If you have ever seen rabbits foraging in the hedgerows or watched your own pet meandering around the brambles in your yard, you may have wondered whether it’s safe for rabbits to eat blackberries. Many people enjoy these treats, but are they bunny-friendly?
Blackberries are safe for your rabbit as long as it isn’t eating large amounts of them or too much other fruit. They will provide a hit of vitamins and nutrients, and they are a food that rabbits find in the wild, but they should only be offered in small quantities. Don’t feed your rabbit lots of them.
Are Blackberries Healthy For Rabbits?
A small number of blackberries can be healthy for a rabbit, but you should be wary about feeding your bunny too many of these little fruits. Blackberries contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, alongside potassium, folate, copper, phosphorus, and calcium.
All of these things will help to keep your rabbit healthy and boost its immune system, but it’s also important to be aware that blackberries contain a lot of sugar, and this can lead to a range of issues.
Eating lots of sugar can upset the bacteria in your rabbit’s stomach, which may lead to stomach cramps, diarrhea, bloating, and distress. You should keep an eye on your rabbit’s droppings at all times and note if they have become watery or very hard. This tells you something is going wrong with your rabbit’s diet.
Sugar can also contribute to teeth problems and weight gain. An obese rabbit will often be unhappy and unhealthy, so it’s important to be careful about this. If your rabbit gets fat, it may struggle to shed the pounds again because domestic rabbits get limited exercise.
Being overweight can cause heart disease and joint pain among rabbits, just as it can among humans. Keeping your rabbit a healthy weight will ensure it is comfortable and happy, so don’t offer too many treats like blackberries.
If your rabbit is getting fat, cut them out entirely for a while and choose low-sugar treats such as dark green salad leaves.
How Many Blackberries Can Rabbits Have?
You should measure your rabbit’s blackberry intake alongside other fruits. If your rabbit is eating lots of other berries, reduce how many blackberries it gets. Overall, a teaspoon of fruit per two pounds of the rabbit’s body weight is sufficient.
It’s also a good idea to spread this out and rotate it regularly. Don’t feed your rabbit fruit every day of the week or keep giving it the same fruit over and over again. Instead, mix fruits, vegetables, and greenery into your rabbit’s treat bowl.
Remember that the majority of your rabbit’s diet should come from hay. If it isn’t eating about 90 percent of its food in the form of hay or grass, it is likely to get sick.
Do I Need To Wash Blackberries Before My Rabbit Eats Them?
It’s always a good idea to wash foods before you give them to your rabbit, as this reduces the risk of it eating something that will upset it. Blackberries may have contaminants on the surface, and it takes very little time to rinse them.
You don’t need to worry about this if your rabbit is foraging from bushes outdoors. Overall, the risk is low, and it’s simply good practice to wash foods when it’s practical to do so. Outdoors, washing them is impractical.
Can I Freeze Blackberries For My Rabbit?
Yes, like most berries, blackberries freeze well. This is a good way to help your rabbit enjoy blackberries throughout the year rather than just when they are in season. You may find that the frozen berries are a little mushier after they have been defrosted, but your rabbit isn’t likely to mind this.
Freeze blackberries in small portions so that you don’t accidentally give your rabbit too many when you defrost them. A few berries in each container should be fine; your rabbit won’t eat more than this in a single sitting. The berries will not keep well after being defrosted.
Blackberries Seem To Upset My Rabbit’s Stomach
If your rabbit often has an upset stomach after eating blackberries, you should stop giving them to it. Although blackberries are usually safe and healthy for rabbits, some find them hard to digest.
You may notice that your rabbit’s droppings become wet or watery after it eats blackberries, especially if you give it quite a few. If this happens, you should either cut back on the number of berries or stop feeding them to your rabbit altogether.
Make sure your rabbit has plenty of hay, as this will help to balance its system and make it more comfortable again. If the blackberries seem to consistently cause an upset stomach, consider cutting them out of your rabbit’s diet and finding other fruits it can enjoy.
Can Rabbits Eat Blackberry Leaves?
Yes, blackberry leaves are totally safe for rabbits, and you can pick these for your bunny’s salad bowl any time. Indeed, the leaves are often healthier than the fruits because they do not contain sugar.
The thorns should not be a problem, but you may wish to use shears to remove any large, tough thorns before giving the stem to your rabbit. Although most rabbits are good at avoiding thorns, it is possible for them to scratch themselves.
Wash blackberry leaves before giving them to your bunny, and don’t give it any leaves that have turned brown or wilted. Fresh greenery is the best option and your rabbit will enjoy this the most.
If your rabbit doesn’t seem to like blackberry leaves, don’t worry about it. There are plenty of other greens that it can have.