Rabbits are known herbivores. They eat hay, leafy green and all kinds of vegetables. But are they vegan?
If you are a vegan and looking for a pet rabbit, you may have the above question. So what is the truth? Find here.
Are rabbits vegan? Rabbits are vegans by their food choice. They only eat plants and hay. Rabbits also eat fruits and vegetables in moderate conditions. Their diet is specific and basic.
Hence, if you are looking forward to a vegan pet, you can get a bunny as your new family member.
Why are rabbits vegan?
Rabbits are vegan due to their unique physiological structure. Their digestive tract is very delicate in nature. Additionally, they are also hindgut fermenters, and the major part of their digestion happens in the cecum.
Their digestive tract is not strong enough to digest fat or protein-rich foods. Hence, they only eat carbohydrate-rich food. With their teeth, rabbits chew cellulose-rich hay and grass or leafy vegetables. This way, it gets to eat food and keep its digestive tract healthy enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Besides that, rabbits are cecotropes. They need to digest their food twice to get completely nutritious.
A rabbit usually eats its night feces. The night a feces is partly digested food. When the food passes through the cecum of a rabbit for the first time, it excretes greenish mucus pellets. The cecum of the rabbit concentrates the nutrients for the first time, and it transforms the food into something that a rabbit can eat again.
The intestine of the rabbit is not able to digest the food directly. Hence, they eat it again. The mucous protects the feces from any harm or bacteria. When a rabbit eats its feces again, the concentrated nutrients pass towards the intestines. A rabbit does not get any disease because its highly acidic stomach kills any present harmful bacteria. The nighttime feces gets digested in the intestine of a rabbit.
It is complete digestion, and the rabbit is able to get full nutrition through this procedure. After that, a rabbit excretes a hard and black colored poop during the day.
What should a rabbit eat?
A rabbit must be fed something they can digest. Here are a few options-
The main part of the diet of a rabbit is the hay. Grass hay is easy to digest and is ideal for the delicate stomach of a rabbit. Additionally, the hay is rich in silica, which prevents the ever-growing teeth.
Interestingly enough, a rabbit’s teeth will continue to grow, and it can cause injuries. Constantly chewing hay helps them to keep their teeth healthy.
2. Leafy greens
Leafy greens like carrot tops, kale, cabbage, lettuce, spinach etc., are also great for a rabbit’s diet. These are chewable and also offer enough nutrition to a rabbit.
Rabbits also need treats on occasion. You can feed them bananas or apples in a moderate quantity. Additionally, carrots should also be given in small quantities. Rabbits cannot digest these foods but often get addicted to them. On the other hand, plums, mangoes, kiwis are also great as treats.
Rabbits are vegan pets that only eat hay grass and leafy green vegetables. Their delicate digestive tract is only able to digest these plant-based foods. Due to their basic diet, rabbits are ideal pets for vegans.