Can Rabbits Eat Millet?

Categorized as Bunny Diet Tagged

Last Updated on July 23, 2022 by Rei Garnet

Quick Facts About Millet:

  • Scientific name – Pennisetum glaucum
  • Also known as – Pearl millet, Proso millet, Sorghum
  • Origin – Asia 
  • Most commonly found in – Ukraine 

Millet is being used by rabbitries as feeds for meat rabbits, so it is not toxic to them.

However, you should not feed millet to your pet rabbit because rabbitries are only interested in the short term health of their rabbits or until they are slaughtered.

You should never feed grains like millet to your rabbit because they contain too much carbs. Rabbits that are fed high-carb, low-fiber diets are at risk of developing digestive problems like GI stasis.

Millet is also high in starch. 56 to 65% of the total seed weight of millet’s are starch. That means on a 100 grams of millet, 56-65 grams of it is starch.

Rabbits, on the other hand, should limit themselves to  0–140g / kg of starch. Meaning they can live without starch in their diet.

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

Would rabbits intentionally eat millet?

Rabbit standing in millet plant

Yes, rabbits would likely eat some millet if you gave it to them. Wild rabbits have been reported to eat millet that they encounter in the wild.

Also, millets have been used by scientists as an alternative to maize grain, an ingredient in most feeds for meat rabbits.

Finally, a lot of rabbit owners online have reported seeing their rabbits eat some millet seeds intended for their pet birds.

Make sure that you store your millet in a place your rabbits will not be able to reach.

Is millet safe to be eaten by rabbits?

No, grains should not be fed to rabbits over the long term because they contain too much starch. Feeding it to your rabbit would likely lead to digestive problems if fed over the long term.

It could also lead to obesity due to the starch content of millet. Obesity in rabbits is also not ideal because its hard for them to lose weight.

You can’t just put a rabbit on a diet because they need to eat to induce gut movement. Rabbits that’s not eating in 24 hours can lead to GI stasis, which can kill a rabbit if not treated.

Risk of overfeeding millet to rabbits.

A bowl of millet seeds

While millet is not toxic to rabbits, it’s still better if you don’t feed your rabbits any millet. Hay and leafy greens should still be the majority of your rabbit’s diet.

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

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 millet would check those two boxes I mentioned.

Gastrointestinal Stasis

Gastrointestinal stasis is also possible when a rabbit is fed large amounts of millet, 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.

Welcome to Bunnyhorde
Welcome to Bunnyhorde

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 millet instead of hay.

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

Obesity

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

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.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

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

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

Feeding a lot of hay would help prevent any digestive problems that might occur if your rabbit accidentally consumes millet.

What to do if your rabbit ate millet?

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, behavior, or eating habits, take them to a veterinarian.

Conclusion

Millet is being used by rabbitries as feeds for meat rabbits, so its not toxic to them.

Grains like millet should not be fed to rabbits long term because they contain too much starch. Too much starch could lead to digestive problems like diarrhea and GI stasis.

Starchy food can also lead to obesity and poopy butt in rabbits.

Cite this article

Bunny Horde (August 6, 2022) Can Rabbits Eat Millet?. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-millet/.
"Can Rabbits Eat Millet?." Bunny Horde - August 6, 2022, https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-millet/

Read our latest posts


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.