Thyme is a name given to any of the over 350 aromatic perennial evergreen flowering plant species under the genus Thymus in the family Lamiaceae (the mint, sage, or deadnettle family) native North Africa, Asia, and Europe’s temperate regions.
These herbaceous or subshrub species have medicinal, culinary, and ornamental value with Thymus vulgaris (common, German, or garden thyme or thyme), the most commonly grown species used in cooking. The other equally important species is T. serpyllum (mother, creeping, or wild thyme) that has medicinal and culinary uses.
Since there are many species, our focus in on the Thymus vulgaris, which unlike other aromatic plants in the mint family, thyme has a subtle, a little bit sweet taste with mint tones.
Can rabbits eat thyme (Thymus vulgaris)?
Yes. Rabbits can eat thyme, both dry or fresh leaves, as well as twigs as a treat or snack. It is one of the safe herbs you can offer to your bunnies, together with other herbs like dill, fennel, coriander, oregano, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, and so on.
However, when it comes to herbs, it’s good to understand that bunnies don’t prefer them due to their pungent aroma. Therefore, some may ignore these herbs will others will graciously nibble it. Try giving them a small piece to see if they like thyme or not.
Additionally, don’t forget to give them in moderation. Herbs should be part of the treats your bunnies eat. All treats shouldn’t exceed 5% of your rabbit’s calorific intake.
Therefore, when feeding thyme to your bunnies, harvest it before it flowers as it tends to be woody. Chop one or two twigs and sprinkle it on their greens. It will add a new texture, taste, and aroma to their regular diets, something that will help break the monotony.
Also, this herb has thymol, a biocide which naturally occurs, capable of destroying harmful organism, including infectious bacteria and studies on rats further suggest it can reduce high blood pressure.
According to iamcountryside.com, “thyme is a great treatment for all digestive issues as well but is very good at treating diarrhea. It is also known to help expel worms,” in your bunnies.
Finally, in humans, it may help fight yeast infection, breast cancer, and colon cancer, treat some skin problems, cough, as help in managing acne.
There are many Thymus vulgaris cultivars that varying leafy shape, color, or essential oil. However, in most types, thymol is about 20-54% of thyme essential oil and a common ingredient.
Thymol may also help treat ringworm (tinea), hookworm infection, halothane preservative, is an active ingredient in some toothpaste, as well as Listerine and other mouthwashes, among other uses.
Wild bunnies hardly eat thyme or any other aromatic herb, unless they don’t have a better alternative. Instead, they will tend to go to beans, peas, roses, blackberries, blueberries, and other plants they prefer. Similarly, your house rabbit may not like this herb.