It’s good for domestic rabbits to get a varied diet. Although the primary component in their diet is hay or grass, along with some leafy greenery, fruits, and vegetables play a part by giving them nutrients they wouldn’t get otherwise and also helping them to break out of menu fatigue. Bored rabbits can turn into destructive rabbits!
Fruit especially is the equivalent of dessert for bunnies, and you might be surprised to know that most have a serious craving for sweets. However, not all fruits are okay for them to eat. How about peaches? Can rabbits eat peaches safely?
Yes, peaches are safe for rabbits as long as they don’t get too much in their diet, or get them too often. Peaches are just fine occasionally as a sweet treat for rabbits and even have needed nutrients that can benefit them.
Believe me, you won’t have any difficulty getting your bunnies to eat peaches if you’re looking for a way to spruce up their diet. Incredibly fragrant and deliciously sweet, peaches are one of the most popular fruits around the world, and they’re also very popular with this animal.
But you don’t want to give them to your bunnies without a care. Keep reading and I’ll tell you what you need to know about feeding peaches to your rabbits…
Do Rabbits Like Peaches?
Yes, in my experience most rabbits really love peaches. Anyone who has owned or kept a rabbit for any length of time knows that, for being grass-eaters, rabbits have a serious sweet tooth.
They’ll usually go for sweet things quicker than anything else if they have the opportunity.
This tells you two things: The first is that rabbits will always look forward to getting peaches as a treat. The other is that you need to be careful about giving them peaches too often because they will eat all that they can! That can cause trouble…
Are Peaches a Healthy Food for Rabbits?
In the context of a treat, yes, peaches are healthy for rabbits. As a significant part of their diet, no. Bear with me, I’ll explain.
When you consider peaches as a sweet treat or a rare supplement to their diet, we see that there is a lot to like.
They have carbohydrates for energy, but the problem is that they are mostly sugar with very little fiber. That is not great considering rabbits don’t need much sugar but do need plenty of fiber!
That’s it, the vitamin and mineral content of peaches is really pretty impressive, with a little bit of everything.
Peaches have vitamin A, beta carotene, most of the B complex vitamins, choline, a good shot of vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. It doesn’t have a high concentration of any of these vitamins, but it all helps.
Looking at the mineral content, too, we see that peaches have calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc.
These are all minerals that rabbits need, and perhaps most importantly peaches are very low in calcium which can also prove problematic if rabbits eat too much.
Peaches are also very juicy, as you know, and that water content can help to keep rabbits hydrated so long as they don’t overdo it.
As far as delicious, sweet foods go, peaches are quite good, but rabbits shouldn’t have too much to eat in a single serving, or get peaches too often in their diet: that sugar content will eventually make them sick, and perhaps fatally so. I will tell you more about that in just a bit.
Is Peach Skin Safe for Rabbits?
Yes, it is. Peach skins are incredibly thin and delicate, and even if they’re slightly furry to the touch, this won’t bother rabbits at all. In fact, the skin is arguably one of the best parts of the peach for them to eat since it contains more fiber than the flesh.
Can Rabbits Eat Peach Leaves?
Yes, they can. Peach leaves are just fine for rabbits, so if you have some fresh-picked ones that have leaves hanging on the stems, you can save those and incorporate them into the greenery that you feed your rabbits alongside their hay or grass.
Are Peach Pits Okay for Rabbits to Eat?
No! I hope this is be obvious, but the incredibly hard, dense pit of a peach is entirely too difficult for a rabbit to eat, and actually hazardous besides. It could potentially damage their teeth, cause them to choke, or clog up their digestive tract with disastrous results.
Always remove the pit from any peaches that you prepare for your bunnies.
Can Rabbits Have Canned Peaches, Too?
No! Canned peaches either come in juice, which means more sugar per serving, or even worse compact and light or heavy syrup, which means way more sugar per serving! This is hideously bad for rabbits.
Another possible concern is the presence of any preservatives or other weird chemicals that can harm them. Just don’t chance it…
Can Peaches Cause Problems for Rabbits?
Only if you give too much to your rabbits. Peaches aren’t toxic or directly harmful to rabbits; all of the problems arise when rabbits get too many peaches or get them too often.
That’s because peaches are so sugary that they are highly likely to interfere with the delicate balance of microorganisms in a rabbit’s gut. Bunnies depend on these microorganisms, including a variety of bacteria, to help them process their food so they can get nutrients out of it.
You start dumping tons of sugar on it, even natural sugar in the form of fructose from fruit, certain kinds of bacteria multiply beyond normal levels.
This causes two things to happen: normal digestive processes start to slow down or cease and bad, gas-producing bacteria start to produce way too much gas for a rabbit to handle.
Because rabbits cannot clear gas like other animals can, it causes bloating. This usually results in a loss of appetite and pain, but in severe cases, it can kill them.
And, sugary, moist foods like peaches also have a tendency to cause diarrhea which can be bad on its own. Luckily, all of these outcomes are avoidable if you are disciplined concerning how often and how much you serve your rabbits.
How Often Should Rabbits Eat Peaches?
Rabbits should only get a small serving of peaches once or perhaps twice a week.
How much is a small serving? A good rule of thumb is to give them 1 tablespoon for every 2 pounds that they weigh.
So for instance, if you have a rabbit that weighs 6 pounds they can have 3 tablespoons of peaches.
But don’t just go for broke with this much right out of the gate: it is possible to overwhelm a rabbit’s gut if they aren’t allowed time to adapt to the foods they are eating.
For this reason, give them a much smaller portion to start with and then observe them for a day to see if it causes any issues. Then you can slowly increase the amount they get per serving until they are at the maximum for their body weight.
Stick to this regimen and you and your rabbits will be able to enjoy peaches without any worries.
What’s the Best Way to Serve Peaches to Rabbits?
Rabbits can easily eat peaches as they are, or even more easily if they’re cut into slices, but I recommend you cut them into small bits so you can more easily measure out their portion size.
Make sure you wash them before doing so, but you don’t have to peel them because rabbits can eat the skin. Just a reminder, always be sure to remove the pit!
Never Give Rabbits Spoiled Peaches
Most kinds of fruit tend to spoil quickly no matter how carefully they are stored. Peaches aren’t any different. But you never want to give your rabbits any peaches that have started to shrivel, turn colors, get slimy, or show signs of mold.
Bad food will severely impact the ecosystem of a rabbit’s gut and cause major problems. Worse yet, bunnies aren’t immune to various foodborne illnesses and toxins created by mold, and giving them spoiled fruit might kill them likewise.
If you care about your bunnies, only give them fresh, safe food to eat no matter what it is.
Are Peaches Safe for Bunnies, Too?
Peaches are safe for baby bunnies as a treat, but you have to wait for them to get old enough to eat them without concern.
Normally, a bunny is ready to start eating solid foods right at 3 months of age, but for sugary, moist fruits like peaches I like to give it a little bit longer, about 14 weeks.
This is because the digestive system of baby rabbits is unbelievably fragile and takes a long time to develop, and stabilize so that it can handle such foods. Bombarding it with sugar, even from fruit, will wreck it and the resulting problems can easily kill a delicate little bunny.
I know you don’t want that to happen, so be patient before you give peaches to your bunnies.
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.