A rabbit’s life revolves mostly around food, as they quite literally eat non-stop, all day long. So their diet is a pretty important part of their care, and feeding them the right foods and ingredients is one of your most vital roles.
There’s the typical rabbit food that you buy in the shop, such as pellets, hay, and similar. But you might have also heard plenty of rabbit owners talking about how they feed them fennel quite regularly, and how their rabbits love it.
So to answer the main question, yes, rabbits can eat fennel. But whether it’s good for them or not is something we will reveal in a bit. We’ll talk about what fennel is, the cons and pros, and how to feed it to your rabbit. Ready? Then let’s get right into it!
What is Fennel?
Let’s start by clarifying exactly what Fennel is.
Also known as Foeniculum vulgare, Fennel is a part of the Umbelliferae family, related to carrots and celery. It is a perennial herb, used in many different cuisines around the world. The seeds are often used in spices, and the rest of the parts are cooked or served raw. It is crunchy and sweet, and easy to identify thanks to the white or pale green bulb, with stalks at the top that make it look like a tiny miniature forest.
Much like other types of herbs, fennel is an excellent source of antioxidants, as it contains flavonoids, rutin, and kaempferol glycosides. Basically, it’s super healthy. On top of this, the bulb on fennels provides vitamin C, which boosts the immune system, and it has plenty of antimicrobial properties to keep you in top shape. It also helps promote cardiovascular health, and a healthy colon, plus it reduces levels of cholesterol, and removes carcinogenic toxins.
Summed up, Fennel is extremely healthy and beneficial to humans, and it can also be eaten by your rabbits, making it a perfect one for two.
Is Fennel good for rabbits?
As we’ve already mentioned, rabbits can indeed eat fennels. Moreover, in the same way, that fennel is good for us humans, they are also good for our rabbit companions. So yes, fennel is good for rabbits.
Rabbits can stumble upon fennel out in the wild, and they can also obviously be fed fennel purposefully when they live in your home as a pet. They are especially ideal for being chewed on, so it is quite common for rabbit owners to eat fennel in their own diet, and to then feed the spare parts to the rabbits, for them to enjoy.
Fennel makes for a healthy snack for bunny rabbits, however, it should never be the main part of the diet. So fennel can be included in a rabbit’s diet as an additional booster or snack, but rabbits still need to eat normal rabbit food as their main source of nutrients.
Benefits of giving Fennel to your rabbits
We’ve said that fennel is a healthy snack for your rabbits and a great additional booster to their diet. But we haven’t quite explained in what way they are beneficial. So let us go over the pros of giving your rabbit some fennel every once in a while.
Fennels are highly nutritious vegetables, and they are healthy to rabbits in a very similar way to how they are healthy to humans. Plus, most rabbits find them super tasty, which is always a bonus. Here are the main benefits of giving your rabbit some fennel every now and then:
Fennel provides vitamins and other nutrients
Fennels are incredibly nutritious, with vitamin C, minerals such as potassium, and plenty of antioxidants. Raw fennels, in particular, provide a significant amount of vitamin C, which is mainly found within the bulb of the vegetable. This is great for boosting the immune system of your rabbits.
Fennel is a source of fiber
Rabbits are constantly eating, which means they also need to be constantly pooping, if they’re not, then something is wrong. This also means that rabbits need a fair amount of fiber in their diet, in order to help things along and reduce the risk of obstructions, you know?
And fennel just so happens to be a great source of fiber, all while being low on sugar. So they’re a great addition to the diet and make for an ideal snack.
Fennel is an excellent source of antioxidants
Fennels are absolutely full of antioxidant properties. In particular, they have an antioxidant called anethole, which helps reduce inflammation and the risk of cancer. This can protect your rabbit’s liver from toxic substances, and it can help develop resistance to poisons or foods that should not be a part of your rabbit’s diet. So basically, it’s a huge boost to the health of your furry companion.
What happens if you give your rabbit too much Fennel?
If fennel is so good for rabbits and provides so many benefits, is there such a thing as giving them too much of the vegetable? The answer is yes. Like with most foods, the key is in giving them fennel in moderation.
Giving your rabbit too high a quantity of fennel, and on too regular a basis, can loop back around and end up causing diseases, instead of protecting from them. It could also lead to your rabbit suffering from indigestion. So just remember: moderation is key.
How to feed Fennel to your rabbit
When you feed your rabbit fennel, you can serve it in two different ways:
This is common for when you’re giving your rabbits the leftovers of the fennel you cooked for yourself. Just make sure that the fennel hasn’t been mixed with other ingredients or foods, as they might not be suitable for a rabbit’s diet.
This is the best way to feed fennel to your rabbits, and the entire vegetable is completely safe for them to eat. To serve it, you can rinse it with some clean water, and then chop it into smaller pieces so that it is more manageable for them. You can also mix it in with other vegetables, and with the rest of their food.