Rabbits are herbivores, but more than that, they are somewhat specialized herbivores. They need to eat a diet that is predominantly grass, hay, or tender, leafy green plant matter.
That’s why it is hardly uncommon to see them passing up what we might thinkwould be tastier options for something that just seems kind of bland and plain.
Don’t worry though: that’s just the way that rabbits are wired, and even for pet and domestic rabbits they need a wide assortment of leafy vegetables in order to stay healthy. How about herbs, maybe something like cilantro? Can rabbits eat cilantro safely?
Yes, cilantro is totally safe for them as long as they get it as part of their balanced diet along with other greens and plenty of hay. Cilantro is very nutritious, and rabbits love it, making it a great supplement.
Cilantro is one of those things that people either love or utterly despise with no in-between, but I have never met even a single rabbit that doesn’t love the stuff. It is fragrant, tender, and very easy for them to digest safely.
For them, cilantro is a surefire winner, but there’s still more you’ll need to know before you serve it to them. Keep reading to learn more.
Do Rabbits Like Cilantro?
Oh, yes, they sure do! In fact, I feel confident making a blanket statement that all rabbits absolutely adore cilantro.
They will routinely pass up other greenery to get more of this stuff, and I know a few people who have rabbits and they swear they get temperamental if they don’t get at least a sprig every day. There are worse “habits” for a rabbit to have, I suppose!
Is Cilantro a Healthy Food for Rabbits?
Definitely. Cilantro is very healthy for rabbits and in many respects, is an ideal food for them when it comes to leafy greenery.
Cilantro has a good amount of protein, a little bit of healthy fat, and a few carbohydrates, most of which are dietary fiber instead of sugar. All good news there!
But it is the vitamin and mineral content of cilantro that makes it so remarkable and so good for rabbits. Looking at the vitamins, we see that cilantro is loaded with vitamin A and beta carotene and most of the B-complex vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and folate.
Vitamin K is absolutely the standout nutrient here, with cilantro containing more than nearly any other leafy vegetable. This is backed up by a little bit of vitamin E and a good shot of vitamin C. So far, all good things!
The mineral content is likewise pretty impressive, with plenty of manganese and iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc along with a little sodium.
When it comes to calcium, cilantro does have a fair bit for what it is, and you must keep an eye on the total intake that your rabbits get but other than that it gets high marks in the minerals category also.
Together, all of these nutrients can give rabbits a big boost of health and vitality, improving everything from eyesight and nervous system tissues to their skin, fur, organ function, circulation, and a lot more.
Truly, considering how much they like it, it is almost criminal if you don’t add it to their diet!
Can Rabbits Eat Fresh Cilantro?
Yes, they can, and this is definitely the best way to serve it to them. Fresh cilantro is very easy for rabbits to eat and appealing, and more importantly it also contains the best possible amount of nutrition, vitamins and minerals alike.
There’s no reason to give them anything except fresh cilantro…
Can Rabbits Eat Dried Cilantro?
Yes, they can, but it should never be fed to them in lieu of fresh. Dry cilantro won’t hurt them, but it does lose out on vitamins and minerals compared to the fresh stuff.
Can Cilantro Cause Problems for Rabbits?
No, except in cases of overconsumption that will result in nutritional imbalance one way or the other.
As mentioned, cilantro does have a fair bit of calcium and rabbits don’t need tons of it in their diet because it can cause problems of its own in the form of urinary tract stones and bladder sludge. The latter instance is particularly devastating and can be fatal.
Other than that, cilantro, as good as it is, is not nutritionally complete for rabbits. It doesn’t have enough fiber to be a steady source for them and does not provide enough calories for the long haul.
But make no mistake, cilantro is still excellent for them and you are hereby advised to add it to their rotation of other greenery to supplement their intake of grass or hay. As long as you do that and mind the quantity, cilantro can have a permanent place on their menu.
How Often Should Rabbits Eat Cilantro?
Rabbits can have cilantro often, as often as daily so long as they are getting it with other mixed greens. A better plan is probably to give them slightly larger portions 4 or 5 days a week along with other greens that are in rotation.
When it comes to serving size, the rule of thumb is that you should give a rabbit a single packed cup of greens for every 2 pounds that they weigh. Note that this is in addition to hay or grass.
But as always, know that rabbits are individuals and one might be a little more sensitive to cilantro whereas another could have more with no issues.
If you’re adding cilantro to their diet for the first time, start with a smaller portion and then observe to make sure it doesn’t cause any problems before slowly increasing the amount to the recommended serving size up above.
What’s the Best Way to Serve Cilantro to Rabbits?
The only way to give cilantro to rabbits is fresh. Make sure it is washed and then dried completely. You can let them nibble away on intact plants if you are familiar with the serving size, but I think a better plan is to tear it or chop it into pieces so it’s easier for you to measure out the correct serving.
Never Give Rabbits Spoiled Cilantro
Cilantro is great for rabbits but only when it is fresh and unspoiled. If you have any old cilantro that is wilting, yellow, or starting to rot and mold you should never feed that to them. Throw it right in the trash!
Always keep in mind that rabbits have exceptionally sensitive digestive systems that are easily upset, and a simple imbalance can turn into a runaway problem that can kill one of your poor furry friends. Keep that from happening by only giving them fresh, clean produce, including cilantro.
Is Cilantro Safe for Bunnies, Too?
Yes, cilantro is also safe for baby bunnies once they’re old enough to start eating vegetables and other solid foods. This is no younger than 3 months of age as a rule of thumb.
Even though cilantro is healthy and easy for them to eat, baby bunnies’ digestive systems take a very long time to develop and stabilize, and if they are disrupted at this critical stage of growth, it can cause life-threatening illnesses.
Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time for them to enjoy cilantro later. Let them mature for a time and then slowly start incorporating cilantro and other greens into their diet, keeping a close eye on any possible stomach issues or bowel problems.
Tom has lived and worked on farms and homesteads from the Carolinas to Kentucky and beyond. He is passionate about helping people prepare for tough times by embracing lifestyles of self-sufficiency.