Cabbage isn’t the most popular vegetable in the grocery store, and it’s often overlooked for something a bit tastier or easier to prepare. Unless you have a deep undying love for coleslaw or kimchi, it’s unlikely you’re regularly buying cabbage. If you own a rabbit, though, consider picking up a head or two occasionally!
Can Rabbits Eat Cabbage Safely?
Veterinarians highly recommend making cabbage a staple in your bunny’s food. Green, Savoy, and red cabbages are all safe for rabbits. Bok choy is, too! Cabbage is rich in vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It’s high in iodine, too, which supports a healthy brain and nervous system, as well as enhancing the function of the endocrine system. High levels vitamin E keeps your bunny’s coat shiny and soft and their skin healthy.
Don’t ever cook cabbage for rabbits. Not only does your rabbit do better with raw vegetables, cooking causes the cabbage to lose quite a bit of its nutrition.
Doesn’t Cabbage Give Rabbits Gas?
If you do a quick internet search, you’ll see various reports from rabbit owners that cabbage made their pets extremely gassy. This isn’t necessarily dangerous, but it can make your bunny uncomfortable. There are two reasons why cabbage will produce gas in a rabbit. The first is they aren’t able to digest the cabbage, but the most common reason is because they’re eating too much cabbage. Rabbits aren’t known for their self-control, so if you load their dish up with cabbage, most likely they’re going to finish every bit. Limit their intake to five leaves a day and no more.
Introducing Cabbage to Rabbits – The Right Way
Cabbage should be introduced slowly to avoid causing gas. One or two leaves over the span of a few days are enough to prevent them from getting gas, especially if they like it a lot. If they are handling that amount fairly well, then you can start to increase their daily serving over the next week. Rabbits that develop digestive upset should have their daily amount reduced until they’re able to eat without getting bloated or gassy.
Cabbage is extremely healthy for rabbits of all life stages. Fiber, vitamins, and minerals make this a veggie that should become a staple in their diet if they enjoy eating it.