Can Rabbits Eat Nettles?

Categorized as Bunny Diet Tagged ,

Last Updated on April 26, 2022 by Rei Garnet

Nettles (Urtica dioica) are safe and highly nutritious to be eaten by rabbits. Just make sure that your rabbit is eating enough hay because, even though nettles are nutritious, they cannot meet the required fiber a rabbit would need per day.

While nettles are safe to be eaten by rabbits, you should still avoid making them a part of your rabbit’s regular diet.

There is better, more nutritious food out there that’s better for rabbits.

Treat nettles as rabbit treats; feed them 1-2 times per week.

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 nettles?

Yes, rabbits will intentionally and gladly eat nettles.

Nettles are actually one of the most common and safest plants that can be fed to rabbits.

Here’s a rabbit eating a bunch of nettles:

We’ve interviewed several rabbit owners who have nettles or from where they’re from.

Most of them reported giving their rabbits some amount.

Risk of overfeeding nettles to rabbits.

A nettle plant

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

  • GI stasisGastrointestinal stasis is possible when your rabbit is eating nettles in lieu of hay. Make sure that you’re not replacing your rabbit’s main diet (hay, veggies, and pellets) with nettles.
  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea is also possible when you feed your rabbits too many nasturtiums in one meal. The lack of fiber would likely soften your rabbit’s stool and lead to true diarrhea.
  • Soft uneaten cecotropes: Feeding too much unnecessary food like nettles 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 nettles.

Here are some alternatives to nettles that are safe to give to rabbits:

Conclusion

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

If it’s the first time you’re feeding nettles 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 (July 3, 2022) Can Rabbits Eat Nettles?. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-nettles/.
"Can Rabbits Eat Nettles?." Bunny Horde - July 3, 2022, https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-nettles/

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Sources

Image credit – Leslie Seaton from Seattle, WA, USA, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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.