Rabbits

Can Rabbits Eat Parsley Leaves and Stem?

Do rabbit's eat parsley
Written by Editorial

With a lot of controversies whether to rabbits do eat parsley or not, we decided to research this herb or vegetable. Here are our findings.

Parsley or Petroselinum crispum is a flowering plant with culinary applications of a vegetable, herb, and spice. There is the leafy and root cultivar type. Our focus is on the leafy cultivar and not the hedge parsley either.

Do rabbit's eat parsley
Do rabbits eat parsley?

This nutritious spice or vegetable has about 3.8g of carbs, about 2.0g of dietary fiber per a  60gram serving as well as some proteins and essential minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, magnesium and selenium

It also has a lot of vitamins that a rabbit could benefit from including vitamin A, C, D, E, K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, choline, and B-12. It looks a lot healthy and a superfood since it has low calories.

Can I give my rabbit parsley?

Yes. Rabbit can eat parsley leaves, and stem [1, 2, 3] plus the University of California lists it is one of the leafy greens you can give to your furry friend. Do not remove the stems. It is going to be a source of the essential nutrients that have different functions, and it will give a different taste and texture! These pets will love it.

Being part of the leafy greens that rabbits can eat, you deserve to know how to give it to your bunny.  The recommended amount is a packed cup of chopped 5-6 different types of leafy greens per 2 pounds of rabbit body weight.

Why is the amount limited? It is because a rabbit’s digestive system depends on high fiber especially cellulose and high-calorie foods such as hay (especially grassy hay) as they aid in its digestion process. Foods with low fiber can cause them diarrhea, bloating, gut motility problems and so on.

If given in large quantities, like most of the fresh vegetable, it has a lot of water and low calories. Do not be surprised if it makes your bunny to be underweight.

Which other greens can you include? The list is long, and they include as it contains kales, arugula, carrot tops, Mache, spring greens, basil, raspberry leaves, lettuce, cilantro, Bok Choy and so on. There is a longer list of rabbit-friendly leafy greens. Remember to varying the kind of leafy greens that your bunny eats.

Besides the benefits, this spice is associated with the treatment of blockages and constipation as well as kidney problems [4]. This has not been proven scientifically. Perhaps what seems to support the constipation part is the fact that it causes soft or liquid cecotrophs [5]. Also, it helps stimulate appetite[6] if you have a rabbit that seems to be having anorexia.

How to give your rabbit parsley

Like most of the other leafy greens, it needs to be washed to rid of any residual pesticides, insecticides or herbicides under running water.

Secondly, being by small quantities and for bunnies that are at least 10 weeks [7] or pre-weaned ones. Afterward, check for any signs of intestinal upsets including diarrhea, gas, GI stasis and so on. If none, you can increase the amount.

Conclusion

A few sources [8] seem to warn people who own this pet to avoid parsley. However, we do not find any compelling reason why that is so. It has many benefits.

Despite the benefits, this vegetable should not replace the recommended rabbit diet which must have over 80% hay, about 5% high fiber pellets and the rest being fresh foods.  Kaytee Timothy Hay is a good example of grassy hay while pellets, Oxbow Animal Health Bunny Basics Essentials Adult Rabbit Pet Food or any other good brand will be ok for your furry friend. 

Fresh foods will include leafy greens where parsley falls in and some occasional non-leafy vegetables and fruits that rabbits eat only given as occasional treats. Leafy greens should make the more significant part of the fresh foods (over 75%).  

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