Can rabbits live on carrots? Should your rabbit have lettuce? Knowing what to feed your rabbit enables you to keep him happy and healthy. But what rabbit food should you feed?
Rabbit Food For These True Herbivores
Rabbit Food Types
The basic foods to feed your pet rabbit break down into four groups
- leafy greens
- vegetables and fruit
Notice that these all belong to the plant family. Rabbits are true herbivores and should never have meat, dairy, or eggs. Think of them as your vegan friends!
Pellets, Should You Feed Them to Your Rabbit?
Many commercial breeders feed pellets. They are convenient and quite cost-effective when purchased in bulk. However, vets recommend that you feed these in small quantities, if at all. (source: innersourcevets.au)
Read Do Rabbits Need Pellets? for more details.
Broccoli and greens
What about Fruit?
Rabbits love fruit. You might offer a small piece occasionally as a treat. However, avoid feeding too much. Like watery greens, fruit contains a lot of water. And like carrots, it’s high in sugars.
Save the fruit for an occasional tidbit treat.
Vegetables to Avoid or Limit
Many people are surprised to learn that carrots should be fed quite sparingly to rabbits. After all, cartoons and advertisements often feature rabbits eating these crunchy vegetables.
But carrots are high in carbohydrates. Feeding them to your rabbit is similar to giving candy to a child in that it causes the sugars to create an imbalance in the gut bacteria. Carrots are best kept as an infrequent treat.
Also, feeding too many high-carb foods such as carrots leads to unhealthy weight gain.
Iceberg lettuce and other watery greens
While a little iceberg lettuce won’t hurt your rabbit, these types of greens contain mostly water. As such, they don’t provide important nutrients.
Other Foods to NOT Feed Your Rabbit
Although you might enjoy cookies and cakes, these are not rabbit food.Not only might they give him an upset stomach, the high calories they contain cause weight gain.
Other foods to avoid include:
While a small nibble of these might not be harmful, it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Rabbit food should always be plant-based. Do not feed
- Meats, Poultry, Fish, etc