Pet Safe Plants. You should be able to safely feed your rabbits (or herbivore pets) plants from this long list of rabbit-safe plants. You'll also find tips about possibly toxic plants below.
Owners of pet rabbit owners and rabbit breeders frequently feed their rabbits commercial rabbit pellets. But, with the rising costs of feed, and with the dire threat of GMO plants having become a dangerous reality, more and more rabbit owners are looking into other ways to feed our rabbits.
You CAN effectively feed your rabbits with fresh-gathered rabbit food, and keep your rabbits healthy. It helps to gain a little knowledge ahead of time.
Know the nutritional needs of your rabbit, so you will know which pet safe plants can fill those nutrient needs. This is where an excellent nutritional resource like Rabbit Production comes in very handy. We highly recommend this scientific resource.
(Right: This edition of Rabbit Production is the latest one (2013). You might also be able to obtain earlier editions at a lower price point by clicking through and then noting other books available. I have this volume, and a hardback copy of the 5th edition which I've used for many years.)
Don't poison your rabbit! That's where this page comes in -- we think we've compiled a very useful list of pet safe plants that can guide you in your quest to safely feed your pet rabbit, show rabbit, meat rabbit or wool rabbit.
Our list of 'probably' pet safe plants is drawn from many many sources, including our own experiences and those of other rabbit breeders with whom we have communicated.
We cannot certify the following list as being infallibly safe. Please implement at your own risk. Nevertheless, we believe we would be willing to feed any of these pet safe plants to our own rabbits.
PET SAFE PLANTS: These Foods Okay for Rabbits
Apple, fruit, twigs/branches and leaves (not seeds)
Basil and blooms
Beets and tops
Blackberry, brambles, leaves, berries
Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
Blueberry, and bushes
Bok choy - limit due to possible gas build up
Borage and blooms
Broccoli - limit due to possible gas build up
Brussels sprouts - limit due to possible gas build up
Calendula (pot marigold)
Carrots and tops (limit - high sugar content)
Cauliflower - limit due to possible gas build up
Chamomile and blooms
Clovers and blooms
Coriander (Cilantro) and blooms
Corn (IF you can find or grow it nonGMO.) Go easy on corn.
Cowberry, and bushes
Crabapple, all but the seeds
Daisies and blooms
Dandelion, whole plant and blooms
Day Lily and blooms
Dill and blooms
Endive - limit due to possible gas build up
Fennel and blooms
Garden Nasturtium/Indian Cress
Grains (wheat, oat, barley, milo, millet)
Grapes, vines, leaves (organic only)
Great Plantain and blooms
Great Willow Herb
Huckleberry, leaves, berries,
Hyssop and blooms
Kale (curly and fodder) - go easy, due to possible gas build up
Kohlrabi - limit due to possible gas build up
Lavender (plus, may facilitate kindling)
Lettuce - dark green varieties are by far the best
Mulberry, branches and leaves
Mustard Greens and flowers
Nettles, dried (but doesn't seem to bother the rabbits when fed green)
New jersey tea
Oats, whole, crimped or rolled ('old fashioned')
Papaya (if fresh, contains helpful enzymes that can help reduce fur block)
Parsley and parsley root
Parsnips (go easy on account of high sugar content)
WARNING: Pet safe plants may be pet-safe, but if you feed too much, you can still upset your bunny's guts and create a potentially lethal case of diarrhea.
Obesity is a huge health problem among pet rabbits. We suggest knowing your rabbit's breed and ideal weight, and then resolving to not go overboard on treats. At the very least, know which of these pet safe plants are low in energy and carbohydrates, and choose these for treats instead of, say, apples and bananas.
UNSAFE PLANTS FOR RABBITS LIST
It is difficult to create an exhaustive list of unsafe plants, for several reasons. Many discrepancies exist across sources as to which plants are poisonous and which were not. Some plants were either toxic or safe depending on the source, and most resources didn't give any reason for why they listed the plant either toxic or nontoxic.
Pictured: Foxglove flower stalk - beautiful, but deadly to both people and animals by disrupting heart rhythm
Instead, we'll link you to a couple websites that seem more reliable than others. You can study the entries on those lists and compare them with the plants in your area.
Since we are unable to verify the accuracy of the information, please feed or not feed plants to your rabbits at your own risk. When in doubt, do your own due diligence and research it.
But besides simply sending you away to another website, we'd still like to offer a few pointers as to various problematic veggies and/or seeds and trees:
THESE PRESENT POSSIBLE RABBIT FOOD PROBLEMS
Cucumbers and light green lettuces, such as iceberg lettuce, can trigger diarrhea (dysbiosis) in some rabbits until their intestinal flora can balance itself to accommodate the veggies. Additionally, they have minimal nutrient levels and very high water levels.
Too much cabbage regularly given might enlarge the thyroid and give digestive problems
Rabbits don't do dairy products, as a rule, and especially not pasteurized products. This includes yogurt.
All GMOs, due to growth and reproductive problems, plus mounting scientific evidence of mammary cancers
Peanuts are probably okay, but carry a significant risk of mold (aflatoxin)
Potatoes, if even the slightest bit green
Too much of theseat one sitting can upset
gastrointestinal health. The problem is these contain high levels of
plant sugars and starches, and even moderate amounts can result in too
much sugar in the rabbit's hind gut (cecum). The result is dysbiosis, or
an imbalance in unhealthy bacteria. Enterotoxemia resulting in diarrhea
and death is possible, especially in youngsters: * Whole seeds * grains * nuts * corn * peas * lentils * beans * potatoes * bamboo shoots
Don't feed raw beans (lima, kidney, soy)
Onion, leeks, chives, garlic - these can suppress the immune system, cause blood cells to break open (hemolysis), and can even trigger anaphylactic shock in susceptible rabbits.
Peace Lilies (houseplants: Spathiphyllum cochlearispathum) are toxic (high oxalates)
Rhubarb leaves are toxic
Chocolate (cocoa) is toxic to rabbits
Avocado is considered toxic
Most large and small fruit seeds (including apples and pears) are toxic (not counting berries)
Tree Branches: Twigs/branches of safe trees are listed above in our long list of safe plants for rabbit food. DON'T give twigs/branches from these trees of the Prunus genus, which contain compounds that convert to cyanide in the leaves, twigs and bark: