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Rabbit veggies, fruits, treats & toxic plant info

Discussion in 'All other pets' started by pompeii, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. pompeii

    pompeii New Member

    I copied this from another forum I visit. I thought it was too good to pass up.


    ______________
    Introduction
    That cute little whiskered face is so hard to ignore, especially when your bun sits up and looks so deserving of that special treat. And pet stores sell a selection of rabbit treats which are perfect for your precious rabbit. Right? WRONG!!! Most so-called rabbit treats are the equivalent of taking your rabbit to McDonald's, providing non-nutritious junk that can cause potential harm to your rabbit. Confusing the issue is that many of these products use phrases that lead the buyer to believe that the product is healthful: "nutritionally fortified," " doing right for the environment, " "natural feeding habits," "for nutritional variety," "the finest selected ingredients." The addition of "feeding instructions" and "guaranteed analysis" lend a cache of authority.

    Commercial rabbit treats fall into several catagories: pellets, processed cereal kibble, mueslix (dried seed/fruit/veggie mixes), cereal/veggie blends, and candies/sugars. None confer an advantage over the fresh vegetable, high fiber pellets, and unlimited hay diet.


    Pellets
    Pellets were discussed in the House Rabbit Journal vol. III #4. I won't say more here except to repeat those guidelines: chose a pellet that is high in fiber (20-25%) and low in protein (14-15%) and calcium (<1.0%). Restrict pellet feedings to HRS guidelines and feed plenty of fresh vegetables and unlimited hay. Do not buy a pellet that contains seeds, nuts, or starch-rich cereal kibble mixed in (see below).

    Processed Cereal Kibble
    These range from "Crunchy Puffs" to shaped products designed to substitute for pellets. Some contain expensive extras that serve no benefit to your rabbit, such as plant or herbal extracts and freeze dried bacteria. One contains less than the National Research Council (NRC) requirements for calcium. Another contains cheese flavoring! Supplementation with digestive enzymes (proteases, amylases) normally is unnecessary because these foods are highly digestible and because there is no evidence that healthy rabbits produce insufficient levels of these enzymes; in fact, some of the most important digestion is by the cecal bacteria. These kibbles tend to be lower in fiber and higher in fat. They are also extremely expensive and come with feeding recommendations destined to give a spayed or neutered house rabbit obesity. The variety of colors and shapes are more of an asthetic to the human buyer than to your rabbit. Again, fresh vegetables, restricted high fiber pellets, and unlimited hay are healthier and easier on your budget.

    Mueslix
    These are mixes which are made of seeds and grains. They are marketed as "vitamin and mineral enriched," a "elicious energy provider," or "fortified." They are made of carbohydrate and fat-rich seeds and grains such as oats, milo, corn, peas, sunflower seeds, potatoes, peanuts, puffed corn, cornflakes, popcorn, and dried fruits. They are often held together into "sticks" with honey and other sugars, and are marketed with the explanation that they supply needed energy and reflect the rabbit's normal diet.
    In reality, a diet of vegetables, hay and restricted pellets provides all the nutrients and energy your house rabbit needs. Seeds are high in fat and are important for wintering animals. Your house rabbit has no such need; in fact, the National Research Council recommends that domestic rabbits receive no more than 1.5% of their calories as fat. Labels on the back of these mueslix products list a minimum fat content of 4-5%; the real value is probably greater. Rabbit metabolism is geared for a low fat diet (in comparison, the average human diet contains 35-40% fat!), and the excess is not burned but is stored as body fat. Rabbits appear to be more sensitive to fat than are humans, and in addition to obesity, the excess fat can accumulate in your rabbit's liver and arteries (atherosclerosis). Veterinarians have reported that rabbits fed seed-rich diets have a much higher incidence of fatty liver disease (hepatic steatosis), which is often fatal. These seeds and grains are also rich in starches. While some of this starch is digested in the small intestine, much of it is not accessible until it reaches the cecum. There it becomes a potent energy form for the cecal bacteria; unlike cellulose fiber, which slows fermentation, starch in the cecum is fermented rapidly and can lead to bacterial overgrowth, bloat, and gi stasis.

    Manufacturers claim that seeds and grains satisfy "the chewing urge." While this is true, it is far safer and cheaper to satisfy that urge with baskets, untreated wood, and cardboard boxes.


    Cereal/veggie blends
    These are grain products which may be supplemented with dehydrated vegetables, and shaped into a form which mimics a vegetable product. There is no advantage to feeding these over the real vegetable. One product label lists three different cereals before the dehydrated vegetable! The high carbohydrate content of these snacks means they are robbing your rabbit of important fiber and overloading him with sugars. These products also tout the vitamins that are added back (due to processing); real vegetables will supply as much if not more. With 2.1 ounces costing $3.09 ($24 per pound), a pound of carrots and some cardboard provides a healthier and cheaper alternative.

    Candies/Sugars
    These can include everything from yogurt drops to sweetened papaya tablets. The high sugar is the culprit here. Many rabbits have a sweet tooth, but sweetness means a high content of sugars. As we discussed above, excessive sugar is converted to fat, or will pass into the cecum where the bacteria will use it for energy and then rapidly overgrow, possibly leading to bacterial imbalance and gi stasis. The same can occur after feeding too much fruit. Avoid feeding your rabbit simple sugars and instead stick with nutritious treats such as vegetables and herbs; save the sweets for an occasional raisin or banana snack.

    Vitamin supplements
    These are largely unnecessary. For nearly all rabbits, a diet containing a variety of fresh vegetables, restricted high quality pellets, and unlimited hay provides all the vitamins your rabbit requires; many of your rabbit's vitamins come from her normal ingestion of cecal pellets. While special health situations may require nutrient supplements, these are best handled after consultation with your veterinarian.
    It is tempting to show your love for your rabbit by purchasing treats for her. If you are in doubt, read the ingredient label; pay particular attention to the list of ingredients (they are listed in order of abundance) and the percentage of fiber and fat. Speaking as a nutritionist, my best advice is to save your money and show your love with healthy treats like vegetables, hay and untreated wood for chewing. And give plenty of pets, which are of course free.

    ________
    Veggie List:
    Please refer to the Diet FAQ for detailed info on proper quantities and combinations to feed for a well-ballanced diet.

    Select at least three kinds of vegetables daily. A variety is necessary in order to obtain the necessary nutrients, with one each day that contains Vitamin A, indicated by an *. Add one vegetable to the diet at a time. Eliminate if it causes soft stools or diarrhea.


    Alfalfa, radish & clover sprouts
    Basil
    Beet greens (tops)*
    Bok choy
    Broccoli (mostly leaves/stems)*
    Brussels sprouts
    Carrot & carrot tops*
    Celery
    Cilantro
    Clover
    Collard greens*
    Dandelion greens and flowers (no pesticides)*
    Endive*
    Escarole
    Green peppers
    Kale (!)*
    Mint
    Mustard greens*
    Parsley*
    Pea pods (the flat edible kind)*
    Peppermint leaves
    Raddichio
    Radish tops
    Raspberry leaves
    Romaine lettuce (no iceberg or light colored leaf)*
    Spinach (!)*
    Watercress*
    Wheat grass

    (!)=Use sparingly. High in either oxalates or goitrogens and may be toxic in accumulated quantities over a period of time.

    _____
    Fruit List:
    Please refer to the Diet FAQ for detailed info on proper quantities and combinations to feed for a well-ballanced diet.

    Apple (remove stem and seeds)
    Blueberries
    Melon
    Orange (including peel)
    Papaya
    Peach
    Pear
    Pineapple
    Plums
    Raspberries
    Strawberries

    Sugary fruits such as bananas and grapes should be used only sparingly, as occasional treats. Bunnies have a sweet tooth and if left to their own devices will devour sugary foods to the exclusion of healthful ones.

    __________
    Toxic Plant List
    http://www.adoptarabbit.com/articles/toxic.html

    Toxic Plant List


    A
    Agave (leaves)
    Almond
    Aloe
    Amaryllis (bulbs)
    Andromeda
    Anemone
    Angel's Trumpet
    Apple (seeds)
    Apricot (all parts except fruit)
    Asian Lilly
    Asparagus Fern
    Australian Nut
    Autumn Crocus
    Avacado (leaves)
    Azalea (leaves)

    B
    Balsam pear (seeds, outer rind of fruit)
    Baneberry (berries, roots)
    Barbados Lilly
    Begonia
    Betel-nut Palm
    Bird of Paradise (seeds)
    Bitter Cherry (seeds)
    Bittersweet (American & European)
    Black Nightshade
    Black Walnut (hulls)
    Bloodroot
    Bluebonnet
    Boston Ivy
    Buddhist Pine
    Busy Lizzie
    Buttercup (leaves)
    Black Locust (seeds,bark, sprouts, foliage)
    Blue-green algae (some forms toxic)
    Bloodroot
    Boxwood (leaves,twigs)
    Bracken fern
    Branching Ivy
    Buckeye (seeds)
    Buckthorn (berries, fruit, bark)
    Bull Nettle
    Buttercup (sap, bulbs)

    C
    Cactus Thorn
    Caladium
    Calendula
    Calico Bush
    Calla Lilly (rhizome, leaves)
    Caladiur (leaves)
    Carnation
    Carolina Jessamine
    Castor Bean (seed, leaves - castor oil)
    Celastrus
    Ceriman
    Chalice vine (all parts)
    Cherry tree (bark, twig, leaves, pits)
    China Doll
    Chinaberry tree
    Chinese Bellflower
    Chinese Lantern
    Chinese Evergreen
    Choke Cherry (seeds)
    Christmas Candle (sap)
    Christmas Rose
    Chrysanthemum
    Cineraria
    Clematis
    Climbing Nightshade
    Coffee Bean
    Cone Flower
    Coral plant (seeds)
    Cordatum
    Corn Plant
    Cowbane
    Cowslip
    Crown of Thorns
    Cuban Laurel
    Cuckoopint (all parts)
    Cutleaf Philodendron
    Cycads
    Cyclamen

    D
    Daffodil (bulbs)
    Daisy
    Daphne (berries, bark)
    Datura (berries)
    Day Lily
    Deadly Amanita (all parts)
    Deadly Nightshade
    Death Camas (all parts)
    Delphinium (all parts)
    Devil's Ivy
    Dieffenbachia (leaves)
    Dogbane
    Dracaena
    Dumb Cane
    Dutchman's Breeches

    E
    Easter Lilly
    Eggplant (all but fruit)
    Elderberry (unripe berries, roots, stems)
    Elephant Ear (leaves, stem)
    Emerald Feather
    English Laurel
    English Ivy (berries, leaves)
    Eucalyptus

    F
    False Hellebore
    False Henbane (all parts)
    False Parsley
    Fiddle Leaf
    Fig
    Fireweed
    Flamingo Plant
    Florida Beauty
    Flowering Maple
    Flowering Tobacco
    Foxglove (leaves, seeds)

    G
    Garden Sorrel
    Geranium
    German Ivy
    Ghostweed (all parts)
    Giant Touch-me-not
    Glacier Ivy
    Gladiola
    Glory Lilly
    Gold Dust
    Golden Chain (all parts)
    Golden Pothos
    Green Gold

    H
    Hahn's Ivy
    Hart Ivy
    Hawaiian Ti
    Heartleaf Philodendron
    Heavenly Bamboo
    Hemlock, Poison (all parts)
    Hemlock, Water (all parts)
    Henbane (seeds)
    Hogwart
    Holly (berries)
    Horse Chestnut (nuts, twigs)
    Horsehead Philodendron
    Horsetail Reed
    Hurricane Plant
    Hyacinth (bulbs)
    Hydrangea

    I
    Impatiens
    Indian Hemp
    Indian Rubber
    Indian Turnip (all parts)
    Indigo
    Inkberry Iris (bulbs)
    Ivy, Boston & English (berries, leaves)

    J
    Jack-in-the-Pulpit (all parts)
    Japanese Euonymus
    Japanese Show Lily
    Japanese Yew
    Jasmine
    Java Bean (uncooked bean)
    Jerusalem Cherry (berries)
    Jessamine
    Jimson Weed (leaves, seeds)
    Johnson Grass
    Jonquil
    Juniper (needles, stems, berries)

    L
    Laburnum (all parts)
    Lace Fern
    Lacy Tree Philodendron
    Lady Slipper
    Lantana (immature berries)
    Larkspur (all parts)
    Laurel (all parts)
    Laurel Cherry
    Lily of the Valley (all parts)
    Lima Bean (uncooked bean)
    Lobelia (all parts)
    Locoweed (all parts)
    Lords and Ladies (all parts)
    Lupine

    M
    Macadamia Nut
    Madagascar Dragon Tree
    Manchineel Tree
    Marbel Queen
    Marijuana (leaves)
    Marsh Marigold
    Mauna Loa Peace Lily
    Mayapple (all parts except fruit)
    Meadow Saffron
    Medicine Plant
    Mesquite
    Mexican Breadfruit
    Mescal Bean (seeds)
    Milk Bush
    Milkweed
    Mistletoe (berries)
    Mock Orange (fruit)
    Monkshood (leaves, roots)
    Moonflower
    Morning Glory (all parts)
    Mother-in-law
    Mountain Laurel
    Mushrooms (some)
    Mustard (root)

    N
    Nandina
    Narcissus (bulbs)
    Needlepoint Ivy
    Nephtytis
    Nicotiana
    Nightshades (berries, leaves)
    Nutmeg

    O
    Oak (acorns, foliage)
    Oleander (leaves, branches, nectar)
    Oxalis

    P
    Panda
    Parlor Ivy
    Parsnip
    Patience Plant
    Peace Lily
    Peach (leaves, twigs, seeds)
    Pear (seeds)
    Pencil Cactus
    Peony
    Periwinkle
    Peyote
    Philodendron (leaves, stem)
    Plum (seeds)
    Plumosa Fern
    Poinsettia (leaves, flowers)
    Poison Hemlock
    Poison Ivy
    Poison Oak
    Poison sumac
    Pokeweed
    Poppy
    Potato (eyes & new shoots, green parts)
    Precatory Bean
    Primrose
    Primula
    Privet (all parts)
    Purple Thornapple

    Q
    Queensland Nut

    R
    Ranunculus
    Red Emerald
    Red Lily
    Red Princess
    Rhododendron (all parts)
    Rhubarb (leaves)
    Ribbon Plant
    Ripple Ivy
    Rosary Pea (seeds)
    Rubrum Lily

    S
    Sago Palm
    Schefflera
    Self-branching Ivy
    Sennabean
    Shamrock Plant
    Silver Pothos
    Skunk Cabbage (all parts)
    Snake Palm
    Snowdrop (all parts)
    Snow-on-the-Mountain (all parts)
    Solomon's Seal
    Spindleberry
    Split Leaf Philodendron
    Star of Bethlehem
    Stinkweed
    String of Pearls
    Sweet Pea (seeds and fruit)
    Sweet Potato
    Sweetheart Ivy
    Swiss Cheese Plant

    T
    Tansy
    Taro Vine
    Thornapple
    Tiger Lily
    Toadstools
    Tobacco (leaves)
    Tomato (leaves, vines)
    Tree Philodendron
    Tulip (bulb)

    U
    Umbrella Plant

    V
    Vinca Violet (seeds)
    Virginia Creeper (berries, sap)

    W
    Walnuts (hulls, green shells)
    Water Hemlock
    Weeping Fig
    Western Lily
    Wild Carrots
    Wild Cucumber
    Wild Parsnip
    Wild Peas
    Wisteria (all parts)
    Wood Lily
    Wood-rose

    Y
    Yam Bean (roots, immature pods)
    Yellow Jasmine
    Yew (needles, seeds, berries)
    Yucca
     

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