Can Rabbits Eat Acorn?

Categorized as Bunny Diet

Last Updated on December 28, 2021 by Rei Garnet

Acorn has been used in several studies involving rabbits as a substitute substance on rabbit feeds for fattening rabbits. What they found was acorn can be used in animal feeds without affecting their health in the short term.

But, the studies I mentioned assumes that your rabbit is a meat rabbit, meat rabbits need to grow fast for them to be economically viable so farmers are using all kinds of tricks to make their rabbits grow fast without affecting their health in the short term.

As for pet rabbits, feeding acorn can do more harm than good because it’s too high in fat and starch. Rabbits that are fed high amounts of fat for long periods of time could suffer some serious health issues like diarrhea, obesity, hepatic lipidosis, and GI stasis

100 grams of acorns contains 23 grams of fat while rabbits should also limit themself to 20-50 grams of fat per day.

If you notice any changes in your rabbit’s stool, both in size and consistency, or any changes in their behavior after eating acorns, immediately bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more detail why rabbits can’t eat acorns:

Risk of overfeeding acorn to rabbits.

Fatty and starchy food like acorns should not be fed to rabbits intentionally. They carry certain risks when fed in large amounts because rabbits’ digestive system is not really designed to digest large amounts of food like acorns.

Here are some of the risks associated when you feed your rabbits large amounts of acorn :

Fatty liver disease

Because most acorns are high in fat, feeding your rabbits acorn long-term could lead to Hepatic Lipidosis or fatty liver disease. Rabbit’s diet should only consist of less than 3% fat, while acorn is high in fat.

Here are the signs that your rabbit might be suffering from fatty liver disease caused by excess fat:

  • Loss of appetite (anorexia) – may be sudden or gradual
  • Weight loss
  • Decline in number and size of droppings (feces)
  • Dehydration
  • Depression and lethargy

Diarrhea

Diarrhea in rabbits is often caused by the wrong diet or when their diet is changed too fast. Feeding your rabbit large amounts of acorns would check those two boxes I mentioned.

Gastrointestinal Stasis

Gastrointestinal stasis is also possible when a rabbit is fed large amounts of acorns, which are high in fat. GI stasis mainly happens when a rabbit is fed a low-fiber diet.

GI stasis happens when the balance of bacteria in your rabbit’s gut is disrupted. This disruption would cause painful gas that would eventually lead to organ failure and death if not treated immediately.

The signs of GI stasis are:

  • Depressed
  • Hunched posture
  • Bruxism
  • Decreased appetite/anorexia

If you notice any of these signs, immediately bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.

Uneaten cecotropes

Soft uneaten cecotropes are also possible when rabbits are eating large amounts of acorn instead of hay. This could lead to softer cecotropes due to the lack of fiber in your rabbit’s diet.

Obesity

Obesity in rabbits is also possible when fed large amounts of starchy food. Rabbits that are confined in cages all day without exercise and fed large amounts of high carb, low-fiber diet are the most susceptible to obesity.

Healthy alternative to acorn as treats.

If you planning on giving your rabbits acorn as treats, these alternatives are much healthier:

Here are some alternatives that you can give to your rabbits one to two times per week as a treat:

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Should you panic if your rabbit ate a little bit of acorn?

While acorn is not recommended for rabbits, it’s still not toxic. It’s just that acorns are too high in fat and starch both of which are not digested well by rabbits.

Just feed them a lot of hay if you are worried. The extra fiber would likely fix the problem on its own.

What to do if your rabbit ate acorn?

Observe their behavior and poop for any changes. You should also feed them a lot of hay. The extra fiber would help balance their gut flora. If you notice any changes in their poop or behavior, consult a veterinarian immediately.

Conclusion

Rabbits that are fed large amounts of fatty food like acorn could lead to digestive distress like diarrhea, fatty liver disease, and GI stasis. It could also lead to obesity, especially to rabbits who are confined in small cages all day without access to regular exercise.

If your rabbit is exhibiting signs of digestive distress, immediately bring them to a veterinarian.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (January 27, 2022) Can Rabbits Eat Acorn?. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-acorn/.
"Can Rabbits Eat Acorn?." Bunny Horde - January 27, 2022, https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-acorn/

By Rei Garnet

I’ve loved and cared for rabbits since I was 9 years old, and I’m here to share my passion for rabbits. My objective is to help rabbit owners give their rabbits the best life possible.