Brussels sprouts are a cultivar of Brassica oleracea alongside others like cabbage, kale, collard greens, kohlrabi, broccoli, broccolini, spring greens, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, among others.
This member of cabbage or mustard or crucifers family resembles miniature cabbage, i.e., they have small edible buds averaging 1.5 to 4 centimeters. You can grill, cook, slow-cook, stir fry, steam or boil these buds.
Can rabbits eat Brussels sprouts?
Yes. Rabbits eat Brussels sprouts, including its leaves and stalks. However, feed them in moderation as it may cause gas, i.e., limit the amount to two small raw buds or one if bigger, given once or twice a week.
Besides being gassy, this vegetable is high in oxalic acid or oxalates with a value of 360mg per 100g of this leafy vegetable. Therefore, excessive amounts may result in the following:
- The oxalic acid can bind with iron to form ferrous oxide urinary stones or with calcium to form calcium stones.
- It will minimize the bioavailability of some mineral because it will bind with them in the stomach.
To avoid these issues, avoid mixing this leafy vegetable with others that are high in oxalates, including parsley, mustard greens, been greens, radish tops, spinach, Swiss chard, or any young sprouts.
Furthermore, if your bunny has urinary bladder stones or kidney problems, avoid or give a minimal amount of this veggie.
Finally, since it is low in fiber, giving your bunny massive amounts will result in diarrhea or soft feces.
Brussels sprouts are rich in various nutrients, especially vitamin C and K, vitamin B like thiamine, B6, and folate. It also has iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, among other nutrients.
Feeding it to your bunny
All your vegetables should be free of farm chemicals and thoroughly wash them under running water to get rid of any remnant pesticides, herbicides, and dirt. They should also be fresh. Avoid giving your rabbits any cooked food.
Secondly, mix at least 4-6 different types of vegetables to your sprout bud. This mixture can have wheatgrass, watercress, cilantro, raspberry leaves, turnip greens, arugula, basil, mint, Bok Choy, ill leaves, borage leaves, endive, kale, Mache, green lettuce, among others.
However, there should be only one new vegetable meaning that these pets must have been eating the rest except the new one you are introducing and do so gradually as you monitor tummy reaction over the next up to two weeks.
Irrespective of how much your rabbit may like this or any other greens or non-leafy vegetables, don’t deviate from their healthy diets that should have unlimited hay, about 5% pellets, and 10-15% vegetables and fruit treats.
Of the 10-15% fruits and vegetables, the leafy ones should account for 75%, while the 25% can be fruits and starchy vegetables like carrots, bell pepper, zucchini, and pumpkins, among others.
A good option of hay to buy is the Small Pet Select 2nd Cutting “Perfect Blend” Timothy Hay Pet Food or Standlee Premium Western Forage Timothy Grass has enough nutrients as well as fiber. Fiber will aid in digestion and help wear down your pet’s teeth that continually grow.