Asparagus

Can Rabbits Eat Asparagus?

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Can rabbits have asparagus? How about bunnies consuming asparagus stalks in particular? Can rabbits also eat raw asparagus or does it have to be cooked first?

In some situations, knowing what to serve our precious bunny can be difficult at some times. But there are just so many fruits and vegetables that can be provided as well.

Asparagus is just one of those veggies most pet owners either love or hate! But what about rabbits? Do bunnies like to munch on asparagus? Is it even OK for rabbits to eat asparagus? If so, then how much can they safely relish it?

The simple answer is a huge resounding “yes.” Rabbits can absolutely eat asparagus. A balanced diet is still indispensable and just like any other vegetable, if you let your pet rabbit eat too much asparagus it can do your bunny more harm than good.

It can be very difficult to determine which ones are safe for your rabbit to eat and which ones aren’t!

That’s exactly what this article is for! We’ll examine what asparagus actually carries and we will also learn what the proper diet of a rabbit is. With the knowledge you’ll learn from this post, you’ll discover whether asparagus is a good alternative to give to your rabbit, or whether it is better to pass.

Without any further ado, let’s take a closer look at what asparagus is and what it contains.

What Is Asparagus?

Actually, as time passed by, still, no one could agree on WHAT, exactly, asparagus is.

Before, it was assumed to be a relative of the lily. However, this fact didn’t make people want to eat it. So it then regrouped to the family of onions, where it has since stayed. Things were then made a little simpler when they made their own species “asparagus.”

This complexity probably arises from the fact that there are various kinds of asparagus. A plant that most of us like to eat, though, is specifically termed “garden asparagus.” Because, well, it usually grows in gardens.

In recent years, asparagus has grown largely in China. However, the United States is considered to be the largest consumer of asparagus.

What Does Asparagus Contain?

Now that we’ve started to solve the issue, let’s step aside for a while and look at the particulars behind what this veggie carries.

Asparagus comprises about 93% water. In other words, a large part of this vegetable is actually just water! Because of its content, it is generally low in sodium and calories.

The rest of the plant is consists of vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin K, vitamin E, zinc, folic acid, magnesium, riboflavin, iron, thiamin, potassium, chromium, manganese, copper, and beta-carotene. Furthermore, this veggie also carries a fair amount of fiber.

It is also essential to remark that asparagus is decently low in calcium. Rabbits actually consume calcium at a much higher percentage than other mammals.

This can obtain the calcium content in their blood, which can sometimes lead to kidney stones and urolithiasis. Due to this fact, it is never a good idea to serve your rabbit foods that are high in calcium.

Now that we know what asparagus contains, read a bit further to know asparagus’ nutritional content in detail.

Asparagus Nutrition Stats

Asparagus surpasses the list of “good for you” veggies for several reasons: It’s high in fiber, low in calories, and flowing with antioxidants!

A one-cup serving of asparagus grants:

  • 27 calories
  • 5 g of carbohydrates
  • 3 g of fiber
  • 3 g of protein

Asparagus Nutritional Facts

Just like you, bunnies require lots of vitamins and minerals every day – particularly from all-natural sources.

Asparagus is a great source of nutrients, with that same one-cup serving rendering around:

  • 5 mg of vitamin C
  • 10 mg of vitamin A
  • 271 mg of potassium
  • 32 mg of calcium
  • 8 mg of magnesium
  • 9 mg of iron
  • 7 mcg of folate
  • 5 mg of vitamin E
  • 7 mcg of vitamin K

What Should Rabbits Eat?

First and foremost, a rabbit’s food source should incorporate mainly hay. Hay is a great source of fiber and stops unhealthy bacteria from growing in the intestines. After all, this bacteria causes severe diarrhea and even death to your pet rabbit.

This is why it is so crucial to serving your bunny with lots of hay!

Of course, as written, rabbits can’t live on just hay alone. They also require lots of healthy, well-chosen veggies to munch on too!

Which veggies to provide your bunny, however, can be complicated.

As we explained earlier, the less calcium you provide to your bunny, the better. You also shouldn’t provide your bunny any food that might be difficult for them to digest, such as beans and corn. These foods can cause blockages in their digestive system.

Vegetables like onions and cabbage should also be avoided. They tend to cause gassiness and bloating to your pet rabbit.

Any food with too much water content can also be a problem for rabbits. Too much water can produce diarrhea, which can be serious if not treated immediately.

Can Rabbits Have Asparagus?

But what about asparagus in particular?

Asparagus can absolutely be given to your bunny as part of a varied diet. But still, you shouldn’t give asparagus solely to your pet rabbit. You should also introduce a wide variety of veggies to your bunny.

However, asparagus is totally fine to give to your bunny as a snack or healthy treat, occasionally. The high water content of asparagus can produce some difficulties for your bunny. Though, this can be withdrawn by giving your rabbit other veggies that carry low water content.

The main key is not to only provide veggies that carry lots of water. You should make a balance between the high-water-containing veggies with drier ones. Variation and balance are important keys here.

Is Asparagus Good For Rabbits?

Since it’s an excellent source of fundamental nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, asparagus is also considered good for your rabbit. Just keep in mind to serve it in a small amount, and more importantly, wash the asparagus thoroughly before you give it to your bunny.

What are the Benefits of Giving Asparagus to Rabbits?

As stated in the book “Textbook of Rabbit Medicine”, plants such as asparagus hold fructo-oligosaccharides which have been termed ‘prebiotics’ due to their similarity to probiotics that promote the growth of good bacterias.

Fructo-oligosaccharides that are observed on asparagus also enhance the absorption of minerals like magnesium, calcium, and iron. Due to its benefits, fructo-oligosaccharides are now included in various commercial rabbit foods that can be purchased on the market.

Warning: Even if asparagus possesses these benefits, overfeeding your rabbit with it is still not suggested. This is only to familiarize you with the different vitamins and minerals your rabbit can acquire when you serve them asparagus.

Do Rabbits Like Asparagus?

Some rabbits like it, while others don’t enjoy it at all. Next time you have some fresh asparagus on hand, try offering them a tiny nibble and observe if they like the flavor.

Can Rabbits Eat Asparagus Stalks?

Most rabbits don’t produce any problem when eating the whole asparagus plant, including the stalk. However, there are some circumstances where it is better to remove the stalk from your rabbit.

If your pet rabbit is still young, you should not serve her an asparagus stalk. 

The stalk can be very difficult for them to chew, firstly. And it may also produce some difficulty in their digestive system depending on their particular age.

If you mark a softening on your rabbit’s stool, as well, you should no longer give them asparagus.

Some rabbits possess a highly sensitive digestive system that easily succumbs to food with high water content. Therefore, it is not always the best idea to give them asparagus, particularly if they started showing signs of diarrhea after eating it.

How Much Asparagus Can A Rabbit Eat?

So, how much asparagus can you give to your pet rabbit? We know that you surely don’t want to overdo it.

Here’s how much asparagus you can feed to your rabbit:

Age              Amount

Baby rabbit         None

Adult rabbit         2-inch slice of thick asparagus or 4-inch slice of thin asparagus

Just like any other new food you want to offer your bunny, asparagus needs to be gradually added to block an upset tummy or a case of diarrhea. Since asparagus carries high water content, it can lead to loose stools if you serve too much of it.

Start by giving your pet rabbit a very small amount – may be a one-inch slice of thin asparagus. Over the next 24 hours, observe if your pet rabbit will experience diarrhea and watch for signs of pain.

Although pregnant and lactating rabbits can certainly consume asparagus, they should still concentrate on eating hay and pellets which are excellent for them. Pregnant rabbits should be getting the most valuable food they can consume so that their babies can properly develop inside their womb and as it comes out.

How Often Can a Rabbit Eat Asparagus?

There are only a few foods that a rabbit should consume each day. Unfortunately, asparagus is not one of them. This certainly is not one of them. You can provide rabbit asparagus just two to three times per week.

The Correct Diet is Important

A rabbit’s natural diet mainly consists of forage, indicating grass and leafy, herbaceous plants that can be obtained within their easy reach. Rabbits do eat several things when they can see them – something you surely notice if you grow a garden!

Veggies, fruits, and even flowers must be eaten in moderation though, as they aren’t a big portion of a rabbit’s natural diet.

Here’s what you can feed to your rabbit each day:

  • Unlimited supply of fresh hay such as Timothy hay, which is necessary for constant nibbling. Hay keeps your rabbit’s digestive tract flowing in good condition
  • Balanced rabbit food. Check the package first for the proper serving size and pick a brand that’s suitable for your bunny’s life stage
  • About one cup of leafy green vegetables per two pounds of their body weight, plus some crunchy veggies
  • Unlimited volume of clean, fresh water; be sure to wash and refill your rabbit’s drinking bottle thoroughly at least once a day.
  • Natural treats including fruits and vegetables, but not exceeding a teaspoon of fruit per two pounds of their body weight
  • Roughly one tablespoon of seeds (preferably sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds) unless your rabbit’s food already has them mixed in

Last but not least, be sure that you also offer some chewable rabbit toys or woody treats such as untreated softwood branches. Chewing checks your rabbit’s teeth from becoming painfully large and infected. Chewables treats can also make your rabbit’s cage feel more like home, too!

Can Rabbits Eat Raw Asparagus?

It really doesn’t matter whether you cook the asparagus or serve it raw to your pet rabbit.

Cooking the asparagus before offering it to your rabbit can make it easier for them to chew and digest. But this really isn’t essential, since the difference is quite small.

If you’re preparing some asparagus for yourself, you might want to consider making some extra for your precious pet bunny. However, if all you have is a raw bunch of asparagus in the fridge, that’s fine too.

It doesn’t matter that much when it comes to cooked vs. raw asparagus.

But, Doesn’t Asparagus Cause Cancer?

Truthfully, has the answer to that.

One study discovered that Asparagine, which is in asparagus, might be associated with improved aggressiveness in breast cancer. However, that’s just one study and it has to be returned and reviewed for further analysis.

However, the study wasn’t done on rabbits. So we have no clue if bunnies respond in the same way to this element or not.

However, there simply is too much of a distinction between the yeast cells on which the research was conducted in both humans and rabbits. It is still very difficult to make any overarching conclusion based on just one study.

In other words, we don’t have sufficient data to answer decisively one way or another. However, there’s still no further study completed so don’t worry about it, for now. 

Asparagus is very healthy food for your pet rabbit and there is no reason to avoid feeding it to them.

Can Bunnies Eat Asparagus?

The short answer is yes. Bunnies can certainly eat asparagus. However, just like any other vegetable, moderation is still the key.

You don’t want to feed your rabbit with just asparagus because it might produce diarrhea due to its high water content. It is, though, very low in calcium which makes it one of the ideal veggies to provide to your bunny.

There have been some studies that came out recently, believing that asparagus is not as healthy as we think. However, until further research is done, it is still not possible to create large conclusions based on just one study.

Keep in mind that moderation and variation are key to a healthy rabbit’s diet. You can absolutely offer a variety of veggies to your pet bunny, including asparagus.

Healthy Alternatives to Asparagus for Rabbits

Like several small animals, rabbits do enjoy a variety of veggies when they can get them!

Here are some veggies that rabbit like the most:

  • basil
  • carrot
  • carrot tops
  • romaine
  • beets
  • beet tops
  • arugula
  • swiss chard
  • spinach
  • endive
  • escarole
  • butter lettuce
  • bibb lettuce
  • rocket
  • buttercrunch lettuce
  • green beans
  • cucumber
  • summer squash
  • winter squash
  • pumpkin
  • bell pepper
  • zucchini
  • celery
  • parsnip
  • tomato
  • broccoli
  • broccolini
  • bok choy
  • Yu Choy
  • watercress

It is considered safe if a particular vegetable is good for you, then it’s also good for your rabbit! Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that there are a few foods that are considered hazardous to rabbits. So be sure to take a few minutes to study each new food you’re trying to add to your pet rabbit’s diet. This is to make sure that it’s safe and to find out how much your pet bunny should have as well.

Providing your rabbit asparagus in small amounts is considered an excellent way to make their life a little more interesting and to add healthy variety to their diet.

Final Thoughts

Can rabbits have asparagus? Asparagus has been considered one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. 

This remarkable vegetable is made up of about 93% water. As such, it carries a low amount of sodium as well as calories. 

Even if it generally consists of water, it is still an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamins B6, vitamin E, zinc, vitamin K, folic acid,  magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, potassium, iron, copper, chromium, manganese, and beta-carotene. It also carries some protein and a sufficient amount of fiber. 

Its name came from an amino acid called asparagine that overflows in this vegetable. It only carries a bit of calcium (28 mg) Which is perfect for a rabbit.

Long before the start of modern medicine, asparagus has been praised for its medicinal attributes. Due to its high content of water and fiber, it can also work as a good laxative and act as a diuretic. As such, it greatly assists in making the urinary and excretory systems work at their optimum.

Its consumption also promotes the release of uric acid and the balancing of sodium content in the blood to prevent hypertension.

As a general rule of thumb, a rabbit that weighs 2.5 kilos should consume at least 1.5 to 2.5 cups of fresh vegetables each day. No more than that. An adult would require low-energy food to prevent diabetes. Thus, the displacement from pellets to hay and fresh vegetables is important.

Protein must also be decreased to avoid agitation of the natural balance of the cecum’s bacterial production.

Feeding your pet rabbits may seem daunting since it is where their life revolves. However, rest assured that having them around will cheer your day and take away the idea that taking care of them is simply just a chore.

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