You will find a yes and no to on whether rabbits can eat sorrel or not, something that can be confusing. Is it safe or not?
Garden or common sorrel, narrow-leaved dock, spinach dock, or sorrel is scientifically known as Rumex acetosa is a flowering perennial culinary herb and salad vegetable in the family Polygonaceae (the knotweed, smartweed, or buckwheat family).
Ensure you don’t confuse this plant with Hibiscus sabdariffa, otherwise known as Guinea or Jamaican sorrel. These are two different plants.
Can bunnies eat it?
No. Rabbits can eat sorrel greens (leaves and stems) or any part of the plant as it is potentially toxic, i.e., it is high in oxalic acid, standing at about 300mg/100g in the form of binoxalate potash.
However, a small amount is unlikely to cause any harm to your bunny. To prove that it is not as deadly as thought, the Rumex acetosella (Sheep’s or red sorrel, also known as sour weed) is safe for bunnies in small amounts and while in the wild, The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. Knopf. p. 708, notes that larger animals like deer and rabbits browse their leaves.
This herb has vitamin A and C that will help boost immunity, has vitamin B1, B2, B9, and C as well as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, and iron. Your furry critter stands to benefit from all these nutrients.
To you, Rumex acetosa may help blood pressure regulation, promote healthy eyesight, soothe skin conditions, support heart health, and boost immunity, among other benefits.
While it may sound very healthy, and wild rabbits may browse it, we don’t see the need to insist on giving our bunnies sorrel, yet there are more healthy greens, herbs, and weeds.
Instead, try cilantro, beet greens, broccoli greens, carrot tops, watercress, fennel, endive, Bok Choy, and romaine lettuce, among others.