Rabbits love their veggies, and everyone knows that. However, some vegetables are better for your rabbit than others. So let’s take a look at whether cabbage really does belong in a rabbits diet. Cabbage is mass-produced as a source of food all over the world. In fact, approximately 70 million tons of cabbage were grown in the year 2012 according to the Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nations. It is also often recommended in a rabbits diet as part of the fresh vegetable component.
Cabbage is sold in stores throughout the year, which is convenient. They are also cheap, and they last for several days when kept in the fridge.
So how often can your rabbit eat cabbage?
The RSPCA which is also known as the UK Animal Welfare Charity recommends feeding your rabbit an adult-sized handful of mixed leafy green vegetables and even wild plants at least twice a day and this should make up about 15% of their overall diet. Leafy green vegetables contain vital nutrients for your rabbit and the very action of eating them helps to wear down the teeth which are ever-growing.
Can rabbits eat cabbage leaves?
Well, leafy greens are in fact recommended for your rabbit by experts. However, while some rabbits love eating cabbage leaves, others may not take to it.
Why is cabbage good for my rabbit?
While all cabbages are good for your rabbit, some varieties of cabbage like savoy cabbage contain lots more vitamins and minerals which are indeed better for your rabbit. These cabbages are not only a rich source of vitamin B6 which helps to break down the proteins your rabbit eats and build new ones but is also crucial for healthy muscle function. The calcium contained in cabbage is also great for regenerating your rabbit’s teeth. Cabbage also provide lots of potassium which plays a crucial role in the nervous system. It’s also a potent source of vitamin K, and while most pet rabbits don’t need extra vitamin K in their diets, it is essential for a healthy pregnancy so if you have female pet rabbits, cabbage makes an excellent supplemental source of vitamin K.
Some other vital nutrients that cabbage contains includes smaller quantities of phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and vitamin E which all work together to keep your pet rabbits in tiptop nutritional shape.
Can I feed my pet rabbit cabbage?
Yes, indeed you can feed your rabbit cabbage as part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, you should note that not all rabbits will take to cabbage so if you’re introducing it for the first time introduce a small portion on the first occasion. In order to digest their food, rabbits rely on bacteria, and any significant dietary changes made tend to cause stomach upset in rabbits. So if you do introduce cabbage to your pet rabbit and it does take to it, make sure that you include cabbage regularly in its diet to ensure that the gut remains able to digest it.
When not to feed your rabbit cabbage
If your pet rabbit experiences diarrhea or loose stools after you’ve introduced cabbage to it, you should eliminate it from their diet until the symptoms disappear. Once the symptoms have gone, you can try reintroducing it, however, this time with a much smaller quantity and if the same thing happens again, just move on to something else. You should never feed your rabbit more than a handful of cabbage a day. A healthy rabbit diet consists mainly of hay, green, leafy veggies and an unlimited supply of fresh drinking water. It is okay to include pellets in their diet; however, this should not be done at the expense of hay and leafy green vegetables.
What varieties of cabbage are best for your rabbit?
It is best to feed your rabbits dark green, leafy varieties of cabbage such as spring greens, savoy cabbage, and cavolo nero. And these kinds are less likely to cause gas or bloating. White cabbage does not contain the nutritional value that the darker, green, leafy varieties do and will make your rabbit more prone to gas and bloating. The same goes for red cabbage as it does not provide your rabbit with much nutritional value.
Cabbage is best for your pet rabbit when it is offered as part of a varied diet. Try not to make cabbage the only source of fresh vegetables and preferably include a small portion of it to your rabbit’s daily diet. If your rabbit experiences diarrhea or bloating after trying cabbage, withdraw it immediately.