A proper diet is essential for the optimum health, longevity, and well-being of your rabbits. You need to know what to feed your rabbit and how since there are foods, these animals should eat as treats, in moderation, or an unlimited amount.
Don’t fall for the fact that bunnies may like a particular food and give them more as it may cause digestion problems or may have some health issues. The rule of thumb is unlimited grassy hay, 10-15% greens, 5% high fiber pellets, and 0-5% treats. Treats include any flowers, herbs, non-leafy vegetables, fruits, or commercial bunny treats.
Can rabbits eat zucchini and benefits?
Yes. Rabbits can eat zucchinis or courgette as a healthy treat, a few times a week like once or twice. Feed your rabbits about two small slices courgette or a teaspoon per two pounds of their weight, including the seeds and skin.
For starters, zucchini (C. pepo var. cylindrica) is one of the most popular summer squashes with a cylindrical fruit eaten as a vegetable while still immature. Cucurbita pepo has varieties like acorn squash, cocozelle, pumpkin, crookneck, scallop, vegetable marrow, straightneck, as well as ornamental guards.
You can pickle, grill, bake, barbecue, steam, stuff, fry or make it part of other recipes. It has vitamin A, C, manganese, potassium, vitamin K, magnesium, folate, copper, vitamin B6, thiamine, and phosphorus as well as small amounts of other nutrients.
Also, zucchinis have carotenoids like zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta-carotene which are antioxidants good for the eyes and heart and in preventing some cancer types. Don’t deny your bunny a chance to have all these benefits.
Even with all these benefits, your rabbits cannot have a lot of zucchini because it is low in fiber, and an excessive amount may cause stomach upsets. However, if properly introduced and fed as a treat with other foods in their required proportions, they won’t cause any issues.
Courgette plant (leaves, stems, and flowers)
Rabbits can also eat courgette plants (leaves, petiole, stems, and flowers). For leaves and petioles, make them part of the leafy green salad you give them.
Usually, it would help if you have several of these vegetables, like five or six. Two packed cups of these veggies are enough for a rabbit weighing six pounds.
However, if you intend to give zucchini flowers to your furry critter, do so as a treat. Any flowers, including favorite ones like English daisy, marigolds, pansies, petunias, roses, and so on, are fed as a treat. They are lower in fiber as compared to the fibrous leaves and petioles.
Let them have one or two flowers occasionally. While giving your rabbits any treat, consider all the treats they have eaten and ensure they are not beyond 5% of their daily calorific value.
Do bunnies like zucchinis in the wild?
Yes. House rabbits will enjoy the crunchiness as well as the taste of zucchinis, and it is a great way to add a new texture, taste, and variety. Give them any kind, including the green, white, yellow, striped, or one without strip.
Unlike domestic bunnies that will love courgette, wild rabbits don’t find this plant or fruit a big attraction. They are not fond of it or any of the other Cucurbits family fruits or their plants.
However, they are not rabbit-proof. When there is food scarcity, bunnies may nibble leaves as well as eat their young shoots.
Vary your treats
Varying bunny food, including treats, will provide them more nutritional benefits, keep them interest, and offer varying textures and taste. Some of the great alternatives of zucchinis include the following non-leafy veggies that they should eat as a treat too.
- Bell pepper
- Other squashes both winter and summer
Also, you can include safe fruits, flowers, and herbs to the list of treats you will be giving your rabbit. This way, you will have a wide variety to choose from, and you won’t see a need to feed them the same diet every day. They will get bored.
Will it cause diarrhea?
No. If fed well and introduced well, your rabbit shouldn’t suffer from diarrhea just because it has a lot of water (93%). In most instances, many people start with a large amount, introduce several new foods at ago, and giving them an excessive amount.
All you need to do is ensure you have organically grown zucchini and begin with a tiny amount as you give their tummies time to adjust. A slightly soft stool is expected during the introducing of any new food but shouldn’t be diarrhea.
Afterward, gradually increase the amount until you start feeding your rabbits about two slices. Don’t go beyond that amount even if they seem to like it. While it is healthy, it doesn’t have enough fiber, and giving them too much means they will reduce the amount of hay they will eat.
Can I cook them?
No. unlike you, bunnies don’t eat any cooked food, including zucchinis. They don’t eat any cooked food while in the wild.
Furthermore, cooking may interfere with the crunchy taste, destroy some nutrients, and degrade its fiber content and fibrous nature that is beneficial in wearing down their ever-growing teeth.