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Can rabbits eat kiwi?

Kiwis are non-toxic for rabbits and can be fed to them in moderation as an occasional treat. However, there are some important things to consider before feeding kiwi to your pet rabbit.

Nutritional Value of Kiwis for Rabbits

Kiwis are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, folate, and potassium for rabbits. The fiber content in kiwis may also help promote healthy digestion in rabbits. Some key nutrients found in kiwis include:

Nutrient Amount per 100g of Kiwi
Vitamin C 92.7 mg
Vitamin K 40.3 mcg
Vitamin E 1.46 mg
Folate 34 mcg
Potassium 312 mg
Fiber 3 g

The vitamin C in kiwis acts as an antioxidant and supports immune health in rabbits. The folate assists with red blood cell production, while potassium helps maintain fluid balance. Fiber aids digestion.

Benefits of Feeding Kiwis to Rabbits

Some of the benefits of occasionally feeding kiwis to rabbits in small amounts include:

  • Provides vitamin C – An essential vitamin rabbits cannot produce on their own.
  • May support immune system health.
  • High moisture content helps with hydration.
  • Antioxidants help combat oxidative stress.
  • Fiber aids digestion and gut motility.
  • Potassium supports electrolyte balance.

The vitamin C in particular helps support a healthy immune system in rabbits. The moisture and fiber also provide added digestive benefits.

Risks of Feeding Too Many Kiwis

While kiwis are not toxic to rabbits, there are some potential risks with feeding too many kiwis or feeding improperly prepared kiwis. These include:

  • May cause gastrointestinal upset due to high sugar content.
  • Contains oxalic acid which can disrupt calcium absorption in excess.
  • Risk of choking if improperly cut into large pieces.
  • Can lead to weight gain if fed too frequently or in large amounts.

Kiwis are relatively high in natural sugar, so too much can potentially cause diarrhea in rabbits if their digestive system is not accustomed to it. The oxalic acid may also interfere with calcium metabolism when consumed in very high amounts.

How Much Kiwi Can Rabbits Eat?

Kiwis should only be fed to rabbits in moderation as a supplement to their regular diet. As a general guideline:

  • Start by introducing just a few small slices or pieces.
  • Gradually increase to up to 2-3 slices twice per week.
  • No more than about 1-2 tablespoons of chopped kiwi per 2 lbs body weight per day.

This ensures their digestive system can adjust to the higher sugar content. Any more may risk diarrhea or other digestive upsets. The portion sizes should also be adjusted for your rabbit’s size and weight as needed.

How to Safely Feed Kiwis to Rabbits

To safely feed kiwis to rabbits:

  • Wash thoroughly and peel off the skin/furry outer layer.
  • Slice into small, bite-sized pieces to reduce choking risk.
  • Introduce slowly at first to monitor for any digestive issues.
  • Mix in with their regular diet of hay, pellets, veggies and water.
  • Avoid feeding the seeds as they may cause intestinal blockages.

Always monitor your rabbit’s stool and appetite when introducing new foods. If you notice any diarrhea, gas or other digestive issues, discontinue feeding kiwis and see your exotic vet if symptoms persist.

Can Baby Rabbits Eat Kiwi?

Kiwis are generally not recommended for baby rabbits under 12 weeks old. Baby rabbits have more sensitive digestive systems that are still developing. It’s best to wait until at least 12 weeks of age before introducing small amounts of kiwi as a treat.

Signs Your Rabbit Shouldn’t Eat Kiwi

Signs that a rabbit may not tolerate kiwi well and it should be discontinued include:

  • Diarrhea or very soft stools.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Lethargy or lack of activity.
  • Intestinal gas.
  • Dehydration.

If your rabbit exhibits these symptoms after eating kiwi, stop feeding it and monitor their health. See a rabbit-savvy vet if symptoms persist more than 24 hours to rule out any serious issues.

Best Practices When Feeding Kiwis

Follow these tips for safely incorporating kiwis into your rabbit’s diet:

  • Wash thoroughly and peel outer fuzzy skin which may cause intestinal blockages if ingested.
  • Chop or slice into small pieces to reduce choking hazard.
  • Slowly introduce in limited amounts to gauge tolerance.
  • Discontinue if loose stools or other digestive issues occur.
  • Combine with hay and water to support digestion.
  • Avoid feeding seeds which can also cause blockages.
  • Consult your vet about any concerns or adverse reactions.

The Verdict

In moderation, kiwis can be a tasty and healthy occasional treat for most rabbits. They provide beneficial nutrients like vitamin C, potassium and fiber. However, kiwis should only comprise a very small part of a rabbit’s diet. Feed limited quantities, watch for signs of digestive upset, and remove seeds and skin first. As with any new food, introduce slowly and discontinue if any adverse reactions occur.