Can Rabbits Have Beans?
Often in cartoons and television, rabbits are depicted as being at home when they are in the garden. Munching on spinach and carrots as they hop from one plant to the other. We may not even think twice about an average plant being potentially poisonous to rabbits. When in reality, rabbits have very sensitive stomachs that require care and consideration when it comes to feeding them some of their favorite treats. With such sensitive stomachs, it is important to pay attention to what you feed your rabbit, knowing what is and is not poisonous.
Take beans for example, these vegetables come in all shapes and sizes. Surely every type of bean out there is ok for a rabbit to eat, right? Can you give your rabbit beans?
Answer: Sometimes! Some can be potentially poisonous to their health! Like kidney beans and broad beans are both poisonous. While others are ok for rabbits, like green beans! Even when consuming green beans, you need to be sure to give your rabbit this in moderation and only after testing a small sample out first. Otherwise, you may be risking a very sick bunny.
We talked earlier about how rabbits are often portrayed to be in love with the garden and munching on every vegetable in sight. In reality, a rabbits diet should be made up of grass and hay. Ultimately making up about 80% of their diet. While the rest can be attributed to fruit and vegetables treats they eat on occasion.
Yes, green beans can be a small portion of the remaining 20% but this is not true for all rabbits. Some rabbits have extremely sensitive stomachs. Chances are if you have a sensitive rabbit you are already aware of your rabbit’s sensitive stomach. If that is you, it is best to not even try giving feeding them green beans. They are much more likely to experience gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
If your rabbit does not have a known sensitive stomach, begin by feeding your rabbit only a small amount of green beans. Also, only introduce one new food item to their diet at a time. This will prevent confusion of what is causing potential bloating or intensify any upset stomach. Then watch them closely for the next 24 hours to make sure the green beans are well digested. If you notice your rabbit experiences as little as soft stools, diarrhea, gas, or bloating, forgo giving your rabbits beans in the future.
To really keep your rabbit in the best health focus on just giving them water, hay, and pellets. This will be best for their digestive system.
Things to Consider
Rabbits have a very special digestive system. Their bellies are filled with good bacteria, that bacteria then ferments in the hay, one of their main sources of food. This means the healthy fats that your rabbit consumes is going to be their main source of energy. It also means that good protein and vitamins are going to need to be added to their diet.
If you were to feed your rabbit food items that quickly and easily ferment in bad bacteria, you will end up with a bunny that has some serious bloating and / or diarrhea. Simply by giving your bunny some beans, the pH levels in their digestive system will be out of whack. Your rabbit will have an upset stomach and diarrhea that could even turn fatal.
As we have mentioned, a few beans that are absolutely not ok for rabbits to consume are kidney and broad beans. There are also some that will pass fine, such as green beans, but even this is not for all rabbits. If you have noticed your rabbit has a particularly sensitive system, you may want to avoid beans all together.
If you are looking for other snack options for your rabbit, consider red bell peppers, courgettes, or even a cherry tomato. It is great to give your rabbit a treat from time to time, but they ultimately do not need these extra fruits or vegetables to have a healthy diet.
A sensitive rabbit’s stomach is never ready to feast on a garden like the cartoons and media show us. No, rabbits stomachs are much more sensitive, meaning a rabbits diet needs to consists of mainly hay, pellets, and water. So when you introduce something new, like beans, it is best to proceed with caution. In general, green beans are safe for rabbits, but kidney beans and broad beans can be poisonous. If you are considering another type of bean, do a quick search to confirm it is safe for your bunny to eat.