Can rabbits eat tomatoes
Whether you are training rabbits as a pet or for commercial purposes, what you feed your rabbit plays a key role in the productivity and health of the rabbit, this is why you need to be careful with what you provide the rabbit with to eat.
Tomato happens to be one of those healthy fruits whose intake by rabbit has been of great concern to breeders, can rabbits eat tomatoes is a regular question among rabbit breeders.
In this guide, Dr. Frank, a commercial rabbit breeder and a doctor will guide us through with all you need to know about rabbit and tomatoes.
Whether or not rabbits should eat tomatoes, what tomatoes can offer the rabbits and if the rabbit needs these values tomatoes offer.
Rabbits are easily affected by what they eat, their whole existence can be disrupted by a single intake of wrong food material therefore, it is important to be fully aware of your rabbit dietary needs.
Aside from hay and pellets, fruit is one of the foods of rabbits but some of these fruits can be toxic to your rabbit and tomatoes happens to be one, so can rabbits eat tomatoes?.
Can rabbits eat tomatoes?
Yes, rabbits can eat tomatoes but as a treat and not as a major food, rabbits need a high level of fiber in their food which it uses to prevent gastrointestinal disease and also to provide a substrate for fermentation in the cecum to produce bacterial cells as a source of protein.
They also need low sugar, low fat and for adult rabbit, low protein food though their protein requirements increase during lactation, times of growth and during pregnancy.
Aside from these periods, they require a low amount of protein but tomato is acidic, contain high sugar, low fiber and high in water content.
Tomatoes contain up to 8.5% organic acid, the sugar content is over 4.5%, its fiber content is as low as 1.8%, tomato fruit also contain 95% water content.
The sugar from tomatoes can increase bad bacteria overgrowth in rabbits, this can lead to different digestive complications in rabbit.
Tomatoes are also in the top fruits containing different levels of pesticide residue in them which is not good for the rabbit, so you see, there are a lot more to know in the “can rabbit eat tomatoes” question.
To feed tomatoes to the rabbit, here is what you must do
Precautions to take before feeding tomatoes to rabbit
Rabbits can eat tomatoes but they must be in small quantity, the tomato must be washed, rabbits should eat no more than a slice of tomato per day.
On no circumstance should the rabbit be fed tomato often
Tomatoes should be fed to the rabbit in the morning, the rabbit should be closely monitored to ascertain its reaction.
No part of the Tomato plant should be fed to a rabbit as they can be poisonous, remove the seeds as well before serving it to your rabbit.
When should rabbit eat tomatoes?
It doesn’t end in answering the question can rabbit eat tomatoes It is recommended that rabbits should only be fed tomatoes after 4 (Four) to 6 (six) months of age, this is to avoid complications in their digestive tract.
Can baby rabbits eat tomatoes?
No, baby rabbits should not be fed tomatoes. Baby rabbits have a very sensitive digestive system and fruits (tomatoes included) easily messes with their digestive system.
Therefore, it is advisable to avoid feeding tomatoes to rabbits until they are at least Four (4) to six (6) months of age. Rabbits should not be fed tomatoes at a young age.
Why is tomato fed to rabbit in a small amount?
Not only is tomato acidic which causes illness in rabbit, but it also contains high water content which leads to health problems too, the high sugar level in tomato also affects the digestive system of rabbit.
Constant intake of tomatoes also leads to Diarrhea and other system imbalance. Once any of this is noticed in the rabbit while taking tomato, you should stop feeding them tomato and feed more of hays.
How to feed your rabbits tomatoes
If you must feed your rabbits tomatoes, you must be careful, the following steps should be followed.
- Thoroughly wash the Tomatoes to get rid of toxic substances possibly hanging on the tomato parts.
- Remove the stalk of the fruit holding on the plant, rabbits don’t eat this part of the tomato, it is poisonous to their health.
- Slice the tomato into two parts
- Remove the seeds; your rabbits don’t necessarily need the seeds of tomatoes.
- Give a little portion of the tomato to the rabbit and observe its response.
- Ensure you don’t feed the rabbit the tomato plants and seeds.
- Tomato plants and seeds are toxic for rabbits and therefore should be removed.
Can rabbit eat cooked tomatoes?
NO, rabbits should not be fed cooked tomatoes, cooked tomatoes are way more acidic than raw tomatoes, full of sugar and other chemicals, this is not good for the rabbit
Can rabbits eat tomato stem?
No, rabbits cannot eat tomato stem, tomato creates a pesticide-like structure (Tomato toxicity) for self-defense, this structure is contained in their leaves, unripe fruits and stem, this is why it is advisable to always remove the unripe part and give the rabbit only the ripe fruit part.
Can rabbits eat tomato leaves?
Yes, rabbit can eat tomato leave but in small quantity, this is because when taken in large quantity, it becomes dangerous to the rabbit.
Tomato leave contains Solanine, a toxic component that is poisonous to the rabbit when they are taken in large quantity by the rabbit.
It affects their body and the digestive system. It sometimes causes death in a rabbit.
It is therefore advisable that you avoid tomato leave to prevent the risk that can be harmful to the rabbit unless it is for an experiment.
Aside from the leaves, a rabbit cannot take tomato plant part, they are dangerous to the rabbit body system.
Generally, introducing rabbit to a new food is a gradual process, it is not achieved in a day, this is to avoid harming the rabbits while trying to force them to eat the new food.
How to introduce new food to rabbit
Rabbits react positively or negatively to a new food, they can fall sick as a result of new food, in worst cases, it can lead to death, therefore before supplying your rabbits with new food follow the steps below.
- Ensure you understand the nutritional makeup of the food. For instance, Avocado contains a substance called Persin which is toxic for rabbits, therefore feeding your rabbits Avocado is dangerous to their health.
So, if you are not aware of the content of certain food material, it is not advisable to feed your rabbits such food product.
Always ascertain the makeup of any material before supplying them to your rabbits.
- Gradually introduce any new food to your rabbits, add a little portion of it while feeding them the material they are already used to.
- Ensure that the food is neat enough, thoroughly washed and sliced for your rabbit to easily consume them.
- Always introduce new food in the morning times.
- Watch closely how the rabbits react to the new food.
- Observe their response, in most cases, rabbits would eat a little portion of the new food.
- Maintain the same portion, do not add too much of the new materials to their meal until the rabbits start showing a positive response to the food.
- If they react negatively to the new food, you must withdraw such food from their meal and supply them with hays and other materials they enjoy.
Safe and Unsafe foods for rabbits
Here is a list of safe and unsafe foods for your rabbit.
Example of Safe vegetables and plants that you can feed the rabbits are
- Lettuce; must not be an iceberg, Iceberg is very watery and can cause diarrhoea in a rabbit.
- Cucumber in small amount, it should be taken as a treat and not often
- Red cabbage
- Brussel sprouts
- Spring greens and other dark leafy greens
- Radish greens
- Pumpkin in small amount, the seed should be avoided as well
- Chard and
Safe herbs for rabbits include
Here are examples of some safe fruits for rabbits
- Seedless grapes
- Apple, the seed should be avoided.
- Peeled Oranges, the seed should be avoided as well.
- Melons such as cantaloupe or honeydew with no seeds
- Watermelon which should also be taken as a treat, the seed should be avoided.
The following foods are unsafe and should never be given to your rabbit
- Tomato leaves
- Apple seeds
- Amaryllis and lastly
Although not all are poisonous, they’re very fatty and unhealthy for rabbits.
Conclusion on Can rabbits eat tomatoes.
Although rabbit may appear to like the taste of tomato, you must not feed them tomato often. You can mix tomato with other vegetables or major rabbit food like hay.
If you feed your pet rabbit tomato and it reacts negatively, you should see a veterinary doctor as earlier as possible.
It may experience the worst situation if you don’t seek the service of a vert.
I hope this answered the can rabbits eat tomatoes question, if you are a rabbit breeder and have tried tomatoes on your rabbit, you can share your experience in the comment box below.