Pastinaca sativa or parsnips is a biennial root vegetable plant that has mid-green leaves, cream-colored root skin and flesh.
Pastinaca sativa is native to Eurasia and was popular among the ancient Romans and Greeks but now it is cultivated in many places in the world. Some of its cultivars include All America, Harris Model, and Hollow Crown.
Parsnips are closely related to carrots and parsley and can be eaten raw, cooked, roasted, pureed, boiled, used in stews, soups, among other kinds of cooking. They can also be fed to animals and the Chinese parsnips root has medicinal value.
Can rabbits have parsnips
You can give your rabbits parsnips including their peelings. This root vegetable is safe for these pets. However, you need to give them sparingly as a treat in the same manner you give them other root vegetables such as turnips, swede, beetroot, carrots, among others.
Usually, a teaspoon of any root or non-leafy vegetable is enough for a rabbit that weighs two pounds. Remember, you can only give this pet on treat per day and keep varying them for maximum benefit from the various nutrients they have.
A quick peek on its nutritional value, you will realize it has carbohydrates (including dietary fibers and sugars), small amounts of protein and fats as well as vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C, E, and K. It also has calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, sodium among other minerals.
Most of these nutrients are needed by bunnies, especially the minerals, and vitamins C, E, and K. Furthermore, being sweet tasting and crunchy rabbits will like parsnips.
However, since it has less fiber, and has considerable amounts of carbs and sugars, letting your bunny have too much of this root veggie can lead to gastrointestinal problems that may result in diarrhea, enteritis, etc.
What about leaves or tops?
If you cultivate this veggie, you need to know that rabbits can eat parsnip leaves or tops too. They are also safe. If your bunny weighs four pounds, then you need to give it two chopped cups of 4-6 different types of leafy greens. Include this plant’s tops in the mixture.
However, you need to ensure that their source is free of any herbicides, insecticides or pesticides that might have been used on the farm. Also, wash it thoroughly under running water in case of any traces of these chemicals. An organic source would be ideal.
We can affirm the fact that rabbits are allowed parsnips including their plant or tops. They are safe. We have also given you information on how to feed them the root and tops.
When introducing it, begin with a small amount and see if they will develop tummy issues including diarrhea, gas, bloating, and so on. You can then gradually increase the amount.
Finally, do not forget to stick to the right diets that this pet requires and in their correct proportions.