Pet owners can sometimes have issues understanding what they should be feeding their pets, whether it’s a cat or dog, or a reptile of some kind. Rabbits have become an increasingly common choice for pets. They are soft and adorable, and although messy, can be great companions.
So, what kind of food do they eat? Can they eat more rare vegetables like collard greens? The answer is yes, but continue reading to understand how often and what other foods should be in their diet.
What Do Rabbits Eat?
Diets differ across animal species and it’s important to know what you should and shouldn’t be feeding them. A healthy diet will ensure your pet’s overall well-being and keep them around longer, so a good diet is vital. Rabbits are herbivores with a high requirement for fiber.
The aim is to feed them a diet based on what they would eat in the wild. This includes grasses, vegetables, and fruit found growing outside. They are herbivores so leafy greens are a great option, but only as part of their diet. Their diet should be composed of 85% good quality hay or grass, 10% greens, and 5% rabbit-specific pellets.
What Foods Should You Avoid?
Fruit is okay for rabbits in small amounts only, but it should be generally avoided. Rabbits have rather sensitive stomachs and can’t have certain foods in abundance. Fruit should be seen as a treat rather than part of a rabbit’s everyday diet.
If you notice a certain food is causing them digestive issues, stop feeding it to them and revert to safe veggies and hay. Rabbits are prone to obesity and overfeeding should be avoided. A balanced diet would include hay/grass, a variety of veg, and some extruded pellets. However, keep an eye on them in case they eat a lot of pellets and have an aversion to greens. Ask your vet for advice on feeding your rabbit.
Certain foods to avoid would be anything that is not a vegetable, such as processed snacks humans might enjoy. The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund has a list of poisonous plants for rabbits to avoid including daffodils, tomato plants, and onions.
Feeding Rabbits Collard Greens
Rabbits can definitely eat collard greens, along with other leafy green vegetables. Offer small amounts of raw greens initially and check that it does not cause your rabbit to have diarrhea. If they enjoy the greens you can continue to feed them in moderation along with a variety of other vegetables. For rabbits not accustomed to eating a variety of vegetables, you may need to persist with your offerings until you find a few that they like. You can try broccoli, coriander, and pumpkin to name a few.
Keep your rabbits healthy and on a balanced diet of 85% grassy hay, 10% veg, and 5% pellets on a daily basis. Be careful of plants in your garden, as they are not all suitable for your rabbit. In moderation, collard greens are certainly a tasty, healthy snack for your rabbit.
Featured Image Credit: Greg Reese, Pixabay