What Do Rabbits Eat?

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What do rabbits eat?  If you are asking this question then odds are you’re planning on raising some rabbits yourself.  Either that or you’re looking to attract wild rabbits for whatever reason.

Rabbits are used as a source of meat and fur, but also as pets and show animals.  In either case you are going to want to make sure your rabbit gets the right foods to stay healthy.

What Do Rabbits Eat?

The diet of both domestic and wild rabbits is nearly identical.  With domestic rabbit breeds being able to eat basically all the same things as their wild counterparts.  

So then, what do rabbits eat in the wild?  Mostly hay and grass.  Rabbits are grazers and eat mostly hay and grass in the areas they live.  If no dangers are present, they may graze for several hours, mostly in the morning and evening.  

They’ll also nibble  on many other plants that happen to be around and seem to enjoy clover and various wildflowers.

 

So how does this translate to feeding a domesticated rabbit? First thing, make sure that your rabbits have plenty of fresh water available, changed at least twice a day or more.  

Without adequate water a rabbit becomes very sick, very fast.  Then, make sure they have access to a good quality hay or grass.  For adult rabbits you want grass hay, such as meadow hay or timothy.  They proper amount to give should be a bundle about as big as the rabbit itself.  

Freshly picked lawn grass is ok as well as long as the grass is clean with no chemicals.  Do not use lawn mower clippings!  These will be contaminated with debris that can make your rabbit’s sick.

What Baby Rabbits Eat?

What do baby rabbits eat?  For younger rabbits (and also pregnant and nursing ones) you want want what’s called legume hay, which is clover and alfalfa.  Adult rabbits can have legume hay as well, but feeding them too much over time can make them sick.

 

You can also give rabbits the standard pellets you find in the store.  Just make sure to follow the feeding instructions on the box, and don’t overfeed.  A rabbit’s diet should be mostly hay and grass and overfeeding on pellets is not good for them.

 A wild rabbit does not typically eat seeds or oats and such, and neither should a domestic one.  So avoid giving them what’s called muesli, which is feed containing seeds, grains, peas and corn.

 

Contrary to what Bugs Bunny taught us, wild rabbits don’t eat carrots, though they will nibble on the tops.  High moisture root vegetables like carrots, or sugary foods like fruit, should only be given as an occasional treat.  

However, a handful of cleaned mixed greens (like broccoli, kale, cabbage, parsley, mint) daily is perfectly fine and should be part of their regular diet.  Please see below for a list of other foods that rabbits can eat.

What Can Rabbits Eat?

AppleCabbageDIllPeaches
Artichoke leavesCamomileGrapesPears
AsparagusCarrots and Carrot TopsGreen BeansPineapple
BananaCauliflowerKalePumpkin
BasilCeleryKiwiRadish Tops
BlackberriesCherriesLavenderRaspberries
BlueberriesCloverMelonRomaine Lettuce
BroccoliComfreyMintRosemary
Brussel SproutsCucumberNettleStrawberries
Butternut SquashDandelionParsleyThyme

 

This is by no means a comprehensive list of all foods safe for rabbits, I recommend researching across multiple websites for that.  Also, while I mentioned Romaine lettuce you should avoid Iceberg, it’s too watery and lacks adequate nutrients.  Remember as well that fruits

What do rabbits eat?

and root vegetables should be given in small amounts as treats.  

One final thing to say about what rabbits eat.  They eat feces.  No seriously.  Rabbits eat their own feces.  Because of the way a rabbit’s digestive system works they don’t fully digest their food.  As such they produce two different types of feces.  

The first is a soft, squishy type that they eat directly from their own butt.  The second is a hard dry pellet that forms after the second pass through.  So if you happen to catch your rabbit nibbling on its own butt nuggets, it’s fine and is actually part of a healthy rabbits diet.   

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What Do Rabbits Eat?
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What Do Rabbits Eat?
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Make sure they have access to a good quality hay or grass. For adult rabbits you want grass hay, such as meadow hay or timothy. They proper amount to give should be a bundle about as big as the rabbit itself.
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