Can Bunnies Eat Pumpkin, Its Leaves, and Skin?

Pumpkins are a type of winter squash, a cultivar of mainly Cucurbita pepo, which has orange or yellow round fruit with a thick ribbed rind containing pulp and seeds. However, this squash may be green, white, or other colors, and since they resemble each other, the C. maxima (giant), C. argyrosperma, as well as C. moschata bear the name.

Other winter squashes include acorn, buttercup, butternut, Kent, banana, Calabaza, and Kabocha pumpkin, among many others. Unlike the summer, which squashes harvested before they mature and eaten with their soft rind, winter squashes have first to fully mature with hardened skin.

Can rabbits eat pumpkins
Pumpkins

Both these summer squash, winter squash like zucchinis, as well as watermelons and cucumbers, belong to the family Cucurbitaceae, often known as the guard, or cucurbit family.

Finally, the leaves, fruit, and seeds of pumpkins are edible with the fruit popular during Thanksgiving and Halloween. The leaves serve as a vegetable while people eat the fruit as a puree, in soups, mashed form, baked, and so on.

Can rabbits eat pumpkin, including skin?

Yes. Rabbits can eat pumpkin and its skin or rind in moderation. Like any other non-leafy vegetable such as Zucchinis, carrots, bell pepper, and so on, give them only a small amount.

How much of a pumpkin can rabbits eat? It depends on their size. A teaspoon of raw pumpkin per bunny weighing two pounds is enough, avoid cooked one. Feed them 1-2 times a week since they also need to eat other non-leafy veggies.

The pumpkin skin or rind is notably healthier. However, you should keep the amounts to a teaspoon or not more than the size of a thump-size per bunny weighing two pounds.

Nutritionally, these winter squashes have beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A, carbs, vitamins C and K, potassium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, riboflavin, and about 92% water.

Since it is low in nutrients, has a higher amount of carbohydrates, excessive amounts will not benefit your rabbit much. Furthermore, it may cause tummy problems such as diarrhea and GI stasis since it is low in fiber.

Additionally, the excess carbohydrates may also trigger enteritis that may occur alongside gas and diarrhea due to a shift in cecum microflora as well as increase the risk of your bunny being overweight or obese.

Finally, not all bunnies will like it, and some may eat it while others will not. Loving them or not is normal since, like any other animal, these pets have their preferences.

Pumpkin leaves

Pumpkin leaves are an excellent source of vitamin A, K, riboflavin, iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E, vitamin B6, among other nutrients.

Rabbits can eat pumpkin leaves, flowers, or plants as part of their leafy veggies and plants portion. A cup of 5-6 chopped safe vegetables, including these leaves, are enough for a bunny weighing two pounds.

While in the wild, pumpkins are not the most preferred food for these animals. However, they may nibble a little bit of the leaves, especially when they cannot find their more preferred foods.

Pumpkin seeds

The seeds, make a popular nutritious snack known as pepitas eaten as a whole, or after they have partial dehulling. They are rich in carbs, fats (where they get pumpkin oil from), folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, manganese, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, zinc, and so on.

Don’t feed your rabbit pumpkin seeds, including roasted and canned ones, as they present the risk of choking and causing gastrointestinal blockages. It is not uncommon for them to get stuck in these pet’s throats as well as in their teeth.

Furthermore, they are high in carbs and fats, foods that these pets require in tiny amounts, something that may affect their hindgut microflora.

There is no need to give furry critters these or any other seeds are they are unhealthy and present the choking risk. Bunnies are not seed eaters.

Feeding them pumpkin

When giving the pumpkin and its leaves, introduce it gradually over at least a week or more. Begin with a very tiny amount as you watch if their bellies will react positively or negatively.

Also, ensure the leaves are fresh and free of any pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides and wash them under running water to remove remnant chemicals.

Finally, don’t forget that grass hay like timothy hay should account for over 80% of their diet while fresh foods (fruits, vegetables, and plants) should account for 10-15%. The remainder can be high-quality pellets like Oxbow Animal Health Bunny Basics Essentials Adult Rabbit Pet Food or Kaytee Supreme Food for Rabbit.

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