As a fur parent, giving your bunnies some new greens can be exciting.
And rabbits would love that, too.
Vegetables should only take up 5-10% of your bunny’s diet.
Want to save your time knowing the reasons why?
Read on to learn more:
- 8 potential risks of rabbits eating broccoli.
- 11 great benefits of broccoli for your bunnies.
- Edible parts of the broccoli plant that your rabbits can eat.
- And so much more…
Can rabbits eat broccoli?
Rabbits can eat broccoli. They’re rich in vitamins and nutrients that supplement your bunny’s growth. However, too much feeding may result in painful bloating in your rabbits. Always feed in moderation.
Rabbit eating broccoli – 11 benefits
#1: Boosts your bunny’s reproductive health
Does or female rabbits should live as healthy as possible.
Especially when they’re expecting.
Unfortunately, does are prone to vitamin K deficiency.
And this leads to reproductive issues, such as:
- Placental hemorrhage or when the placenta splits from the uterus.
However, broccoli helps prevent your female bunnies from these problems.
Broccoli contains at least 0.0049 oz (141 mg) per 3.5 oz (100 g) of serving.
They may give that extra boost your pregnant bunny needs.
Moreover, vitamin K also helps prevent coccidiosis.
This is a common disease in rabbits caused by parasites.
Trivia: Rabbits produce vitamin K in their body. However, they may require additional doses, especially during pregnancy.
#2: Helps prevent cell damage
Vitamin E is a popular skincare component.
But it does wonders in your bunnies, too.
Plus, vitamin E works great with selenium that broccolis also contain.
They help protect your bunny’s cells from fat and protein oxidation.
This is a chemical reaction when substances meet oxygen in the body.
When this happens, it can damage not just their cells.
But also their DNA.
Moreover, deficiencies in vitamin E and selenium often result to:
- Destruction of the muscles.
- Infertility or inability to reproduce.
- Damage in cell fats and proteins in the liver.
- Fetal resorption or the breakdown and absorption of the dead fetus in the uterus.
#3: Promotes good heart health
Broccoli contains a powerful compound that caught many researchers’ attention.
We’re talking about sulforaphane.
This can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis in rabbits.
It’s the buildup of cholesterol and fats in their arteries, which often leads to heart diseases.
Moreover, broccolis improves endothelial dysfunction in rabbits with high levels of bad cholesterol.
It’s the narrowing of the large blood vessels in the heart.
So, feeding your bunnies small broccoli slices 1-2 times a week helps keep their heart healthy.
#4: Good for your bunny’s eyes
Your rabbits have difficulty seeing things nearby.
While this is completely normal…
You may still need to supplement them with food that promotes good eye health.
Surprisingly, broccolis may help your bunny keep an eye on predators nearby.
Or their treats.
It’s because broccolis contain lots of vitamin A in them.
That’s at least 1,550 IU present in a 3.5 oz (100 g) serving of broccoli.
Furthermore, a rabbit diet should contain 5,000-75,000 IU per 35.27 oz (1 kg) of body weight.
So, it’s time to replace that unhealthy sugary treats with something eye-opening.
Interesting read: 21 Human Foods Rabbits Can Eat Safely
#5: Contains beta-carotene
Broccolis contain 0.03 oz (929 mg) of beta-carotene.
This is an antioxidant that helps your bunny’s cell growth and development.
It’s also good for your bunny’s vision.
This antioxidant also helps in the following cases:
- Cell oxidation.
- Treatment of diabetes.
- Lowering the risk of cancer.
Moreover, rabbits should have at least 0.026-0.088 oz (750-2,500 mg) of beta-carotene per 35.27 oz (1 kg) of live weight.
#6: Essential in your bunny’s growth
The thiamine content in broccolis helps improve your rabbit’s red blood cells.
It also helps improve their body weight.
Especially for newly weaned bunnies.
Weaning is the transitioning of young rabbits from their mother’s milk to regular food.
Or their separation from their mother’s care.
Moreover, thiamine in broccoli helps prevent the following:
- High death rate.
- Flaccid paralysis or weakening of muscle tone.
- Severe ataxia or loss of balance and coordination.
#7: Helps aid vitamin deficiency
Broccolis are another source of folate.
This B-complex nutrient is present in many foods, such as beans and leafy vegetables.
Folate is an important component in your rabbit’s body.
They need small amounts of folate to function and stay healthy.
Moreover, folate also helps reduce homocysteine levels in the body.
A study confirms.
High homocysteine levels mean that your bunny has a vitamin deficiency.
Without treatment, this may lead to problems, such as:
- Artery damage.
- Blood vessel disorders.
- Increase in blood clot formation.
#8: Promotes strong bones and teeth
Calcium and phosphorus are great for your bunny’s bone development.
These are also essential in their teeth growth.
High amounts of calcium are stored in rabbits’ bones and teeth.
Thus, your bunnies should maintain a diet that contains these minerals.
Feeding them broccoli treats may give them an extra hand in their daily need.
Moreover, calcium and phosphorus help prevent osteoporosis or the weakening of bones.
#9: Helps prevent hypokalemia
Potassium in broccoli helps lower the effects of hypokalemia or potassium deficiency
Hypokalemia causes a high death rate in rabbits.
In general, rabbits need 0.6% of potassium for optimal growth.
According to a study, diets with less than 0.3% of potassium result in death.
Moreover, a lack of potassium in their diet may lead to the following:
- Muscle weakness.
- Respiratory distress.
- Paralysis or inability to move.
#10: Give benefits to baby rabbits
Broccolis contain 0.00002 oz (0.67 mg) of iron per 3.5 oz (100 g) serving.
“What benefits can my bunny get from iron?”
Well, iron is a major component in oxygen transport and energy metabolism.
This is essential when your female bunnies are expecting.
Iron-packed diet in pregnant bunnies benefits their offspring.
This is a vital phase for them.
It’s because pregnant rabbits’ milk doesn’t contain enough iron.
Neither can the mother bunny thoroughly transport iron to her milk.
However, it’s made possible in the placenta.
Or the organ that supplies oxygen and nutrients to their offspring.
Iron feeding to preggy rabbits helps their babies have large iron reserves.
This is important for their growth from birth until weaning.
#11: Contains manganese
The manganese content in broccoli helps in tissue repair and nutrient absorption.
They’re also a great aid for cartilage formation and bone support.
Manganese deficiency may cause your bunnies to suffer from the following:
- Brittle bones.
- Crooked legs.
- A decrease in bone density.
Moreover, rabbits need a daily manganese intake of 0.3 mg for normal growth.
So, a few slices of broccoli may give them that extra bone strength.
Rabbit eating broccoli – 8 dangers
#1: Prone to digestive problems
It’s vital to know that too much of something could be harmful.
Especially for your little fluff balls.
Excess broccoli intake in rabbits causes them to have painful gas.
“Why does broccoli cause bloating in rabbits?”
Carbohydrate residue is often the culprit of this problem.
This is due to the imbalance in your rabbit’s diet.
As most vets recommend, their diet should contain 80-90% fiber from grass hay.
And carbohydrates sometimes are present in commercial rabbit foods in high concentrations.
Unfortunately, 0.25 oz (7.18 g) of carbohydrates are present in a 100 g serving of broccoli.
Unlimited or regular feeding may only cause your bunny tummy pain.
Watch this video on how to help your rabbits with gas pain:
#2: Causes kidney stone formation
Broccolis are a great source of vitamin C.
They may need vitamin C supplements from time to time.
Especially when they’re suffering from illnesses or stress.
But take note of this:
Rabbits already produce vitamin C in their liver.
You may want to avoid feeding them big chunks of broccoli regularly.
As this causes the formation of kidney stones.
Symptoms of kidney stones in rabbits include:
- Blood in their urine.
- Pain during urination.
- Thick or cloudy brown urine.
#3: Develops dental problems
Your rabbit’s teeth structure is an open-rooted one.
This means that their teeth grow throughout their lifetime.
But be cautious when regularly feeding your bunnies some broccoli.
Broccoli, which is high in carbohydrates, may reduce tooth wear.
Tooth wear occurs when they’re chewing on some food.
The more fibrous the food is, the better.
It’s because their teeth need coarse material to maintain a normal length.
However, the opposite is true.
Broccolis aren’t fibrous enough to help bunnies grind their teeth.
Thus, leading to poor teeth and jaw bone quality.
#4: Insufficient fiber content
As a general rule of thumb, rabbits rely on a fiber-rich diet.
And changing it might not be the best idea.
The USDA reports that broccoli contains 0.17 oz (3.3 g) of fiber in a 3.5 oz (100 g) serving.
While your rabbits need at least 0.88 oz (25 g) per 35 oz (1 kg) of their body weight.
In conclusion, rabbits may not survive on a diet that lacks fiber from grass hay.
Fiber is the backbone of their well-being.
Moreover, the foundation of their existence.
#5: Lacks vitamin D
According to USDA, broccolis don’t contain vitamin D.
“How important is vitamin D in my rabbits?”
Vitamin D regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in your rabbit’s body.
Thus, posing a great influence on their bone development and growth.
Vitamin D deficiency is rare in rabbits.
However, the lack of vitamin D in their system will weaken their immunity, too.
Moreover, rabbits need at least 1,000-1,500 IU per 35.27 oz (kg) of body weight.
Tip: Rabbits can get vitamin D through sunshine.
You may expose them outdoors in the morning while the sun shines gently.
#6: Triggers behavioral problems
You may notice that your bunnies tend to eat a lot most of the time.
Don’t worry. It’s part of their instinct.
However, pay attention to what they’ve been eating.
Rabbits can get bored, too.
It occurs when they finish their food instantly.
Trivia: Rabbits can chew or make jaw movements up to 120 times per minute.
And if they’re munching on some quick meals…
Especially low-fiber food like broccoli.
They’ll still feel like starving.
As a result, they may develop behavioral problems, such as:
- Fur chewing or pulling.
#7: Sugar triggers pathogen growth
Broccolis contain at least 0.05 oz (1.39 g) of sugar per 3.5 oz (100 g) serving.
Unfortunately, sugar triggers parasites to grow in your rabbit’s tummy.
This is why.
When undigested sugar enters the caecum (digestive organ) through the small intestine…
Pathogens (bad bacteria) start to build up rapidly once they undergo bacterial fermentation.
Or the digestion of food with the help of bacteria.
As a result, these parasites cause diarrhea and other digestive disorders.
So, feed your bunnies with broccoli sparingly.
#8: Causes obesity
The carbohydrate content in broccolis may not sound much.
But, it’s vital to know all the other components this veggie has.
That said, broccoli contains 0.005 oz (0.14 g) of fat in a 3.5 oz (100 g) serving.
Fats also play a huge role in causing obesity in your rabbits.
This doesn’t mean that broccoli is a total threat.
Or all foods that contain these components shouldn’t be eaten.
The thing is, your rabbits will ask for more food when they don’t feel full.
And fiber can only make this possible.
As always, feeding your bunnies in moderation is your vet’s battle cry.
P.S. Don’t forget the sugar content in broccoli, too.
Can rabbits eat broccoli stalks?
Rabbits can eat broccoli stalks. The stalk is a bit tougher than the stem. So, be cautious when feeding one to your bunny. Always cut in small portions before feeding.
Can rabbits eat broccoli stems?
Rabbits can eat broccoli stems. They’re as nutritious and tasty as the floret or the broccoli head. But be sure to feed your rabbits in bite-sized portions to avoid choking.
Can rabbits eat broccoli sprouts?
Rabbits can eat broccoli sprouts. They contain lots of nutrients and minerals. Plus, they’re low in calories. However, give your bunnies a small number of broccoli sprouts to avoid bloating.
Can wild rabbits eat broccoli?
Wild rabbits can eat broccoli. As plant-eating animals, grazing in the field is their instinct. They’ll likely munch on some greens that they can find while looking for food. However, broccolis aren’t fibrous enough to supply their bodily needs.