Whether you have a pet rabbit or a wild one visiting your yard, knowing what they eat is very important. You don’t want to hurt them or cause them any issues. Rabbits, like humans, have a large and varied diet, but rabbits are strict herbivores.
Do Rabbits Eat Birdseed?
Many species of rabbits, like cottontails, will eat various kinds of birdseeds. If you’re using a birdfeeder outside and fail to clean up what spills, the sprouts will attract rabbits and other animals to your yard. So, yes, rabbits eat birdseed, but they shouldn’t eat it too often and there are only a few kinds they can stomach.
Caveats to Rabbits Eating Birdseeds
Any birdseed should not be part of their regular daily diet. Rabbits are sensitive to fat and are easy to succumb to obesity. This is because excess fat offered by birdseed accumulates in the rabbit’s arteries and liver. Vets know that rabbits with seed-rich diets have an increased propensity to suffer from fatal diseases.
If they consume a large number of seeds, they can experience serious indigestion issues, causing severe harm and death to rabbits. So, be sparing and wise about what seeds they eat and how often they eat them, regardless if they’re your pet or they live outside.
Do rabbits eat sunflower seeds?
Yes, rabbits eat sunflower seeds. There’s a huge warning though. You want to be sparing with sunflower seeds because they are very fattening to bunnies. As a matter of fact, the high fat and nutritious oil from sunflower seeds should be part of a rabbit’s winter diet.
This is because sunflower seeds have a higher temperature for rabbits when they eat them. The added fat allows them to stay warm and snug throughout the winter months. It should be a sparing treat or during freezing temperature. But, if the rabbit already has problems with obesity, don’t give them sunflower seeds.
Are seeds bad for rabbits?
Seeds in general aren’t bad for rabbits. But, not all seeds are good for them either. Because of their sensitive and specialized digestive system, they shouldn’t eat them too often. It can lead to dental problems as well as stomach issues.
Never feed seeds to a rabbit with dental problems. They will not chew but swallow them whole, which can cause gastrointestinal tract problems that can end up being fatal.
Which kinds of seeds are harmful to rabbits?
Never feed rabbits processed, packaged and salted seeds. Do not feed rabbits seeds from:
Pulses, or dried seeds, like sweet corn, Canadian peas, milo or locust bean will cause serious blockage to a rabbit’s digestive processes and should never become part of their diet. The hulls on these things are absolutely indigestible and increase their chances of dying.
What other seeds are good for rabbits to eat?
If you do choose to allow rabbits to eat seeds, make sure the rabbit doesn’t already suffer from obesity. When you do feed it to them, only provide a tiny pinch. Make sure they’re raw and organic. You can leave some hulls since they provide lots of good fiber for rabbits, but most hulls are indigestible to them.
Their diet should contain more vegetables and hay than seeds. Aside from sunflower seeds, you can feed them the following types:
- Cantaloupe seeds
- Honeydew seeds
- Pine nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- Safflower seeds
- Squash seeds
- Watermelon seeds
Do rabbits eat corn plants?
Yes, rabbits do eat corn plants, but only the green, fresh parts like stalks, husks and leaves. Because of the controversy around rabbits consuming corn, there are several things to consider.
Fresh, cooked or dried corn kernels are not safe for rabbits. This is because the high concentration of sugars, starches and complex carbohydrates, like polysaccharides, in corn are dangerous for rabbits. It ccosts their digestive system that cannot process it right.
None of this meets the nutritional requirements essential for a rabbit to have a well-balanced diet. What’s more, most corn produced in the modern world is full of chemicals like mycotoxin and are often genetically modified. So, it’s best to avoid giving a rabbit corn kernels altogether.
There are some rabbit owners who do feed corn kernels to their pets without issue. But with so many other foods they can eat that are much safer and more nutritious, why risk the bunny’s health? It’s not worth it.
Avoid Cobs ; Popcorn
Also avoid giving corn cobs and popcorn to rabbits. Often, rabbits will ignore corn cobs because they find them undesirable. Plus, they don’t offer anything of nutritional value. Fresh ones can serve as a chew toy, but only if the rabbit is amenable to it. Popcorn is not digestible for bunnies and will induce obesity.
Greenery ; Foliage Are Good
Corn husks, stalks and leaves are safe to give to a rabbit. These contain lots of good minerals, vitamins and fiber. But ensure that you always give a rabbit fresh husks and leaves, not dried. The corn husks can also make for a healthy chew toy.
In regards to the leaves and stalks, the younger and more tender the better. Most bunnies will refuse mature foliage. But, since corn is a seasonal crop, it will be impossible to provide them all year. If you do decide to give a rabbit foliage from a corn plant, ensure they’re free of pesticides to avoid poisoning.
Rabbits ; Birdseed
Rabbits can and do eat birdseed, but responsible humans should watch their intake. Regardless of whether the bunny is a pet or one who lives in the wild, watch their obesity, be mindful of their sensitive digestion and their nutritional requirements.
Adhere to foods rabbits can eat and avoid, to the best of your ability, giving them anything that may bring their health into question, like corn kernels. Remember, it’s always best to give them all the good stuff that’s safe and healthy like vegetables and hay.