Can Rabbits Eat Tiger Nuts?

Categorized as Bunny Diet

Last Updated on December 23, 2021 by Rei Garnet

While tiger nuts are not poisonous to rabbits, feeding them large amounts of tiger nuts could lead to digestive distress like diarrhea, fatty liver disease, atherosclerosis in the aorta, obesity, and GI stasis because rabbits don’t tolerate fatty food well.

100 grams of tiger nuts contains 23 grams of fat. While rabbits should limit themselves to 20-50 grams/kg of fat per day.

Feeding fatty food like tiger nuts to your rabbits would do more harm than good, you should focus on feeding your rabbits high-quality hay instead.

If you notice any changes in your rabbit’s stool, both in size and consistency, immediately bring your rabbit to a veterinarian.

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

Risk of overfeeding tiger nuts to rabbits.

Fatty food like tiger nuts should not be fed to rabbits intentionally. They carry certain risks when fed in large amounts because rabbits’ digestive system is not really designed to digest large amounts of food like tiger nuts.

Here are some of the risks associated when you feed your rabbits large amounts of tiger nuts :

Fatty liver disease

Because most tiger nuts are high in fat, feeding your rabbit’s tiger nuts long-term could lead to Hepatic Lipidosis or fatty liver disease. Rabbit’s diet should only consist of less than 3% fat, while tiger nuts are high in fat.

Here are the signs that your rabbit might be suffering from fatty liver disease caused by excess fat:

  • Loss of appetite (anorexia) – may be sudden or gradual
  • Weight loss
  • Decline in number and size of droppings (feces)
  • Dehydration
  • Depression and lethargy

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 tiger nuts would check those two boxes I mentioned.

Gastrointestinal Stasis

Gastrointestinal stasis is also possible when a rabbit is fed large amounts of tiger nuts, which are high in fat. GI stasis mainly happens when a rabbit is fed a low-fiber diet.

GI stasis happens when the balance of bacteria in your rabbit’s gut is disrupted. 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 tiger nuts 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. Rabbits that are confined in cages all day without exercise and fed large amounts of high carb, low-fiber diet are the most susceptible to obesity.

Healthy alternative to tiger nuts as treats.

If you planning on giving your rabbit’s tiger nuts as treats, these alternatives are much healthier:

Here are some alternatives that you can give to your rabbits one to two times per week as a treat:

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Should you panic if your rabbit ate a little bit of tiger nuts?

While tiger nuts are not recommended for rabbits, it’s still not toxic. It’s just that tiger nuts are too high in fat which is not digested well by rabbits.

Just feed them a lot of hay if you are worried. The extra fiber would likely fix the problem on its own.

What to do if your rabbit ate tiger nuts?

Observe their behavior and poop for any changes. You should also feed them a lot of hay. The extra fiber would help balance their gut flora. If you notice any changes in their poop or behavior, consult a veterinarian immediately.

Conclusion

A rabbit that’s fed large amounts of fatty food like tiger nuts could lead to digestive distress like diarrhea, fatty liver disease, and GI stasis. It could also lead to obesity, especially to rabbits who are confined in small cages all day without access to regular exercise.

If your rabbit is exhibiting signs of digestive distress, immediately bring them to a veterinarian.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (January 28, 2022) Can Rabbits Eat Tiger Nuts?. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-tiger-nuts/.
"Can Rabbits Eat Tiger Nuts?." Bunny Horde - January 28, 2022, https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-tiger-nuts/

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.