Peas are small spherical seeds harvested from the pods (fruits) of pea plant (Pisum sativum) under the family Fabaceae, commonly known as the bean, legume, or pea family. The term may also mean pigeon peas (Cajanus cajan), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), and several species of the genus Lathyrus.
Immature pods of this annual plant s serve as a vegetable where you can get them fresh, frozen, or in cans while most field peas such as split pea are for producing mature and dried seeds.
Finally, the popular varieties are sugar peas that have snow and snap or sugar snap peas. Also, as well as the garden peas that have many varieties that include Wando, Green Arrow, Recruit, Miragreen, Little Marvel, Alaska, Early Perfection, and Sabre, among many others.
Can rabbits eat peas?
It depends. Rabbits can eat green peas in moderation as a treat. Give them while they are still young as the seeds almost flat, i.e., without large pods. Various varieties of Chinese, snow (Chinese), and sugar snap peas are safe for bunnies.
However, please don’t give your rabbits mature seeds or dried ones as they are unhealthy, and dried ones present a choking risk.
OK to green peas
Green beans are a good source of vitamins C and K, thiamine, and manganese. They also have riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Also, they have flavonoids, carotenoids, and other antioxidants good for boosting immunity, neutralizing free radicals, and preventing chronic diseases.
Let your rabbit have 2-3 green pea pods once occasionally. Alternatively, feed them a teaspoon per two pounds of their body weight.
While not so high, avoid excessive amounts because they do have some carbohydrates (14.45g per 100g), sugars 5.67g per 100g, which in large amounts may cause digestive havoc and fatten your bunnies. They are low in fiber, unlike grassy hays, which are the ideal rabbit foods.
Furthermore, green peas do have anti-nutrients like phytic acid that hinders the absorption of zinc, calcium, iron, and magnesium in humans. Also, it has lectins associated with bloating and gas that may affect nutrient absorption. It is unclear if they will cause the same effects of bunnies.
Therefore keep the amount small and give them occasionally. If they make your bunnies gassy, avoid them.
Mature or dried peas
Don’t feed mature or dry peas to your rabbits. As mentioned, they present choking hazards, especially dried ones. Rabbits shouldn’t eat any seeds, grains, or nuts because they are unhealthy to these pets.
For instance, if you look at their nutritional value, they have thiamine, pantothenic acid, folate, and iron. All these are good for your bunny. However, these legumes are high in carbohydrates, sugars, and proteins.
They have 60g per 100g carbohydrates, 8g per 100g sugars, and 25g per 100g proteins. High carbohydrates and sugars may overload their caecum causing GI problems, including GI stasis. Also, they will fatten your bunnies.
On the other hand, high protein diets will strain their liver and kidney and make them urinate more often.
Finally, since they are low in fiber, they may not help in wearing down your bunny’s teeth. Also, fiber aids in gut motility and ensuring a healthy digestive tract
Peapods and plants
Rabbits can eat empty pea pod shells without seeds as well as pea plants in moderation. They are safe for bunnies and can be part of the vegetable mix that bunnies eat. Also, don’t replace their usual diets or hay for pea plants or hay. Like other legumes, it is higher in protein and calcium, making them suitable for growing, nursing, or lactating bunnies. However, for adult maintenance, let them have a limited amount.
Rabbits should have 5-6 different types of leafy greens for every two pounds of their body weight. Make this legume once of them and do so like once or twice a week since you need to keep varying veggies you give them.
Don’t forget to go for an organic source and gradually introduce it beginning with a minimal amount. Afterward, you can increase the amount but don’t go beyond it being a part of 5-6 veggies.
An excessive amount of any leafy plant greens beyond the recommended amounts will cause a soft stool, gas, bloating, and other GI problems.
Since young shoots of pea plants together with other crops like carrot tops, beans, lettuce, Swiss chard, roses, pansies, marigolds, broccoli, petunias, and so on. Consider fencing around your garden if you have an outdoor rabbit or wild ones.
Also, you can try using some of the best brands of rabbit repellents or deterrents or make some at home. Otherwise, they will devour on them.
Good treat alternatives
If you are looking for rabbit treats to give your bunnies in the place of green peas, some of the good ones include:
- Bell pepper
- Celery stems
Also, herbs like rosemary, cilantro, mint, basil, dill leaves, fennel, borage leaves, sage, and lemon balm, among others, will be OK.
Besides herbs, don’t forget to include some fruits like apples without stalk or pits, cherries (without pit), pears, kiwi, papaya, mango, berries, pineapple (without skin), star-fruits, and so forth.
Finally, try flowers like pansies, hibiscus, roses, nasturtiums, marigolds, morning glory, and impatiens, among others.
Don’t cook them
Rabbits can have raw green peas, empty pods, and the plant as well as others in the bean family, including alfalfa, beans, and chickpea. Please don’t give them cooked ones, any other cooked food.
Cooking will make them lose their crunchy texture, degrade nutrients, and make them appealing to these animals.