When we think of animals eating lettuce or types of produce in a farmer’s garden, we almost certainly think of rabbits. These adorable little creatures have developed a habit of being the consummate vegetarians that will eat just about anything they can get their little paws on.
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Not All Veggies Are Good For Bunnies
However, there are some foods that we should definitely not feed rabbits, like mushrooms or chocolate, and others that we are not quite sure whether they can be fed to rabbits or not.
Well, fear not! For today, we are going to answer that question for one of these vegetables, the enigmatic and beautiful cabbage that is known as bok choy. Can rabbits eat it? Let’s find out!
What Is Bok Choy?
Bok Choy has many names, including Pak Choi and Pok Choi, but generally they are the same type of vegetable, which is a Chinese cabbage.
Generally, these plants have big and wide green leaves that sprout upward around a pure white root, where they form a cluster at the top. This cluster is most reminiscent of mustard greens, while the root itself looks a lot like fennel.
Often found in Asian cuisine, the flavor of this plant can be compared to a mix of spinach and water chestnut, while being more subtle yet slightly sweeter and less bitter.
The leaves tend to have a far stronger flavor than the white bulb they sprout from, and are used far more in cooking.
This food, as a name would suggest, is a member of the Brassica or the cabbage and mustard families, being most closely related to turnips and Napa cabbages.
While they are originally native to China – specifically the area around the Yangtze River — they have spread rapidly from this region in the last few years.
This is due to the plant being incredibly winter hardy, as well as generally hardy, making them an ideal crop to grow in colder climates, such as the ones in Europe.
You can have Bok Choy as an accompaniment to many dishes, and in a lot of ways it is basically a more flavorful cabbage substitute.
Can Rabbits Eat Bok Choy?
The answer is a resounding ‘yes’, rabbits can most certainly eat Bok Choy, and it is very healthy for them, however there are a few things to still keep in mind before giving your beloved pet a whole head of Chinese cabbage.
The first is that you will need to introduce Bok Choy into your rabbit’s diet slowly. Rabbits have a fairly sensitive digestive tract, as 80% to 85% of their diet is mostly grass based (or hay based) and as such you don’t want to give them a boatload of a new thing that could cause them problems.
This is especially true if you are not aware of any allergies that they might have.
Therefore, you should give your rabbit only a small amount of the Bok Choy to eat – maybe a shred of a leaf – and see how they react over the next couple of days.
If your rabbit is fine, then you can start to slowly introduce Bok Choy into their diet, but if they do not react well, then you shouldn’t give it to them again.
It is also important to remember with Bok Choy that you should give to them with other food. As we said earlier, 80% to 85% of their diet should be grass or hay based and having too much of something else, no matter what it is, can still be bad for them.
For example, no matter how good bananas are for you, if you eat too many of them you can become really ill.
While Bok Choy won’t be fatal, it would be the same as if humans ate far too many beans, giving the bunny an upset stomach and constant gas, which is something that can be quite uncomfortable. As such, you should always feed them a reasonable amount.
With this in mind, you should give Bok Choy to them in moderation. The maximum amount of Bok Choy is 1 cup per every 2 pounds of your rabbit’s weight, so if your rabbit was 4 pounds, you could feed them 2 cups of Bok Choy.
You should also only feed them Bok Choy a couple of times a week.
Benefits Of Bok Choy In Your Rabbit’s Diet
While there can be a couple of negatives to feeding your rabbit Bok Choy in excessive amounts, if you feed them in a moderated quantity, it can be incredibly good for your rabbit in the long run. Bok Choy is an incredibly nutritious vegetable that is known for its high amount of nutrients.
For starters, it contains a fair amount of calcium while being low in oxalates. This means that rabbits can get all the calcium they need for their constantly growing teeth and to prevent bladder stones, while also not absorbing potentially harmful material.
Another interesting thing about Bok Choy is its incredibly high amount of antioxidants. These are nutrients that keep the body protected from harmful invaders, like bacteria and viruses, as well as stopping free radical cells from developing.
There are other high amounts of vitamins in Bok Choy as well, including vitamins C, K, and A (as well as beta-carotene), giving your rabbit a lot of what it needs in its daily diet and providing some extra bits as well that it might not get often otherwise.
Bok Choy is also very low in calories, meaning that you can give your rabbit Bok Choy fairly consistently without any worry.
Video: Rabbits Love To Eat Bok Choy!
This is a great, fun video of rabbits devouring some Bok Choy!
Rabbits can eat Bok Choy, and it is a food that is very good for them, as it contains a lot of vitamins and nutrients in it. While it can be good for rabbits, it is important to check that your rabbit can eat it and that you feed it to your bunny in moderation.