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What do Rabbits Eat and Drink: Rabbit Healthy Food List 2023

What do rabbits eat and drink? I’m sure many people immediately think of the cartoon Bugs Bunny nibbling on a carrot while saying, “What’s up, Doc?” While rabbits do consume carrots, they also consume a variety of other foods. Can rabbits consume cherries? 

what do rabbits eat and drink
what do rabbits eat and drink

Can rabbits consume toast? Can rabbits consume chocolate? Continue reading for more information! Rabbits require a variety of nutrients to stay healthy and thrive. They must fend for themselves in the wild when it comes to seeking different foods. 

Because of what food is and isn’t available to them, a wild rabbit’s diet will differ slightly from that of a pet rabbit.

Pet rabbits rely on their owners to give these various food sources. Pet rabbits can live for an average of 10-15 years if properly cared for by their owners.

Perhaps you’ve come because you’re thinking about getting a pet rabbit and want to know what they eat other than carrots. Rabbits require a high-fiber diet. Sugar, lipids, and calcium should all be limited in a rabbit’s diet.

What Rabbits Eat and Drink: A Fiber-Rich Diet

Hay:

Hay is one of their preferred staple foods. In comparison, it is absolutely unpleasant to us. Rabbits like nibbling on this dried grass on a daily basis. Hay must be readily available at all times. All other things consumed by rabbits are always in addition to hay.

Leafy Greens:

Pet rabbits, like their wild counterparts, require a lot of leafy greens. Lettuce, broccoli greens, carrot greens, dandelion greens, clover, celery greens, sprouts, and cilantro (fresh only), watercress, spinach, and kale are all acceptable leafy greens for rabbits.

Herbs and Flowers:

Rabbits can also eat parsley, dill, oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, mint, fennel, common nettle, common sage, lavender, Symphytum, tarragon, German Chamomile, dandelion, coriander, yarrow, lemon balm, purple coneflower, peppermint, borage, and other herbs and flowers.

Pellets:

You may also be able to save a large amount of money of guessing when it comes to what rabbits eat by supplying them with pre-formulated pellets, which you can purchase at your local pet supply store. 

You can also look for rabbit pellets on the internet. It is also vital to remember that hay and leafy greens should be offered.

Fruits:

Fruits and vegetables are also important components of a rabbit’s diet. Fruits, on the other hand, should be considered a treat for a rabbit due to their high sugar content. 

Apples (seeds removed), strawberries, pineapple, seedless grapes, pears, and peaches are all safe for rabbits to eat. Broccoli, green peppers, diced celery (ribs removed), and cucumbers are all acceptable veggies for rabbits.

Your rabbit needs 1.5 teaspoons of fruit for 5 pounds of body weight. Fruits that your rabbit can eat include:

  •  Banana
  •  Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes
  • Melon
  • Nectarine
  • Orange
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Pineapple
  • Plum
  • Raspberries
  • Seedless apple
  • Seedless cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon

Vegetables:

Begin with two of the most apparent vegetables that are portrayed as bunny favorites in literature, movies, and commercials:

what do rabbits eat and drink
what do rabbits eat and drink

Carrots are a vegetable. In the wild, bunnies do not consume root vegetables. Furthermore, carrots are high in sugar, so feed rabbits little pieces of carrot as infrequent treats, i.e., 1-3 pieces each week, depending on the size of your bunny.

Lettuce is a vegetable. Rabbits should consume lettuce in moderation, and not all lettuces are beneficial to your rabbit. Iceberg lettuce, for example, can be harmful, whereas light-colored lettuce lacks nutrition. 

Choose leafy, dark lettuces like romaine lettuce, but start with small amounts to ensure your pet doesn’t have stomach troubles.

What Can Rabbits Drink?

Water:

Water is also a vital part of a rabbit’s diet. While water should always be available for a pet rabbit, rabbits also obtain a lot of it from the grass and vegetables they eat on a regular basis.

Your rabbit should also have access to an endless quantity of fresh, clean water at all times. Although rabbits stay hydrated mostly through the hay, they consume it throughout the day. They nevertheless require unlimited access to water.

Every day, change the water in the container and clean it twice a week.

What Do Pet Rabbits Eat?

The food of your pet rabbit will, for the most part, be similar to that of a wild rabbit.

When browsing for rabbit food for sale, you will want to look for hay as well as veggies. However, you will also be shopping for pellets and snacks.

Before we get into the specifics, it’s important to note that newborn bunnies have different dietary requirements than adult rabbits. So, to divide this part down, consider what you should feed a baby bunny first and then what should you feed a fully grown rabbit.

What Do Wild Rabbits Eat?

Hay is an important part of a rabbit’s diet in the wild. In fact, it makes up between 80% and 90% of a wild rabbit’s diet. That means it should make up the lion’s share of your domesticated bunny’s diet as well.

What is the significance of hay? It offers several important health benefits for rabbits:

what do rabbits eat and drink
what do rabbits eat and drink
  • Hay fiber is essential for rabbits’ digestive systems. Blockages can arise if there is insufficient fiber. This is referred to as “gastrointestinal stasis.” It is a common — and serious — condition with rabbits, with mortality occurring within 24 hours.
  • Rabbits’ teeth are always developing, which is an odd truth. That means they must be crushed down, or else they will grow out of control, causing abscesses and other serious health issues. Hay chewing wears down the teeth, keeping them safe.
  • Chewing on hay can help a rabbit’s jaw strengthen.
  • It keeps rabbits engaged since they enjoy rummaging through their hay.

What do wild rabbits eat and drink besides hay? When the weather is warm, and food supplies are available, wild rabbits will eat a variety of grasses, weeds, vegetables, and flowers to supplement their meals.

As these food supplies dwindle in the winter, bunnies may ingest evergreen tree bark, twigs, and needles. They may also eat buds in the spring while waiting for veggies to develop and flowers to blossom.

Can Rabbits Eat Cherries?

Yes! Rabbits may consume cherries. When giving your fluffy rabbit buddy a delicious treat like cherries, moderation is essential. Allow them to eat the cherry pit since it contains cyanide, similar to apple seeds, and can be harmful if consumed. 

Cherry is a stone fruit, and the flesh of sweet or sour cherry is completely edible to both pet and wild rabbits. However, because of the cherry’s high sugar content, it is recommended that you only feed your rabbit the odd pitted cherry as a treat. 

Cherries should not be provided to your rabbits on a daily basis. Consider cherries to be a very uncommon and infrequent treat for your rabbits. A reminder that the pit must be removed.

Can Rabbits Eat Chocolate?

No! Chocolate is toxic to rabbits. When it concerns to your rabbit’s health, It should be avoided at all costs. Because chocolate includes caffeine and theobromine, bunnies and rabbits do not have the right stomach to metabolize it. 

These are known as methylxanthines, and they are exceedingly hazardous to rabbits and should never be fed to them. Chocolate can cause dehydration, seizures, and cardiac rhythms in your rabbit. Simply refuse chocolate for your rabbit!

What if your bunny consumes chocolate by accident? To be safe, take them to the veterinarian before they become dehydrated and vomiting sets in!

How often do you feed a rabbit?

The following are some general guidelines for babies. Remember that they can differ between species:

1-2 weeks of age: 5-7 cc/ml twice daily

2 to 3 weeks old: 7-13 cc/ml twice daily

3-6 weeks of age: Twice a day, 13-15 cc/ml

With the exception of jackrabbits, you must also ensure that certain types of baby bunnies are urinating and defecating after feeding. This procedure is performed with a cotton ball moistened in warm water. 

It is beyond the scope of this post, but maybe it demonstrates how crucial it is to conduct an extensive study before caring for a newborn rabbit.

Do rabbits consume their own feces?

Yes, rabbits consume their feces.

However, rabbit excrement differs from human poop in that it comes in two varieties:

Feces that are hard, spherical, and brown Cecotropes are soft and black feces.

Rabbits will consume these cecotropes in order to fully digest all of the nutrients they require.

what do rabbits eat and drink
what do rabbits eat and drink

Here’s the deal. Rabbits are herbivores that forage for grass and plants. However, because fibers are difficult to digest, the intestines cannot collect all of the nutrients from the grass in the 

first pass.

That is why rabbits evolved a practice known as coprophagy, which literally means “eating feces.” This procedure essentially provides their intestines with a second opportunity to collect all nutrients from the grass, As a result, it is also known as hindgut fermentation.

What Rabbits Can’t Eat

Now that you know what to feed a rabbit, it’s time to discuss what not to feed bunnies. Here are a couple of such examples:

  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnip
  • Tobacco leaves
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Beans, green
  • Corn
  • Avocado
  • Onions
  • Chives
  • Leeks
  • Beets
  • Bread, crackers, and other carbohydrates

Please please remember that this is not a comprehensive list of things rabbits cannot eat. If in doubt, always research a specific type of food before feeding it to your rabbit (Check out our post on what rabbits can eat).

Many outdoor plants should be avoided by your rabbit, including clover, anemone, buttercups, hemlock, ivy, and foxglove. Again, This is not by any ways an exhaustive list, so make sure your yard is secure before letting your bunny out to eat your plants.

Suggestions for Action

  • If you must alter your rabbit’s food, do it gradually. A rapid change can cause intestinal issues. It can also be fatal to a baby rabbit, an elderly rabbit, a sick rabbit, or any rabbit who is especially frail or agitated.
  • If your rabbit has never eaten a particular food before, introduce it slowly and observe what occurs. If your rabbit digests it without difficulty, you can add extra.
  • Foods that induce gas are extremely harmful to your rabbits because they cannot excrete it. Fennel and lemon balm are two herbs that might help reduce bloating and gas.
  • If your rabbit feels drowsy, hunches over, or loses his appetite, it may be suffering from gastrointestinal problems.

Conclusion:

A rabbit’s nutrition might go awry for a variety of reasons, whether it is an adult or a newborn. So, before you attempt to care for a pet rabbit of your own, do your homework thoroughly. That way, you can assure your bunny’s safety and wellbeing!

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