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Rabbit

In the wild, rabbits will predominantly feed on grasses. In captivity, hay or grass should make up the majority (>70%) of the diet, being essential to maintain gastrointestinal & dental health. A rabbit should eat it’s own body size in good quality hay a day.

Commercial pellets may also be fed as a small part of the diet (pellets are better than mixes to avoid selective feeding and obesity!) – feed dwarf and standard rabbits 1 tablespoon daily and Giant breeds 2 tablespoons of pellets daily MAXIMUM.

Vegetables and small amounts of fruit (not fruit high in simple sugar) may be fed twice daily.

Never make any sudden changes to your rabbit’s diet as this could upset its digestive system. If the rabbit’s eating habits change, the number of droppings gets less or stops, or there are soft droppings sticking to its back end, the owner must talk to a vet straight away as it could be seriously ill.

Recommended dietary items to feed

  • Dandelion leaves
  • Grass (freshly cut from the backyard)
  • Celery
  • Spring greens
  • Cabbage
  • Chickweed
  • Rocket
  • Various Lettuces (avoid very light hearts: Romaine, Butter, Green leaf, Boston, Bibb)
  • Lollo lettuce
  • Chicory
  • Goutweed
  • Spinach
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Peppers (green, red, yellow)
  • Radicchio
  • Radish tops
  • Pumpkin leaves

Dietary items to feed in small quantities (high in calcium)

  • Alfalfa hay (only when growing, <6 months of age)
  • Pellets or treats
  • Clover
  • Carrot tops
  • Goosegrass
  • Kale
  • Sowthistle
  • Broccoli
  • Cawliflower
  • Spear thistle
  • Shepherd’s purse
  • Swiss chard
  • Beet greens
  • Endive
  • Bok choy

Good treats (small amount)

  • Herbs (parsley, basil, mint, thyme, coriander, chamomile, chives, sage, dill, lavender): max 2 sprigs per week
  • Slice or core of apple or pear
  • Berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, strawberries): max 2-4 per week
  • Roses and rose leaves, nasturtium, carnation (with no chemicals)

Dietary items to avoid

  • Human food (biscuits, bread, cereals, oats, rivita, weetabix, nuts)
  • Avocado

Calcium Content of Raw Vegetables

Per 1 cup serving, unless otherwise noted (Based on Summary of Calcium in Rabbits, John E. Harkness in Rabbit Health News, 1994: Vol.11, p.7).

  • 6 mg Peppers, sweet
  • 38 mg Lettuce, looseleaf
  • 10 mg Alfalfa sprouts
  • 39 mg Turnips
  • 15 mg Pumpkin leaves
  • 46 mg Beet greens
  • 16 mg Coriander (cilantro)
  • 56 mg Spinach
  • 18 mg Chard, Swiss
  • 58 mg Mustard greens
  • 19 mg Radish seed sprouts
  • 59 mg Dock
  • 20 mg Lettuce, Romaine (per 100g serving)
  • 62 mg Peas, edible pod
  • 20 mg Squash, zucchini
  • 65 mg Rutabagas
  • 21 mg Jerusalem artichoke
  • 68 mg Celeriac
  • 24 mg Pumpkin
  • 74 mg Chinese cabbage
  • 26 mg Endive
  • 78 mg Parsley
  • 26 mg Squash, summer
  • 82 mg Borage
  • 28 mg Asparagus
  • 82 mg Okra
  • 28 mg Cauliflower
  • 94 mg Kale
  • 28 mg Purslane
  • 103 mg Dandelion greens
  • 28 mg Radishes
  • 105 mg Turnip greens
  • 30 mg Carrots
  • 137 mg Kale, Scotch
  • 30 mg Egglant
  • 180 mg Chicory greens
  • 32 mg Arugula
  • 218 mg Collards
  • 32 mg Cabbage
  • 309 mg Lambsquarter
  • 32 mg New Zealand spinach 
  • 315 mg Mustard spinach
  • 34 mg Kohlrabi

Broccoli flowers and stem, cilantro, dark leaf lettuce, watercress, Brussels sprouts, celery leaves, cabbage, and endive are good choices when trying to reduce dietary calcium. Turnip greens, broccoli leaves, mustard greens, kale, and collards greens should be restricted or eliminated depending on the severity of the problem.

Download our dietary advice for Rabbits

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