Rabbits

Can Rabbit Eat Radishes: Leaves, Tops, and Root

Can rabbits eat radishes
Written by Editorial

Can rabbits eat radishes including their tops (leaves and stem) or are they toxic and harmful?

Radishes are vegetable plants mainly cultivated for their edible root and fodder top. These plants come in various colors, variety, and sizes. However, some varieties are cultivated for their seeds which are used to produce edible oil among other reasons.Can rabbits eat radishes

Can rabbits eat radish?

Can rabbits eat radishes

Yes. Rabbits can eat radishes [1] and radish tops (leaves and stems). [2] They are nutritious with vitamins A, C, minerals such as calcium, sodium, potassium, and iron, carbohydrates among other vital nutrients that rabbits. These vegetables are among the healthy leafy greens that rabbits can eat. However, they are high in oxalates (oxalic acid).

Secondly, radish tops (leaves or greens) are associated with bloat and gas which is quite painful if eaten in large amounts.[3] Therefore, when giving them tops, give them sparingly and occasionally.

Radish tops and leaves

As with the case of any leafy greens, a rabbit should be given ideally at least 5-6 different types. A filled cup of a chopped mixture of these leafy greens is recommended per two pounds of their body weight. However, do not mix radishes with other leafy greens such as mustard greens, spinach, parsley, beet greens, and swish card which are also high in oxalic acid.

Instead mix them with leafy greens that are low in oxalates such as Bok Choy, Raspberry leaves, cucumber leaves, carrot tops, spring greens, watercress, wheatgrass, cilantro, dill leaves among many others. The list is endless.

Low oxalic acid amounts are harmless but higher amounts have been linked to affecting iron absorption as it binds with iron to form ferrous oxalates as well as urinary and kidney stones if they bind with calcium.

Radish root

Their roots are part of the non-leafy vegetables together with carrots, celery, zucchini, among others that bunnies can eat. However, since they are high in starches (carbs), they should be given in small quantities only as occasional treats.  One teaspoon per bunny weighing two pounds is enough.

Note that foods with high starch and low fibers can cause various gastrointestinal problems which include GI stasis, enteritis, diarrhea, bloat, among others.

What to note

A rabbit’s digestive system is designed to handle high-fiber low-energy foods such as grassy hay which help in ensuring a healthy gut as well as GI motility.

Secondly, any new food should always be introduced slowly (over at least a week) as you watch how the tummy of your furry friend is going to react to the new food. Start with a small amount and see how their digestive system is going to respond after a day. If there are no issues such as gas, diarrhea, and so on, you can increase the amount.

Finally, ensure the tops fresh and are free from any chemicals. Wash them thoroughly under running water to get rid of any residual pesticides, insecticides or herbicides. Also, wash the roots too and chop them into smaller pieces to make eating easier. Avoid leftovers, those with wilted leaves or those that have grown molds.

Conclusion

Whereas radishes are nutritious, and your bunny may like them, do not give them higher amounts. Also, remember to stick to the right rabbit diet and an unlimited supply of fresh, clean water.

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