Have you wondered, can rabbits eat cucumber? Yes, they can!
Cucumber can be an excellent addition to any rabbit diet. Even though Cucumber has a high water content which can cause some rabbits to get soft tools or diarrhea, when fed in moderation, Cucumber can be a healthy and safe for rabbits to eat.
Although, they are considered a vegetable but they are actually a fruit, other than being low in calories, cucumbers also contain many essential vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C & K as well as Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese.
Cucumbers are 96% water so they also help with hydration in rabbits. It is especially good for rabbits during the warm summer months.
Are Cucumbers Safe For Pet Rabbits?
Cucumbers are quite safe for rabbits. There are no known toxins in cucumbers that can be harmful if eaten by bunnies. Although cucumbers are not able to provide much nutritionally to rabbits, they do contain vitamins and minerals that rabbits can absorb.
Most people around the world feed cucumbers to their pet rabbits without a hitch. In fact wild rabbits have been a pest in many cucumber farming communities.
Rabbits have been known to rummage through cucumber fields and gorge on cucumbers as well as the plants.
But excess consumption of watery fruits like cucumbers can cause stomach problems like soft or runny stools in rabbit so never feed too much cucumber to a rabbit at a time.
How Much Cucumber Should A Rabbit Eat?
Cucumbers may look big but they contain very little calories, 100 grams of a cucumber contains just 15 calories. That is why cucumbers cannot be the main item in a rabbits diet.
A rabbits diet should contain 1-2 cups of vegetables every day depending on their size, if you do include cucumbers to your rabbit’s diet then make sure that you add it in a good mix of two or three other types of vegetables.
A few thumb-sized pieces are what I recommend along with the usual rabbit pellets, vegetables, and fruits.
If your bunny really likes cucumbers then you can also use them as a low calorie snack in between meal times.
Can Rabbits Eat Cucumber Peel Or Skin?
Cucumber peel or skin is actually the most nutritious part of the fruit. It contains most of the cucumber’s vitamins and minerals. It also contains a good amount of dietary fiber and beta carotene.
Pet rabbits can happily eat cucumber skin, even just the skin! Its good for them as well.
The fiber in the cucumber aids in digestion and help to keep their digestive system running on track, while the Beta Carotene promotes skin and eye health.
As stomach issues can be quite dangerous for rabbits, cucumber skin or peel is a better alternative to feeding the whole cucumber to a rabbit.
Can Rabbits Eat Cucumber Seeds?
Yes, rabbits can definitely eat cucumber seeds.
Cucumbers have a gel like center filled with white flat seeds, even though rabbits rabbits can easily much on them, I prefer to remove seeds while I feed my rabbits.
The seedy part of the cucumber contains a lot of water, removing this part makes sure that your bunny does not get too much water in their food which may lead to diarrhea.
That being said, cucumber seeds along with the skin of the cucumber are the most nutritious part of the fruit.
They do contain a good amount of Vitamin C plus they may help to re-hydrate a bunny who may be getting dehydrated during the summer heat.
Can Rabbits Eat Cucumber Leaves?
Cucumbers grow on vines that have flat green leaves. Wild rabbits have been known to sneak into cucumber farms to eat cucumber leaves along with the fruits and flowers.
Cucumber leaves do not offer much in the way of nutrition but they do contain trace amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Even though cucumber leaves are perfectly safe, some rabbits do not like to eat them as tiny hairs on the surface of the leaves tend to irritate their mouth and tongue.
If you want to give your rabbits cucumber leaves then start with a small amount to check if your bunny likes eating it or not.
Can Rabbits Eat Cucumber Flowers?
Similar to squashes and pumpkins, cucumbers have yellow flowers that grow on the vine. These flowers are yellow in color and do not have any aroma.
Although unknown to most people, cucumber flowers are actually a delicacy in some places around the world. They are price for their delicate texture and mild flavor.
Rabbits like to eat cucumber flowers for the same reason as well. Contrary to the leaves, the flowers do not contain any irritating hairs on the surface so rabbits can easily chow down on them without a worry.
Cucumber flowers are absolutely safe for rabbits to eat.
Do Rabbits Like To Eat Cucumber?
It depends, we all know rabbits have such varied personalities. No two rabbit is the same.
Even though cucumbers are quite palatable to pet rabbits due to their mild taste and crunchy texture. Some rabbits simply don’t like them.
Some of my rabbits do not like the mushy texture of cucumber seeds so I tend to remove them but you need not remove the skin or seeds at all.
At the end of the day, there are plenty of other fruits and vegetables that you can feed your rabbit so you can choose not to feed any cucumber to your rabbits at all.
How To Prepare Cucumbers For Rabbits
Preparing cucumbers for your rabbit’s meals is easy. Cucumber has a neutral taste so most rabbits do not fuss about eating them.
You can serve them whole or chop them up. Here is a short guide as to how I prepare cucumbers for my rabbits.
- Chop off both ends
- Rub the ends on the cucumber to draw out the bitter foam
- Wash out the cucumber to get rid of the foam
- Chop it up into quarters lengthwise
- Remove the seeds (Optional)
Removing the skin is not recommended as it contains a dietary fiber as well as most of the cucumber’s nutrition. The flesh is mostly just water.
Can Baby Rabbits Eat Cucumber?
Young rabbits below the age of 3-4 months should not eat cucumbers. Baby rabbits should only eat their mother milks during the first few weeks of their lives.
Thereafter they can eat alfalfa pellets and hay. Baby rabbits need quite a bit of protein which helps them grow up and cucumbers are just not able to provide the nutrition they need.
Stick to a carefully formulated diet when it comes to feeding baby rabbits, check out Diet For Baby Rabbits for more info
What Varieties Of Cucumber Can Rabbits Eat?
There are close to 30 varieties of cucumbers available in the US. Since rabbits can only eat raw cucumber, it is best to choose one of the varieties that are meant to be eaten raw.
Here are a few examples of cucumbers varieties that rabbits can eat.
- English Cucumbers
- Green Fingers Persian Cucumbers
- Muncher Cucumbers
- Ashley Cucumbers
- Diva Cucumbers
- Sweet Success Cucumbers
- Straight Eight Cucumbers
To begin with I would stick with these varieties, if you want to try some other variety then eat it raw yourself to check out the taste first.
If it have a mild and neutral flavor then you can give it to a rabbit but if it is too bitter then its best to avoid giving it to a pet rabbit.
Why Is Feeding Too Much Cucumber Bad For Rabbits?
Cucumber contain a lot of water but very little in terms of nutrition for a rabbit. If a rabbit is eating primarily cucumber as their main source of calories then they may suffer from soft stools or dhirrea.
Rabbits are more suited to digesting dry hay and green leafy vegetables. Fruits and vegetables with too much water tend to mess with a rabbit’s digestive system.
Cucumbers also contain very little calories not eating cucumbers long term may lead to weight loss and even food deficiency in a pet rabbit.
The best way to give cucumber to rabbits is in a mix of two or three other vegetables. This way you can make sure that your bunny is getting all the essential nutrients as well as good variety of foods to eat.
Cucumber Alternatives For Rabbits
There are plenty of good alternatives to cucumber when it comes to fruits and vegetables for pet rabbits. The ideal food for rabbits is green vegetables but there is a large variety of fruits and vegetable that you can safely include in a rabbit’s diet.
Here are a few of the most common ones
Kale – It is often considered the ideal vegetable for rabbits. It is rich in Iron & Vitamin C
Carrot Tops – They have a good amount of vitamins and minerals. Fits into a rabbit’s diet quite nicely.
Celery – It is nutrient dense and a staple food for rabbits. All parts of the celery are safe for rabbits to eat.
Apple – Apples are sweet, highly nutritious and rich in vitamins and fibers. A great choice for pet rabbits.
Watermelon – Low calorie and juicy. Watermelons are perfect for rabbits during the summer
Bananas – An all time favorite for pet rabbits. Bananas contain lots of minerals essential for rabbits.
In conclusion, cucumbers can be a good addition to pet rabbit’s diet but it should never be given in excess amounts.
To learn a bit more what rabbits can and cannot eat, check out some if our related articles.
- The Balanced Rabbit Diet Guide – Feeding Rabbits Simplified
- Can Rabbits Eat Broccoli? Stalks, Leaves & Flowers?
- Can Rabbits Eat Watermelon? All That You Need To Know!
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