Can Rabbits Eat Kale? Best Guide We Should Know

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can rabbits eat kale?

Can Rabbits Eat Kale?

Can Rabbits Eat Kale? YES. Rabbits can have kale but only a small amount in moderation. There is no harm to your rabbits if you feed them correctly. Kale is a good healthy leafy green for your rabbits. We can also mix other good vegetables with kale. Most of the common varieties of kale types are good for rabbits. This kale is packed with nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and calcium, etc. Because of the high calcium and oxalate level, we can’t provide kale to rabbits every day. We must aware of the amount we feed to our loving rabbits. 

Rabbits are herbivores. But we can’t provide a full diet with vegetables and fruits. We can only provide 15 % of vegetables, fruits, and herbs in rabbit’s diets. Rabbits’ major food source must be fresh quality hay and grass. They take all most all nutrition from hay supplies. We can serve a small number of vegetables in their daily diet as other nutritious foods. Kale can provide extra nutrition to your rabbits as part of a balanced diet.

But we can’t provide Kale too often for rabbits. Overfeeding Kale can lead to many health issues. There are a lot of things to talk about Kale. This article covers all the health benefits, nutrition facts, overfeeding health issues & many more things that you should know before feeding Kale to your rabbits.

Let’s start without any delay!!!

Video credit for LoppieLove YouTube Channel

Extra Information About Kale

Kale is categorized in the mustard family. Also called as cabbage family plant. The Kale plant is related to wild cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. Kale is recognized as a superfood because it has high calcium and vitamin C amounts. Now we have several varieties of Kale all around the world. Curly kale, Tuscan kale, and Ornamental kale types are common among people. This kale comes in a range of sizes and colors. Such as light green, yellow-green, red, white, and purple, etc. Most of the time people categorize the kale varieties according to the stem length and leaf structure. Kale tastes like earthy flavor with nutty sweetness.

Kale is used for many kitchen foods. Kale is also used for medical purposes. These leafy greens are packed with antioxidants and nutrients. Kale has more vitamin C than oranges. And it’s packed with vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, protein, iron, and calcium, etc. Kale supports many health issues. Kale is a good leafy green for protecting against diabetes, preventing from heart diseases, preventing form cancer cells, and good for bone health and promoting a healthy digestive tract.

Because of the high nutrition level, sometimes kale is also avoided for feeding to certain people (beta-blockers, kidney disease, blood thinners). High potassium, calcium, vitamin K can be harmful if we consume in large amounts. We must also be careful when feeding kale to rabbits.

According to the USDA United States Department of Agriculture, 100g of raw Kale has these nutrients.

Water84.0 g
Energy207 kJ
Carbohydrates8.8 g
Sugars2.3 g
Dietary fiber3.6 g
Protein4.3 g

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamin A241 μg
Vitamin C120 mg
Vitamin E1.54 mg
Vitamin K390 μg
Calcium150 mg
Iron1.5 mg
Magnesium47 mg
Manganese0.66 mg
Phosphorus92 mg
Potassium491 mg
Sodium38 mg
benefits of kale to rabbits

Types Of Kale That Are Good For Rabbits

All common varieties of kale are safe to serve for rabbits. But keep in mind to only feed them a limited amount in moderation. When you buy Kale always look for crisp leaves and Kale that have bright colors. Always supply fresh and good kale for rabbits. It’s better to give them organic Kale. They grow with fewer fertilizers and chemicals. If you buy Kale from the market, make sure to wash them before feeding them to your rabbits.

Curly kale:  Curly kale is the most common kale variety among people. Most of the time those are used for decoration and salads. This kale tastes peppery and bitter. The stem is woody, so strip and just use the leaves.

Lacinato Kale: This variety is also called Tuscan and dinosaur kale. These kales are in super dark colors and have a thinner texture. Cooked and raw Lacinato kale is used for salads.

Baby Kale: This kale can be also easily found in stores. It’s thinner and more tender type kale.

Red kale: This variety is also called red Russian kale. Tastes similar to curly kale. The main difference is this red kale has red color stems.

Redbor kale: This variety of kale leaves are deep purple in color and have curly leaves.

These kale varieties are common and most rabbit owners feed them to rabbits. Make sure only feed the suitable amount for rabbits. Even these varieties can be harmful to rabbits if we overfeed them.

Do Rabbits Like To Eat Kale 

Most of the time rabbits like to eat kale. That is because they like the tasty and crunchy behavior in Kale.  But it depends on your rabbit’s taste. Sometimes they may not like kale because of the bitter stems. Try to provide a small portion of Kale leaves and check how they react to kale. If they like those you can provide a small portion as an occasional treat to your rabbit. If they don’t like Kale, don’t worry about that, there are a penalty of other leafy greens good for rabbits, and try them out.

Is Kale Safe To Be Eaten By Rabbits?

Kale is a good source of leafy green for rabbits. Kale contains essential vitamins, fiber, minerals & antioxidants. But you should offer only a small amount to your rabbit’s daily diet in moderation. We must always take precautions according to the food type we provide to rabbits. Due to the high calcium and oxalate level, we can’t provide them too often. If we feed kale in large amounts, it will lead to stomach distress and digestive problems.

When you are mixing kale with other vegetables and leafy green make sure not to add another high oxalate vegies for mixing. Some of the high oxalate foods are spinach, celery, parsley, etc. Keep in mind to only mix law oxalate vegetables with kale, like carrot tops, cilantro, basil, beet greens, broccoli, bok choy, etc. 

Rabbits’ main food source should be hay. We should prioritize hay in the regular diet plan. Overall nutrition can be covered by hay. Unlike humans, fiber is essential to rabbits. It can prevent bad bacteria from forming in the intestines. Some of the bacteria can lead to critical health issues in rabbits. This is why we should give priority to hay. But rabbits can’t live eating hay all day long. We must add veggies and fruits to their daily diet. The end of this article provides you a general diet plan and guidance before feeding Kale to rabbits.

do rabbits like to eat kale

How Often Should We Feed Kale

Kale is a good leafy green for your rabbit. But we need to feed those according to a proper guide. A small amount of Kale can provide good health benefits for rabbits. Overfeeding can cause gastrointestinal distress and lead to many health issues.

All ways provide them with raw organic kale. You can safely provide one leaf for larger rabbits and a small leaf for small rabbits. only serve them 2-3 times per week. We always need to check for the oxalate amounts and calcium amounts when we are feeding rabbits. Don’t provide another high oxalate vegetable with kale. Always provide them according to the right amount. 

Benefits Of Kale For Rabbits

Kale has many essential nutrients and health benefits for rabbits. It contains dietary fibers, proteins, vitamins complex B, vitamin A, C, K, and E, magnesium, potassium, iron, manganese, and calcium, etc. Kale is loaded with antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol.

Kale is loaded with Beta -Carotene. This helps to maintain a better immune system in rabbits. Kale has a high amount of lutein and zeaxanthin. These compounds help to protect the eyes and provide good vision. Vitamin A improves your pet’s vision and develops bones. Kale is a good supplier of beta-carotene that helps to prevent age-related blindness.

Kale is an excellent source of vitamin C that helps muscle development in rabbits & it helps to maintain a healthy blood system. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that helps the development of bones, skin, and connective tissues. Vitamin C is essential for rabbits, as lack of vitamin C can cause scurvy disease. This is a common illness among rabbits.

Kale is a fine source of vitamin K. It will help to maintain healthy bones. It increases the efficiency of the immune systems in rabbits. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting. Kale provides vitamin E. Vitamin E also acts as an antioxidant in the rabbit’s body. Fiber helps to increase the efficiency of the digestive systems in rabbits. 

Kale is rich in potassium and magnesium. According to researches, these nutrients can reduce the risk of death by heart diseases. Potassium can protect from muscle mass loss and reduce the risk of developing kidney stones.

Health Risks of Kale for Rabbits

Most of the Kale in the market are applied with pesticides. These chemicals are harmful to rabbits. They can lead to serious health problems in rabbits. Wash those thoroughly before feeding to rabbits.

Feeding a large amount can lead to many health issues like leading to gases and diarrhea. If we intend to provide kale to rabbits, we must be aware of the amount we are feeding to the rabbits.

Due to the high amount of calcium, it can lead to urinary issues like kidney stones, bladder slides, and bladder stones. These things can happen when we overfeed high calcium foods like kale. These health issues will give your rabbits discomfort.

Kale is not a bad leafy green if we feed it according to a suitable amount. Feeding in moderation would not be harmful to rabbits. But if we exceed the correct amount, it can lead to many health issues.

Proper Guide To Feed Kale For Rabbits

As we know now Kale is a good, natural leafy green for rabbits. But there is a guide you must follow before feeding Kale. Let us check it out.

Before introducing Kale to rabbits for the first time, you need to start up with a small leaf. Keep monitoring them 24 hrs & check whether they show some illness such as diarrhea, lethargy, constipation, and loss of appetite. If they do not show any kind of illness, you can increase the amounts slightly to your rabbit. Don’t try to introduce many kinds of foods at the same time.

 Preparing Kale for rabbits:

  1. Purchase good quality Kale for rabbits. Try to find organic Kale, they are much better for rabbits’ health.
  2. Carefully wash them to remove any chemicals or wax that could be harmful to the rabbit’s health.
  3. Chop Kale into bite-size pieces (this will reduce the choking hazards)
  4. Always provide water for them.

Don’t try to overfeed them. Do not feed Kale to baby rabbits less than 12 weeks of age. 

Always provide a small amount of kale as a part of your rabbit’s daily diet. Feeding 2-3 times per week is more than enough for a good adult rabbit. Moderation is the key to rabbits’ health. 

how to feed kale for rabbits

Alternatives For Kale?

The rabbit diet should mainly be covered with quality hay and grass. In addition, we can provide a small portion of vegetables and fruits. We recommend giving two cups of fresh vegetables to adult rabbits daily.

  • Bell peppers
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Endive
  • Green leaf
  • Red leaf
  • Parsley
  • Fennel

Fresh fruits should be served one or two times per week as a treat.

  • Grapes
  • Banana
  • Berries
  • Melon
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Plum
  • Watermelon
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Orange

Can Rabbits Eat Kale Stems?

Yes, rabbits can eat kale stems. They have more fiber amount than the leaves. There are no toxic parts in Kale. But for better rabbits’ health, we can cut them into bite-size pieces and serve them. It will reduce the probability of occurring choking hazards.

Can Rabbits Eat Cooked Or Canned Kale?

Avoid feeding cooked or canned kale to rabbits. It’s much better to always provide them raw kale. When it’s cooked its structure change and it removes some vitamins and minerals. They could have a hard time digesting if they eat cooked kale. Don’t take more effort to cook. Just provide them raw Kale. They like to eat raw vegetables. Canned foods always contain unhealthy ingredients for rabbits. It’s better if we avoid feeding canned kale to rabbits.  

Can Bunnies Eat Kale?

Baby rabbits have a sensitive gastrointestinal system more than adult rabbits. We definitely need to take some precautions before feeding them. Generally, we don’t provide vegetables or fruits until they are 3-4 months old. When we are changing the foods, it can affect Bunny’s digestive system. Diarrhea can be a serious health issue for baby rabbits. After they are eligible to eat, first try to feed juicy vegetables for them.

Try to provide a small portion for the first time. After that keep inspecting them 24 hrs. Don’t feed more than one type of new food at the same time. If they not showing any health issues you can slightly increase the amount of food according to a guide.

What Do Rabbits Eat In The Wild?

Rabbits are herbivores. Most of the time they depend on plants. Wild rabbits eat some more than domestic rabbits. Wild rabbits usually eat grass, leafy weeds, forbs, and many other plants in the wild that they can reach out to. Wild rabbits also eat kale if they are available in the wild.

best way to feed kale to rabbits

What Rabbits Really Need In Their Diet

Your rabbit’s diet should mainly contain fresh quality hay, grass, and clean water. Unlimited hay supply is extremely important to their health. This guide will give you an overall idea of what should be contained in the rabbit’s diet.

Freshwater: They must have an unlimited supply of freshwater. Use water bowls, it’s easy for rabbits to drink water & easy to clean. Make sure to change the water daily.

Unlimited Quality Hay: Keep feeding fresh grass hays. We recommend giving good types of hays to your rabbit. Such as timothy, orchard grass, etc.

Pellets: For bunnies, you can provide timothy hay pellets in a very small amount. For adult rabbits, you need to provide one-quarter of a cup daily.

Vegetables: Feed them daily 1 -2 cups with fresh vegetables. Some good vegetables are bok choy, carrot, endive, brussels sprouts, basil, mint, green leaf, red leaf, etc.

Fresh Fruits: Give a small amount of about 1 – 2 per week. Some good fruits are apples, bananas, berries, cherries, grapes, papaya, plum, watermelon, etc.

health risk of feeding corn for rabbits

Summary

Kale is good leafy green for rabbits. But we can’t serve kale in large amounts and serve too often. Kale is also called a superfood. Due to the high amount of nutrients, overfeeding can lead to many health issues. We must always be aware of the amount we feed rabbits. A small amount of kale will not harm your rabbits. But you should follow the proper guideline if you intend to feed kale to rabbits.

Don’t feed kale with a high amount of oxalate and calcium foods. Do not feed Kale to baby rabbits less than 12 weeks of age. Always provide a small amount of kale as a part of your rabbit’s daily diet. Feeding 2-3 times per week is more than enough for a good adult rabbit. Moderation is the key to rabbits’ health. I think this article covers all the things you need to know about Kale.

Thank you for reading today !!!!


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