Peanuts also known as groundnuts or goobers are edible nuts from a legume plant that is taxonomically classified as Arachis hypogaea cultivated mainly for these nuts that grow in the ground.
They are highly calorific and contain vital nutrients and minerals including proteins, carbs, fats, sugars, and some fibers. They also have some biotic, copper, phosphorus, folate, manganese, vitamin E, niacin, resveratrol, isoflavones, phytic acid among other nutrients.
On the other hand, peanut butter refers to a spread or food paste or spread made from these nuts if they are dried, roasted and ground with a few additives such as salt, emulsifiers or sweeteners.
These antioxidant-rich nuts and butter are known to help in weight loss, a healthy heart, prevent gallstones, boost bone health, boost immunity, among others. They sound quite healthy. What about your bunny? Can they munch them?
Can rabbits eat peanuts including butter?
In this case, our answer is unfortunately No. Rabbits should not be given or eat peanuts or butter. This must sound quite disappointing as everyone considers these nuts quite healthy.
According to peta.org, “walnuts, peanut butter—which is also high in fat—should be avoided. The creamy snack will do nothing for rabbits, except possibly give them a tummy ache.” Some sources including Onlinerabbitcare.com and petsolino.com and Furry Facts also do not support their use as treats or food for bunnies.
- They have high-fat content and little nutrients that your bunnies need. The high fats will present a digestion challenge to these herbivores.
- Being high calorific, expect your bunnies to have weight issues including obesity if you feed them these nuts regularly.
- They present a possible hazard of choking. There is a high likelihood of your furry friend being chocked while it tries to eat groundnuts.
- com states that they have a “little water, a huge amount of phosphorus, fats and acidic content and quite a lot of calcium.” This makes it unsuitable for bunnies.
- They have high sugar content which is not good for the bunny’s digestive system as these pets cannot digest sugar and sugar may promote bad bacteria on the bunny’s gut. This is likely to cause diarrhea, gas, stomach upsets and other health problems. Rabbits need cellulose!
The above reasons, as well as the fact that bunnies do not depend on seeds as part of their diet, should affirm why you should not give them groundnuts.
Remember the ideal diet for rabbits should be about 80% hay, 10 to 15 percent fresh foods especially greens, about 5% high fiber pellets as well as treats of a few fruits that bunnies can eat such as pear, peach, plum, papaya, mangoes, berries, apricots, grapes, etc., and non-leafy vegetables such as carrots as well as edible flowers and so on. They are herbivores, and they may not be able to deal with a lot of fats, sugars or carbs.
Those supporting the giving your bunnies peanuts use the fact that they are not poisonous, will not cause liver failure all over a sudden, but agree that stomach problems are possible if your furry friends eat them regularly.
What about peanut plant hay
Bunnies can eat peanut plants or hay. According to Countryside Daily, it is “an excellent forage for livestock, including pigs, horses, dairy goats, sheep, and rabbits.”
However, you should understand the fact that grass hay such as Timothy, Brome, Orchard, and meadow are often recommended than legume hays as grass hay contains less calcium and more fibers. Of course, Timothy is the most preferred with Small Pet Select 2nd Cutting "Perfect Blend" Timothy Hay Pet Food highly rated.
On the other hand, for pregnant, nursing, underweight, or young bunnies, legume hay including this hay is often recommended.
Can rabbits eat peanut shell
What about the shells? Not much literature exists on whether bunnies will eat these hulls or not. However, according to Feedipedia.org, “peanut hulls are also fed to livestock, particularly ruminants and rabbits, although their high fiber content does not make them suitable for most monogastric species.”
Whereas they might not be poisonous or toxic, it is highly advisable you avoid feeding them to your bunnies unless it is the plant or shells.