Although the actual meaning of nuts is a fruit with a hard shell that cannot be eaten and an edible seed, the term is generally used to refer to a number of seeds that have been dried.
Some of the common examples include almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, pecans, macadamia and Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, chestnuts, among others.
Nutritionally, they are generally high in proteins and fats as well as various vitamins, some fibers, vitamins, and minerals such as phosphorus, copper, selenium, potassium, magnesium, among others.
Do rabbits eat nuts?
No. We do not recommend giving your bunnies nuts unless you do it in very small amounts. Otherwise, avoid them. Whereas most of them may not be harmful or toxic, there a few reasons why they are not an ideal part of your bunnies good diet.
First, they contain high amounts of fats, proteins, and carbs while bunnies depend on high-fiber, low-energy foods such as hay. Their digestive system cannot handle foods with high fats, carbohydrates or proteins.
For instance, as hindgut fermenters, their delicate cecum flora cannot handle excessive amounts of digestible simple sugars especially if these foods have low amounts of fiber. The excess sugars can cause indigestion problem as well as cecal dysbiosis which will have symptoms such as a poopy butt syndrome – mushy feces that sticks on your bunny’s perianal areas.
You should also expect a possibility of other intestinal problems including GI stasis and furballs since fiber helps in gut motility as well as getting rid of any ingested fur that prevents hairballs. Also, there are chances of your pet having of enteritis, the fatty liver disease (being high in fats), among others.
Secondly, the high amounts of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates mean nuts are highly calorific. Therefore, feeding your bunnies a lot of them means they will gain weight and become obese.
Obesity in rabbits will trigger other problems including the inability to groom well, a reduce lifespan, among others.
To further affirm the reasons why nuts are not good for rabbits, you need to note that “a good quality rabbit pellet DOES NOT contain dried fruit, seeds, nuts, colored crunchy things or other things that are attractive to our human eyes, but very unhealthy to a rabbit.”
Therefore avoid not only nuts but also crackers, peanut butter, walnuts, dried fruits, seeds, cereals you used for breakfast including oatmeal, including those labeled as high fiber. Also avoid hamsters, cats, dogs, and other pets foods.
Finally, you need to consider that even in the wild, rabbits rarely eat any type of nuts. Therefore, domestic ones should not also have them.
Can rabbits eat monkey nuts?
For the same reasons we have stated, avoid monkey nuts, popularly known as peanuts as they are not also healthy to your furry friend. We decided to mention them separately since some people do not know what they are.
That was just for you to know. 🙂
Rabbits are herbivores, they depend on an unlimited amount of hay, 10-15% fresh foods (leafy greens, weeds, grasses, and small amounts of occasional treats of fruits and non-leafy veggies). Veggies should not be ignored as they provide this pet with water and other nutrients.
Remember to keep the amounts of pellets to 5% of their daily food requirement unless your bunny has special needs such as during lactation, pregnancy or if it is underweight. Oxbow is a good option for adult bunnies.
Finally, when selecting your diets, ensure there is a nutritional balance. Vitamins and minerals are very important in their required proportionality. Excessive amounts may also be harmful.
One or two nuts occasionally may not harm your bunny. If your furry friend happens to have eaten too many, check if there are fecal pellets are present and normal. Also look at signs of intestinal problems including GI stasis, bloating, gas, enteritis, and so on.