Is Broccoli Safe for Rabbits?
The very short answer is to the question can rabbits eat broccoli is yes indeed. Your bunny benefits from eating broccoli because it is jam-packed with valuable vitamins and nutrients and rabbits love the taste as well. Read on to find all the answers to questions you have about rabbits and broccoli.
Table of contents
- Can Rabbits Eat Broccoli Safely?
- What Diet Do Rabbits Have?
- What Vitamins and Minerals are Naturally in Broccoli?
- Can Rabbits Eat Broccoli Leaves?
- Can Rabbits Eat Broccoli Stems?
- Which is Better, Raw Broccoli or Cooked Broccoli?
- How Old do Rabbits Need to Be to Eat Broccoli?
- How Much Broccoli Should My Rabbit Eat?
- How Do I Feed My Rabbit Broccoli?
- What Are Other Fresh Vegetables In the Broccoli Family?
- Final Thoughts
Can Rabbits Eat Broccoli Safely?
Broccoli can cause gas in rabbits, just as it can in humans and other pets. It’s important to add any type of greens in very small quantities at first and then increase them over time. Your long-eared family members will love the nice crunchy veggie that you offer to them in small amounts.
You can protect your rabbit’s sensitive digestive system by limiting the amount of broccoli that he has. You can start with one tablespoon of the tasty greens a day or maybe just a few days a week at this rate. If there are no changes in your rabbit’s poop, then they are good to go.
What Diet Do Rabbits Have?
Your bunny should have about 85% of his food as hay plus some rabbit pellet food and then you can add different types of greens or leafy greens to give him some variety in his meals. You wouldn’t want to eat the same exact food every day and your rabbit appreciates some different types of good fiber.
Any time you feed your bunny a new type of fiber-rich food, you should observe him for any type of digestive distress that may accompany the new food type. It can cause gas or an upset stomach and make your rabbit show signs of distress. Signs of dietary distress in rabbits include not moving around much, gurgling sounds in the stomach, seeming to be in pain or irritated, losing interest in daily food rations, and loose or watery stools. Other signs can appear, such as a swollen or hard stomach. Excessive gas can cause your bunny to be in a curled-up position or he may press his stomach to the floor in order to seek relief.
If you notice these signs in your furry friend, don’t give him any pellets or food for about 24 hours. Just feed him lots of green grass and fresh water and make sure they are in a cool area that’s dry.
Rabbits have very sensitive stomachs and if you think your bunny has a stomach ache in any way, please take him to the vet.
What Vitamins and Minerals are Naturally in Broccoli?
Broccoli has a lot of beneficial vitamins and minerals in it, such as:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
As you can see, this green and crunchy treat can supply your rabbit with a whole host of benefits when fed appropriately.
Can Rabbits Eat Broccoli Leaves?
Rabbits can eat broccoli leaves just as they eat the florets. The leaves contain vitamin A and C and they also have Beta Carotene, which can help prevent skin and fur diseases. The leaves are safe for bunnies and they are edible too, even though humans don’t normally eat the leaves of a broccoli plant.
Can Rabbits Eat Broccoli Stems?
Rabbits can also eat broccoli stems as well. Humans don’t really care for the large stems or stalks because they can be a bit hard to chew and have less flavor than the florets or smaller stems.
Your bunny will really love the stems because they are so crunchy and I’m sure you’ve noticed how they love the crunchiness of any food you give them. It also helps to feed crunchy greens to keep his teeth trimmed down.
The stems include potassium and calcium–both of which are good for a bunny’s teeth. The stalks do have more fiber in them than any other part of a broccoli plant. So make certain to limit the number of stalks or large stems to avoid stomach upset.
Which is Better, Raw Broccoli or Cooked Broccoli?
Raw broccoli, just like any other veggie, is the best for supplying nutrients and minerals in food. When vegetables are cooked, many of the nutrients and minerals are lost in the cooking process.
How Old do Rabbits Need to Be to Eat Broccoli?
When your rabbit is a baby or a kit, as they are called, its digestive system needs time to fully digest its foods. Usually, after about 10 weeks, baby bunnies can start eating fruits and vegetables, but again in moderation and not every day until they get used to them.
How Much Broccoli Should My Rabbit Eat?
After you have started off slowly by adding a tablespoon of broccoli per day and your rabbit shows no signs of digestive upset, you can increase the amount of any part of the broccoli plant to about two tablespoons once or twice a week. If they have too much high fiber foods it can cause diarrhea and they will not feel well.
How Do I Feed My Rabbit Broccoli?
First, choose a small head of broccoli as it will be a bit more tender than very large heads. Cut the florets in tiny pieces along with the smaller leaves. You can test your rabbit’s taste buds by just giving him one small leaf to start. If he doesn’t eat it, then he likely doesn’t like it for some reason. If this is the case, then just don’t offer it to him as part of his diet, as it’s never advisable to try to get bunnies to eat something they don’t like by force.
Introduce the harder stems or stalks after they are eating the uppermost parts without digestive upset.
You can put the small pieces in the food bowl with their food pellets or hide some inside the hay. Rabbits love to play and find food and forage around in the hay as their wild ancestors likely did to find food sources.
What Are Other Fresh Vegetables In the Broccoli Family?
If your rabbit doesn’t seem to care for the taste of broccoli, there are many other variations in the cruciferous vegetables that you can try instead. Others include kale, brussels sprouts, cabbage, spring greens, collard greens, broccoflower, kohlrabi, and more.
You can try another one of these to give your bunny a great variety of healthy vitamins and nutrients as he may have a preference as to which tastes best to him.
No matter what fresh greens you give your rabbit, always start with a very small portion and feed it to him maybe twice a week while observing him for signs of digestive upset.
It’s fine to feed broccoli to your long-eared family member in moderation and by starting with a tiny bit of any part of the broccoli plant.
If you notice any signs of distress in your bunny when introducing new foods, remove his food for 24 hours and observe him closely. Rabbits are small pets and can suffer greatly from diarrhea and get dehydrated very quickly. As always, if you suspect something is wrong with your furry friend, make a vet appointment for him to be examined and diagnosed.
If your rabbit had digestive issues in the past, it’s probably best not to feed him broccoli because his system is even more delicate than a bunny that hasn’t had stomach issues in the past.