs and meadow greens are an essential part of a species-appropriate diet. In addition, many herbs also have a healing effect on rabbits in the event of illnesses and can support recovery. However, they do not replace a visit to the veterinarian!

However, almost all herbs are high in calcium. Herbs are therefore only suitable for rabbits in small quantities and should not be fed too often. We have put together a list of herbs that are well tolerated by rabbits.

Herb list for rabbits:

  • basil
  • borage
  • plantain
  • nettle (also dried)
  • dill
  • goosefoot
  • grass
  • coltsfoot
  • chamomile (also dried)
  • chervil
  • coriander
  • lovage
  • dandelion (also dried)
  • Alfalfa (also dried)
  • marjoram
  • mallow
  • Report
  • lemon balm
  • oregano
  • Parsley (root and leaves; not for pregnant rabbits as it can cause premature birth)
  • peppermint
  • marigolds
  • sage
  • yarrow
  • Sunflowers (flowers and leaves)
  • buckhorn
  • thyme

Note: All aromatic herbs (e.g. parsley, dill, and borage) and medicinal plants (peppermint, chamomile, sage, etc.) should only be given in small amounts and only now and then. Calcium-rich herbs should also not be fed along with oxalic-rich vegetables (such as spinach) as this can lead to urinary grittiness or bladder stones. Some herbs, such as parsley, can be particularly problematic for pregnant females.

Rabbits can eat this fruit

Fruit is very welcome food for rabbits and they like to eat it. Due to the high sugar content, however, you should only give your rabbits small amounts of fruit. Use the following list of fruits that are well tolerated by rabbits as a guide when putting together your feeding plan.

The most tolerable fruit is the apple. Other fruits that can be fed occasionally in (very) small amounts are for example:

  • pineapple
  • banana
  • pear
  • blackberries
  • strawberries
  • rose hip
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • peach (best pitted)
  • Leaves and twigs from apple trees, for example, are also suitable as feed, provided they are unsprayed and untreated.

Note: Fruit should only be offered in small quantities. Too much stone fruit can cause diarrhea. Special caution is required with exotic fruits such as passion fruit, papaya, and lychee. While they can be fed in very small amounts once in a while, they can cause indigestion. Therefore, if in doubt, avoid it.

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