Bok choy is something you don’t hear a lot about unless you happen to eat a lot of Asian dishes. Commonly used as vegetable filler in Asian dishes for humans it may not have occurred to you to use it as food for your rabbit. You might even be wondering, “Can rabbits eat bok choy?” The simple answer is yes they can, but the more complex answer requires a bit of explanation.
What Is Bok Choy?
Bok choy is Chinese cabbage. Unlike the cabbages you typically see in the grocery store or garden, these cabbages are native to Asia and look more like celery than cabbage. The bulbous ends look like celery stalks, but then the stalks taper off to broad, medium-green leaves. It tastes like a cross between celery and cabbage too, which is why it is an excellent vegetable for cooking.
Can Bunnies Eat Bok Choy?
They sure can! It is perfectly safe for them to consume in smaller amounts. You can feed it to them once or twice a week in bunny-size portions. It is smarter to slice it up into thin strips to allow your rabbit friend to eat it with ease.
Bunnies usually enjoy the bok choy because it is green and leafy. Rabbits love green and leafy vegetables. Most of their diet consists of green veggies, with the exception of carrots. Regardless of which vegetable you feed your bunny, chop it in small amounts to keep the veggies fresh.
There are lots of good vitamins in bok choy that can boost your bunny’s immune system. This is an all-natural approach to keeping your bunny healthy. Because bok choy is unusually high in calcium you should not be feeding your rabbit a lot of this vegetable or feeding it as often as pelleted feed. Bok choy is a great supplement to a healthy bunny diet.
Nutritional Value of Bok Choy for Bunnies
Vitamins B6, C, E, beta carotene (often found in carrots too!), folate, selenium, and quercetin (a flavonoid) are all found in bok choy. Most of these vitamins and minerals help reduce inflammation. This is good news for some bunny breeds.
Additionally, because the source of these vitamins and minerals comes in the form of an easily digested food your bunny will likely gobble up.
A fully balanced diet for bunnies that includes a little bok choy ensures that you are taking a very holistic and preventive health approach to caring for your fast-hopping friend.
The Ideal Rabbit Diet
While you are searching for answers on “Can rabbits eat bok choy?” be aware of the fact that rabbits, like humans, need a balanced diet. Feeding any bunny too much of something is never good. A balanced diet for rabbits includes a small serving of organic nutrition pellets made for rabbits only, a little fruit for sweetness or a treat, alfalfa or sweetgrass for roughage, and a small serving of veggies daily.
If your rabbit doesn’t or won’t eat something, in particular, change it. Maybe he or she doesn’t like apple slices but adores raspberries. Maybe the alfalfa isn’t tasty, and he or she would rather have fresh herbs instead (no parsley!). The point is that they have certain tastes too. So, don’t be alarmed if they choose to eat or not to eat. That is truly their question.
Quality Organic Pellets
In addition to Hay you can feed quality, healthful pellets, so if your bunny doesn’t eat enough, remove the tastier “treats” from the cage until you can get your furry friend to eat some hay. Also, too many tasty treats can be hard on their teeth.
Check labels carefully to see where the pellets are coming from i.e. from USA or China. You want as local as possible, Organic, not ridiculously processed, and stuffed with fillers. Buy Organic Adult Rabbit Food from the USA and a quality brand. Here is an example of a brand that is USDA Certified Organic without sugar and artificial ingredients.
You should also be aware that even though rabbits chew hundreds of times in a minute, they don’t exactly do a thorough job. If you dissected rabbit poop you would notice some bits of undigested food. This is typical because rabbits have learned from evolution to eat on the run and worry about digestion later.
It also means that they will eat their own feces later to further digest what they missed.
If you are feeding your bunny really healthy things, eating their own poop is fine. Just watch for changes in their poop. Changes can signal that something doesn’t agree with their stomachs, or that something was wrong with the food. Go back to just hay and water for a few days to make sure the rabbit’s tummy and digestion return to normal.
Can Rabbits Eat Bok Choy Every Day?
Yes and no. No, they should not eat a lot of it every day because the calcium can build up in their systems and create health problems. Yes, they can eat a VERY small amount as a treat every day.
IF you want to serve bok choy as a main meal to your bunny (i.e., as the only food and in a larger quantity), consider slicing and chopping it into thin strips or bite-size pieces and only serve it once or twice a week.
It’s a complicated answer, but with anything good in life moderation is key. This is as true for pet rabbits as it is for humans. If you are not sure how much is too much bok choy, ask your friendly neighborhood holistic health experts.
What Part of Bok Choy Can Rabbits Eat?
The answer is: ALL of it. with the exception of the root cut at the bottom of the vegetable, you can feed your bunny the stalks, leaves, and parts of the heart. Just make sure you cut it into thin, short strips your bunny can nibble, or into tiny chopped pieces that are more easily chewed by a bunny.
Tear the leaves into small pieces too. That way bunnies won’t try to eat too much of it all at once and choke on pieces that are too much or too large.
What Vegetables Can Rabbits Eat?
More to the point, you might be wondering what other vegetables a rabbit can eat. They can actually eat a surprising number of veggies, and all of them are very good for your little furry friend.
Carrots, for example, provide antioxidants and Vitamin A that help ward off the development of certain ailments in bunnies and keep their vision sharp. Unless you have a very large rabbit, carrots should also be chopped or sliced into strips because they are such a hard veggie to bite and chew.
Some rabbit specialists suggest that just the carrot tops with the leafy carrot greenery is enough for most rabbits.
A very long list of veggies and even fruits are ideal for rabbits because of the many health benefits the fruits and veggies provide. It might surprise you to learn that some leafy greens can be toxic to bunnies and that you should avoid these particular greens. These greens include:
- mustard greens
However, most other veggies and fruits are safe. Essentially if a rabbit would eat or nibble it in the wild or chomp on it in your garden or orchard, it’s usually safe.
Can Rabbits Eat Collard Greens?
It’s a very Southern thing to say “collard” greens since the phrase comes from “collared” greens. Collared greens are so named because they have leaves that make them look like they are wearing shirt collars. The leaves grow together in bunches, but do not have “hearts” as some other root veggies might.
Collard (or collared) greens include:
- Swiss chard
- mustard greens
As previously mentioned, rabbits should not eat mustard greens, spinach, or parsley. However, the rest of the vegetables in the collard greens category are fair game.
Can Rabbits Eat Bok Choy Mixed With Other Fruits and Veggies?
The question, “Can rabbits eat bok choy mixed with other fruits and veggies?” is an excellent question. Sometimes certain fruits and veggies should not be eaten together because they don’t digest well and could cause bloat or toxic situations. However, you can still serve bok choy “recipes” for your bunny.
One such recipe includes cutting tops off of carrots and turnips, chopping up a little bok choy, and including a bit of apple for a complete meal. More exotic and tropical fruits are a real treat because most bunnies would not ordinarily encounter mango or papaya in the wild.
You can experiment with cherries and plums sans pits, uncooked berries of most kinds, currants, tree fruits, bananas, etc… Mix them in with veggies and see which ones your rabbit likes best.
Good Health Tips for Your Rabbit Beyond Bok Choy
Eating bok choy for its health benefits is just the tip of the iceberg for your rabbit. Go beyond the answers for “Can rabbits eat bok choy?” by researching many holistic and common-sense approaches to caring for pet rabbits.
Always have a clean source of water for your rabbit. It should not come from the tap as tap water is laced with high amounts of alum, copper, chlorine, and other chemical residues that are the result of filtering out human waste. If you wouldn’t have your rabbit drink ammonia and chlorine straight, don’t give it to him/her diluted from the tap!
If you are on the tap consider a reverse osmosis system that will remove all or most of the contaminants and re-mineralize the water. Much healthier for you and your rabbit.
Use bottled spring water instead. You can buy spring water sold in jugs without fluoride (another additive in tap water that isn’t good for bunnies or for us. Rabbit Waterers here.
A clean cage is also important. Bunnies poop A LOT. They are one of the very few animals in the world that can defecate while they are on the move. If you have ever seen wild rabbits on the run, you can spot them defecating as they go. Your pet rabbit is no exception.
The problem is, all that poop can cause a lot of skin and fur problems. Rabbits are very clean animals, despite eating their own poop. They spend an enormous amount of time grooming themselves and each other if they live in a warren or share a cage.
Removing the soiled bedding helps your rabbit by decreasing the amount of grooming time and encouraging healthier eating habits (i.e, less poop, more real food).
Poop is also the source of bacteria that can carry diseases and make rabbits sick. Clean the cage at least every other day to maintain the overall health of your bunny. If you keep your rabbit outside, the cage needs cleaning daily to avoid infestation of flies, maggots, and/or worms in your rabbits. See here for rabbit hutches.
All Natural and Organic Food
Even bunny foods from the pet store can contain preservatives and stabilizers that are not good for rabbits. Purchasing organic and all-natural bunny pellets will help you and your bunny avoid these unnecessary ingredients.
Likewise, if you can serve your pet fruits and veggies, make sure they are organic. It is the best choice for you and your bunny.
Other Thoughts: Can Rabbits Eat Bok Choy in Other Forms?
Can rabbits eat bok choy in other forms? For example, can rabbits eat bok choy as a puree or as a mash? It is possible, although most younger rabbits need the hard crunch of fruits and veggies to curb their ever-growing teeth.
Save the puree or mashed versions of veggies for much older rabbits that can’t chew as well or that have lost teeth to decay.
Can rabbits eat bok choy cooked? Yes, they can, but most rabbits aren’t likely to eat something that’s hot. They are used to cool or cold raw veggies. Cooked bok choy may be left to sit while your bunny eats something else.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment to see what and how your rabbit may eat bok choy. Remember that rabbits have personal tastes just like us and if they decide not to eat something put before them that is perfectly okay. Make a mental note and offer your rabbit some other delectable that they will enjoy.
Recap + Links + Assessories
64oz Rabbit Water Bottles
UpGraded Rabbit Hutch
Organic Rabbit Food (Soy Free, Sugar-Free, Artificial Ingredient Free)
Rabbit Harness and Leash For Walks
Snuggly Rabbit Fleece Sleep Pad
Rabbit Food Dispenser
Sungrow Grass Mat
Hanging Water Fountain Dispenser
Interactive Snuffle Logic Game for Mental Enrichment
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