Can Rabbits Eat Clover? Your Questions Answered.

Categorized as Bunny Diet
A brown new zealand rabbit in a field of clover plants
"Derby romps in the clover after a bit of surfing" by Ketzirah Lesser & Art Drauglis

Last Updated on October 4, 2021 by Rei

Quick Facts About Clover:

  • Scientific name – Trifolium
  • Also known as – White clover, Ladino clover, and Dutch clover.
  • Origin – Europe

Every part of the clover plant(leaves, stems, and flowers) can be by rabbits as long as they are at least 12 weeks old and they’re not eating clover in lieu of hay. Clover is highly regarded as one of the best leafy greens you can give to your rabbits due to its nutritional contents.

Just make sure that your rabbit is still eating they’re required fiber for the day to prevent triggering any digestive problems.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain in more details why rabbits can eat clover:

Do rabbits like to eat clover?

Wild rabbits would eat clover throughout the year due to its nutritional content that helps them during the warmer parts of the year.

In my case, both of my rabbits would much on clover plants whenever I let them out. I’ve also asked several of my friends who have rabbits and all of them reported giving clover to their rabbits as an occasional treat.

Is clover safe to be eaten by rabbits?

Clover is one of the safest weeds to be eaten by rabbits including dandelions. Wild rabbits would eat these weeds year-round due to their nutritional contents.

The most likely scenario clovers can harm rabbits is when a rabbit owner overfed their rabbits too much clover in lieu of hay. The lack of fiber would eventually lead to digestive problems.

How much clover can a rabbit eat?

The proper amount of clover you should give your rabbit would depend on their age and weight. You can use this diet portion calculator for rabbits to determine the proper amount of clover(vegetables) you can give your rabbits per day:

Diet Portion Calculator For Rabbits

If you currently have no way of weighing your rabbit, here’s an estimated amount of how much clovers you can give your rabbit based on the average weight of rabbits per breed:

Rabbit’s weight based on breedAllowed clover per day
Small breed (1.1–3.5 pounds)<128 grams
Medium breed (6 to 10 pounds)384-640 grams
Large breed ( 9 and 12 pounds)384-760 grams
Source: Patry, Karen, et al. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver: Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling. Storey Publishing, 2014.

When can rabbits start eating clover?

The table above on how much clover to give your rabbits assumes that your rabbit is at least 12 weeks old.

Here’s a table on how much clover(vegetables) to give your rabbits as they get older:

AgeVegetables
12 weeksIntroduce vegetables (one at a time) in small quantities < 1/2 oz (15 g)
7 months
to 1 year
Increase vegetables
fed daily gradually
Adult
(1-5 y)
1-2 cups per 6 lbs (2.7
kg) BW
Seniors
(>6 y)
Source: Basic-Rabbit-Care

In addition, make sure that you don’t feed clover to your rabbit every day. Mix in some other kinds of vegetables to make your rabbit’s diet well-rounded. This would help eliminate the possibility of digestive problems.

When should you not feed clover to rabbits?

Young rabbit in a clover field

Gist:

Do not feed clover to rabbits that are having digestive problems or rabbits that are less than 12 weeks old.


The proper protocol whenever you notice or suspect that your rabbits are having digestive problems is to remove any other food in their diet except hay. This would ensure that your rabbit is not lacking fiber, which is the cause of the problem most of the time.

But, you should still bring your rabbit to a veterinarian because lack of fiber is not the only cause of digestive problems in rabbits.

Risk of overfeeding clover to rabbits.

While clover is safe and nutritious for rabbits, there’s still risks associated when a rabbit owner overfeed their rabbits:

  • Gastrointestinal Stasis – Overfeeding clover in lieu of hay to your rabbits could lead to GI stasis, which is caused by the lack of fiber in your rabbit’s diet.
  • Diarrhea – Diarrhea is also possible when rabbit owners overfeed large amounts of clover to their rabbits too fast. Always introduce any new diet to your rabbits slowly.
  • Uneaten cecotropes – Soft uneaten cecotropes are also possible when rabbits are eating large amounts of clover instead of hay. This could lead to softer cecotropes due to the lack of fiber.

Healthy alternatives to clover.

While clover is safe for rabbits, you should still mix in some other vegetables to your rabbit’s diet. Here are some alternatives to clover that you can give to your rabbits:

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can rabbits eat clover daily?

No, a healthy rabbit diet should consist of a variety of vegetables. Feeding your rabbits one type of vegetables or leafy greens every day could lead to digestive problems.

Can rabbits eat clover sprouts?

Yes, rabbits can eat clover sprouts. Just make sure that your only giving moderate amounts and your rabbit is meeting their required fiber intake for the day.

Conclusion

Rabbits can eat any part of the clover plant but you have to make sure that your rabbit is at least 12 weeks old and you only give the recommended amount based on their age and weight.

Feeding clover or any leafy greens to young rabbits(<12 weeks old) could lead to digestive problems because young rabbits are more susceptible to it.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (November 3, 2021) Can Rabbits Eat Clover? Your Questions Answered.. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-clover/.
"Can Rabbits Eat Clover? Your Questions Answered.." Bunny Horde - November 3, 2021, https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-clover/