Zucchini is a delightful vegetable and sounds like fun too! But can rabbits eat zucchini? The answer is a definite yes! Most probably you have a pet rabbit and you are looking for food that is or isn’t right for your pet. Read on for all the information you may require with reference to the suitability of zucchini for your rabbit.
A Healthy Diet For Your Rabbit
Most rabbits live in the wild all across the world and consume a diverse range of plants and vegetation. The largest proportion of these wild rabbits’ diet comprises fresh grass, hay and plants with leaves. They also eat fruits, vegetables, tender twigs, the bark on trees and other nutritious foods. The latter list comprises foods that are eaten in much lesser quantities. Use this information as the fundamental principle while choosing a healthy diet for your pet rabbit.
Although, pet rabbits may be used to a different proportion for each element in their diet, it may be best for your rabbit’s long term health to remain as close to its natural diet as possible.
Can Rabbits Eat Zucchini – The Benefits
Zucchini is safe for your pet rabbit. However, this does not imply that you should feed it to your pet all day long. Your rabbit needs a few things to form their everyday diet and these are hay or fresh grass, good quality rabbit pellets and clean water. In addition to these, you can add up to three vegetables and an occasional fruit as a treat. If your rabbit gets these elements every day, you can rest assured that it will be happy and healthy.
Zucchini contains important nutritional value as it provides polyunsaturated fat, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, iron, carbohydrate, calcium and protein. There are 17 calories in 100 grams of zucchini, very little fat content and no cholesterol. The zucchini is also a source for vitamins A, B6 and C, dietary fiber and little sugar.
All these nutritional facts make zucchini good for your pet rabbit. You can feed your pet rabbit small amounts of zucchini everyday to form an important part of the balanced diet.
Zucchini is one of the vegetables that add variety to your rabbit’s meals. However, you must ensure that you offer it in a suitable amount so that it functions as a supplement, not as a core element of its meals.
Important Zucchini Facts
Also known as a courgette, a zucchini is a squash or cucurbit. It belongs to the same vegetable family as the cucumber, squash or melon. The zucchini’s skin is dark green and rather firm, while the flesh has a pale color. The best zucchinis are available between June and September, when their body is firm and the skin flossy and unblemished.
A zucchini is a chef’s favorite as is easy to handle and very versatile in how it can be worked. Zucchinis are usually diced or sliced with their peels.
Zucchini Skin, Leaves and Flowers
You do not have to peel the zucchini before feeding it to your rabbit as the skin is also good for it, but only in small amounts. The leaves are also safe to be fed to your rabbit but you must ensure that these are fresh. Zucchini flowers can also be eaten. There are two kinds of these edible flowers. The female ones have an immature vegetable attached to it, while the male flower is attached to a long stalk and is very attractive. The latter ones are also sold in bunches.
Rabbits In Your Zucchini Garden
If you have zucchini plants in your garden, they may not be very seriously threatened by any wild rabbits or even your pet rabbit. The truth is that rabbits are not very fond of this vegetable. They may like to hide beneath the leaves but are not likely to cause much damage to the vegetable. Rabbits may show preference for other vegetables in your vegetable patch. However, if you have just one zucchini plant, then perhaps you should protect it.
Rabbits don’t just eat for feeding; they also like to nibble for fun! Your pet rabbit may perhaps ignore your zucchini plant for months but then it may choose to eat up one entire vegetable in one night! Most often though, it may opt for the more tastier options available.
Your Rabbit May Not Like Zucchini
Many rabbits do not like zucchini and if yours is one of these, then don’t worry; there are many other nutritious vegetables that you can choose from. Besides, their digestive systems are basically designed to process hay and grass.
If your rabbit has never eaten zucchini, you may introduce it in small quantities. As with any other new food for your pet, offer it as an individual new food and observe its reaction to the new food. Some rabbits may be unable to accept zucchini. If your rabbit has a soft excretion within 24 hours, stop giving the zucchini and allow at least a week before introducing any other new food.