Kiwis – furry, brown, and delicious! This vibrant green superfruit is loaded with vitamin C and enticing rabbit owners everywhere. But can our floppy-eared friends hop on the kiwi bandwagon too? Unravel the mystery of feeding kiwi to rabbits in this tell-all guide! We’ll discuss ideal serving sizes, preparation methods, potential dangers, and more. Get the insider scoop on kiwi skins, seeds, and proper precautions from an expert. Discover if your bunny can safely enjoy this tantalizing treat as a sweet, beneficial addition to their balanced diet! All this and more is revealed in our exclusive kiwi for rabbits report – read on to uncover the juicy details!
Are Kiwis Good For Rabbits?
Kiwis can be a healthy and safe treat for rabbits in moderation. Here are some of the benefits kiwis can provide for rabbits:
- High in Vitamin C – Kiwis are an excellent source of vitamin C, providing over 150% of a rabbit's recommended daily intake in just a few bites. Vitamin C helps support a rabbit's immune system and nutrient absorption.
- Antioxidants – Kiwis contain antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and beta-carotene. These compounds help protect against cell damage and inflammation.
- Fiber – Kiwis provide dietary fiber, which is important for digestive health in rabbits. The fiber can help move food through the intestines and promote regularity.
- Low Calorie – Kiwis are low in calories, making them a smart treat choice over high fat, high calorie options. This supports a healthy weight for bunnies.
- Hydration – The high water content in kiwi can help keep rabbits hydrated. Proper hydration is key for urinary tract health.
In moderation, kiwis make an excellent addition to a balanced rabbit diet. The vitamin C ensures rabbits get enough of this essential nutrient, while the fiber aids digestion. Always keep portions of high sugar fruits small to prevent overconsumption.
Are Kiwis Dangerous?
Kiwis are not inherently dangerous for rabbits. However, there are a few things to be aware of when feeding kiwi:
- Sugar Content – Kiwis are relatively high in natural sugar. Too much can cause gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea.
- Allergies – Some rare rabbits may be allergic or sensitive to kiwis. Monitor the rabbit closely when first introducing kiwi.
- Choking Risk – Kiwis should be cut into small pieces before serving. Whole kiwi slices can present a choking hazard.
- Pesticides – Wash kiwis thoroughly before serving. Pesticide residue could cause toxicity if ingested.
- Oxalates – Kiwis contain oxalates that may be harmful in very high amounts. Do not overfeed.
As long as kiwis are fed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, they are completely safe for rabbits. Monitor sugar intake, cut into small pieces, wash thoroughly, and introduce new foods slowly. Consult a rabbit-savvy vet if ever unsure about new foods.
How Much Kiwi Can A Rabbit Have?
The appropriate kiwi serving size for a rabbit is 1-2 small slices 2-3 times per week. This equals about 2 tablespoons of kiwi total per week. Any more may be too much natural sugar and lead to digestive upset.
When introducing kiwi, start with just a bite or two at first to watch for any signs of allergies or sensitivity. Slowly work up to the full serving size if the rabbit tolerates it well.
Ideally, kiwis should make up no more than about 5% of a rabbit's total weekly diet. They are best when rotated with other fruits and veggies to provide variety and prevent boredom. Good alternatives are blueberries, cranberries, papaya, and melons.
For dwarf breeds, reduce the serving size to just 1 tablespoon of kiwi max, 1-2 times weekly. Larger rabbit breeds can have slightly more if exercised regularly, but no more than 3-4 tablespoons per week.
Monitor the rabbit's litter box habits and watch for soft stools. Reduce kiwi frequency if diarrhea develops. Kiwis and other fruits are treats that supplement a rabbit's main diet of grass hay, leafy greens, pellets, and water.
What Should You Watch Out For When You Give A Rabbit Kiwi?
Here are some tips on safely feeding kiwi to rabbits:
Wash the kiwi first to remove any pesticide residue, dirt, or contaminants.
Peel off the fuzzy brown skin before serving. Rabbits cannot digest the skin.
Chop the kiwi flesh into small pieces or thin slices to prevent choking. No bigger than 1/2 inch cubes.
Mix the kiwi pieces into the rabbit's salad greens or hay rather than offering kiwi alone.
Introduce kiwi slowly at first to watch for potential allergies.
Limit kiwi treats to 1-2 times per week at the most. Too much can cause GI upset.
Hydrate the rabbit after feeding fruits as they have natural sugars.
Avoid feeding kiwi close to administering new medications in case of interactions.
Monitor litter box for any diarrhea after introducing new fruits and veggies.
Adjust serving sizes based on breed size and activity level. Less for dwarf breeds.
Do not allow rabbits under 6 months old to have kiwi as it may be too high in sugars.
As long as kiwi is given properly and in moderation, it can be a fun, healthy supplement to a balanced rabbit diet. Pay close attention for the first few feedings anytime new foods are introduced.
Can a Rabbit Eat Kiwi Skins?
No, rabbits should not eat the fuzzy brown skin of the kiwi. Kiwi skins are very fibrous and difficult for rabbits to properly digest. Feeding the skin risks intestinal blockages or other GI issues.
The kiwi skins contain oxalic acid and enzyme actinidain which can potentially be harmful in large quantities. The oxalates may bind to calcium in the body and cause nutrient deficiencies if consistently fed.
Additionally, the skin is covered in tiny hairs that can get lodged in the mouth or throat. The skin itself has a tough, almost cardboard-like texture that takes long, arduous chewing to break down. Rabbits are likely to swallow the skin pieces whole, leading to obstruction risks.
Finally, the skin contains the majority of the pesticides and contaminants if the kiwi isn't organic. Be sure to peel conventionally grown kiwis to remove the skin and any residues before feeding to bunnies.
For safety anddigestibility, peel the fibrous skin and just feed rabbits the soft, bright green inner kiwi flesh. The skins can then be safely composted. Monitor the stools closely if any skin gets ingested accidentally.
Can a Rabbit Eat Kiwi Seeds?
Kiwi seeds are fine for rabbits to consume. Rabbits can safely eat both the tiny black kiwi seeds and the edible white seeds found near the center.
The seeds add extra fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to the diet. They are small enough that they do not pose a choking hazard or blockage risk like the skin might.
In fact, the seeds may even aid digestion and gut motility in rabbits. They provide insoluble fiber that can help “scrub” the intestinal tract as it passes through. This promotes regularity and prevents issues like GI stasis.
However, it’s best to limit high seed foods like kiwis to no more than 1-2 times per week. While healthy in moderation, too many seeds daily may lead to mineral imbalances from the oxalates and excess phosphorus. A variety of fruits, veggies, and greens will ensure the diet stays balanced.
Enjoy feeding your bunny kiwi seeds and all – just be sure to wash the kiwi, peel off the skin, and slice the flesh into bite-sized pieces before serving. Monitor stool and appetite when introducing new foods.
Can a Rabbit Eat Dried Kiwi?
Dried kiwis are safe for rabbits to eat as an occasional treat. However, dried kiwi lacks the high water content of fresh kiwi and is higher in natural sugars. Therefore, dried kiwi should only be fed in very limited amounts a few times per month at most.
Look for unsulfured and organic dried kiwi with no added sugars or preservatives. Chop any large pieces into smaller bits to prevent a choking hazard. Soak the dried kiwi in water first to rehydrate it and make it easier to digest.
Start by introducing just a teaspoon of chopped, rehydrated dried kiwi. Monitor the rabbit’s appetite and stool to watch for changes. Only increase the amount if the rabbit tolerates it well.
The high sugar content of dried fruit makes fresh fruit a healthier choice most of the time. For the best nutrition, feed dried kiwi sparingly as a small part of a varied diet. Provide plenty of hay, leafy greens, veggies, and water daily as well.
In general, a varied diet with mostly hay, some leafy greens, limited pellets, and a teaspoon or two of fruit 2-3 times per week is ideal for rabbit health. Kiwi and other fruits should be occasional treats, whether fresh or dried. Maintain a proper diet, and both you and your bunny can enjoy a little dried kiwi now and then!
Kiwis can be a nutritious and safe fruit supplement for rabbits when fed properly. The vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, and hydration benefits make kiwi a healthy treat choice. However, kiwis should always be limited to only 1-2 times per week and 1-2 tablespoons total. Be sure to wash thoroughly, peel off the skin completely, chop into small pieces, introduce slowly, and watch for signs of digestive upset when feeding kiwi. Avoid the skins and feed dried kiwi even less frequently than fresh. With proper precautions, kiwis can add beneficial variety to your rabbit’s balanced diet. Monitor your bunny's reactions closely anytime new foods are introduced to keep them happy and healthy.