Can Rabbits Eat Broccoli? (Know When to Avoid)

Rabbit eating broccoli

You may have seen videos of cute, cuddly bunnies munching on broccoli like it’s their last meal. It turns out that rabbits love broccoli!

Although it must be the taste that charms these little animals; as a pet owner, you’d be glad to know that it also has a high concentration of vitamins (A, C and K) that make it such a delightful snack for bunnies.

Broccoli sounds like a great snack for your furry friend but how much broccoli can you share with them? And is it safe to give them Broccoli every day? Let’s find out.

Is Broccoli a Healthy Snack for Your Rabbit?

While everything green and leafy may sound like a supremely healthy choice, that may not be the case, given Rabbits delicate digestive system. Broccoli, however, checks a lot of boxes on the ‘Rabbits Daily Nutrition requirements’ checklist. It is high in many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium which are required for the general well being of your pet friend.

Raw broccoli contains 90% water, 7% carbs, 3% protein and almost no fat. And it serves only 35 calories per 100 grams. This is exactly what Rabbits need; a low calorie, low fat and high fiber diet. This begs for the follow up question:

How Much Broccoli is Safe For Rabbits?

Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family which also includes cabbage, kale and cauliflower to name a few. These greens are all rich in vitamins and minerals which makes Broccoli an excellent choice of snack to munch.

Here’s a general rule of thumb when introducing new food to your pets diet; always start small. Give your bunny a small piece of it and observe if they exhibit any discomfort. If they do not, you can increase the quantity.

With Broccoli, if it sits well with Rabbits, you can feed them a piece or two once a week. You must wonder, if Broccoli is so high in nutrients, why only a few pieces a week?

Cruciferous greens produce gas when eaten in large quantities. A Rabbit’s stomach is not equipped with α-GAL enzyme to help break down Raffinose, a compound found in cruciferous greens.

In the absence of these enzymes, Raffinose, which is also found in broccoli, remains undigested and sits there in the stomach to be fermented by bacteria. This process of fermentation produces gas and they may feel bloated if they eat too many of the flowers.

Producing gas may seem harmless at first but as a pet owner, you’d have to think from your furry friend’s perspective. Rabbits can not pass gas which leads to all the gas being stored inside their stomach. This in-turn leads to serious health problems of deadly nature.

It Is best to practice moderation when feeding them green, leafy vegetables, including even those greens which may seem like a perfect choice for them. Fruits are no different in this case and even the most healthy ones such as Apples or blueberries should only make 5-10% of their daily diet.

Source: Pets Life

Signs That Will Tell You if Your Rabbit has Gas

If you have fed your Rabbit some broccoli, look out for these symptoms to identify if they are suffering from gas:

  • Frequent gurgling sounds coming from their stomach. The sounds are mostly too feeble to be heard from a distance so pay close attention to identify if they have gas.
  • Decrease in appetite.
  • Lethargic and unable to move around.
  • They may sit in unusual positions to ease pain.

A quick look on which foods are safe for our rabbits:

How To Feed Broccoli To Your Rabbits

There are only a handful of simple things that you can to make sure that your pet friend receives all your love and Broccoli’s in the most healthy form:

  1. Wash the Broccoli: Make sure to wash it before you feed it to your bunny. The flower and stalks should be free from any pesticides or chemicals that were sprayed while growing them.If you want to be extra sure, there are plenty of veggie wash products available in the market which claim to remove pesticides and other harmful bacteria from fruits and vegetables. You can also try to buy organically grown ones which are free of pesticides and chemicals.
  2. Practice Moderation: Too much of anything is worthless. Rabbit’s digestive system cannot handle a large amount of gas.Make sure to keep it as an occasional treat and should not make the most of their lunch or dinner.
  3. Start small: When you introduce Broccoli for the first time, start with just one small chunk and look out any potential adverse side effects.If they do not behave abnormally post eating it the first few times, you can gradually increase the portion size. Although as mentioned earlier, the portion should be enough to keep it as a treat and not to satisfy their hunger pangs.

Food Options For Rabbits Available On Amazon

Note: All details are accurate as of the publication date and subject to change.

What Does a Typical Rabbit Diet Look Like?

Rabbits are herbivores by nature and need a diet which is high in fibre and nutrients but low in calories.

Rabbit’s daily diet should consist of an unlimited supply of hay and water while Fruits, Vegetables and other healthy snacks or treats take 10-15% of the share.

Hay is just grass which is cut and dried so that it can be used as animal fodder. It is a common food for a variety of pets like rabbits, sheep, goats etc. It is extremely rich in fiber and Rabbit can munch on it all day long without having to worry about any digestive problems. The fiber from hay is beneficial for 2 reasons:

  1. Fiber has a proven track record for keeping the gut healthy. It also helps in normalizing the bowel movements.
  2. Rabbits have open rooted teeth which means their teeth grow throughout their life. If they don’t chew enough everyday, the teeth tend to overgrow. Overgrown teeth can damage the tongue & oral skin(also called oral mucosa) and introduce dental diseases. Chewing hay helps with filing their teeth to prevent overgrowth and keeping them in proper length and shape.

Bottom Line

Broccoli contains all the nutrients that your furry friend can ask for. It’s low in calories & fat and high in fiber content. However, the bad side of eating too much broccoli is the fact that it produces gas and gas is not good for your Rabbit’s well being. A good practice would be to share broccoli only in moderation, once or twice a week.

Check Out Black Friday Deals with Big Savings here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can newborn rabbits eat Broccoli?
    Definitely not. Newborn rabbits, just like any other animal, should feed on their mothers milk for an initial diet. Newborn rabbits can start on other food by the age of 3 weeks but that doesn’t mean that they are weaning. It can take them anything from 6 weeks to 12 weeks to get accustomed to foods that you introduce.
  2. Is Broccoli poisonous for rabbits?
    Although not poisonous, it produces gas and can result in bloating which can be a painful experience for Rabbits given their delicate digestive system.This, however, should not deter you from sharing some broccoli with your munching partner. As long as you are feeding it in moderation and closely monitoring the after effects to check if it sits well with them, all should be fine.

You may also like...