Can Rabbits Eat Edamame?

Categorized as Bunny Diet Tagged

Last Updated on October 9, 2022 by Rei Garnet

Quick Facts About Edamame:

  • Scientific name – Glycine max (L) Merr
  • Also known as – soybean, soya, soy, soya bean, soy bean
  • Origin – China
  • Most commonly found in – Taiwan

Legumes like edamame (soybean) are not safe for rabbits because they could lead to digestive problems if fed in large amounts. Edamame are known to cause gas buildup when eaten by animals like rabbits.

Edamame is also high in starch, lectins (proteins that bind to carbohydrates), and hormone disruptors like phytoestrogen.

100 grams of edamame contains 2.8 grams of starch.

Rabbits, on the other hand, should limit themselves to 0–138 grams of starch per day, meaning rabbits can be fine with or without any starch in their diet.

Additionally, phytoestrogen has been shown to reduce the libido and testis function of adult rabbit bucks.

Lectins, on the other hand, can lead to digestive problems in rabbits because these proteins resist being broken down in the gut and are stable in an acidic environment (inside your rabbit’s gut).

As you can see, everything about edamame is bad for rabbits. Never feed it to your rabbit intentionally.

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

Would rabbits intentionally eat edamame?

brown rabbit on green grass during daytime with its tongue out

Yes, your rabbit would likely eat edamame if given a chance. The skin of edamame is sweet, rabbits on the other hand are suckers to anything sweet.

Make sure that you store your edamame somewhere your rabbits cannot reach.

Even gardeners are having trouble keeping their edamame plants alive due to how much wild rabbits likes eating it.

Is edamame safe to be eaten by rabbits?

No, edamame is not safe for rabbits because it contains too much starch, lectins, and hormone disruptors that can affect your rabbit’s reproductive system.

Feeding legumes like edamame could make your rabbit sick if fed in large amounts.

Risk of overfeeding edamame to rabbits.

A grey rabbit stading in a field of edamame

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

Reproductive problems

Edamame is considered to be a phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogen is an estrogen-like compound found in most soy products, like edamame.

According to this study, consumption of a phytoestrogen-rich diet reduces the libido and testis function of adult male rabbits.

The study however, has found that consuming phytoestrogen does not affect the fertility of adult male rabbits.

Digestive problems

Edamame also contains high levels of lectins. Lectins are proteins that bind to carbohydrates that defend the plants in nature.

Your rabbit’s gut would have a hard time digesting these because these proteins resist being broken down in the gut and are stable in acidic environment.

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 edamame would check those two boxes I mentioned.

Gastrointestinal Stasis

Gastrointestinal stasis is also possible when a rabbit is fed large amounts of edamame, which are high in carbs and starch.

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.

Obesity

Obesity in rabbits is also possible when fed large amounts of starchy food.

Rabbits that are confined in cages all day without exercise and fed large amounts of high-carb, low-fiber diets are the most susceptible to obesity.

Healthy alternatives to edamame.

Here’s a list of vegetables and leafy greens that are a great alternative to edamame:

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

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

No, as long as your rabbit is eating the right kind of diet and you are not giving them a bowl of edamame to feed on, they should be fine.

Feeding a lot of hay would help prevent any digestive problems that might occur if your rabbit accidentally ate a little bit of edamame.

What to do if your rabbit ate edamame?

Observe their behavior and poop for any changes.

You should also feed them a lot of hay.

If you do notice any changes in their poop, take them to a veterinarian.

Conclusion

Edamame is high in starch, lectins (proteins that bind to carbohydrates), and hormone disruptors like phytoestrogen.

Edamame are known to cause gas buildup when eaten by animals like rabbits due to its lectins content.

Edamame has also been shown to reduces the libido and testis function of adult male rabbits due to its phytoestrogen content.

Edamame contains 2.8 grams of starch per 100 grams. Rabbits on the other hand can live with or without starch in their diet.

Cite this article

Bunny Horde (December 7, 2022) Can Rabbits Eat Edamame?. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-edamame/.
"Can Rabbits Eat Edamame?." Bunny Horde - December 7, 2022, https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-edamame/

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.