Learning what kind of fruits and vegetables can bunnies eat is essential to keeping a healthy and happy bunny.
Apart from a constant supply of hay, fresh vegetables and fruits are also important parts of your bunny’s healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables provide additional nutrients, vitamins, and minerals as well as different food textures and tastes.
Many people ask:
What kind of fruits and vegetables can bunnies eat?
What vegetables are good for rabbits?
What can i feed a baby bunny?
What do bunnies eat in the winter?
In this all inclusive article you'll find the answers to these questions and much more!
Related: 7 Best Rabbit Cages Our Top Picks!
What Kind Of Fruits And Vegetables Can Bunnies Eat?
Fresh foods also provide additional moisture in the diet, which is good for kidney and bladder function. The majority of fresh foods should be made up of leafy greens, about 75% of the fresh part of the diet.
As a rule of thumb, you should feed your bunny about 1 cup of greens for 2 lbs of rabbit body weight once a day or you can divide this amount into multiple portions a day.
Any leafy green that is safe for a human to eat is safe for a rabbit to consume, but there are exceptions in terms of nutritive and health benefits.
Apart from a cozy home, rabbits need a healthy diet to keep them playful and happy pets. This includes hay, bunny food in pellets, fruits and veggies. Let’s start with the concerns first. Many plants contain naturally occurring chemicals called alkaloids. These are mild toxins that protect plants in the wild. The chemical most talked about as regards rabbits’ diet is oxalic acid which is harmless to bunnies when consumed in small amounts.
The amount of oxalic acid within each plant varies significantly due to several factors including the composition of the soil the plant grew in, the time of year and the age of the plant.
Most of the fresh vegetables you feed your rabbit have a low to zero level of oxalic acid, but a few, most notably parsley, mustard greens, and spinach have relatively high levels. So, can rabbits eat spinach? Yes, but in smaller amounts than other leafy vegetables.
The toxicity of oxalic acid comes into play with feeding too large quantities of foods high in this chemical. This can result in tingling of the skin and the mouth, and damage to the kidneys over time.
Foods containing oxalic acid are nutritious and do not need to be excluded from the rabbit diet if you feed them appropriately. The general recommendation is to feed your bunny a minimum of at least 3 types of leafy greens a day, but only one of them should be from the group listed above.
Don’t feed the same fruits and veggies all the time from week to week. Rotating the fresh greens will also give your bunny variety in taste, texture and general nutrition!
Some rabbit owners are also concerned whether their rabbits will take the sufficient amount of vitamin A from greens. Since hay is rich in vitamin A, and hay will be available at all times, no need to worry about this!
Can rabbits eat kale?
Kale, which is often discarded from rabbit diet as a high oxalate food is actually very low in oxalates and extremely rich in vitamin A as well as most of the leaf lettuces.
Can rabbits eat broccoli?
Apart from leafy greens, you can feed your bunny other vegetables such as root vegetables or “flowers” including broccoli. However, broccoli is higher in starch and sugars and should be fed in lesser amounts than the leafy greens.
A proper amount of nonleafy greens to feed your rabbit would be about 1 tablespoon per 2 lbs of body weight per day in one meal or divided into two or more.
Some bunny owners are concerned about feeding foods that cause gastrointestinal (GI) gas in people such as broccoli and cabbage. A rabbit’s digestive tract is not the same as ours. Because of that, many of the foods that may cause gas in people do not cause gas in bunnies.
One study done on rabbits showed that it would take several weeks of feeding only huge quantities of these foods to see any abnormalities in rabbits’ blood. Nobody feeds their bunny cabbage and broccoli only so there is no cause for concern in feeding these nutritious foods.
Do rabbits eat carrots and are carrots bad for rabbits?
Carrots are considered root vegetables. Pet rabbits would have a hard time digesting root vegetables because of the presence of complex carbohydrates and less cellulose. As lagomorphs, your rabbits should mostly eat quality hay and green leafy vegetables since these would not upset their digestive system’s homeostasis.
Apart from runny stool which will make your bunny feel uncomfortable, carrots are said to be dangerous for rabbits’ internal organs health.
There has been a debate whether you should feed carrots to your bunny. Some pet experts say that carrots can be offered in moderation while others advise that you leave them out because of their high sugar content.
It is recommended that vegetables which are high in sugar should be fed only as a treat and not as a meal substitute. If you are really inclined towards feeding your pet rabbit carrots, give a small slice of it as a treat every other day.
The general rule when introducing carrots or any vegetable in general to your pet rabbit is that these should be done only once they are 6 months old or older. For the first six months, feed your pet rabbits hay, pellets, and water only.
Can rabbits eat celery?
Yes, rabbits enjoy celery as a treat. You must, however, be careful to add it to your rabbit’s diet very gradually. Feeding your rabbit too much celery all at once may lead to digestive problems, possibly diarrhea or even death.
Celery contains vitamin C, B1, B2, and B6. It is also a good source of potassium, folic acid, calcium, and fiber. It also contains phytochemical compounds which are effective in cancer prevention, lowering blood pressure and helping with rabbit migraines.
Remember to offer celery in moderation as it’s basically a treat. Feeding too much celery to your bunny may lead to digestive issues and other health problems.
Can rabbits eat romaine lettuce?
Romaine lettuce is darker and leafier and more fibrous variety of lettuce and you can feed it to your rabbit because Romaine lettuce is higher in fiber and actual nutrients than other varieties of lettuce. Introduce it gradually to avoid digestive problems. Bear in mind that large amounts of lettuce, for a rabbit unused to it, can cause digestive upsets.
Can rabbits eat strawberries?
Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C and antioxidants. Bear in mind that rabbits can make vitamin C on their own, from their basic diet. Strawberries are safe but feed them to your bunny in moderation and infrequently.
Strawberries and other fruits (apples – no seeds or stems, blueberries, melon – no pits, oranges – including peel, blackberries, plums – no pits, pears – no seeds or stems, raspberries, peaches – no pits or pineapples) should all be treated as treats and offered after your bunny has taken enough hay and pellets.
As for the fresh foods rich in vitamins, bear in mind that dark green leafy vegetables and red peppers have more vitamin C per weight than most fruits including citrus fruits.
In general, fruits can be fed to rabbits in small amounts. Apart from providing additional vitamins, fruits make great training treats. You can hand-feed the fruit portion of the diet as part of developing a close bond with your bunny.
However, overfeeding fruits can result in a weight gain or GI upset so don’t forget to restrict the number of fruits as a part of a healthy rabbit diet.
Once again, the approximate amount of fruit to feed your rabbit is a teaspoon per 2 lbs of body weight daily in one feeding or divided into multiple feedings.
Before introducing any fresh foods to your bunny, you should do it after your fluffy friend has been eating grass hay for a minimum of 2 weeks. The grass hay will help to get his GI tract motility and flora in good working order so that he will be able to digest new foods more easily.
In addition, when introducing new fresh foods to any rabbit’s diet it is best to go slowly in order to allow the gastrointestinal tract and all its important microorganisms to adjust.
It’s a good idea to introduce one new food every three days and keep a watch on their stools. It is rare for a rabbit that has been on a hay diet first, to have any problems using this method, but if you note softer stools that continue over a couple of days, then you should remove that food from your bunny’s diet.
You can keep a list as you go of the foods that your bunny has eaten with no digestive problems. This way you’ll know what they like and you can make those fruits and vegetables a part of your shopping list. Don't think about what fruits and vegetables can rabbits eat while putting on your seat belt on the way to the shops!
What Can You Feed Baby Bunnies?
Initially their diet should consists mainly of their mother's milk, which they should continue to drink for at least months. After a few weeks they may start nibbling on some hay.
Rabbis are weaned between Months and Months 3 so their digested system can correctly adjust from milk to solid.
If you have a very young rabbit (under 8 weeks) then you should be very careful not to give them anything but Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR)
Learning to know what can i feed a baby bunny isn't that different from learning how to feed a adult one. Hay is the most important source of food and should be included with pellets and fresh fruits and vegetables
Remember, for the best results and to ensure you don't over feed your baby bunny don't feed baby rabbits more than twice a day.
What Kind Of Fruits And Vegetables Can Bunnies Eat: Ultimate List
These should make up about 75% of the fresh portion of your rabbit’s diet (about 1 packed cup per 2 lbs of body weight per day).
- Mustard greens
- Beet greens
- Swiss chard
- Radish tops
- Borage leaves
- Dill leaves
- Leafy Greens II (low in oxalic acid)
- Carrot tops
- Cucumber leaves
- Frisee Lettuce
- Kale (all types)
- Red or green lettuce
- Romaine lettuce
- Spring greens
- Turnip greens
- Dandelion greens
- Mint (any variety)
- Basil (any variety)
- Raspberry leaves
- Bok Choy
- Fennel (the leafy tops as well as the base)
- Yu Choy
- Sprouts (from 1 to 6 days after sprouting, sprouts have higher levels of alkaloids)
These ought to make no more than about 15 % of the diet (About 1 tablespoon per 2 lbs of body weight per day).
- Carrots (in moderation, possibly best avoided except as an occasional treat)
- Broccoli (leaves and stems)
- Edible flowers (roses, nasturtiums, pansies, hibiscus)
- Bell peppers (any color)
- Chinese pea pods (the flat kind without large peas)
- Brussel sprouts
- Cabbage (any type)
- Summer squash
- Zucchini squash
A healthy addition of fruits makes about 10% of the diet (about 1 teaspoon per 2 lbs of body weight per day).
- Cherries (any variety, without the pits)
- Plum (without the pits)
- Berries (any type)
- Berries (uncooked)
- Pineapple (remove skin)
- Apple (any variety, without stem and seeds)
- Banana (remove peel; no more than about 2 1/8 inch slices a day for a 5 lb rabbit)
- Melons (any – can include peel and seeds)
- Star Fruit
As you can see, what kind of fruits and vegetables can bunnies eat is not a difficult question to answer if you know where to look and what to look for when it comes to keeping your bunny healthy through a healthy fresh dietary additions.
What do bunnies eat in the winter?
Learning what do bunnies eat in the winter is very simple. As the months get colder your rabbit will need more twigs, buds, bark, conifer needles, and any remaining green plants. As it get colder your rabbit will need more food (hay, pellets, fruits and veg etc) to keep warm so try to give them more wholesome foods that may match what they would eat in the wild.
Related: 5 Best Rabbit Food Products of 2019
Now we know "What Kind Of Fruits And Vegetables Can Bunnies Eat", let's turn our attention to hay.
Adult rabbits should be fed as much hay as they like! You can use timothy, grass hay, and oat hay. However, try to reduce the amount of pellets they eat per day.
As a rule of thumb 1/4 cup of pellets per 6 lbs. of body weight per day.
After you've learnt what kind of fruits and vegetables can bunnies eat you need to find out why hay is so important for rabbits.
Well, the main component of a pet rabbit’s diet is hay so they need their bunny cage constantly supplied with it. Grass hay is rich in Vitamin A and D as well as calcium, protein, and other nutrients. In addition, eating hay promotes healthy teeth and gastrointestinal tract in rabbits and should be available to your pet at all times supplemented by quality rabbit food in the form of pellets.
So, while fruits and vegetables are a healthy addition to your bunny's diet, quality hay is a must! Now, in terms of which hay for rabbits meets their dietary needs, it all depends on their age.
We recommend that you avoid using Alfalfa hay as the primary source of hay for adult healthy rabbits. This is due to the fact that it is very high in calories and protein.
Alfalfa is not a grass, but a legume in the pea and bean family and hence its much higher nutritive value.
Bear in mind that although Alfalfa hay has far more calories and protein than the average house bunny needs, it’s OK for young, growing bunnies and those who are underweight or recovering from an illness.
Where to buy hay for rabbits?
Your bunny needs an unlimited supply of fresh hay at all times, to prevent GI stasis and digestive issues. In addition, hay is also the main way for our fluffy buddies to keep their teeth worn down. Fortunately, hay is widely and readily available for purchasing online!
From the comfort of your home, you can read information and tips about what hay is best for rabbits and also read our reviews as well as the reviews by verified buyers. Hay is inexpensive and you can still save a few extra bucks by buying value packs of bunny hay, just don’t forget to keep hay stored in a well-ventilated box once you open it after your package has been delivered.
What kind of hay do rabbits eat?
Timothy hay is by far the most common option for most pet rabbits. It’s readily available and most pet owners consider Timothy best hay for rabbits.
Let’s start with a few well-selling packs from trusted brands in the pet food industry.
Of the few most popular options, Standlee's jojo's BEST Timothy Grass forage.
is grown in the nutrient-rich volcanic soils of Southern Idaho. A lot of sun, low humidity, and good irrigation help produce one of the best quality forages for your fluffy pals. This 2nd Cutting hay is the highest quality western forage, high in fiber and low in protein and calcium.
Timothy hay helps keep the gastrointestinal tract of rabbits and other small animals functioning properly.
What’s more, the long stem fiber also fosters the natural foraging instincts which are beneficial for your pets overall and dental health especially. This all-natural sun-cured forage contains no additives or preservatives and it is hand-sorted for packaging.
Then, there’s Animal Health Western Timothy Hay from Oxbow, a well-established and trusted brand. This is another high-quality fiber source recommended by bunny vets.
It will meet rabbits' specific nutritional requirements and keep their digestive tract functioning well. The Oxbow Animal Health Western Timothy Hay is the ideal long-strand fiber source in the form of Timothy hay for rabbits.
Interested in more Timothy rabbit hay? Another proven product which comes to mind is Kaytee Wafer Cut Hay. Ideal for bunnies over 7 months, this Timothy hay from Kaytee, the brand we all know, is grown in the ideal ecological location for humidity and climate control and then stored in a protected environment so that the quality and nutritional value are preserved.
Can baby bunnies eat timothy hay?
Yes, but only after the adjusting period from mostly milk and a little hay is over.
Baby bunnies will continue to drink milk until 6-8 weeks old. They will first start nibbling on Timothy hay from around the nest between 2-3 weeks and by 3-4 they'll be eating the same foods as their mother rabbit plus milk.
As rabbits grow older, between 6-8 weeks their digestive system will be adjusting from milk to Timothy hay which the mother eats. This is a particularly sensitive time and rabbits should stay with their mother for a minimum of 8 weeks.
If your rabbit is younger than 8 weeks, you'll need to be particularly careful about your bunny's diet and try to avoid any changes.
Orchard hay vs Timothy hay for rabbits
The popularity of Timothy Hay is huge because it’s very soft, and very leafy, with little stem and it provides your bunny with quality grass fiber which is a much-needed nutrient and will also prevent all kinds of GI and dental issues.
Orchard Hay makes a nice change for rabbits and it’s is perfect for you if you are allergic to Timothy. Apart from being convenient for pet parents allergic to Timothy hay, Orchard hay is great if have a picky rabbit who likes a little softer feed. Besides, bunnies are like people and we all like variety in our diets.
Our top choice would be Oxbow Animal Health Orchard Grass Hay for Pets in the 40-Ounce pack. Rabbits really love the sweet smell and taste of leafy Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay. It makes a great addition to your bunny’s diet.
Like other long-strand grass hays, the soft-textured Orchard Grass Hay is high in fiber, low in protein and supports the health of your beloved fuzzball by stimulating digestion, preventing obesity and making meals more appealing. You can mix Orchard Grass Hay with other hays to create a sweet and nutritious mix of quality hays.
For those of you with a less tight budget, we also recommend Rabbit Hole Hay Orchard Grass also in a 40-ounce pack.
This product has a perfect balance of moisture, vitamins, and minerals. High in fiber and low in protein, it’s easy on the digestive systems of your rabbit.
Fresh green fragrant grass Orchard Grass is the softest feed your bunny can get so it’s easier for him to eat it. This is especially convenient for picky rabbits, elderly bunnies which tend to gobble up Orchard hay. As your bunny ages, the softer feed may become more and more of a necessity.
This is why we recommend mixing Timothy and Orchard as the Timothy will aid in good dental health while Orchard will make the overall eating less tiresome.
Soft Orchard grass hay promotes natural chewing behavior but rabbits also need coarse feed to help wear down their teeth. Molar spurs are a medical condition you will want to avoid as they can be the cause of digestive issues, too. Because of this, if you are feeding your pet exclusively Orchard grass we recommend that you mention this to your vet so that they can keep an eye on your rabbit's dental health.
Oat hay for rabbits
Oat Hay is a great addition to your hay rotation and will add variety to your rabbit’s diet! You can serve it occasionally by itself, or mix it in with the Timothy or Orchard rations for the day. Again, oat hay is another great alternative for people with allergies to timothy hay.
Oxbow Animal Health Oat Hay for Pets in a 15-Ounce pack is a great option.
It is harvested before the oat develops into a seed, providing savory husky full of flavor and fiber. Its aroma will stimulate your pet’s appetite and encourage eating a healthy meal. Your pet should have unlimited hay supply every day and Oat hay is a great addition to Timothy and Orchard varieties.
How Much Pellets For Rabbit?
We know what kind of fruits and vegetables can bunnies eat and what type of hay is best suited for our fury friends. But, learning how much pellets for rabbit food can take a little time. Rabbits, really like pelleted bunny food. Proper portions of pellets are ¼ to ½ cup of pellets a day for a 5 to 7-pound adult bunny.
Rabbits which are overweight will need restricted pellets while babies and growing bunnies, as well as underweight rabbits, should be offered larger portions of pellets together with hay, fruits, and vegetables but only the sorts which have been proven to be safe foods for rabbits.
What can bunnies eat is no mystery and there are tons of reliable sources of quality advice as regards bunny diet.
The type of pellet served to rabbits depends on their age. Alfalfa-based pellets should only be fed to rabbits under 7 months old. Timothy-based pellets are beneficial for rabbits over 7 months old. However, it all depends on the nutrition values listed on the back of the bag. Both types of pellets can meet nutritional requirements for rabbits. However, alfalfa-based pellets have more calories, protein, and fat and less fiber than timothy-based ones.
In addition, good pellets do not include whole dried fruit, seeds, nuts, or other colored crunchy things. They should only contain pelleted hay and herbs and nothing else. One problem is that each type of seed or ingredient has different nutritional content, and bunnies develop preferences for certain seeds or pieces. Rabbits then become picky eaters and they can easily develop a nutritional deficiency by only eating certain parts of mixed food.
What can't bunnies eat?
Although we have an in-depth understanding of what kind of fruits and vegetables can bunnies eat and why hay is so important, we also need to be aware of what they can't eat.
You should leave out fatty and sugary food from your pet’s diet. Foods high in starch and sugars will eventually cause a number of gastrointestinal tract diseases and abnormalities.
In addition, you should avoid grains of any kind and legumes for the same reason I mentioned above. Starchy root vegetables and fruits in too large quantities will become a huge problem because of their high content of sugars and starch. This is why these foods should only be served moderately and infrequently.
You should definitely avoid foods in the onion family (like leeks, chives, and onions) as they will cause blood abnormalities in bunnies.
Do be careful when buying commercial bunny food and always check the ingredients. This will help you avoid low-quality and probably bad food for your bunny. Look for recommended healthy ingredients which will keep your rabbit healthy.
With so many proven and trusted brands, there’s no need to experiment with no-name knockoffs just to save a few bucks: you will spend hundreds of times that much later on paying vet bills when bad diet finally takes its toll.
Also, bear in mind that serving muesli-style diets to rabbits is associated with abnormalities which can lead to painful dental and digestive problems, lower gut motility, selective (picky) eating, obesity and urinary tract stones or sludge.
This is because the ingredients of muesli mixes are not sufficiently tough and fibrous to wear the rabbits’ teeth properly and to keep the guts working well. They are also fattening and can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies
The vitamin and mineral supplement comes in powder form, so it is usually incorporated into the compressed grass-based pellets. These pellets are the least palatable ingredient of muesli mixes so most rabbits do not eat them and they are left in the bottom of their food bowl until you throw them away.
In doing so, you are actually discarding the vitamin and mineral supplement the pellets contain. If young rabbits do not get enough calcium, the bone surrounding the teeth gets weakened so that the roots of the teeth press on the nerve supply to the teeth when the baby rabbit tries to eat harder food, such as hay.
These picky rabbits which have gotten used to soft ingredients in the muesli-style mixes never eat hard food so the owners falsely come to the conclusion that their bunny doesn't like hay. Some mistakenly decrease the hay portion of their bunny’s diet and make things even worse.
So, that's all for now! You've learnt what kind of fruits and vegetables can bunnies eat and lots more. We hope we've helped with the essential info on what are the best foods for a healthy bunny! Don't forget to read our full guide to how to take care of a bunny!
Here's a real-life bunny parent list. It might work for your rabbit, as well:
Hey, I’m Amy and I’m in love with my Pets! I have a diverse variety, including 2 cats, 1 dog, 3 rabbits, 2 guinea pigs, a rat and a beautiful macaw. I love writing about everything pet-related and spend as much time as I can sharing my personal experiences.