Walnut is a general term used to refer to any seed of genus Juglans tree or a drupe. Therefore, they are not what is botanically considered a true nut. Examples of drupes include peaches, nectarines, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, plums, and so on.
Nutritionally, without their shell, they have about 65% fats, 15% proteins, 14% carbs, 7% dietary fibers, and about 4% water. They also have vitamins A, C, E, K, and B complex as well as minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.
Can my rabbit have them?
Your bunny should not eat walnuts. Whereas they are not toxic or poisonous, they may be potentially harmful. In fact, bunnies should not eat any nuts, grains or cereals.
If you do not see good reasons why you shouldn’t, give them to your bunnies, PETA lists them among the foods you should never give your rabbits and notes that“ walnuts are high in fat, not fiber, which can cause your rabbit uncomfortable indigestion.” They have about 65% of fats!
Bunnies are hindgut fermenters and they rely on fibrous foods that have low amounts of energy. Therefore, a rabbit’s digestive system cannot handle that much fat, leave aside the high amount of carbs. Rabbit diets are supposed to have 2-3% fats. Excess may lead to hepatic lipidosis.
Furthermore, the amounts of carbohydrates are high, a level that might cause a shift in the gut and cecal flora leading to enteritis or cecal dysbiosis that may be accompanied by diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues.
Since these animals require a lot of fiber, especially indigestible one to help wear down their teeth, promote gut motility among other roles, these nuts do not have that much fiber needed, especially the indigestible one.
Finally, we mentioned the fact that these animals depend on high fiber, low-calorie foods such as timothy hay. Walnuts are highly calorific, and they may cause weight gain and obesity which will have other negative health effects to your bunny.
Our best advice on walnuts is not to give them to your furry friend. Although other sources may advise you otherwise, saying one or two will not be harmful. Do not let your fluffy friends have them. Plus, there are so many other healthier foods you can give these pets including leafy greens and treats such as fruits and non-leafy vegetables.