Little feet, sharp eyes, hopping up the grass, and white fur balls; what comes to your mind when you listen or read these words? I hear “Rabbit”! Well, ten points to each one of you. Rabbits are loved by every one of us. They are delightful and a sight to watch running and playing along with the garden. They are quite active creatures. One might think they never get tired of running and jumping and eating carrots. They are naturally made this way!
Rabbits are herbivores means their diet is entirely plant-based. Talking about plants, several options can be given to rabbits as their diet. They happily eat vegetables, fruits, grasses, herbs, shrubs, seeds, etc. Carrots are their favorite among all the food options they could eat. It can be seen in movies and cartoons as well. Their fondness for carrots is absolutely clear to everyone. The truth is they shouldn’t feed on carrots and vegetables all the time. Vegetable consumption should be less as they contain more carbohydrates which is not good for the rabbit’s tiny stomach.
Food rabbits eat mostly:
Bunnies get their essential ingredients like proteins, carbs, and fibers, etc., from grass hay which preferably is the best option to feed them by the caretakers. Mainly 85% of their diet is based on grass hay, whereas the greens make the other 15% like cilantro and herbs.
But the question is, can rabbits eat potatoes? Potato is a vegetable. In fact, a staple one consumed worldwide in a variety of forms by humans and animals. However, potatoes are not healthy for rabbits. But it is interesting to know they can still take it from you when you offer them a potato slice. It’s kind of disappointing to know that we cannot feed rabbits with potatoes despite being cheap and easily available around the globe.
Let’s find out why potatoes are not good enough for them.
High carbohydrate content
Potatoes are full of starch means carbohydrate content is very high. Rabbits are small animals. They are designed active by nature. If they get to eat high carbohydrate-containing foods, they gain weight which is bad for them just like human beings. Feeding them potatoes means we are allowing them to become fat which could be dangerous to their physical health as well as their social health too. They are interactive species socially, but if they put on weight, there could be chances, they stay idle in their burrows.
Humans can digest potatoes easily because of their intestine size and so many enzymes and juices playing a key role in the digestive process. Rabbits, however, have a small stomach and intestines. Small fibers and high starch foods go back to their caecum, and those foods get a long time to digest completely. Basically, there is a digestibility issue with such foods, including potatoes. Potatoes make your rabbit sick with diarrhea because their stomachs cannot absorb such high-energy food. Some of the rabbits might get constipation if you are continuously feeding them with potatoes.
No benefit nutritionally
If the bunnies are eating potatoes, they are not getting the energy stored in these potatoes. Potatoes add zero nutritional value to the rabbits. Their tiny bodies couldn’t bear the energy of this high-calorie food. Instead of getting benefits from them, they cause harm to them, especially domestic rabbits or pet rabbits.
Can rabbits eat cooked potatoes?
Some people might think that cooked potatoes can be given to rabbits as cooking can lessen the calorie content of most vegetables. But the thing is cooked potatoes don’t make any difference. Just like raw potatoes, cooked ones also do the same. They make the bunnies lethargic and obese.
Can rabbits eat potato peels?
The answer is still no. Just don’t feed your rabbit with anything that contains potatoes whether they are in the form of peels, raw, and even cooked. You should be careful as a caretaker while cutting or peeling potatoes that rabbits don’t eat. Don’t throw the peels to them to eat.
Can rabbits eat canned potatoes?
Canned foods are not suggested to be consumed by humans and even animals. The main reason is that it is not fresh and contains many preservatives and artificial flavors. These additives are mostly carcinogenic to living bodies. Canned potatoes are exactly as harmful as the other canned product. So, it is strictly forbidden to feed the rabbits with canned potatoes.
Why are potatoes loved by rabbits?
Although potatoes are not healthy for rabbits, they loved eating them. It can be said that you don’t feed them completely. It means once in a while is okay for them, but they should be the compulsory regular part of their diet. Potatoes are like junk food. Humans always crave junk food because of its taste and spices and crunchiness. Rabbits tend to like the taste of potatoes very much. Just like humans can have pizzas and burgers and kinds of pasta occasionally, rabbits can have potatoes but not as a permanent diet.
Potatoes are French fries to rabbits:
French fries! There is not any single time when you cannot eat French fries. They are irresistible, and one can eat them every single day. French fries are made of potatoes. Rabbits love to eat them too, but you being the parent and caretaker of these little bunnies shouldn’t feed them with French fries.
Difference between wild and domestic rabbit’s diet:
Wild rabbits tend to eat a variety of things. They get to eat all kinds of food available to them. They eat potatoes from the fields, and it is quite okay for them. In the wild, there is a lot of competition for survival, food, and shelter. In that case, wild rabbits move along from place to place changing their homes from country to country, which makes them strong internally. They eat potatoes along with other not-so-suitable things for them, yet they survive as they need more energy as compared to the domestic pet rabbits. It is no surprise that their digestive system is evolved according to the food resources and environmental conditions they are living in.
You need to rush to the vet when rabbits got sick:
Potatoes cause constipation, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal diseases. Constipation is a condition where the digestive system tends to shut down as the rabbit is not letting any feces. The bunny gets too much pain in such a condition. Diarrhea is a medical sickness condition where the rabbit excretes runny, watery feces again and again that makes your pet weak and quite sick. If you see the symptoms, take your rabbit to the veterinary hospital or clinic and get it checked. Follow the doctor’s instructions and the cute little creature will be better soon.
One way to feed your rabbit with potato:
You can feed potatoes to the rabbits in one form. Peel the potatoes and collect the peels. Wait for a bright sunny day. Take a clean cloth and put it on the table or ground and spread the peels all over it. Let them dry. They would make covert into dries chips. Mix these in the grass hay that is supposed to be fed to the rabbits. They’ll love it!
In conclusion, do not provide potatoes to your fluff balls because they are indigestible for them. Make sure they eat right, so you get to see them playing in your garden forever. We hope our guide proves to be useful and would have solved your queries.