Rabbits can eat lettuce, right? It’s common knowledge. After all, anyone who has ever grown this crop in an unguarded space can recall all of those mornings they woke to find that their hard work had been destroyed by hungry wild rabbits. It’s common knowledge, isn’t it?
Well yes, but it shouldn’t be. As we discussed when looking at carrots and many other foods, lettuce is something that the general public believe rabbits can eat freely, but something that can actually do those bunnies serious harm if they do.
Can Rabbits Eat Lettuce?
It is okay for your rabbit to enjoy an occasional leaf or two of lettuce. They love it, more so than many other foods. It’s crisp, it’s fresh, it’s succulent. It’s a delicious treat to all bunnies, but that’s all it should be: a treat. Because while it’s okay to give them a little lettuce once or twice a week, anymore could be causing them harm.
A rabbit’s digressive system is very sensitive. They require a lot of nutrients and enzymes to keep their digestive system healthy. They get a lot of these nutrients from pellets, while hay serves as a bulk, dense foundation for their diet. They should be fed a little fruit and vegetables every now and then as this can be a great way to get extra nutrients into their diet, but there isn’t a great deal of nutritious value in lettuce.
It’s essentially flavored water. It’s healthy for us because it provides a low-calorie dose of fibre along with some negligible vitamins and minerals. But to a rabbit, they might as well be eating cardboard. Greenery is good, and the darker it is the better it will probably be for them. But lettuce tends to be light and lacking in essential goodness.
It should also be noted that a rabbit unused to lettuce of any kind is more likely to have an adverse reaction to it. If they are used to eating it several times a week then they can continue to enjoy it without much trouble. If they have never eaten it before and you suddenly feed them a handful of leaves you may notice that they seem a little off for a few hours.
Can Rabbits Eat Romaine Lettuce?
Romaine lettuce is darker, so it is better for them. If you’re going to feed them a little lettuce then you should feed them romaine, focusing on the darker outer edgers of the plant as opposed to the inner core which can be very pale and stiff. In most cases we find that rabbits are reluctant to eat the inner core anyway, but they are just as reluctant to eat the floppy, lifeless leaves on the outer edges. Somewhere in between is best.
Can Rabbits Eat Iceberg Lettuce?
Iceberg lettuce is probably the worst kind of lettuce that you can feed your bunny. It doesn’t do you much good and it won’t do them much good either. As a treat, it’s okay in small doses. But romaine lettuce is better and quite frankly, there are many other leaves, vegetables and even fruits that are better as well.