Is Kale Good for Bunnies to Have (Stems)
Like every other dark leafy green out there, Kale has the potential to be an essential part of your rabbit’s diet. It is a healthy source of several vital nutrients that could help keep your rabbit in good shape. When consumed by humans, Kale represents an immense source of useful nutrition. It is hailed as a superfood among kale lovers.
Kale is a member of the brassica genus, including other nutrient-dense plants like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Unfortunately, most members of the brassica genus contain huge amounts of sulfurous constituents. They are also very high in calcium, a mineral which is not particularly great for rabbits’ health in excess amounts. These are some of the fear lots of people have whenever they consider feeding Kale to their rabbits. Is this fear unrounded? Is it safe to feed our rabbits with Kale? Can rabbits eat Kale? We’ll find out those and several more in this write-up.
Can Rabbits Eat Kale?
Yes, rabbits can eat Kale. Cut off a piece of Kale and offer it to your rabbit, and it’s very much likely to consume it in combination with the best rabbit pellets. However, is it safe for rabbits? That’s the tricky part. As long as you feed your rabbit with Kale in a moderated quantity, then it’s safe. The thing with feeding kale to your rabbit is that there’s a tendency to overdo it. Kale is quite rich in vitamins and minerals. This is why a lot of people want to feed it more and more to their rabbits. But this should be avoided. That’s precisely how a potentially rich source of nutrition could become a problem—Feed Kale to your rabbit less often and in smaller quantities than you’d imagine.
What Could Go Wrong?
With all its popularity and huge nutrient density, Kale is one of those veggies that could do more harm than good if fed to your rabbit in excess amounts. The leafy green food crop is relatively high in calcium and oxalates, two compounds that can cause kidney problems if consumed in excess amounts. And then there’s the considerable amount of sulfurous compounds present in Kale. In general, when animals consume too much of sulfurous compounds, it may become toxic, resulting in health problems. This could have wide-reaching effects on their stomach, intestines, and lungs.
However, don’t let the risk of overfeeding your rabbit with Kale deny it the opportunity to consume an immensely beneficial plant. With a protein composition of 20 %, 35 % fat, and 45% carbohydrates, Kale possesses an excellent nutrient profile and represents an excellent source of rabbit nutrition. The key is to approach with moderation. You’ll have to give your rabbit an excessive amount before any of the problems above shows up.
For baby rabbits, it probably best to avoid feeding them with Kale. However, for adult rabbits, two large kale leaves or three smaller ones would do per serving. To be even more cautious, it’s advisable to introduce Kale into your rabbit’s diet slowly and gradually. Start by introducing one small leaf into their diet. Observe them for any irregularities like runny poops, not pooping, or difficulty eating. Try another round of Kale after a day or two. If the rabbit exhibits any of the signs mentioned above, it might be advisable to stop the kale diet and consult a vet doctor.
When feeding your rabbits with Kale, always remember to wash it properly and cut it into small pieces to avoid choking your rabbit. Thanks to an abundance of vitamins, Kale can help protect your rabbit’s immune system and vital organs. Just remember to keep it organic. Kale that has been exposed to dangerous chemicals could be harmful to your rabbit’s digestive system.
Which Variety Of Kale Is Best?
In case you’re wondering which variety of kale is best for feeding rabbits, there’s no clear cut answer to that. Which variety you feed your rabbit might ultimately be your personal decision or the preference of your rabbit. Generally, the different “varieties” of Kale you’ll find at grocery stores have quite a similar nutrient profile. This means any variety you choose to feed your rabbit with will provide a similar amount of nutrients. Just remember to keep it organic — fresh, and chemical-free.
Do Rabbits Even Like Kale?
Sure, rabbits like Kale. To be more precise, a large percentage of rabbits would like to be fed kale leaves. However, there are still some outliers. Though not particularly limited to any specific species, some rabbits do not like the taste of Kale. Some baby rabbits (bunnies) might outrightly reject the bitter stem of Kale. Also, while you might prefer your Kale cooked, rabbits will likely prefer Kale uncooked. To rabbits, raw Kale is more attractive and delicious. Also, not cooking Kale ensures much of the beneficial vitamins and minerals remain intact.
Just How Nutritious Is Kale?
Below is a break down of the nutritional stats for an entire cup of chopped Kale:
- 2 grams of protein
- 5 grams of fiber
- 34 calories
- 47 grams of fat
- 7 grams of carbohydrates
However, that’s not all. Kale is a renowned nutritional powerhouse. One cup serving of chopped Kale would provide approximately:
- 8 mg of magnesium
- 299 mg of potassium
- 1 mg of iron
- 4 mcg of folate
- 10302 IU of vitamin A
- 547 mcg of vitamin K
- 5 mg of phosphorus
- 5 mg of calcium
- 4 mg of vitamin C
How Often Should You Feed Your Rabbit With Kale
For starters, avoid feeding your rabbit with Kale for consecutive days. If you feed your rabbit with Kale on day 1, it might be wise to skip at least a day before doing so again. Keep the total number of times you feed your rabbit with Kale to as low as 2 to 3 times a week. Reduce the quantity you feed them if you notice any abdominal bloating or abnormally soft stool.
If you still have doubts about feeding your rabbits with Kale, it is advisable to consult a veterinary doctor.