Can Rabbits Eat Cabbages? What You Need To Know.

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Can Rabbits Eat Cabbages
Can Rabbits Eat Cabbages

Last Updated on August 23, 2021 by Rei

We, as pet owners want our pet to be as healthy as possible. That’s why we give them the best possible food we can. For rabbits, it’s widely believed that anything green is okay as food. But is that true?

Can rabbits eat cabbage? Yes, but only in small amounts. Cabbage contains glucosinolate goitrogens which impair the iodine uptake of your rabbit’s thyroid if taken in large amounts.

If you’re still planning on feeding your rabbits cabbages, just remember that it’s still important that they eat enough fiber and protein in the form of hay.

Making cabbage the main source of your rabbit’s diet is not recommended because cabbage doesn’t have enough fiber and protein that a rabbit needs thru out the day.

Remember, your rabbit’s diet should be 80% hay, 10% leafy greens, and the rest are treats.

Can rabbits eat cabbage daily?

Can rabbits eat cabbage daily?

Gist:

No, cabbage contains glucosinolate goitrogens which impair iodine uptake on your rabbit’s thyroid. Cabbage should only be given in small amounts.


Making cabbage as the main source of your rabbit’s diet is not ideal. Although rabbit farms used to give cabbages to rabbits as their main source of food. But we, as pet owners, we want to make sure that our pet is eating the safest food.

According to several books that I’ve read, feeding your rabbits large amounts of cabbage or feeding them small amounts over a period of time can cause impaired iodine uptake.

Cabbage is actually on the list of potentially poisonous plants for rabbits.

Potentially toxic plants for rabbits

PlantToxic principalComments
Amaranthus:
A. retroflexus
(redwort)
A. viridis (green
amaranthus)
Oxalic acidRedwort is known to be toxic to rabbits.
Amaranthus albus is the garden plant love-lies-bleeding.
AntirrhinumsKnown to be poisonous in other species
ArumCalcium oxalate and
other irritants
Can cause swelling and discomfort of the oral cavity in other species.
Buttercups (fresh)ProtoanemininCauses irritation to mucous membranes including GI tract in other
species.
BrackenThiaminaseToxic in cattle, sheep and horsesþbone marrow suppressant.
BryonyIrritant substance
and histamine
Berries and rhizomes are poisonous.
CabbageGlucosinolateGoitrogenic if fed in large quantities
CelandinesA variety of alkaloidsUnpalatable.
Irritant effects. Purgative.
CharlockPoisonous in other species.
ComfreyPyrrolizidine
alkaloids
Hepatotoxic (rabbits appear to be resistant to toxic effects).
ConvolvulusPoisonous in other species
CrotalariaPyrrolizidine
alkaloids
Hepatotoxic (rabbits appear to be resistant to toxic effects).
DahliaKnown to be poisonous in other species.
Evergreens
(except conifers)
Known to be poisonous in other species.
FigwortReputed to be poisonous
FoxgloveCardiac glycoside
(digitalis)
Known to be poisonous in other species.
Hellebore
(Christmas rose)
Variety of alkaloidsKnown to be poisonous in a range of species.
Whole plant is toxic especially during flowering.
HemlockVariety of alkaloidsWhole plant is toxic. Unpalatable
HenbaneAnticholinergicSeeds are most toxic part of the plant.
Unpalatable.
HorsetailsThiaminase alkaloids
Silica
Toxic to other species (horses) if ingested over long periods. Remains
toxic after drying, i.e., hay.
IrisesReputed to be poisonous.
IvyUnidentifiedWhole plant, including berries poisonous.
Large quantities need to be ingested.
KaleThiocyanates
S-methyl-cysteinesulphoxide
Nitrates
Antithyroid
Toxicity reported in ruminants.
Needs to be ingested in large quantities.
Can cause haemolytic anaemia in other species.
LaburnumAlkaloidsSeeds especially are known to be poisonous in other species.
Rabbits may be resistant to toxic compounds.
Lily of the valleyVariety of alkaloidsVariety of symptoms
LinseedCyanogenetic
heteroside
Ingestion of>400 g/100 kg of oil-seed cake can be toxic in other
species
LupinsQuinolizidine
alkaloids
Most cultivated lupins are of low toxicity
MilkweedCardiac glycoside
Monkshood
(aconite)
AlkaloidUnpalatable, irritant.
NightshadeAtropineMany rabbits are resistant to poisoning due to presence of
atropinesterase.
OleanderCardiac glycoside
PoppiesOpium alkaloidsEntire plant is toxic even after drying.
Potato plantsSolaninesCan cause haemolysis in other species (cattle and pigs) if large quantities
of leaves or stems are fed or small quantities over a long period.
PotatoesNitrophenolPotatoes may be sprayed with nitrophenols to prevent sprouting. The
spray can be toxic to rabbits
PrivetTannins
Heteroside
Can be fatal in other species.
RagwortPyrrolizidine
alkaloids
Hepatotoxic.
Rabbits appear to be resistant to toxic effects.
Scarlet pimpernelReputed to be poisonous.
SpeedwellReputed to be poisonous.
SpurgesAlkaloidsCause intense local irritation to mucous membranes in other species
ToadflaxReputed to be poisonous.
Tomato plantsSolaninesCan cause haemolysis in other species (cattle and pigs) if large leaves
or stems are fed or small quantities over a long period.
Travellers joy
(Clematis vitalba)
Reputed to be poisonous
Wild celeryReputed to be poisonous.
YewTaxineCut branches more toxic than when fresh.
Very toxic in other species.
Can cause sudden death.
Probably toxic to rabbits.
“Rabbit Basic Science.” Textbook of Rabbit Medicine: Revised and Edited, by Molly Varga and Frances Harcourt-Brown, Elsevier, 2014, pp. 51–53.

What are the benefits of feeding cabbage to rabbits?

Cabbage can be a moderate source of calcium and fiber for rabbits.

But you still need to mix up their diet with other food because feeding your rabbits large amount of cabbage could cause diarrhea and impaired iodine uptake.

Cabbage also contains some phosphorus which is great for rabbits, but not enough.

Here’s a table to help you get an idea of how much nutrient your rabbit needs per day. As you can see a rabbit that only eats cabbage is not meeting these requirements.

Suggested nutrient constraints for pet rabbit diets

Component and nutrient
(g kg−1)
RangeNutrient (mg kg−1)Typical range
Protein120–160Vitamin A (IU kg−1)
d
5,000–12,000
Crude fibre140–200Vitamin D (IU kg−1)800–1,200
ADF170–n/aVitamin E40–70
Starch0–140Copper5–10
Fat20–50Vitamin B11–10
Digestible energy (MJ kg−1)9–10.5Vitamin B23–10
Lysine5–n/aVitamin B62–15
Methionine and cystine5–n/aVitamin B120.01–0.02
Calcium5–10Folic acid0.2–1.0
Phosphorus5–8Pantothenic acid3–20
Magnesium3Niacin30–60
Zinc50–100Biotin0.05–0.20
Potassium6–7Choline300–1,500
Sodium chloride5–10
Source: Nutrition of the Rabbit, Second Edition

How much cabbage should a rabbit eat?

gavin allanwood hcxqLJjI99E unsplash Can Rabbits Eat Cabbages? What You Need To Know.

Gist:

Leafy greens should only be 10% of your rabbit’s diet. But cabbages in large amounts can impair iodine uptake and diarrhea.


We recommend skipping cabbage as your rabbit’s main source of leafy green because it can cause diarrhea and impaired iodine uptake.

Instead, we recommend choosing other leafy greens from the table below. Just remember to only give them small amounts of leafy greens and make sure they eat enough hay per day.

Here’s a list of vegetables and leafy greens that are recommended for rabbits.

When should you not feed cabbage to rabbits?

When should you not feed cabbage to rabbits?

Gist:

You should not feed cabbage to rabbits that are less than 7 months old.


Feeding your rabbit leafy greens when they are less than 7 months old is not recommended. Growing rabbits should only eat hay to maximize their growth and nutrition.

Another reason why you should not feed cabbage to rabbits is when they have diarrhea. If your rabbit have diarrhea, you should remove any other food except hay and bring them to a vet.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Can rabbits eat napa cabbage?

    Yes, napa cabbage can be eaten by rabbits. Just make sure that you only feed them small amounts and wash them before giving them.

  2. Can rabbits eat red cabbage?

    Yes, red cabbage just like regular cabbage can be eaten by rabbits. Just make sure that you only feed them small amounts and wash them before giving them.

  3. Can rabbits eat white cabbage?

    Yes, white cabbage just like other types of cabbages can be eaten by rabbits. Just make sure that you only feed them small amounts and wash them before giving them.

  4. Can rabbits eat savoy cabbage?

    Yes, savoy cabbage can be eaten by rabbits. Just make sure that you only feed them small amounts and wash them before giving them.

Conclusion

Feeding your rabbit cabbages on small amounts is safe. Just make sure that you only give it to them sometimes. Regularly feeding cabbage to your rabbits can cause cause diarrhea and impaired iodine uptake because cabbage contain glucosinolate goitrogens.

When choosing leafy greens to feed you rabbits, we recommend skipping cabbages just to be safe.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (November 15, 2021) Can Rabbits Eat Cabbages? What You Need To Know.. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-cabbages/.

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