Leeks are one of the Allium ampeloprasum (wild or broadleaf wild leek) vegetable cultivar valued for their leaf sheaths (often mistaken to be stalks or stems). Other cultivars of Allium ampeloprasum are kurrat, elephant garlic, and Persian leek, and in Australia, they refer to this vegetable as Welsh Wonder.
Leek shares the genus Allium with shallots, spring onions, garlic, onions, Chinese onion and have an onion-like but milder taste. You may eat them in a raw salad, sautéed, fried, boiled, used in soups, and other foods. Should you give your bunny a little bit of this vegetable?
Can I feed leeks to my rabbit?
No. Rabbits shouldn’t eat leek leaf sheaths, flowers, or any other part of this plant. It is toxic or harmful not only to your rabbits but to your cats and dogs, with cats being the most vulnerable. Also, please don’t give them your carrot, celery, endive, lettuce, or cabbage salad that has leeks.
While we may find it a healthy veggie, rich in vitamins A, C, and K, manganese, iron, as well as essential antioxidants like polyphenols and sulfur compounds, it is not safe for your furry friends.
Leeks and all the other members of the genus Allium have organosulfur compounds which will be converted to disulfides. Disulfides are oxidizing agents known to damage red blood cells, resulting in hemolytic anemia.
Also, they are associated with severe allergic reactions and may result in a suppressed immune system.
Signs of toxicity
If your rabbits eat a small number of leeks, it is unlikely to suffer from toxicity. Usually, the poisoning occurs from continuous consumption of a large amount for a long duration. Some of the possible symptoms include:
- Reddish urine (because it has hemoglobin)
- Exercise intolerance
- Pale gums
- Collapse or fainting
- Increase heartbeat rate
- Uncoordinated movement or ataxia
Talk to your vet for further diagnosis and treatment if you suspect your bunny has consumed a lot of leeks, something that is unlikely.
Do they like leeks?
No. Bunnies don’t like leeks, onions, garlic, green onions, chives, or any of the genus Allium members since they have a strong aroma. Therefore, they are unlikely to eat them. Even in the wild, they are some of the rabbit-resistant vegetables.
However, at times, your domestic bunny may nibble this vegetable, a reason why you should keep them out of your rabbit’s reach. Also, if you grow them in your garden, consider fencing or investing in rabbit repellents.
Safe veggies and correct diet
Good vegetables to include in your rabbit diet have the ones we are going to list below. Always remember to give them in moderation, i.e., avail them in limited amounts. A cupful of 5-6 different types is enough for a two-pound bunny each day.
- Mustard greens
- Carrot tops
- Broccoli greens
- Bok Choy
- Romaine lettuce
- Collard greens
- Dandelion greens
Grassy hay is the leading food that bunnies thrive on, and they should have it in an unlimited amount. Giving them more veggies will make them not eat it, something that may cause stomach upset, diarrhea, gas, and bloating. Veggies don’t have enough fiber like hay.
Finally, keep fruits, flowers, herbs, and commercial bunny treats as a small part of their diet and vary them too. Rabbits shouldn’t get more than 5% of their calorie from all treats they consume in a day.
Fence around them
If you suspect your out bunny eats leeks, consider excluding them by fencing around your garden. Also, invest in rabbit repellents an deterrents.