Can rabbits eat cucumber?

Question: Can rabbits eat cucumber?

Answer: Yes, but only as part of a healthy balanced diet consisting primarily of hay. Cucumber is actually a fruit and as such contains quite a high sugar count, so should only be fed to rabbits in small quantities.

The main basic foods enjoyed by pet rabbits are fresh hay and rabbit pellets, accompanied by plenty of fresh water. Like humans, they also enjoy being served a wide choice of foods! Giving your rabbit a wider selection of different foods including fruit and vegetables will ensure that they eat plenty of nutrients which will help keep them in top health.

Is cucumber good for rabbits?

Although cucumbers are considered a salad vegetable, they are actually classified as a fruit because they are produced by the flowers on a cucumber vine. Cucumbers are 96% water and are low in calories and contain only traces of a few nutrients but importantly, they do not contain any toxins or poisons. There are several different types of cucumber available and rabbits do find the skins on some cucumber harder to eat. All cucumbers are very similar, nutritionally.

Rabbits can eat cucumber skin, flesh and seeds without any problem. The cucumber skin is the most nutritious part as it has a lower water content and contains more fibre. Some experts say that the tougher skins are good for rabbits’ teeth.

How often can I give my rabbit cucumber?

Because cucumbers are a fruit, they have a higher sugar content and for this reason, should only be fed to your rabbit a maximum of 2-3 times a week as a treat. If you feed your rabbit more cucumber than this, because of their sensitive stomachs, rabbits can develop diarrhoea. Your rabbit’s main diet should always comprise of fresh hay and rabbit pellets- with a variety of vegetables and fruits as occasional treats.

Are there any watch points for cucumbers?

Given the chance, most rabbits will happily eat far too much cucumber because they like the taste! Having said that, there are rabbits who do not like the taste of cucumber at all. If you are going to feed your rabbit some cucumber, do follow these important rules:

● Always thoroughly wash the cucumber you are going to feed your rabbit as it could have pesticides on its skin and these would be toxic to your pet. Even if the cucumber is home grown, it is wise to wash it really well and then pat it dry gently with kitchen paper.

● The recommended amount of cucumber to give your rabbit is one medium slice, carefully cut into smaller pieces. Your rabbit can eat all parts of the cucumber – skin, flesh, flowers and seeds, but never give your rabbit the vine stems as these would give your rabbit intestinal problems. The leaves from a cucumber plant are also safe to give your rabbit and they are more nutritious as they contain more vitamins, minerals and fibre. 

● Make sure that you only feed your rabbit, the recommended amount of cucumber. Your rabbit will be quite happy to eat more, but the trouble is that your rabbit only has a small stomach and if he fills it with cucumber, there will be no room for more nutritious food, plus he risks getting diarrhoea.

If you feed your rabbit too much cucumber, too often, this can lead to a vitamin deficiency and weight loss.

Can baby rabbits eat cucumber?

Until a baby rabbit is 12 weeks old, his stomach is not mature. At first he will only take his mother’s milk until he has been weaned. From two weeks of age he can be given some alfalfa hay (which contains more protein, fat and calories than ordinary hay), rabbit pellets plus fresh water every day.

When your rabbit is 12 weeks old, you can start giving him some different fruit and vegetables to try.  If you are trying a new fruit or vegetable, do so very slowly and only one at a time. If you are going to give your baby rabbit cucumber, give just a very small portion and then closely monitor him for 24 hours to ensure he is not developing any side effects. If all goes well, you can try your baby rabbit with another fruit or vegetable – following the same rules, and only trying one new food at a time.

If your baby rabbit enjoys eating the cucumber, you can continue giving him a little cucumber 2- 3 times a week.

Rabbits thrive on a really varied diet and to keep them as healthy as possible, it is well worth putting in time and effort to ensure that your rabbit is getting a really nutritious diet that will keep him in great health. 

Are green vegetables good for rabbits?

Green leafy vegetables should be given to your rabbit every day. You do not have to give your rabbit a huge pile, but the equivalent of 1- 2 tablespoons per 500g of body  weight is perfect. As well as this, you can also give your rabbit a similar amount of green

vegetables. Rabbits really enjoy eating lettuce, curly kale, asparagus and celery. These are really good for them to eat as they contain vitamins and also important minerals plus plenty of fibre.

Are there green vegetables to avoid?

It is best to limit your rabbit’s intake of some green vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage and beetroot as these can make your rabbit feel uncomfortable as they give him wind. 

Whilst rabbits enjoy eating lettuce, they should not be feed iceberg lettuce as this contains lactuacarium which is bad for rabbits. Likewise, avocado contains persin which causes rabbits respiratory problems and can be fatal.

Is it true that rabbits can eat fresh herbs too?

Rabbits have a really well developed sense of taste so you should only give rabbits small quantities of fresh herbs and you should make sure that they have been well-washed to avoid the chance of them having any pesticide on them. Rabbits really enjoy eating rosemary, sage and thyme amongst others and also enjoy a handful of freshly-cut mint leaves.  

What about wild plants in the garden?

If you have an enclosed garden or a large rabbit run, your rabbit will enjoy time out in the garden on a warm sunny day. You do have to be careful what they eat, but they will certainly enjoy nibbling  the grass and will also eat dandelions, lavender and thistles- there is no need to worry as these are all good for them.

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