Can Rabbits Eat Broccoli?
Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family. It has large flower-heads which consist out of tight clusters of buds, usually green in color, with thick and edible stems.
When sold, broccoli is often wrapped in cellophane as it deteriorates faster if it is in contact with the air.
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Do Rabbits Eat Broccoli?
Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C and K and it also contains moderate amounts of several B vitamins. Because the flower and stalk parts are higher in starch and sugars we recommend only offering them in lesser amounts to your rabbit.
Given that broccoli is higher in starch and sugars compared to leafy greens, we recommend you limit your rabbit to 2 or 3 florets and give them a good rinse before serving.
Broccoli belongs to the genus Brassica which is commonly reputed to increase flatulence with human beings. A rabbit’s gastrointestinal tract, however, is not the same as a human’s and because of this, we can not automatically assume that broccoli is a “gassy” vegetable. It is actually more likely that the higher amounts of starch and sugar in broccoli would cause gas in a rabbit as they change the pH of their digestive system.
Can Rabbits Eat Broccoli Leaves?
Although the leaves are perfectly edible for us humans, broccoli is typically sold with only the flower and stalk parts of the plant. For bunnies, however, the leaves are actually better as they are not that high in starch or sugars compared to the rest of the plant.
If you find a place that sells the whole plant you can also offer your rabbit those broccoli leaves in moderate amounts.
When doing our research we found a number of references that mention higher amounts of calcium in broccoli leaves which could lead to urinary/bladder problems. However, calcium is an essential part of your rabbit’s diet as it is necessary for strong bones and teeth, so it should not be completely eliminated.
Taking into account that the amount of calcium in broccoli leaves is still relatively moderate, in most cases, there will be no reason for concern. If you are in doubt about your rabbit’s calcium intake, our advice is to keep an eye on your rabbit’s urine/fecal output and watch their behavior for signs of pain. If you notice something unusual consult with your veterinarian.
Conclusion: yes, rabbits can have broccoli, just not too much.
What’s your experience with feeding broccoli to your rabbit? Let’s us know in the comments section.