Vegetables — The Joy of Rabbits’ Diets

Vegetables Quantities

The quantity of vegetables offered daily should be limited to assure the rabbit eats plenty of hay. The quantity should be twice the size of the rabbit’s head, if you were to chop the vegetables coarsely and gather them snuggly (but not squeezed tightly) into your hands.

Don’t chop the vegetables though. Rabbits prefer whole pieces they can “chop” themselves. The following table may also help you judge the quantity of vegetables to give your rabbit

Weight Sample Breed Chopped Veggies
Loosely Packed
3 to 4 lbs Netherland Dwarf ¾ cup
4 to 5 lbs Holland Lop 1 cup
5 to 6 lbs Mini Lop 1¼ cups
6 to 8 lbs Rex 1¾ cups
8 to 11 lbs New Zealand 2 cups
11 to 14 lbs Flemish Giant 2¼ cups

Vegetables Rabbits Can and SHOULD Have

Although bladders stones are believed to be primarily a metabolic problem, as opposed to a dietary one, a wide variety of vegetables can help minimize the probability of rabbits developing them.

Drench the vegetables with water and serve them very wet to increase your rabbits’ fluid intake, which also reduces their chances of developing bladder stones. Include a vegetable high in vitamin A every day.

Vegetable Comment Vegetable Comment
Alfalfa *Kale
Arugula Mint
Basil Mustard Greens
*Beet Greens *Parsley
Bok Choy *Snow Peas If peas aren’t completely flat, don’t give to rabbits.
*Carrots Pea Plant Leaves NOT the peas!
* Carrot Tops Peppermint Leaves
Celery Cut into 1” pieces. Long strings swallowed whole can cause serious problems. Raddichio
Cilantro Radish Tops
Clover Raspberry Leaves
Collard Greens *Romaine Or any red or dark green leafy lettuce, but NEVER iceberg (head) lettuce.
*Dandelions
(greens & flowers)
*Spinach
Escarole Swiss Chard
*Bell Peppers Turnips and Tops

*Denotes vegetables high in Vitamin A

Vegetables Which May Cause Gas and Bloating if Given in Large Quantities

but are excellent source of nutrients and should be included in your rabbit’s diet

 

  • Beets – high in starches which can cause serious digestive upsets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts – should never make up the bulk of the vegetables given, because they destroy thiamin
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower

Vegetables to Avoid Giving to Rabbits

TOXIC

  • Dried Beans
  • Onions
  • Raw Beans such as Lima, Kidney, and Soy
  • Rhubarb Leaves

Rich in compounds which destroy nutrients

  • Bamboo Shoots
  • Bracken Fern
  • Cassava
  • Coffee Plants
  • Lima Beans
  • Maize
  • Millet
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tea Leaves

High in starches which can cause severe digestive upsets, gas, and bloating, which can be deadly

  • Cooked protein-rich beans of any kind
  • Dried Corn
  • Dried Peas
  • Grains other than as described above
  • Jicama
  • Nuts
  • Potatoes (even the peel)
  • Raw protein-rich beans of any kind
  • Sweet Peas
  • Whole Kernel Corn of any kind (fresh, frozen, or canned – even the husks around the kernels can cause impaction)
  • Whole Seeds

Has no nutritional value

  • Iceberg Lettuce