Can Rabbits Eat Cabbage? A Rabbit’s Guide To A Happy Stomach
As most rabbit owners are already well aware of, the majority of a rabbit’s diet should only consist of hay. However, since balance is the key, other types of foods should be included in your rabbits daily diet as well. When we think of feeding herbivore animals, cabbage definitely comes to mind very easily. It is accessible, easy to spot in the produce aisle at the supermarket and seemingly not complicated. It is not strange at all that many people wonder, is cabbage safe for rabbits to eat?
However, what is clearly complicated is the digestive system of a rabbit, as well as its whole organism as a living, developed creature. Throughout this article, we will be diving deep into the pros and cons of feeding cabbage to your pet rabbit, the types of cabbage that you should opt for and the best way to serve it to your furry little friend, so that you keep their stomach happy and not cause any problems.
Is Cabbage Safe For Rabbits To Eat?
Rabbits can definitely eat cabbage and most of them will, eventually. Cabbage is certainly an important component of a well-balanced diet that is guaranteed to keep your pet bunny happy and healthy all the time. Even though cabbage is a super popular bunny food, all bunnies are different and some of them might not really be into cabbage as much, so it is important to see how they feel about it. Until 8 weeks old, a bunny must not eat anything but a moderate amount of rabbit food. After that, it is the job of the pet parent to offer them other foods, starting with leafy greens.
Cabbage should be offered in moderation and you should carefully monitor how your little bunny reacts to it. If there are no signs of discomfort or digestive problems, you may continue offering them cabbage and gradually increase that amount over time. Just make sure to remember that all rabbits are different and to watch your rabbits for signs. Once your rabbit gets used to cabbage, give it to them regularly so that their digestive system gets used to digesting it.
What Types Of Cabbage Do Rabbits Like To Eat?
Is all cabbage safe for rabbits to eat? Yes. Most of the time, you should not face any major problems when giving your rabbit cabbage. However, not all cabbage is created equal. Rabbits enjoy munching on anything tasty and crunchy, so all types of cabbage will provide a good place for your bunny to wear their ever-growing teeth down.
However, the leafier and the greener the cabbage is, the more nutritious it is to your pet bunny. For that reason, it is highly recommended to opt for that type of cabbage. White and red cabbage would make nice snacks for your rabbit to munch on, but they are not worth much, nutritionally speaking. Spring greens, savoy and cavolo nero, on the other hand, are densely packed with good vitamins and minerals.
This is the best type of cabbage to give to your pet bunny, because it can be a very nutrition-dense part of their diet plan. If you decide to give your rabbit a different type of cabbage, however, it is important to note that white cabbage has been linked with gas and that red cabbage can change your rabbit’s urine color. That is not something you should be concerned about. If digestive discomfort is present, stop giving your rabbit cabbage until the symptoms disappear, then slowly reintroduce it.
What Are The Risks Of Feeding Cabbage To My Pet Rabbit?
Cabbage is a very popular food, so there are not many risks associated with it individually. However, as we want our best for our pet bunny, it is important to take notice of a few things that could go wrong when feeding cabbage to your little furry friend. Well, then, what are the risks of cabbage? Firstly, new fruits can cause digestive discomfort because the bacteria in your rabbits guts needs a bit of a time to adapt to digesting a certain food. Because of that, new foods should be introduced individually and grgradually.
Meanwhile, you should be watching for signs of a negative reaction. As we highlighted above, anytime you see signs of discomfort, interrupt the consumption of that specific food until the symptoms go away completely. The most common problems that cabbage can cause in rabbits include loose stools and bloating, and these are usually related to the fact that the rabbit might not have had cabbage before.
We already stated in the previous point that white cabbage in particular is associated with bloating and digestive issues, so maybe be careful with that. Most problems that can occur are related to quantity or the way that you serve cabbage, so read on to find out how to avoid them
How Do We Best Serve Cabbage To Our Rabbits?
In order to avoid any digestive discomfort, serve your rabbit fresh, uncooked, thoroughly washed cabbage for a maximum of four days a week and only after they are older than 8 weeks of age. Cooked cabbage can also be given to rabbits, but it is not recommended, as it is less nutritious. Remember to introduce it slowly and only increase the portions if there are no signs of discomfort.
Can Cabbage Be A Replacement For Hay?
Looking at all the properties of cabbage, one could surely wonder, can rabbits eat cabbage instead of hay? Absolutely not. Hay has to remain the quintessential part of a rabbit’s diet, be it in the wild or in your home. Attempting to replace it with anything else will harm your rabbit and throw off their digestive system, because the low-energy, high-fiber nutritional supplement of hay is irreplaceable.
Can Rabbits Eat Cabbage Conclusion
Cabbage is probably one of the first foods that would come to someone’s mind when thinking about what to feed their rabbit with, aside from hay. There are different types of cabbage, but they are all packed with nutrients and flavors. No wonder rabbits would be into that. Is cabbage safe for rabbits to eat though? Yes, it is. Thoroughly washed and broken in smaller pieces, green cabbage (but its other leafy sisters as well) would make for a delicious snack. Can rabbits eat cabbage to replace hay? Absolutely not.
Cabbage is a snack and should not be used instead of hay, because hay needs to make up at least eighty percent of what you are feeding your rabbit on a daily basis. Keeping in mind the correct way to serve it and the risks of eating too much cabbage, which include bloating and diarrhea, you should be absolutely fine to slowly introduce cabbage to your rabbit’s diet if you have not done so yet. Mixed and matched with other veggies, your pet bunny is sure to love this wonder of the vegetable world!