Rabbits

Do Rabbits eat Marigolds?

Can I give my rabbits marigolds or are they harmful? Here is what you need to know about these flowers before giving them to your furry friend.

Marigolds belong to the Asteraceae, the sunflower family. They often used as a vegetable or flower. There are various types including the Calendula officinalis, commonly known as pot, common, Scotch marigold or ruddles.

Their florets are edible and commonly used to add some color to salads or used in dishes including lieu of saffron and garnishes. 

Can rabbits eat marigold
Can rabbits eat marigold?

Their petals have carotenoids flavoxanthin and auroxanthin which are antioxidants, and they give them their orange-yellow colors while their leaves and the stem have lutein, carotenoids, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene.

According to DoveMed, some of their uses include healing foot ulcers, speeds skin healing process, helps fight against cancer, reduces inflammatory problems, among other benefits.

Can rabbits eat marigolds?

Yes, rabbits can eat marigolds. As Sfgate.com notes, “rabbits eat marigolds. When you suspect rabbit damage – either by observing the actual rabbits or their droppings or nibbled plant.”  Also, the Thespruce.com  and Bunnyapproved.com have listed the pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) as one of the flowers that a bunny can eat.

However, they are not the favorite food for your bunnies. This can be affirmed from what Hgtv.com notes,  i.e., “rabbits may dislike the plants’ strong fragrant and bitter taste, although the flowers and leaves are edible.”

Since there are many types, Therabbithouse.com states that “it’s the Pot Marigolds that are rabbit safe.” However, they do not eat tagetes (African or French ones) since Cleevenursery.co.uk has listed them as plants that bunnies do not eat.  However, when hungry, bunnies can eat almost anything including the tagetes.

Also, they should not replace the recommended diet for rabbits. They should be given in small amounts and mixed with other bunny-friendly greens such as asparagus, cilantro, mint, parsley, pumpkin leaves and so on.  It is recommended they eat about six different types of fresh foods including the leafy and non-leafy greens.

Are bunnies destroying your Calendula officinalis?

If you suspect your bunny destroys your marigolds, you should plant them in a fenced area or use the various repellents to keep them away. However, once you have sprayed them with these repellents, you should be keen not to eat them since they may be harmful to you too. Brands such as Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent Concentrate are safe to you and pets. 

Conclusion

If you intend to give your bunnies Calendula officinalis, begin with a small amount and see if your bunnies like them and check their droppings after a day for any signs of diarrhea. Your furry friend’s main diet should be hay and small amounts of greens and high fiber pellets. Occasionally, you can give them fruit treats.

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