A cucumber is a delicious, juicy vegetable that you can grow yourself at home to boot.
Ideal also for rabbits, right?
In this article we tell you whether rabbits can eat cucumbers and what you should consider in any case – because the vegetable is not always the right choice!
Are rabbits allowed to eat cucumber?
Yes, rabbits can eat cucumber. However, you have to take care of some points and offer only small amounts.
Otherwise, the water-rich vegetable can also have negative consequences on the health of your animals. We will tell you what is important.
Why is cucumber healthy for rabbits?
Cucumbers contain many important nutrients and vitamins that are also essential for your rabbit.
The advantages of cucumbers are:
- a high water content
- few calories
- vitamins (B, C and K)
- dietary fiber
All of these substances are important in your rabbits’ diet.
While they can produce some vitamins on their own, vitamin K and minerals cannot.
In addition, many rabbits drink too little.
Therefore, the high water content of cucumber is especially beneficial in the summer and is not only refreshing, but a good contribution to a balanced diet and hydration.
Dietary fiber is also important to aid digestion and keep the stomach and intestines healthy.
However, you should not feed too much of it, so that no discomfort occurs. But you will learn more about this later…..
Are there risks to feeding cucumber?
Yes, there are!
Firstly, due to the high water content. This can lead to diarrhea if you feed too much cucumber and your animals are not gradually accustomed to it.
On the other hand, there are risks lurking in the peel. In itself, it is not dangerous for rabbits. However, this is only true if there are no pesticides on it.
Therefore, it is best to buy organic cucumbers or grow them yourself. Because then you can control which means were used for the protection and the fertilizing and use for it for example plant liquid manure.
If it is not possible to grow your own cucumbers, wash them very thoroughly.
In this way you can remove contamination and at least a large proportion of pesticides. This will significantly reduce the risk of problems from the toxic substances.
Our extra tip: grafted outdoor cucumbers can also be grown on a plant stick on the balcony in a very small area. A planter is perfectly adequate for this and you don’t need to have a green thumb either, as the plants are very easy to care for.
Tips for feeding cucumber
Because of its high water content and high fiber content, you should never feed too much cucumber at one time.
Your animals could then get diarrhea.
Especially with very small or already weakened rabbits, liquid feces can quickly become a problem. This is because it causes a considerable loss of water and nutrients.
The weight can drop quickly.
In addition, the fur can stick together, flies are attracted and these can lay eggs on the rabbit.
Inflammation of the skin and infestation with maggots pose significant risks. In addition, if the soft or liquid feces dry up in the fur of the anus area, your pet will not be able to defecate.
This can also cause health problems that can quickly worsen in rabbits and even lead to death.
Therefore, read below how and especially how much cucumber you should feed.
How should cucumber be given to a rabbit?
There are only two steps to offering green cucumber: Wash the cucumber thoroughly and cut it into thin slices or small cubes.
After that you can use the pieces or slices:
use them for curling
impale them on a feeding tree
offer them in food balls
use as a reward
When keeping several rabbits, make sure that each animal takes only a small amount.
In the beginning, a single thin slice per rabbit is perfectly sufficient. This will allow the digestive tract to gradually adjust and not be disturbed.
You can also reduce the risk of discomfort by not offering the cucumber too cold and straight from the fridge. Also, increase the amount slowly so that diarrhea does not occur.
How often should cucumber be fed?
It depends on the quantity.
Giving a slice every day is also possible for dwarf rabbits. With a German Giant it may be four to five slices per day after the initial habituation.
You can offer your animals cucumber every day.
However, make sure in any case that it does not come to a softening of the excrement or other problems arise. In addition, the feeding must be balanced.
Should you feed cucumber with or without peel?
Preferably with peel, which has been well washed and not treated with pesticides.
You can also give only the peel if you are making a salad, for example. For rabbits, the peel is the best part of the cucumber.
It also contains less water, but more minerals, vitamins and fiber.
This means that you can feed larger quantities. You can also use strips of the peel for luring, on a feeding tree or in a feeding ball.
18 Alternatives to cucumber
Possible alternatives to green cucumber or snake cucumber include:
- Bell bell pepper
- Parsley root
Note that this list is not exhaustive.
In any case, it is important to acclimate slowly and feed small amounts.
Peppers, for example, are very rich in vitamin C and can therefore cause diarrhea as well as increase the urge to urinate, which in turn could lead to dehydration.
Especially in summer and in very small animals or those already in poor health, this poses an acute danger to life within a few hours.
The situation is similar with tomatoes. However, they contain a potentially toxic substance called solanine. In order to keep an overview, you should consult a food list.
In the beginning, it also helps to use it as a shopping list or as a guide when growing forage plants.
Frequently asked questions
When should cucumber be fed to rabbits?
It can be offered daily.
It is especially good in the summer when your rabbits need to drink more fluids.
Also, if your animals don’t drink well, you can use it as a refreshing treat.
However, you should then check to see if the low drinking has a causative problem, such as injury to the teeth, gums or tongue.
Also, some animals do not like to drink from a nipple drinker, preferring a bowl.
When should cucumber not be fed?
If your animals already have fairly soft droppings or have even recently suffered from diarrhea, you should first refrain from feeding cucumber and review the diet and cure the problems.
Are rabbits allowed to eat the cucumber seeds?
Yes, this is possible without any problems. They may eat all parts of the cucumber as long as they are not contaminated with pesticides or rotten.
What role does diet play in tolerance?
Rabbits that have been fed only dry food and hay usually tolerate fresh food such as fruits and vegetables less well.
Therefore, you must gradually change the diet to avoid diarrhea and other digestive tract disorders.
Start with very small amounts and introduce only one new fruit or vegetable at a time. If this is tolerated, you can slowly expand the menu.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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