Brussels sprouts are leafy green vegetables that resemble miniature cabbages measuring about 1.0 to 1.6 inches in size. They belong to the Brassica oleracea which also has cabbage, kale, broccoli, collard greens, savoy, gai lan (Chinese kale), and kohlrabi .
Can bunnies be given this vegetable?
Yes. Rabbits can eat Brussels sprouts, their stem, and leaves. However, Save a Fluff advises that you reduce their amount as they can cause gas and you may be knowing, it is challenging for bunnies to pass gas.
This vegetable is loaded with sugars, dietary fibers, vitamins A (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin), vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 B9, C, E, K as well as minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, sodium, zinc, and manganese.
As we have seen, this veggie is very nutritious, and your bunnies can take advantage of these nutrients including their antioxidants that may help fight cancers, reduce inflammations and promote good heart health. The various vitamin that they have will also play various vital roles in your furry friend’s body, and boost is health.
Besides the gas problem, Brussels sprouts have low fiber content, yet rabbits are herbivorous grazers that depend on high fiber food sources especially hay. Therefore, giving them a lot of this vegetable is bound to cause digestive problems including soft feces, diarrhea among others.
How to feed them to your rabbits
The recommended diet for bunnies should contain over 80% hay. Select brands such as Kaytee Timothy Hay, Oxbow Timothy Hay, or Vitakraft Timothy Hay, Premium Sweet Grass Hay. High fiber pellets should account for, about 5% while the rest should be fresh foods. Fresh foods constitute mainly leafy greens (accounting for up to 75%) while the rest can be treats of fruits that rabbits eat and non-leafy vegetables.
Brussels sprouts are part of the 75% of the fresh foods you need to give your furry critters. It is recommended that you mix them with at least three other leafy greens especially those that have low oxalic acid. This way, you will not feed them too much. Bunnies can eat up to 1 cup of chopped leafy greens per two pounds of their weight.
If you are giving them to your bunnies for the first time, you need to begin with small amounts and see who their tummies are going to react after 24 hours. If they respond well to them, you can increase the quantity.
To ensure they are free of any chemicals including pesticides, opt for an organic source or wash them thoroughly under running water.
Afterward, you can chop them to make eating easier and remember to give them while still raw. This is how wild bunnies would have eaten them while they are in the wild, while raw. Cooking may affect some of their ingredients as well as reduce fiber amounts as they soften up.
While giving your furry friends this nutritious vegetable, do not forget they also need an unlimited supply of clean, freshwater. Buying rabbit water bottles or going for automated bunny waterers will ensure water is always available.