Question: Can rabbits eat thyme?
Answer: Yes, rabbits can eat Thyme.
What Is Thyme?
Thyme is an herb that has culinary and medicinal value. Since it has medicinal value, rabbits can safely eat thyme – both fresh and dried. There are two common types of thyme:
- Common Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
- Lemon Thyme (Thymus citriodorus)
Thyme can serve as a treat for rabbits and is not part of their main diet. However, due to the strong flavor of the herb, some bunnies might not want to eat it.
Can Rabbits Eat Thyme?
Rabbits can eat the common thyme (Thymus vulgaris), also known as garden thyme or summer thyme. This thyme has a minty flavor and is totally safe for rabbits to eat. However, remember that you can’t make this herb the main diet of the rabbit. Bunnies thrive on dried grass, otherwise known as hay. So if you want to give your rabbits thyme, you have to make it an occasional treat and not something you give them every day.
How About Lemon Thyme? (Thymus citriodorus?)
Lemon Thyme’s flavor is much stronger than that of the common thyme, although both are similar in appearance. Rabbits can also eat the lemon thyme in moderate quantity, although most rabbits might refuse the lemon thyme due to its strong flavor.
Should Rabbits Eat Creeping Thyme (Thymus praecox)?
Creeping Thyme usually adds beauty to landscapes, but they have a strong flavor – much stronger than the lemon thyme. As a result, most rabbits don’t like the creeping thyme and would most likely reject it if they’re offered some.
Do Wild Rabbits Eat Thyme?
Although wild rabbits can eat thyme, it’s not usually their first option. They typically make it their last resort. There’s a wide variety of grass and plants to eat in the wild, so most wild bunnies would rather eat those than stick to the thyme.
However, in cases where there is little to eat, like in winter, wild rabbits will eat dried thyme. That is why we said most wild bunnies see eat thyme as a last resort. But many would sustain themselves by eating other plants or herbs.
Is Thyme Poisonous to Rabbits?
Thyme is not poisonous to rabbits. In fact, thyme has medicinal value that you can use to treat your bunny. Many rabbits suffer from bloating, especially when they eat something that they shouldn’t. You can feed them thyme (dried or fresh) to help ease the bloating when this happens. Thyme can also be used to treat diarrhea and stomach ache in bunnies.
Thyme contains some nutrients that are beneficial to your rabbit. Some of them are minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins like A, C, and B9. All these are nutrients that your bunny needs.
Should I Feed my Rabbits Fresh or Dried Thyme?
Rabbits can have both fresh and dried thyme, as they are both safe treats for your bunny. However, if you don’t have a garden where you plant thyme, it would be cheaper to get the dried thyme in a feed store. If you’re concerned about cost, then you should buy the dried thyme. However, if you don’t care about price, then you can get either.
You can also monitor your rabbits to find out which of the thyme it prefers. If it looks like your bunny likes the dried one more than the fresh one, then you can stick with dried thyme. If the reverse is the case, then you can feed your bunny fresh thyme instead.
You can also consider how easy it is for you to get either thyme. If it’s easier to get the fresh thyme, then you can make that one the type you feed your rabbit. If it’s the dried thyme that’s easier to get in your locale, then you can stick to that one too.
Can I Feed my Rabbits Thyme Stems?
Yes, thyme stems are as safe to eat as the leaves, so you can also feed them to your rabbit. This could be fresh or dried stems. However, thyme stems usually have more pungent smells than the leaves, so your bunny might refuse them.
Since this might not be a better option for your rabbit, it’s better to feed them something they’ll enjoy, like the thyme leaves. You can also include other herbs into your bunny’s diet, like mint, dill, rosemary, oregano, and so on.
Can I Also Feed my Rabbits Thyme Flowers?
Almost like the thyme leaves, bunnies don’t like thyme flowers. It’s usually advised that you harvest the thyme leaves before it flowers. Then you can wash the leaves to get rid of dirt and debris or chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers. Then you can serve it your rabbit alongside other leafy greens like carrot tops, radish greens, celery, cabbage, basil, etc.
Without a doubt, thyme is one of the safest treats you can ever give your bunny. Still, that doesn’t mean you can overdo it, as too much of it might be counterproductive. This is why you should only give them the herb once or twice a week and with other vegetables and herbs.
Also, if you’re just introducing your rabbit to thyme, don’t rush them. Feed them a little quantity at first, and watch how they react to it. While rabbits can eat almost anything, some react differently to various foods. So you have to be sure that thyme is a treat that you can feed your rabbit without having to worry about any adverse reactions. If it looks like all is well, you can gradually increase the portion until you reach the limit that’s good enough for the rabbit.
Overall, remember that rabbits need hay the most. That is where they get most of their nutrients, especially fiber. Hence, experts recommend that you make it about 80% of their diet. Other diets that your rabbit needs are high-quality pellet, vegetables, leafy greens, and lots of water. You can also feed them fruits in small amounts.