Many rabbits are living in the wild all around the world and eat different varieties and an array of vegetables, herbs, and fruits. The most comprehensive part or ratio of the rabbit’s dietary daily food involves hay, green grass, plants, and including the leaves.
Not only do rabbits eat hay and green grass, but they also eat vegetables, fruits, and other plants that can be found nutritious on their overall wellness. Though some rabbits may be used to a diverse balance and different nutrients than they require, it is still healthy and safe for them to stick on their natural regular food as much as necessary.
In pursuit of finding diverse food and treats for your rabbits, you may have been thinking of giving them zucchini. However, is zucchini can be eaten and is safe for them?
What is zucchini?
Zucchini is also known as courgette. It is a variety of summer squash that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. It can develop up to a meter long. Zucchini is recognized to be often harvested before it even ripens. Before they mature, they ordinarily rise up from 6 to 10 inches in length. Its color is ordinarily light to dark green.
As mentioned to be common with its name courgette, this title has originated in French. It was just called zucchini by the Italians due that they are established to be bland vegetables. Talking about its appearance, it seems slightly like a cucumber. Though many people thought of it being a vegetable, botanically speaking, it is regarded as fruit, which was further recorded to be a type of botanical berry.
Just like other vegetables and fruits such as asparagus and cucumber, zucchini holds up to 93 percent of water. Though most of its composition is water, it is regarded to be very nutritious. Based on the national nutrient database record by the USDA or also known as the United States Department of Agriculture, zucchini includes a great number of nutrients and minerals.
It presents a bounty of antioxidants, carbohydrates, proteins, potassium, folate, fiber, vitamins such as vitamin A, B6, B1, B2, B3, and vitamin C, zinc, chlorine, as well as magnesium. Moreover, as mentioned to contain a great amount of water, zucchini is low in calories.
Zucchini and Rabbits Health
As mentioned earlier, zucchini seems to be promising because of the nutrients it possesses. It may be a great addition to the rabbit’s dietary requirement. It significantly comprises 93 percent of water, making it very easy in the digestion process. However, as the human body reacts differently, as do the rabbits.
What are the benefits of zucchini in the rabbit’s health?
As zucchini is rich and does significantly hold a vast amount of water, it can be of advantage in keeping the rabbit hydrated. As it is loaded in water, it just implies that zucchini is low in sugar. This hints that providing your bunny a zucchini would not do much harm in their digestive system. Always keep in mind that a rabbit’s dietary food needs to be less in sugar.
Another thing to ponder is that zucchini is packed and loaded with a complete host of nutrients and a large amount of potassium. Potassium is one of the many considered vital nutrients for the rabbit’s nervous system.
As also mentioned beforehand, zucchini is composed of a potent volume of antioxidants. Antioxidants are one of the main components that can support in keeping the rabbit’s tissues against oxidative impairment. Not only that, it can be very worthy in your rabbit oxidative impairment, but antioxidants are also very beneficial in defending their cells.
Zucchini contains a low amount of cholesterol. With that being said, it is competent enough to furnish excellent gains in the wellness and the exceptional health of the rabbits. Low in cholesterol is always a good indication when it comes to the rabbit’s dietary needs. When a food is low in cholesterol, it has great influence in preventing the rabbit from being obese or overweight.
As the overall rabbit’s food requirement includes fiber, zucchini may be a perfect addition as it contains a fair amount of fiber. Fiber is an imperative constituent in helping the rabbits to digest properly. It is the one that triggers the rabbit’s digestive system to empty the stomach. However, it is still not enough from what the rabbit’s nutrients really require.
What are the drawbacks?
Unfortunately, though zucchini sounds a perfect fruit for you, it also contains a negative effect that you, like a rabbit lover, need to be careful about.
The fact that zucchini holds a vast percentage of water when your rabbits are fed to a great extent, it can cause an unlikely condition such as diarrhea. When this happens, it can make your rabbit dehydrated, which is very ironic.
Talking about their droppings, rabbits expel two types of it. They are called cecotropes and fecal pellets.
Cecotropes are like small pellets that are considered to be a part of their nutritional needs. These are excreted and quickly eaten by the rabbits to re-digest in order to produce vitamin B that is required for their overall body health. On the other hand, fecal pellets are considered to be their poop. This is usually dry and round in shape.
When your rabbit is fed with loads of zucchini which is rich in water, it can make its cecotropes to be very soft. When this happens, it is impossible for them to eat and redigest it. As rabbits require vitamin B in their overall health wellness, this could be very bad for them as their needs aren’t fulfilled.
Zucchini can make a great supplement to the rabbit’s dietary meal due to its valuable advantages. As approved by the PDSA or known as People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, this leading vet foundation in the UK made sure that zucchini can be presented to the rabbit’s daily diet as a compliment just like what we do to other fruits and vegetables.
It is fairly safe for rabbits. Yet, this does not mean that you are to give them zucchini all day and make it a part of their main dish. Though you can give them varieties of vegetables, herbs, and fruits for them to take as their snack, it still doesn’t change the fact that rabbits need nutrients in line with their dietary requirements that can only be found in hay, uncontaminated rabbit pellets, and fresh water.
Giving them various treats and snacks from time to time can make them enjoy it. In order to properly do that, you can add from two to three vegetables and fruits once in every week. If your rabbit didn’t adversely react to the added fruits and vegetables like zucchini, it means that they like and appreciate it. But, just as the same things go for the fruits, zucchini should only be given to the rabbit in small servings. Always remember that a large serving of vegetables can create digestive discomfort or problem. As rabbits are not that smart enough at deciding when it is time to stop eating, it is as a pet parent a careful decision to not overload them with it.