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Are Rabbits Allowed To Eat Potatoes And Potato Peelings?

Potato peels are usually evaluated as a waste product that belongs in the garbage or compost.
But is that really the case?
Couldn’t these potato peels actually be healthy and nutritious for your rabbit?

We’ll tell you the answer now!

Are rabbits allowed to eat potatoes and potato peels?

Yes, rabbits are allowed to eat both potatoes and potato peels. However, you need to consider a few points. Not all parts of the tuber are healthy for your pet. In addition, you must be careful with the amount, because the tubers contain a lot of starch.
On the one hand, this can be an advantage. On the other hand, mistakes in feeding or too much can cause health problems.
But first, let’s look at why potatoes and potato peels can be an asset to your rabbits’ diet.

Why are potatoes and their skins healthy for rabbits?

The potato tuber contains, among other things:

  • Starch
  • Dietary fiber
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Water

Among the vitamins, vitamin C and B3 stand out the most.
However, the other components are also a healthy addition when feeding rabbits.

Potato peel contains the same nutrients, but in a different composition. It is richer in fiber and contains less water as well as starch.
Starch is healthy for rabbits only in small amounts.

Fiber stimulates digestion and allows good intestinal transit. Minerals and vitamins are an essential part of the rabbit’s diet.

However, the high starch content is particularly important.
This makes potatoes particularly suitable as a concentrated feed. This is useful when:

Your rabbits are kept outdoors even in winter.
An animal is too thin.
An illness-related weight loss is to be counteracted.
Rabbits have a very high energy requirement.
An animal needs mainly soft food due to dental problems.
So you can use the shell and the tubers themselves for feeding. This already works for young animals that are very small and thin.

However, keep in mind that potatoes are just an addition to the other diet of greens, hay and fresh feed.

Otherwise, discomfort may occur. How you can avoid this, we explain in the following text.

Are there risks in feeding potatoes?

Yes, these definitely exist.

These are:

1: Development of obesity.

Due to the high starch content, potato tubers provide a lot of energy.
This can be quite beneficial in very thin animals and makes the vegetable a good pellet food.

However, if you offer it too often and in too large quantities, it can lead to overweight. This not only stresses the musculoskeletal system, but also the circulation and can lead to diabetes, among other things.

2: Diarrhea

The high water content of tubers can cause the feces to soften too much, leading to diarrhea.

This is especially true if the rabbits have not been accustomed to fresh food and have been fed mainly on dry ready-made food. The digestive tract needs time to gradually adjust.

In addition, it helps to feed only very small amounts at first.

3: Flatulence

Also due to starch, fermentation can occur, resulting in what is called bloat.

This is not only unpleasant and painful for the rabbits. It can also become dangerous very quickly.

4: Poisoning

Some parts of the potato you must not feed.

This is because, as a nightshade plant, some sections of the plant contain toxic substances. In addition, some tubers have been treated with pesticides or given potentially dangerous fertilizers.

However, as long as you pay attention to the important points when feeding, you can avoid these risks. You can find out what they are here.

Tips for feeding potatoes

What, how and how much? These questions, or rather the answers to them, are important when feeding potatoes.

So let’s take a look at what is important.

what potatoes can rabbits eat?

Rabbits are allowed to have the tuber itself and the skin.

The potato green, on the other hand, is poisonous to them.
Also, do not offer them green parts of the potato or shoots, as they have the same problem.

How can you offer potatoes to rabbits?

It is best to offer the ripe potatoes raw and fresh. This also applies to the peel. It is also possible to dry the peel.

Since the peel is healthier for rabbits anyway, you can also use it as a long spiral strip raw or dried to prepare food.

Just hang it on a feeder tree or put it rolled up in a feeder ball.

Apart from this, there are other options available to you. These include:

Cut potatoes into small cubes and use in intelligence toys.
Use as thin and narrow strips for luring and as treats during training
Cut into sticks and skewer them on thin twigs, for example
Grated and squeezed as a particularly soft pepple food
Furthermore, it is possible to offer cooked potatoes.
The problem here is that the digestive tract of rabbits is not designed for cooked food. Therefore, health problems can occur much faster.

However, for animals that suffer from dangerous underweight and need to gain weight quickly, a small amount of cooked potatoes with oatmeal can be a good concentrate food.

For a color dwarf or other dwarf rabbits, however, one to two teaspoons is sufficient. For larger rabbits, the amount may be measured accordingly with tablespoons.
There are also individual differences that you must take into account.

How do you get rabbits used to being fed potatoes?

Small amounts of dried or fresh potato peel can be given to rabbits that are not used to fresh food.

For dwarf rabbits or very young animals, a thumbnail-sized piece of very thinly sliced peel per day is sufficient.

In this way, the digestive tract can slowly get used to it. If this extremely small amount is tolerated, it can be slowly increased.

Only in the next step you can offer a small cube or strip of the tuber. This is because these are more watery and can therefore have a laxative effect.

Therefore, it is important that the stomach and intestines have already adjusted to being able to handle green food and fresh food.

how much potato can you feed?

The exact amount depends on your rabbit’s size and weight. However, it should not be more than five to ten percent of the total amount of food.
In addition, you should continuously check the weight or better the weight distribution. If you notice that your animal is gaining too much weight, you must reduce the portion of potatoes or give them less frequently.

Alternatively, you can also offer only potato peel and do without feeding the tuber. A good variety can also be achieved with other vegetables.

19 Alternatives to potatoes and potato peel for your rabbit.

Potatoes and potato peel are not the only suitable fresh food.
You can also enrich your rabbit’s diet with other vegetables and fruits.

These include, for example:

  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Chicory
  • Strawberries
  • Fennel
  • Cucumber
  • Carrot
  • Cabbage
  • Kohlrabi
  • Pumpkin
  • Bell bell pepper
  • Parsnip
  • Parsley root
  • Beet
  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Tomato
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini

This list is of course not complete. Check out our XXL food list for more alternatives that are suitable for rabbits.

Frequently asked questions

Do the potatoes need to be washed before feeding?

In the wild, rabbits would simply dig up the tubers and eat them along with the soil residue.
However, for your pets, you should wash the potatoes. This will remove not only the soil, but also any fertilizer or pesticide residue.

Are some potato varieties better than others?

No, there are no differences in the varieties.

All fresh and ripe potatoes are suitable. You can also feed colored varieties without hesitation.

Are organic potatoes a good choice?

Yes, organic potatoes are better for both you and your rabbits because they are not treated with pesticides.

Of course, you can also grow potatoes yourself if you have a garden or a large balcony available.

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