Can Rabbits Eat Oranges Safely? Let’s find out!
If you’re a rabbit owner, you’re no doubt concerned with your tiny family member’s health and wellbeing.
And with bunnies, there’s a lot to think about.
You need to have a clean enclosure, ensure your pal gets enough exercise and play. Not to mention offering a healthy diet.
It’s that last concern that causes a lot of questions about what rabbits can eat.
Among the most common questions is, “Can rabbits eat oranges?”
Today, we’ll answer that question for you!
Are oranges safe for rabbits?
Let’s start with the most important question – can rabbits eat oranges safely?
Oranges, like many other fruits and veggies, are safe for rabbits to eat.
However, they should not make up the bulk of a rabbit’s diet. Instead, rabbits should be given “a diet of fresh hay,” including mixed grass or Timothy hay in particular.
Limit the serving of any fruit to 1 or 2 teaspoons per 5 pounds your rabbit weighs.
There are a few great benefits to feeding your rabbit oranges in small quantities.
Offering them as motivational treats that may help train your rabbit.
In addition, offering bunnies treats is a great way to gauge your rabbit’s health.
Because rabbits love fruits so much, a rabbit that refuses a treat may be a sign to take your furry friend to the vet.
Are oranges bad for rabbits?
If the answer to can rabbits eat oranges is yes, then does that mean they are good for them?
Sadly, not really, no.
Oranges are not bad for rabbits, but they are not particularly good for them either.
Rabbits make their own vitamin C. They do not rely on oranges for a significant portion of their nutrients, so they do not particularly need them in their diets.
In any case, leafy green vegetables often contain more vitamin C than oranges.
There are a few downsides to feeding your rabbit oranges, however. Because of the sweetness of fruits, they are not the most healthy food to feed rabbits every day.
Instead, they should be given sparingly.
Large doses of fruits like banana should be avoided because of their extra-high sugar content.
At just 5 grams of sugar less than bananas according to the FDA, oranges are still quite high in sugar at 14 grams. For this reason, a wedge or two will likely do the trick.
As you would with any animal, it is best to start rabbits off with small amounts of new foods.
You do not know how your rabbit will react to a new taste, so it’s a good idea to limit its intake to small pieces of orange until you’re sure it won’t have an adverse reaction.
Can baby rabbits eat oranges?
Rabbits are mammals. This means that when they are first born, they rely on their mother’s milk for nutrients.
As they get older, you may start introducing small amounts of solid food into their diets.
The House Rabbit Society suggests waiting until 12 weeks to introduce very small amounts of veggies to a rabbit’s diet. However, it suggests waiting until the rabbit is around seven months old to introduce fruits such as oranges.
This will help ensure that the rabbit does not learn to refuse more nutritious foods in favor of the sweet treats they love.
Can rabbits eat orange peels?
So can rabbits eat oranges peel and all? Or should you just give a bit of the fruit.
Well, opinions here differ.
Whilst some veterinarians give the OK to feeding your rabbit orange peels. However, many rabbit owners across the Internet are leery of offering orange peels.
They suggest that pesticides used in growing oranges may linger on peels and cause harm to rabbits.
Your best bet, if you do not want to take the time to remove the peel, is to offer an organic, pesticide-free orange.
Can rabbits eat mandarin oranges?
Just like oranges, mandarin oranges – or tangerines – are safe for rabbits to eat.
As you would with any other fruit, offer a mandarin orange in small doses and be weary of giving your rabbit too much.
Can rabbits eat oranges?
To conclude, rabbits can eat oranges.
However, it would be a good idea to limit your rabbit’s orange intake to just a few bites.
Because their nutritional value to rabbits is limited in comparison to other fruits and veggies, oranges do not need to be a staple of your rabbit’s diet.
Instead, oranges should be offered occasionally as treats, not as meal replacements.
In fact, both the House Rabbit Society and the Humane Society of America recommend using fruits as motivational treats to aid in training.
Most rabbits love sweets and will welcome an opportunity to earn a sugary morsel.
But be warned: offer too much, and your pet may decide it doesn’t like its regular food!