Last Updated on July 22, 2022 by Rei Garnet
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 eaten 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 content.
Just make sure that your rabbit is still eating its 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 detail why rabbits can eat clover:
Do rabbits like eating clover?
Wild rabbits eat clover throughout the year due to its nutritional content, which helps them during the warmer parts of the year.
In my case, both of my rabbits would munch 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 content.
The most likely scenario in which clovers can harm rabbits is when a rabbit owner overfeeds 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 estimate of how much clovers you can give your rabbit based on the average weight of rabbits per breed:
|Rabbit’s weight based on breed||Allowed 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|
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:
|12 weeks||Introduce vegetables (one at a time) in small quantities < 1/2 oz (15 g)|
to 1 year
fed daily gradually
|1-2 cups per 6 lbs (2.7|
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?
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 from 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 are still risks associated when a rabbit owner overfeeds their rabbits:
- Gastrointestinal Stasis: Overfeeding clover in lieu of hay to your rabbits could lead to GI stasis, which is caused by a 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 into your rabbit’s diet. Here are some alternatives to clover that you can give to your rabbits:
- Green peppers
- Alfalfa, radish & clover sprouts
- Beet greens (tops)
- Peapods (the flat edible kind)
- Peppermint leaves
- Bok choy
- Peppermint leaves
- Carrot & carrot tops
- Raspberry leaves
- Dandelion greens and flowers (no pesticides)
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 vegetable or leafy green every day could lead to digestive problems.
Can rabbits eat clover sprouts?
Yes, rabbits can eat clover sprouts. Just make sure that you’re only giving moderate amounts and that your rabbit is meeting their required fiber intake for the day.
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 them 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.
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