SAFE FOOD LIST FOR RABBITS
Safe Food for Rabbits-
This is as comprehensive a list as I can come up with, I may have left a few things out and would be happy to hear from you, i will add them and will post comments to this page! The names given are the common names, and I’ve given all the ones I know. However it is not a guide to the nutritional value of these foods and as always when starting rabbits on a natural feeding program go slow so the gut flora can adapt to the new feeds you are feeding your rabbits.
RABBIT SAFE FRUIT-
(Feed very, very sparingly… Super sugary! Up to 2 tbsp daily) :
Apple (NO core or anything containing seeds, unless all seeds removed)
Apricots (NO PITS)
Banana (fruit and peel)
Blackberry (stem, leaf and fruit)
Cherry (NO PITS)
Currant (black and red)
Grapes (fruit, leaf and vine are edible)
Orange (NO PEEL- segments only)
Melon (all melons)
Papaya (NO SEEDS)
Peach (NO PITS)
Plum (NO PITS)
Raspberries (twigs, and leaves – astringent)
Strawberries (and leaves)
Tomato (red fruit ONLY; no stems or leaves)
Tangerine (NO PEEL – segments only)
RABBIT SAFE VEGETABLES-
Baby Sweet Corns (like in stirfry)***
Bell Peppers (green, yellow, red, orange…)
Bok Choy/Pak Choy
Carrot Greens (tops)
Carrot (limited amount, due to high sugar content)
Celery (cut into small pieces to limit choking on strings)
Chicory Greens (aka Italian Dandelion… see discussion here )
Clover (WHITE only)
Collard Greens (be cautious, may cause bladder sludge (high calcium)
Dandelion Greens (no pesticides)
Eggplant (purple fruit only; leaves toxic)
Grass (if cut from your own chemical/fertilizer/poison free back yard-I spread it out and dry it)
Lettuce (Dark Green/Red Leaf, Butter, Boston, Bibb, or Romaine – NO ICEBERG [no
nutritional value, may cause diarrhea])
Pak Choy/Bok Choy
Radish tops (Limited amounts: can cause gas)
Rhubarb (RED STALKS ONLY – POISONOUS LEAF)
Squash: Yellow, Butternut, Pumpkin, Zucchini
SAFE IN MODERATION:
Comfrey-I feed fresh young leaves and also dry for winter tonic, but most breeders say they feed it slighty wilted
Dock BEFORE FLOWERING
Goutweed BEFORE FLOWERING
Ground elder BEFORE FLOWERING
Tomatoes(fruit only leaves and stocks toxic!)
SAFE TREE AND SHRUB LEAVES-Should always feed only fresh young leaves:
Poplar (not black)
Basil: Lemon, Globe, Thai, Mammoth, Sweet, Genevieve
Dill: Fernleaf, Mammoth
Lavender (Not for pregnant does; can cause fetal expulsion)
Mint: Pineapple sage, pineapple mint, apple mint, orange mint, peppermint, lemon thyme, cinnamon basil, lime basil, lemon basil, sweet basil, licorice basil, “licorice mint” (anise hyssop), spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, and basil mint.
Parsley: Curly and Flat-Leaf
Sage: Pineapple is quite good
Salad Burnet / Small Burnet
Posted on February 26, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged flowers, food, fruit, herbs, leaves, moderation, natural food for rabbits, safe, shrub, tree, twigs, vegetables. Bookmark the permalink. 72 Comments.
Awesome and very informative list. Thank you!
Wat can I feed my bunny like drink wise. Water etc. ?
Water is the most important feed of all, you can add certain supplements to the water such as ACV(apple cider vinegar) or GSE(grapefruit seed extract)
May i ask a question… I live in a place almost surrounded with grass. I don’t know what kind of grass it is, if it is cogon or carabao grass. I feed it to my rabbit only a single straw, without drying it up but washed. Can I feed lots of it to my rabbits? Please answer…
A rabbits diet in the wild would consist mostly of grass. I would feed a lot more than you are, start by adding more each day and see how the rabbits do.
do you have pictures of grass that rabbits eat? Can you email those to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. thank you :)))
I found your site through the TSP program with Jack. I just finished listening to the programs you did on The Human Path. I have several questions I would like to discuss with you. One question I will ask here is do you see any problem with making herbal tea’s and giving them to the rabbits in their water?
I have a large number of herbs that my wife and I use and until I can grow them for the rabbits this spring in the garden, I would like to start giving our heard the benefits of herbs.
If you would please email me, I would like to discus many other topics.
Thanks for all the information you give out, it is greatly appreciated.
I see no problem with adding tea to your rabbits water, start out slow as with any new food item, and don’t overdue it rabbits have lived for a longtime without tea! (a good one would be purpleconeflower)
I made up a tea consisting of 2 table spoons of cut dried Comfrey, 2 Dandelion and 2 Echinacea in a quart and a half of water. Boiled it and made a concentrate. I mixed a half cup of that into a gallon of water. You can just tell a color change in the water. We will watch the rabbits over the next several days to see if their is any noticeable change in their stool.
In your list you wrote papaya(no seeds). Why? I usually give it with the seeds and it looks that they like both. What is the danger?
Studies were done with rabbits and papaya seeds. After three months of daily use(larger amounts than they would naturally eat or they used an extract), the rabbits were found almost completely infertile. The subjects showed no effect on their sex drive. The contraceptive effects were completely reversible after 45 days of non-use. Most small fruits (except berries) pits or seeds may contain enzymes they could be poisonous to rabbits such as apple seeds
I see on your list Clover (white). Why not the purple?
I have fed all types of clover to my rabbits (I have not had issues with MY rabbits), there is information out there that list other clovers as toxic. When I make hay all types of clovers are in it I still feed it to my rabbits. Something you have to try on your herd and see how they react
Thank you for the info. My hay has all kinds of clover as well and I have fed fresh clover of other types with no adverse effects as well. I love your site and all the great info you give.
Why do you not have willow under the leaves section? Aren’t those fed to them by many people?
I know many people dry their leaves for the winter, would you recommend this?
Willow is listed under the safe trees, and yes I highly recommend willow. Great tonic and coccident
When you feed pumpkin seeds do you feed ones in or out of the shell?
I feed them the whole seed, shell and all
I was wondering about dates with the pit removed.
This is something I have never fed my rabbits, I would try on some rabbits that are headed to freezer camp and see how they react
Can rabbits eat the leaves on pumpkin plants or are they poisonous?
Hi there just a question can herbs be dryed out and kept as well or just grass I just want to have all year round so am not sure if the same nutriances will be there
Yes, I dry most of the same stuff I feed green in the growing months, I add this to their hay mix in the winter.
I feed my rabbits the leaves and vines of most squash family plants
Is it safe to feed dried eucalyptus leaves and eucalyptus leaf tea in moderation
I have heard that they are not to be fed to rabbits. I have never used eucalyptus as a food source for my rabbits.
Would it be safe to use eucalyptus leaf tea around them as a flea repellant
I am finding conflicting reports about whether or not horsetail is safe. My rabbits devour it, it’s their favourite green. What do you know about it?
This is something I am not familiar with, this does not grown in my area, I humans and horses can eat it you could try a small amount on rabbit destined for freezer camp. This would give you test subjects
I get free veggies at my workplace, and I normally feed them to my boyfriend’s bunny.. Lettuce, tomato, zucchini..
I didn’t see anything on here about pickles, and we’ve given her a few pieces of those. We’re a bit nervous now because the acidity of pickles.
Please let me know if pickles are for her or not. She loves them, but we’re not giving her anyone until I can find a definite answer, can’t find it anywhere on the internet.
Never fed pickles to my rabbits, I do add apple cider vinegar to their water. I do not know how this would affect your rabbit. I always figure when in doubt don’t.
Super helpful. Thank you so much. There was so much more than I thought, I am really glad I took the time to read through and take notes.
I have been growing a few native eastern prairie plants in my yard. One that does really well is Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum). Its a perennial and self seeds too. It creates a good amount of biomass and there are papers discussing its use as a fodder crop. Although it is native to North America, it is only grown as a crop in Europe and Asia for fodder for cattle, swine and rabbits. Do you know anything about it? I think it can grow in Maine… maybe it already does. I am going to try feeding very small amounts to my herd as see how it goes.
Thanks so much for your blog. I spend a lot of reading up on all your posts!
Myles (Delhi, Ontario, Canada)
Trying lots of new stuff this year defiantly will check this one out. Thanks
just an update on this… I started adding (new growth) leaves of Cup Plant to the daily feed greens since I have so much of this stuff. So far no issues. They definitely like it. I try to give as much variety as possible throughout the week. But I rely heavily on broad-leaved plantain, dandelions, swiss chard, sunflowers, and other when available. I also have a dozen Bocking 4 Comfrey plants started. Such amazing plants. I love cutting them back and watching how fast they regrow! Rabbits seemed to like them fresh or wilted… hope to see some more posts from you soon. Thanks
For the birch is it only new growth and leaves or everything?Thank you!
I feed leaves, twigs, and small branches.
Question….How exactly do you dry grass, leaves, etc. I’m rather new to owning a bunny, and I’d like to know as much as I can. Thanks!
How safe are olive and pine bark/ leaves? My buns nibble on it quite regularly and seem to do fine.
Rabbit care guides always not to feed rabbits lawnmower clippings . However, if you empty the grass box at once and spread cut grass thinly over wire mesh eg.rabbit run roof,then it dries really quickly in the sun. I turn it once and it can be stored once dry. I don’t store it long term but feed it while still fresh and green (but dry) . My grass only gets cut every few weeks and is pretty patchy from moving runs around ,but the clippings are quite long. K
When I was a kid I used to gather all the clippings from our house and the neighbors yards, dry it the same way you did and stored it in pillow cases
It makes so much sense-I sometimes think these care guides are in league with Pets ‘R’ Us chain stores and their £4 a kilo hay. I saw a tub about 4 inches across ,filled with compost and a few grass seeds on top to ” grow your own kitty grass”. It was £5. Are people really that stupid ? I have 4 pet rabbits,all rehomed for various reasons-kids bored with them-abandoned at rabbit show as disqualified for being 100g over the mini lop limit etc. I am always asking our laptop random rabbit questions and your site very often gives the answers. I enjoyed reading the worm composting bit last night. I forage a lot for the rabbits among hedges walking to and from my son’s school. I am sprouting and shallow growing things indoors now as growth is slowing and we are getting the odd frost. All the best, Kirsteen
You also have to watch the calcium levels and acidity of all of these food items. Since buns naturally excrete much calcium, feeding them foods high in the substance can lead to urinary issues with some being quite severe. For example, cilantro has far less calcium than parsley. As far as acidity, too much citrus or even tomato can cause digestive issues, heart burn and acid reflux. Clover is very high in sugar and should be given in e extreme moderation. Iceberg lettuce is higher in calcium than romaine. I’m the owner of a rescue bun (and 5 cats) for more than a year now. We have an excellent exotic pet vet and I’ve been doing extensive reading during this time. With that being said, kudos for an awesome site and a very extensive list!
I agree. I think just feeding any one of the food items would result in problems, a mix of many will give more vitamins and just a better balance.
You forgot sweet potatoes, a favorite. Canned is good. Great for mixing ground pellets (to a fine powder) and mashed sweet potato into golf ball sized balls. They love it and good for them. Esp great if they have problems eating, stomach upset, loss of appetite or been sick (or needs to gain some weight) or.for the elderly or as a treat. They love them. Only one a day thow or you prob get soft stools. Make them firm with just a little water for making balls. Use a small ice cream scooper them hand form the balls.
I just got 2 Flemish bunnies a week & 1/2 ago. I had bunnies over 30 years ago. Your site has been great for info on what I can feed them out of my yard & garden. 1 site was giving an amount on how much it cost to feed your bunnies it was a lot . But they did not say anything about what you might have in your yard or garden. I think this is so much better for your pets & yourself to feed what you have grown yourself.
This list has been my go to list for over a year ! Anytime I question if my rabbit can have something I got right to this page. Never let’s me down! 😀
So appreciate this full list very Kool my bunnies say thank you. ..
Thank you for the information. There is one tree that is a must have on your list it is tree lucerne Tagesaste (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cytisus_proliferus) The rabbits tell me it is the favorite by far! they will leave everything and eat this plant and strip the bark in one night off even 1″ stems. Used as a fodder crop in South Africa and New zealand. Very fast
growing (and attractive)and flowers in winter when everything is bare and grows to over 4m. It gets seed pods which are not difficult to propagate.
I dont feed pellets to the growing rabbits once they are weaned and cut heaps of green grass and weeds (including buttercup, dock, milk thistles which is a favorite and other stuff I have not identified) but make sure they have more than enough (so hopefully don’t have to eat anything they don’t like) and throw the wilted stuff away at every feed and they seem to be doing well. We are fortunatate to have crack willow and white poplar in abundance as well as the tree lucerne.
Your safe food list for rabbits was extremely helpful. I keep a copy on my kitchen notice board and a copy in my purse for when I’m shopping. My rabbits are loving the new variation in their diet, and a few treats thank you very much.
I would love it if you would put pics with your food list!!!❤️❤️❤️
I would need help with that one
Quite the lust! Thank you sooo much😍I have 3 lop-eared bunnies( whom I LOVE) , and wanted to be sure I was givng them healthy fruits and veggies. Ive been giving them plaintain, but have fresh kale and swiss chard too. Is it safe to give them small chunks of the srems as well? Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience🤗🤗🤗
I give them all the leftover stems when cutting up the kale and chard to be cooked in the kitchen. I love kale and chard!
Would carrot tops be good to dry and mix into hay? I saw that it was on the list of safe foods, just wondering if they would be good for that?
Yes they would work great.
Are grapevines acceptable for chewing?
Thank you for a nice long list of safe foods for my rabbit. I’m going to print and post on my fridge
I really appreciate your list. I have a question about the safety of sorrel but was not able to find it on your lists. Do you know if it is safe? Thanks
Yes common sorrel also sometimes called garden sorrel, spinach dock, or narrow leave dock is ok to feed to rabbits. I have fed it many times to my rabbits have a few plants and always and it to their green feed.
I appreciate your rapid response. One of our bunnies loves it now, the other has no interest. Go figure.
Thank you for this extensive list. I am cleaning up the rhubarb before cold weather hits and I have several nice stalks, still edible, but just slightly too far gone to save for later. I know the leaves are poisonous, so I looked up the stalks on-line. Most sites just repeat the same info. I can see your list comes from real-life experience by the additional information provided.
You can add cottonwood to your twig list. Our bunnies love it at anytime of year but especially in late winter. The stems green-up early when there is still deep snow on the ground.
Thank you! Sarah McClellan McGrath, Alaska
I have questions about oats. What is safe/best oatwise? Can I buy big bags of unprocessed oats from the feed store? What about oat grass and oat hay? I read a few blogs that said they thought less processed oats are best and their buns do fine with them. I know not all bloggers have reliable info, so I tried on a few headed for the freezer- they LOVED them and did fine. Some even leave me the shells in their bowl. But, I spoke to a more experienced rabbit owner the other day who said never give them oats ‘in the shell’. Now I am second guessing myself. But also wondering about the oat grass/ sprouts as the oats my bunnies drop starts growing in the poo pan below their cage.
By the way, love your site AND your ‘Beyond the Pellet’ book! Its never made it to the book shelf as I keep going through it too frequently! I am in sunny Phoenix where grass and gardens are a bit of a learning curve, but I love the info from the book about Moringas- mine are almost big enough to start harvesting bunny and human food! So excited!
I see banana fruit and peel listed as safe, but no mention of banana leaves themselves. I am here to testify that after 3 years as a breeder in Philippines, banana leaves are safe and nutritious for rabbits.
Thanks for the info on banana leaves- I wondered. I have been feeding my freezer bound bunnies bamboo leaves and shoots for a few months and they love them, and all seem fine. As well, for desert dwellers like myself- mesquite branches, leaves and flowers are fine. Feed them to my whole heard often in the spring and summer, for at least 2 or 3 years now. They are great. Bunnies love them, works their teeth. They run around like puppies carrying a stick! I believe pods are ok too, but I avoid them because they usually look buggy.
Great list. Thank you. My bunnies LOVE cottonwood tree leaves. I gather them in the autumn when the leaves fall off the tree, and when they are totally dry, I store them in a huge paper bag from Home Depot. They make great treats – all my bunnies love them.
Question: Is stevia (pure Reb A) safe for rabbits? I adopted some obese rabbits & want to make some treats without any sugar. Thanks!
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