Can Rabbits Eat Common Vetch?

Categorized as Bunny Diet

Last Updated on January 3, 2022 by Rei Garnet

Common vetch is safe to be eaten by rabbits in small amounts. Just make sure that your rabbit is eating enough hay because vetch cannot meet the required fiber a rabbit would need per day.

While common vetch is safe to be eaten by rabbits, you should still limit the amount you give your rabbits or make them a part of your rabbit’s regular diet. There is better more nutritious food out there that’s better for pet rabbits.

Also, make sure that what your feeding your rabbit is common vetch, another variety of vetch is hairy vetch, which should not be fed to rabbits. I can’t find any sources or reports of hairy vetch toxicity in rabbits but hairy vetch is toxic to horses, it’s better that we don’t take any chances with our pets.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain the topic in more detail:

Would rabbits intentionally eat vetch?

Yes, rabbits would intentionally and gladly eat common vetch. In fact, a lot of rabbitries would feed rabbits fresh or dried common vetch especially in countries where there’s an abundant supply of common vetch like the United States.

We’ve interviewed several rabbit owners who have a lot of common vetch where they’re from, most of them reported giving their rabbits some amounts of it.

Risk of overfeeding vetch to rabbits.

While vetch themselves are not poisonous to rabbits, overfeeding it to your rabbits on the other hand could lead to the following conditions:

  • GI stasis – Gastrointestinal stasis is possible when your rabbit is eating vetch in lieu of hay. Make sure that you’re not replacing your rabbit’s main diet(hay, veggies, and pellets) with vetch.
  • Diarrhea – Diarrhea is also possible when you feed your rabbits too much vetch in one eating. Diarrhea in rabbits often happens when new food is introduced too fast and too much.
  • Soft uneaten cecotropes – Feeding too much unnecessary food like vetch to your rabbits could also lead to uneaten cecotropes due to the lack of fiber in your rabbit’s diet. This can be fixed by feeding large amounts of fiber(hay) for several weeks to a month.

Healthy alternative to vetch.

Here are some alternatives to common vetch that are safe to be given to rabbits:

  • Chickweed
  • Roses
  • Marigolds
  • Dandelion
  • Nettles
  • Daisies
  • Clover
  • Sunflowers
  • Pot 
  • Nasturtiums
  • Pansies

Conclusion

Giving vetch to your rabbits is safe as long as they’re not eating it in lieu of hay.

Make sure that what your feeding your rabbit is common vetch, another variety of vetch is hairy vetch, which should not be fed to rabbits.

Finally, if it’s the first time you’re feeding vetch to your rabbits, take it slow and feed it in small amounts. Introducing new food into your rabbit’s diet too fast could trigger diarrhea and other digestive distress.

Cite this article:

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

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.