Can Rabbits Eat Basil?

Basil pronounced ‘Bay – zil’ is used a lot in Mediterranean cuisine but is also found in Asian cooking as well. It has a strong, mild smell and flavour and there are three types that are found which are;

  1. Sweet basil that has larger green leaves
  2. Greek basil that has small leaves and a peppery taste
  3. Purple basil that has dark leaves that have a mild flavour

It grows all year round and is best purchased in the summer months when it is in season and can be purchased in packets or in pots from supermarkets or garden centres.

You can also get it freeze dried and in sunflower oil or even in a dried format.

They can either be picked from heir stalks and then scattered whole or torn.

It a great herb that is a big favourite with many around the world.

So we can eat it, can rabbits eat basil, and if they can, how much if it can be eaten?

Let’s take a look by checking out their nutritional data.

In particular we are particularly interested in their starch, sugar, calcium and fat content.

Per 100g

Total Fat 0.6 g 0%
Saturated fat 0 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 4 mg 0%
Potassium 295 mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 2.6 g 0%
Dietary fiber 1.6 g 6%
Sugar 0.3 g
Protein 3.2 g 6%
Vitamin A 105%
Vitamin C 30%
Calcium 17%
Iron 17%
Vitamin D 0%
Vitamin B-6 10%
Vitamin B-12 0%
Magnesium 16%
*Per cent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
FeedbackSources include: USDA

Looking at their nutritional data, basil has no fat, a hint of sugar, but where they are not good for rabbits is there calcium content which is not good for them at all.

So rabbits can eat basil but not as often as you would think. There is a temptation because they are leafy greens that they should be a staple for rabbits but really they should only be eaten once or twice a week at the most because of the amount of calcium that they contain. This includes eating the basil stems and basil flowers.

As the house rabbit society says;

Calcium is an important mineral for bone growth and maintenance, nerve and muscle function, and blood clotting. However the minimum daily requirement for calcium of a medium sized rabbit is about 510 milligrams.

This is why any intake of basil leaves should be restricted for bunnies as they will eat the whole lot if you give it to them. Basil just has too much of it for them to be considered a staple food.

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