If you have ever had a pet rabbit, then you will know that they primarily eat hay. But, there are lots of other things that you might choose to add to your rabbit’s diet to switch it up a little. One thing which you might see out and about, and find yourself wondering if this is safe for rabbits, is clover.
Clover, or trefoil as it is sometimes known, is a fodder crop that is very popular, and commonly found in North America, Europe, and Asia. Clover comes in lots of different colors, including red, purple, and white. But, most commonly, you will find a yellow variation of this crop.
There is no denying that clover is a pretty plant, so it is understandable that you might want to start feeding this to your rabbit. But can rabbits eat clover? And, more importantly, is it safe for them to eat it? In this complete guide, we’ll answer these questions.
Can Rabbits eat Clover?
If you want to feed your rabbit clover, you will be pleased to hear that yes, it is safe for rabbits to eat clover. There are lots of different variations of clover, and rabbits can eat pretty much every variety. From red clover to white clover, and all the different species in between, it is fine for rabbits to eat clover.
The clover plant is made up of lots of different parts. Just like most plants, clover is made up of flowers, stalks, stems, roots and leaves. If you decide to feed your rabbit clover, it is good to know that every single part of the clover is safe for rabbits to eat. But, if you want your rabbit to get the most nutrients possible, you should mainly feed them the roots of the plant.
You might not immediately think of feeding your rabbit clover, but it is actually a very good option for them. Clover is packed with nutrients and minerals that will have lots of positive effects on your rabbit’s health and well-being. So, let’s take a look at what these benefits are.
Is Clover good for rabbits?
Generally speaking, yes, clover is good for rabbits. This is assuming that you only feed your rabbit clover in moderation, as the majority of their diet should still be made up of hay. Just like anything that you add to your rabbit’s diet, clover should only be fed to your rabbit sporadically and in small amounts.
Even though you should only feed your rabbit small amounts of clover, it is still extremely beneficial for their health. Clover is naturally high in fiber, and this is great for supplementing your rabbit’s diet. But fiber isn’t the only positive thing that you will find in clover.
As well as being high in fiber, clover also contains lots of minerals and vitamins that are good for rabbits. In terms of minerals, you will find lots of protein, calcium, sodium, manganese, and iron in clover. Additionally, you will also find vitamin A, K and C in this plant. All of these vitamins and minerals are great for supporting strong bones, and healthy organs among other things, so yes, clover is good for rabbits. But, if you feed your rabbit too much clover, it can quickly become bad for them.
Possible Health Concerns surrounding Clover
In moderation, clover can be a perfectly healthy addition to your rabbit’s diet. Clover is packed with lots of nutrients that make it very healthy, and this is why so many animals eat it as one of the main components of their diet. But, it is incredibly unhealthy for rabbits to eat clover in excess.
There are 3 main reasons behind this, they are:
1. Low in Fiber
You might be confused by this, as we mentioned earlier that clover is high in fiber. For most animals, it is, and clover can provide an ample amount of fiber. But, the amount of fiber found in clover simply isn’t enough for rabbits to eat this as the main component of their diet.
Rabbits need a high fiber diet, which they can find in grass hay, to ensure that their teeth do not grow too long and to promote healthy digestion. If they solely eat clover, they will not be able to get it.
2. High in Calcium
Rabbits are only very small animals, and clover is incredibly high in calcium. Calcium is absorbed from food, and if too much calcium is offered, it can have a negative impact on the kidney’s ability to absorb and eliminate it. Rabbits generally weigh around 2.5 kg, so they only need to eat around 510g of calcium a day.
If you were to feed your rabbit clover as the main component of their diet, they would eat a lot more calcium than this, and it could negatively affect their health.
3. High in Protein
Finally, clover is also too high in protein for rabbits, and because of this it can have a negative effect on their kidneys. Rabbits are only small animals, and overloading their bodies with things like protein and calcium can be detrimental for their health because it sends their organs into overdrive. So, you should only ever feed your rabbit clover in small amounts.
Due to all the possible health concerns that we have outlined above, it is best that you only ever add clover to your rabbit’s diet as an additional ingredient. Mix it with other vegetables and start off by adding small amounts to their diet. Your rabbit might love clover, or they might not. After all, rabbits are all different, and they like different things to one another. So, bear this in mind when adding new things to your rabbit’s diet.
Yes, rabbits can eat clover. Clover should only ever be fed to your pet rabbit in moderation, and it should always be mixed with other vegetables and hay. It is not safe to feed your rabbit clover in large amounts, but if you only feed them a small portion, this is a great way to supplement their diet and make it healthier.