Is kale good for your rabbit?
Yes, kale is good for your rabbit. There are many health benefits for your rabbit if you chose to feed kale to him or her. My current pet rabbit, Mr. Bunny loves kale and I feed it to him twice a week.
- 1 How much kale should your rabbit have?
- 2 How to tell if you are buying fresh kale
- 3 Organic vs Non-organic Kale
- 4 Wetting your rabbit’s kale
- 5 Kale, leafy greens, and hydration
- 6 What age can you start feeding kale?
- 7 Kale, oxalic acid and your rabbit
- 8 Kale Nutrition Facts for Rabbits
- 9 About the Author
How much kale should your rabbit have?
The amount of kale all depends on your rabbit’s bodyweight. Most veterinarians suggest that rabbits have about one packed cup of leafy vegetation daily per 2 pounds of bodyweight. Yes kale is considered a leafy green.
Variety in diet is important for all rabbits so you do not want to only feed kale. Two or three times a week should be fine for your rabbit.
How to tell if you are buying fresh kale
Let me tell you something, old kale smells terrible, like a sewage plant! No, I am not joking. For some reason kale is probably the hardest vegetable to buy fresh. If it is not fresh you will just die when you smell it and your rabbit will run away back kicking for miles.
As kale ages it starts giving off a smelly gas, which in turn will inflate the bag it comes in. So here is the secret to buying fresh kale for your rabbit. Look for the bags to be un-inflated and loose. If you see bags that are inflated looking/feeling stay away from them! You do not want the bag to be firm like potato chips.
Organic vs Non-organic Kale
If you have a choice, I suggest feeding your rabbit organic kale since there are less pesticides used in organic farming operations. Rabbits may be more susceptible to certain pesticides than humans so it is important to wash your kale thoroughly even if it is organic.
Wetting your rabbit’s kale
Make sure you always wash your kale before feeding it to your rabbit. This will help remove dirt, small bugs and pesticides. I also suggest not drying your rabbit’s kale before serving it to him or her.
The extra water that is left on the kale will help keep it fresh if your rabbit doesn’t eat it right away and it also provides extra hydration for your rabbit. The additional water will also aid in proper digestion.
Kale, leafy greens, and hydration
If you feed your rabbit kale or any other leafy green in the proper amounts daily, you may notice that your rabbit is not drinking as much water. This is because rabbits are very good at extracting water from their food. The fresher the kale or greens are the more water it will contain.
I can see a big difference in how much water our pet rabbit, Mr. Bunny drinks when he is getting very fresh leafy greens versus semi fresh.
What age can you start feeding kale?
You should never offer kale to a young rabbit. The rule for introducing kale or any other leafy green is that the rabbit is off milk and has been eating hay for a solid two weeks.
When you are introducing any new food to your pet rabbit do so sparingly, or little by little. This allows you to keep an eye on his or her poop and overall health. If you notice your rabbit has diarrhea or any type of other reaction discontinue feeding.
You should only introduce a new food every three to four days. It is rare for a rabbit to have any issues with new food after being on a hay diet for two weeks, but it is possible.
Kale, oxalic acid and your rabbit
Thankfully kale is low in oxalic acid so it can be fed without worry. Oxalic acid is found in some vegetables like spinach, parsley, swiss chard and sprouts.
Oxalic acid is a toxin that can build up in your rabbits’ body and slowly poison him or her over a long period of time. This is a rare condition and can be avoided by feeding your rabbit a proper diet.
Kale Nutrition Facts for Rabbits
We have all heard that kale is a superfood for humans, right? Does the same go for rabbits? Let’s take a look. One cup/67 grams of kale contains the following.
- Vitamin A – Essential for your rabbit’s eye health.
- Vitamin K – This helps with neurological function in rabbits and humans.
- Vitamin C – No use to rabbits at all. Extreme amounts of vitamin C will cause kidney damage in rabbits.
- Vitamin B6 – the most important vitamin for immune function.
- Manganese – Important for your rabbit’s bone health.
- Calcium – This is another important mineral but can cause a multitude of health problems if over consumed.
- Copper – Small amounts of copper are very important for numerous reasons including blood and bone marrow health.
- Potassium – Important for your rabbits’ heart, neurological function and muscle growth.
- Magnesium – Helps your rabbits’ brain, muscle function and neurological function.
There is also fiber in kale which is very important for your rabbit’s digestive system. Without fiber a rabbit will die. This is why its important that you do not feed your rabbit bread or other wheat-based products.
If a rabbit does not get enough fiber it is possible that he or she will suffer from GI Stasis. Gi stasis is when a rabbit’s digestive system shuts down and causes a very rapid and painful death. If your rabbit has not pooped within 12 hours you need to see a vet ASAP.
About the Author
My name is Vanessa and I love my buns. My current house rabbit is Mr. Bunny, he is a black and white Dutch that just turned 9 years old.
I believe that rabbits are a magnificent animal that make great pets for SOME people. My mission is to share what I have learned about rabbits over the past 20 years to improve the relationship between our pets and us. Please contact me or comment if you have any questions or comments.