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Clover or trefoil is a flowering leguminous plant that belongs to the Fabaceae, the pea family, cultivated for fodder with the white and red clovers being the most cultivated ones. This plant has three-lobed leaves and a globular flower head.
Do rabbits eat clover leaves and flower?
Yeas. Rabbits can eat clover leaves, stems, sprouts, and flowers  in small amounts. They will love both the white and red as well as the alsike, shamrock, sweet clover.
This plant is nutritious and is rich in protein, iron, vitamin C, A, K, manganese, carbs, dietary fibers, sodium, among others. Remember rabbits require carbs, fibers, vitamins, mineral salts and so on. It is a great addition to the leafy greens to give your bunny and they will enjoy its texture.
However, they should be given in small amounts as huge amounts may cause gas , diarrhea, GI stasis among other gastrointestinal problems since they are low in fiber whereas these animals depend on diets that are high in fiber and low in energy. Fiber is very important to rabbits.
Also, clovers are rich in proteins and it may be more than the amount of protein that bunnies as excess will mean more urea as well as urine production, This will strain your rabbit’s kidney, reduce GI motility and alter the pH of cecum microflora.
Therefore, you need to give your rabbits trefoil in small amounts such as you do with other leafy greens. A cup of about six different chopped leafy greens mixture of which clover can be one of them is recommended per two pounds of rabbit weight.
How to do it?
Ensure the source of clover is free from any insecticides, pesticides or herbicides and it is fresh. Wash it under running water.
Secondly, begin by giving your bunny a small amount and observe how its digestive system is going to react after 24 hours. You can afterward increase the amount if it did not cause any problems such as gas, diarrhea, etc. New foods should be introduced over a period of at least one week.
Finally, do not give clovers to a baby rabbit which have not been weaned. It is recommended that all veggies be given once the kit is at least 12 weeks. You should not do it earlier as their digestive system are not yet fully developed, and they may not be able to handle such foods.
Controlling clover damage
Domestic and wild rabbits can eat clover. However, it is not one of their most favorite leafy greens. If you do not enjoy seeing your bunnies nibble any of your garden and landscaping plants. There are various ways to stop this habit including:
- Apply rabbit repellants such as catnips, lavender or spray garden and landscape plants with natural repellants including garlic powder and hot chilies. The Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent will work magic.
- Limit access to the garden or your yard. This can be done by fencing with mesh wire.
- Trapping or shooting them.
We do not recommend shooting or the use of toxicants as we should always be human to these amazing animals.
Whereas leafy greens are very important to these pets, do not forget to follow the correct rabbit diet which should be over 80% hay especially grassy hay, about 5% pellets, and 10-15% fresh foods.
Fresh foods include leafy greens and occasional treats of non-leafy vegetables and fruits. Do not forget these to give them unlimited amounts of clean, freshwater. Rabbits need water!