The feeding habits of rabbits are funny when you stop to consider them. Domestic and wild rabbits alike have a fairly one-track diet, consisting mostly grass or hay with other leafy greenery in abundance. Anything else they might eat is almost incidental in nature.
But, the funny part is that they will also eat pretty much anything that smells good to them, as most owners discover. That’s part of the fun of owning a rabbit; figuring out what fruits and veggies they enjoy!
But, not all kinds of produce are safe or good for them, even if they are nominally nutritious and wholesome for us and other animals. Giving rabbits the wrong things can make them critically ill. How about zucchinis? Can rabbits have zucchinis?
Yes, rabbits can safely eat zucchini as part of a well-balanced diet. However, they should only get it on a limited basis along with various other veggies to avoid nutritional imbalances which can make them sick. Zucchinis tend to be too moist for bunnies to eat regularly.
Zucchinis can actually make a pretty inspired snack or supplement for rabbits. They have a great assortment of vitamins and minerals, and are also hydrating and easy for them to digest.
You should only expect problems if you feed them zucchinis too often or give them too much in one sitting. But, with the guide I have prepared for you below you don’t need to worry about that. Keep reading and we’ll get right to it.
Do Rabbits Like Zucchini?
Yes, in my travels, I noticed that most rabbits seem to enjoy zucchini and will happily eat it. But, rabbits are more individual than you might think and I’ve also known a few that won’t go near the stuff even if they are hungry.
The rule of thumb is that if your rabbits will eat zucchini, great, you can give it to them, but if they aren’t interested, there is no need to force them because there are plenty of other things that they will eat.
Is Zucchini a Healthy Food for Rabbits?
Yes, zucchini is healthy for rabbits as long as it’s fed to them only as part of a well-rounded diet. Zucchinis ultimately will be a small part of that diet, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good for them!
If we examine the nutritional content of zucchini, we see that they have just a little bit of protein, very little fat, and a few carbohydrates, most of which are sugars, but they still provide a good bit of fiber for rabbits.
But it’s the vitamins and the minerals contained in zucchini that make them most appealing.
Let’s look at the vitamins first: We see that zucchini contains roughly equal amounts of vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folate, and vitamin K. The best it has to offer is vitamin C, which is significant.
Mineral content is likewise pretty diverse, but not truly remarkable, though rabbit owners should know that zucchini is low in calcium, so that’s in our favor. Other than calcium, zucchinis can provide iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc in dietarily significant amounts.
Together, these macro- and micronutrients will provide rabbits with energy and many resources that they need in order to thrive.
Adding a little zucchini to their diet periodically will improve their circulatory and nervous system health, organ function, metabolic regulation, cellular function, skin, fur, and much more.
Zucchini is also a wonderful option for helping rabbits stay hydrated; they are mostly water. Though know that that can come back to cause problems if you feed them too much. More on that in a bit…
Can Rabbits Have Green Zucchini?
Yes, green zucchinis are fine for rabbits.
Can Rabbits Have Yellow Zucchini?
Yes, they can. Although less common and popular compared to the green varieties, yellow zucchinis are also a healthy and nutritious choice for rabbits in limited amounts.
Is Zucchini Skin Safe for Rabbits?
Yes, it is. Zucchini skin is completely safe and easy enough for rabbits to digest. You don’t need to peel a zucchini before you give it to them, but it’s still worthwhile to cut it up beforehand.
Are Zucchini Seeds Safe for Rabbits?
No. Although they are relatively small and soft, zucchini seeds are a potential choking hazard for rabbits and can potentially block their digestive tract.
For this reason, I highly recommend you seed any zucchinis you’re going to give to them unless it is a variety with teeny tiny seeds.
Can Rabbits Eat Raw Zucchini?
Yes, and they should. Raw zucchini has the best possible amount of nutrition for rabbits, and it is the easiest and safest for them to digest.
Can Rabbits Eat Cooked Zucchini?
They can, but they shouldn’t, and I do not recommend that you cook any zucchini to serve to them. Rabbits, more than most other animals, really have sensitive digestive systems that require raw food.
Cook food, including zucchini, will have dramatically less nutritional content and it might cause problems for them besides.
Is Pickled Zucchini Okay for Rabbits?
Absolutely not! Pickled zucchini has way too much salt, sugar, and other things that rabbits should never have as part of their diet.
Assuming they would eat it, any pickled produce including zucchini is going to cause a gastronomic apocalypse that will likely make your rabbit terribly sick.
Can Zucchini Cause Problems for Rabbits?
Only if you feed them too much. Zucchini is a remarkably healthy, good option for supplementing the diet of rabbits. Assuming you don’t give them too much, it is unlikely to cause harm outside of the potential choking hazard of the seeds.
Even then, if you give your rabbit too much zucchini it is likely to cause some indigestion. This is because of the high water content, and also because it can start to disrupt the balance of bacteria and other microorganisms that they rely on to help them process their food.
Usually, this will manifest as indigestion, loss of appetite, discomfort and sometimes as loose stools. Loose stools are likely if you give them too much watery food generally or a serving that is way too big.
This is your sign to stop giving them zucchini and keep an eye on them. If they get back to normal, there’s nothing to worry about but if they start suffering from diarrhea or don’t start eating again in short order you should contact your vet.
How Often Should Rabbits Eat Zucchini?
Rabbits can have zucchini twice a week, perhaps three times a week, in small amounts as long as they’re enjoying a well-rounded diet of hey and other produce. They can have one tablespoon of zucchini for every 2 pounds of body weight. But no more!
This assumes that the rabbit is already acclimatized to eating zucchini. When starting any new food, give them a much smaller amount and then keep an eye on them for a day to make sure it doesn’t upset their stomach.
You’re definitely watching out for changes in their bowel movements! Remember, rabbits are mostly individuals when it comes to this stuff and some might be very sensitive to novel foods.
What’s the Best Way to Serve Zucchini to Rabbits?
Zucchini should always be washed, seeded, and preferably chopped. Rabbits can nibble off larger chunks of zucchini with little issue, but chopping it up into small cubes or other pieces will make it much easier for you to accurately measure out the portion size.
Never Give Rabbits Spoiled Zucchini
Zucchini tends to go bad quickly in storage, usually shriveling up, shrinking, turning brown, getting slimy and eventually growing mold. Any of these indicators is a sign that you should throw it out or at least avoid feeding it to your rabbits.
You know how I’ve talked and talked in this article about how sensitive the digestive tract of rabbits is? That’s because it is, and if you give them spoiled, nasty food you can easily throw the whole thing into disarray with potentially lethal consequences!
If you wouldn’t consider eating it yourself, don’t give the zucchini to your rabbits.
Is Zucchini Safe for Bunnies, Too?
Yes, zucchini is safe for baby bunnies as long as they’re old enough to start eating solid food. The guideline is 3 months old, no younger.
Any younger than this and chances are good that their digestive system will not be fully developed and stabilized to handle it. This can, you guessed it, lead to life-threatening conditions which are difficult to correct.
It is especially important to only give bunnies the tiniest little tidbit of any novel food to see how they react to it. I’m talking a mouthful here, a single bite.
Do that, then observe for any changes in behavior or eating patterns, or in bowel movements as usual. If everything seems okay, you can give them a little bit more next time according to the schedule above.
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.