Endive is a name given to several leaf vegetables in the genus Cichorium and family Asteraceae (the composite, daisy, aster, or sunflower family) characterized by their nutty flavor with mild bitterness. You can sauté them, use them in soups, stews, salads, and so on.
Popular species are Cichorium endivia (endive), Cichorium pumilum (wild endive) as well as Cichorium intybus (common chicory that has radicchio, Belgian endive, and puntarelle).
Can bunnies eat it?
Yes. Rabbits can eat endive, including the wild endive and even chicory, in moderation, as part of the leafy greens you offer to your bunnies.
Both the Cichorium endivia varieties, i.e., var. crispum (curly endive or frisée) known as chicory in the US, and French, they call it chicorée frisée. Chicorée frisée has narrow green outer leaves are curly and var. latifolia (escarole) are safe.
This vegetable is exceptionally nutritious and a good source of vitamin A and K, folate, calcium, iron, and has kaempferol, potent flavonoid antioxidants. As you know, antioxidants are useful in neutralizing free radicals and protecting the body against chronic illnesses. Also, it has kaempferol, which will reduce inflammations and prevent some tumors.
As already hinted, it should be part of the healthy leafy greens mix your furry friend eats. Make endive an equal amount of the 5-6 different leafy veggies that you eat. A packed cup of this mix is enough for a rabbit weighing two pounds.
Also, ensure you correctly introduce it, starting with a small amount and gradually increasing the amount if it doesn’t cause any tummy upsets. A sudden diet change may cause diarrhea, gas, bloating, and so on.
Finally, ensure you go for an organic source (not treated with harmful chemicals – fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides) and desist from giving rabbits too much of endive, even if they seem to like it.
If you need alternative veggies or what to include in your leafy greens, the list is endless, and they include
- Romaine lettuce
- Collard greens
- Beet greens
- Bok choy
- Broccoli green
A healthy diet
A healthy bunny needs the right diet and in the right proportion. Let grassy hay be 80%, veggies, and fresh foods 10-15%, high-fiber pellets 5%, and treats 0-5% (fruits, herbs, flowers, non-leafy veggies, and commercial rabbit treats.