Folks who own pet rabbits already know, or should know, that they have a highly specialized diet. They are herbivores, but more than this they need a dietary regimen that is pretty much all hay or grass backed up by some leafy greens and a few other select vegetables.
Fruits are plant matter also, and rabbits can eat and digest them, but too much sugar and moisture in a rabbit’s diet will set the stage for illness and major problems.
That being said, fruit is just fine as a treat every now and again though they can’t eat every kind of fruit out there. How about something tropical and truly delicious like mangoes? Can rabbits eat mangoes?
Yes, rabbits can safely eat the flesh and peels of mangoes occasionally as a treat. Mangoes are just too sweet for them to have all the time and if eaten excessively are likely to cause digestive problems.
Mangoes are so sweet and delicious I always instinctively thought that they would be just plain bad for rabbits, but it turns out that’s not true. They can enjoy mangoes and you’ll enjoy feeding them to your bunnies because they truly go crazy for them.
The hardest part is telling them “no” when they want more, but that’s what you’ve got to do if you want them to stay healthy! I’ll tell you everything you need to know about giving your rabbits mangoes in the rest of this article.
Do Rabbits Like Mango?
Yes, do they ever! I’ve never known even a single rabbit that turned down mango when they were offered it.
Mango is sweet, and rabbits tend to have a “fixation” on sweet foods if you know what I mean. Also, there seems to be something about the sweet fragrance of mango that just drives bunnies crazy.
But listen to me: when your rabbits get a taste of it, they will want more of it and the temptation is obviously there for you to give them more and more. This is definitely the wrong move for reasons we will go over in a moment.
Just remember right now that you must always measure how much mango your rabbits get, and then stick to it no matter how much they beg!
Is Mango a Healthy Food for Rabbits?
Yes, in a manner of speaking. In the context of sweet treats that rabbits can eat every now and then, mango is quite healthy and has many vitamins and minerals that can benefit them. But as a regular part of their diet, not so much because it’s just too sweet to be good for them on a regular basis.
Mango contains very little protein and fat, but it’s loaded with carbohydrates. Unfortunately, the vast majority of those carbs are in the form of fructose, sugar, and only a little bit of fiber with most of that being concentrated in the skin which is nowhere near as appetizing to them.
But if we look at the micronutrients, we find even more to like, as mangoes are a tremendous source of vitamin C and they have a wonderful assortment of other vitamins including vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and folate. Vitamins are rounded out by trolling, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
The mineral content isn’t quite as good as the vitamins, but still entirely worthwhile and you’ll find calcium, copper, manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc.
Note, too, that mangoes are a low-calcium food so you won’t have much to worry about there; too much dietary calcium can cause other problems for rabbits.
Together, all of these many nutrients can help to support good health in your precious rabbits; it can:
- improve the quality of their skin and fur,
- help them heal from injuries,
- maintain proper circulatory health,
- boost organ function,
- enhance their immune system and stabilize their metabolism.
All great benefits, and worth taking advantage of, but you must remember to not overfeed mango no matter what.
Can Rabbits Eat Mango Peels?
Yes, mango peels are completely safe for rabbits to eat, and some will eat them right along with that sweet and fragrant flesh. It’s always worth a try because the skin has most of the fiber that they need.
However, if your rabbits don’t seem to care for it or avoid it that’s okay too.
Can Rabbits Eat Mango Seeds?
No. That single, colossal seed in the center of every mango is entirely too hard for rabbits to eat, and even if you crush it up, they can’t digest it. It’s just a choking hazard and a major risk for intestinal blockage, so never try to feed it to them.
Can Mango Cause Problems for Rabbits?
Yes, unfortunately, mangoes can cause problems for rabbits but this is only likely if you are giving them way too much in one serving or if you are giving them mango and other sweet foods too often.
The problem is that sweet, moist foods, including pretty much all fruits, can start to destabilize and disrupt the finely tuned and harmonious gut biome in a rabbit’s digestive tract.
I’ll spare you the major science lecture, but you should know if you don’t already that rabbits are dependent on a wide variety of microorganisms in their gut, specifically in the cecum.
These tiny organisms help them ferment and digest food to get it moving through the intestines where nutrients will be absorbed.
When these bacteria and other organisms are disrupted, digestion is impeded and the production of gas usually increases.
Together, this is very bad news as it can cause agonizing bloating and also prevent them from eating or getting nutrition from what they do manage to eat. In severe cases, it can be fatal.
That is a truly tragic fate just because you wanted to make your rabbit happy by giving them too much fruit…
They don’t know when to stop on this stuff. But you do, and so you’re responsible for making sure they only get the right amount of mango on a schedule so they stay safe and healthy.
How Often Should Rabbits Eat Mango?
Rabbits should only have a tiny bit of mango every 4 or 5 days depending on how they handle it. Give them no more than a single tablespoon of mango in a serving.
This stuff is just too sweet for them to eat more often or in larger servings, and I highly recommend you give them a much smaller serving size than that to see how they handle it.
If you notice your rabbit losing their appetite, acting differently, or suffering from runny stools or outright diarrhea, don’t give them any more mango until they get back to normal. Cut out other sweet foods also.
That is an indicator that their gut isn’t getting upset, and you don’t want to make it any worse!
What’s the Best Way to Serve Mango to Rabbits?
All mangoes should be thoroughly washed and dried before you serve them to rabbits. Once that’s done, you can peel the mango and discard the seed before giving them just the flesh cut into small chunks, or cut off a small portion with the skin and see if they will eat it.
Either way is fine depending on their preferences. Just be advised that mangoes are very juicy and incredibly sticky, and highly likely to make your rabbits messy also!
Never Give Rabbits Spoiled Mango
Mangoes are absolutely delicious, but these super-sweet tropical fruits tend to spoil very quickly. If they do, just throw them in the garbage. Never try to give them to your rabbits if you care about them!
Moldy or rotting mangoes are highly likely to sicken them, and that can potentially disrupt their gut so badly it could kill them. It’s just not worth the risk!
Is Mango Safe for Bunnies, Too?
Yes, mango is safe for bunnies as a treat but only when they are old enough to start eating solid foods.
Normally this is around 3 months old, but considering how sweet this fruit is, I recommend you give it just a bit longer; call it 14 weeks (about 3 months) before they can try just a few bites worth of mango.
As always, if you notice any signs of upset stomach or loss of appetite, stop at once.
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.