Coconut is a fruit that is very high in sugar content. It also contains an unequal amount of phosphorus and calcium that might result in disturbances in rabbits. As evident from the name, sugars are dangerous for any type of diet. They are the villains of any kind of diet, and it not only helps in gaining weight but also causes numerous medical conditions as they are also difficult to break down.
Rabbits require a calcium-phosphorus ratio that ranges between 1:1. Anything above or below this can harm the GI motility of rabbits. The high amount of calcium leads to the incapability of the body to absorb minerals, whereas a low amount of phosphorus leads to stunted growth or weak bones. Weak bones and mineral absorption can also be due to the sodium intake that is very high in the case of coconut, and it must be avoided in every case. A vet consultation must be required in case of ingestion of the whole coconut.
Can a Rabbit Eat the White Flesh of Coconut?
No, consuming a coconut in any form is dangerous for rabbits because of the high content of sugar. Coconut itself does not provide enough phosphorus to calcium ratio that is required in a normal healthy diet of a rabbit. Rabbits generally love eating coconut. If given a chance, they might not even leave the last bite of coconut. But as stated above, the irregular amount of nutrients present in the coconut may lead to minerals and salt imbalances in the body.
Can Rabbits Drink Coconut Water?
Another question that arises in your mind is, can we give coconut milk to rabbits instead of coconut? Logically, it is a thought-provoking question as the delicious crystal clear liquid present inside the coconut is not an immediate part of the coconut itself. Indeed, coconut water does not contain as high of sugars as the fruit itself, but it does contain the fat amount that is excessively hard for any rabbit to consume. Fats are just not made for a rabbit as it consists of only 3% of any rabbit’s diet, which generally comes from hay or grass. Excessive fats tend to slow down GI motility and cause stomach disturbances.
Can Rabbits Eat Coconut Shells?
It is the only thing in coconut that rabbits can safely eat, but it should be thoroughly cleaned before giving them to as it might contain sort of bacteria, which might not be good if ingested by rabbits. Eating leaves are not a problem as well, but the leaves of coconut trees are very high and might require jumping at heights to catch them, resulting in injuries or fractures. Coconut leaves also have nails that might scratch the skin and cause infection. The outer shell of coconut is filled with dirt and environmental bacteria that come in contact with the mucosal layer of the oral cavity and land directly into the bloodstream causing bacterial infection or skin allergies.
Facts About Coconuts
Coconut is an energy-rich treat filled with carbohydrates, fats, and sugars – all being the bad actors in a rabbit’s diet. The high sugar content is lethal for any diet, whereas an imbalance of phosphorus and calcium leads to low mineral absorption, weak bones, and stunted growth. Hence, coconut must not be given in any form because of its imbalance-causing tendency.
Coconut meat, coconut oil, coconut shell – neither form of coconut is recommended for rabbits due to its sugar-rich nature. However, coconut husks can be used to play, and even eating them is not harmful to rabbits. Rabbits under twelve months of age are prone to developing high cholesterol if they are fed coconut in the initial days of life due to its high-fat content that a rabbit’s stomach cannot endure.
Apart from eating, coconut oil is the best remedy for skin; it treats many types of allergies and is also good for open wounds, as it contains healing properties. Make sure to never feed coconut oil because it has caused known causes of toxicity and poisoning in young rabbits. In case the rabbit has consumed the oil, it should be vigilantly checked and inspected for any possible poisoning symptoms.
- 6 grams of sugar
- 33 grams of fat and
- 15 grams of carbohydrates
As evident from the profile, coconuts are a no-go for rabbits’ diets due to their high sugar content, especially for pregnant rabbits. They must never be fed coconuts because it causes stomach ailments, and due to their low absorption, they might harm the fetus inside. Fats are not recommended for rabbits because the only dietary requirements of fats are 3% which can be easily consumed by hay or grass, being a major part of their diet.
People think that rabbits can eat dried coconut because they don’t have water in them, but as the water evaporates, it increases the fat content of the fruit, which is more or less the same thing you are feeding to your pet. Dried coconut has less moisture than a water-filled coconut, which means it poses a greater risk of choking than any other form of coconut. Small bunnies must never experiment with any form of coconut because they are very young to even swallow a small chunk of coconut that might block their airways passage, rendering them breathless.
In short, any form of coconut is highly rich in sugar and fats that are not good for any rabbit to eat because of the mineral and calcium imbalances that it can cause in the body of a rabbit. The high amount of sugar causes weight gain, and the inability to digest fats results in constipation or GI motility issues. The higher the calcium, the greater the absorption or issues that might lead to kidney damages or nephron-related diseases in the kidney. A lesser amount of phosphorus causes bone mineral deficiency and irregular bone density that makes bones fragile and prone to breaking or any fracture.