Can Rabbits Eat Chicken Feed?

Categorized as Bunny Diet Tagged

Last Updated on April 26, 2022 by Rei Garnet

Chicken feed should not be given to rabbits intentionally because it contains too much protein and starch.

Most chicken feed is made up of protein (soybean, canola, sunflower meal, bone, feather, and fish meal), supplements, and crushed grain.

All of the ingredients in chicken feed are not recommended to be given to rabbits intentionally.

But your rabbit should be fine if they only ate a little bit of chicken feed.

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

Risk of feeding chicken feed to rabbits.

Rabbits and chickens have different nutritional needs, feeding your rabbits chicken feed has risks if fed long term.

Here are some of the risks associated with feeding your rabbits large amounts of chicken feed:

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 chicken feed would check those two boxes I mentioned.

Gastrointestinal Stasis

Gastrointestinal stasis is also possible when a rabbit is fed large amounts of chicken feed, which is high in carbs and starch due to the corn content of most chicken feeds.

GI stasis happens when the balance of bacteria in your rabbit’s gut is disrupted due to a high-carb, low-fiber diet.

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 chicken feed instead of hay.

This could lead to softer cecotropes due to the lack of fiber in your rabbit’s diet.

Dental problems

Chicken feeds are designed to be consumed by chickens, feeding them to rabbits could cause damage to your rabbit’s delicate teeth and gums.

Dental damage in rabbits is extremely serious.

A rabbit that’s in pain due to dental damage would refuse to eat or only eat a little.

A rabbit that’s refusing to eat would eventually develop some kind of digestive problem like GI stasis.

Rabbits need to constantly eat for their gut to function properly.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Should you panic if your rabbit eats a little bit of chicken feed?

While it’s true that rabbits should not eat chicken feed, eating a small amount of chicken feed is not a problem.

As long as you’re not feeding your rabbit a lot of chicken feed, you should be fine.

Just observe your rabbit for any behavioral changes or any changes in their poop.

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What to do if your rabbit ate chicken feed?

Observe their behavior, poop, and urine for any changes.

If you did notice something after your rabbit accidentally ate chicken feed, call a veterinarian for proper advice.

Conclusion

Chicken feed should never be fed to rabbits intentionally.

Rabbits are not designed to consume large amounts of protein and fat.

If your rabbits ate a little bit of chicken feed, just observe their poop, urine, and behavior for any changes.

If you have noticed some behavioral, urine, and poop changes, call a veterinarian for proper advice.

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.