Can Rabbits Eat Kale? All You Need To Know

Rabbit eating kale

 

Rabbits love munching and it becomes almost impossible to not share snacks with them when they show up right in front of you with their pretty-pretty looks. Aren’t they just adorable?

Sadly, as a responsible pet owner, you can’t share every snack with them. Blame their delicate digestive system. So it becomes important to understand what snacks or treats are safe for your bunny friend.

One such food that we are going to talk about is Kale which has impressive health benefits. You’d be glad to know that it has an abundance of fibre, copper, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, K, and B6.

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

Is Kale A Healthy Snack For Your Rabbit?

A 100% yes. Kale is an excellent choice of snack to be included in your Rabbit’s diet.

Rabbits are herbivores by nature which means they like all things green and leafy such as Broccoli. While green and leafy may sound like a supremely healthy choice, that may not be the case, given Rabbits delicate digestive system.

Kale, however, checks a lot of boxes on the ‘Rabbits Daily Nutrition requirements’ checklist. It is high in many nutrients, including fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and Manganese which are required for the general well being of your pet friend.

Raw Kale contains 4.5 grams carbs, 3 grams protein, 4 grams Fibre 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 fibre diet. This begs for the follow up question:

How Much Kale Is Safe For Rabbits?

Kale is an excellent source of multiple vitamins and minerals and this makes it a perfect choice of snack for your little friend.

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.

In the case of Kale, if it sits well with Rabbits, you can feed them a piece or two once a week. You must be wondering, if Kale is so high in nutrients, why only a few pieces a week.

Broccoli, Kale, Cabbage and Cauliflower belong to the family of cruciferous vegetables and it contains Raffinose. Raffinose is another form of sugar which remains undigested until bacteria in the gut ferment it. This results in gas and one may feel bloated.

Producing gas may seem harmless at first but as a pet owner, you’d have to think from your furry friend’s perspective. Rabbits have a very delicate digestive system and harmless bowel activities as it may seem to you, can be dangerous for your dear pet.

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: LoppieLove

Signs That Will Tell You If Your Rabbit Has Gas

If you have fed your Rabbit some Kale, look out for these possible 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 find out if they have gas.

– Decrease in appetite.

– Lethargic and unable to move around.

– They may sit in unusual positions in an attempt to ease pain.

How To Feed Kale 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 Kale in the most healthy form:

– Wash the Kale: Make sure to thoroughly 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.

Practice Moderation: Too much of anything is good for nothing. Rabbit’s digestive system is not capable of handling 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.

– Start Small: When you introduce Kale for the first time, start with just one small piece 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.

A quick look at more relevant topics related to our rabbits:

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 fibre and Rabbit can munch on it all day long without having to worry about any digestive problems. The fibre from hay is beneficial for 2 reasons:

– Fibre has a proven track record for keeping the gut healthy. It also helps in normalizing the bowel movements.

– 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

Kale contains all the nutrients that your furry friend can ask for. It’s low in calories & fat and high in fibre content. However, the bad side of eating too much Kale 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 Kale only in moderation, once or twice a week.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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