The list below is combined from the published guidelines of the National House Rabbit Society, Colorado House Rabbit Society, and San Diego House Rabbit Society
Feed one each day that contains Vitamin A ~ indicated by an *
BASIL ~ high in calcium
BEET GREENS* ~ Limit ~ high in Oxalic Acid
BELL PEPPERS* ~ Limit due to sugar content; high in Vitamin C
BOK CHOY ~ Use with caution ~ may cause gas
BROCCOLI (mostly leaves/stems)* ~ Use with caustion ~ may cause gas
BRUSSELS SPROUTS ~ Use with caution ~ may cause gas
CARROTS* ~ Limit due to sugar content
CELERY ~ Cut into one (1″) inch pieces across the stalk
COLLARD GREENS* ~ Moderately high in calcium
CUCUMBER ~ not on any of the lists, but we love it and tolerate it well and know of others who also do
DANDELIONS* (leaves & flowers) ~ be certain they have not been sprayed with pesticides; high in calcium
DILL ~ Included by Dana Krempels, Ph.D
GRAPE LEAVES ~ very high in calcium
GREEN LEAF LETTUCE
KALE* ~ use sparingly – high in either oxalates or goitrogens and may be toxic in accumulated quantities over time; moderately high in calcium; high in Vitamin C
MINT (all varieties) ~ high in calcium
MUSTARD GREENS ~ moderately high in calcium
PARSLEY* (curly and flat) ~ moderately high in calcium
SNOW/CHINESE PEAS ~ the flat pods ~ without peas; if the pods aren’t completely flat, do not use
PEA PLANT LEAVES ~ NOT the peas
RED LEAF LETTUCE
ROMAINE ~ or any dark green leafy lettuce, but NEVER Iceberg (head) lettuce
SPINACH* ~ use sparingly; high in either oxalates or goitrogens and may be toxic in accumulated quantities over time
TARRAGON ~ included by Dana Krempels, Ph.D.
TURNIPS and TOPS ~ turnip grees are high in calcium; neither are on the National HRS or San Diego HRS lists
WATERCRESS* ~ moderately high in calcium
ZUCCHINI ~ not on any of the lists but recommended by our very rabbit-savvy vet and enjoyed by some of the rabbits in our warren
FOR THOSE UNFAMILIAR WITH THE NAMES OF THE GREENS LISTED ABOVE ~
ENDIVE ~ is a medium length, wide-spread round head with leaves that are a bit ‘spikey’ in appearance at the ends, is medium green in color, with some yellow toward the inside
GREEN LEAF LETTUCE ~ is a medium length head with medium green leaves that are a bit ruffled at the edges
RED LEAF LETTUCE ~ is a medium length head with soft leaves that are a bit ‘curly’, and fairly dark green in color, except at the top where it is dark red
ROMAINE ~ is a long-headed lettuce with large, loose leaves, a medium green color, and a fairly large core
GREEN MIXES FOUND IN ENGLAND ~
CRISPY LEAF ~ contains Iceberg, Romaine, Lollo Rosso, Frisee (Curly Endive) ~ The problem with this mix is the Iceberg ~ it has no food value so a bunny could get “filled up” but not obtain any nutrients. In the US, the ingredients are listed in descending order of the proportion of the contents, meaning that in this case, there would be more Iceberg than other varieties.
YOUNG LEAF ~ contains Lettuce, Cos (Romaine), Spinach, Batavia, Tango, Wild Red Spinach, Lollo Rosso, Chard (“any three or more in variable proportions”) ~ Personally I would not feed this mixture ~ two kinds of spinach, Batavia and Tango are unknown to me, and since proportions will vary the contents could be largely spinach.
COSMOPOLITAN ~ contains Green Oak Leaf, Frisee (Curly Endive), Wild Rocket, Lambs Lettuce. I cannot make a recommendation because I am not familiar with Green Oak Leaf, Wild Rocket or Lambs Lettuce.
PREPARED SALAD – BISTRO ~ this a definite “NO” because it contains beetroot
PREPARED SALAD – HERB ~ contains 70% Baby Leaf Lettuce (Lollo Rosso & Cos/Romaine), 20% herbs (cilantro/coriander) and Continental (Italian?) Parsley; 10% Rocket. IF Rocket is safe for rabbits, this is a winner!
FLORETTE CRISPY ~ contains Frisee (curly endive), Lambs Lettuce, Radicchio ~ IF Lambs Lettuce is safe for rabbits, this is a winner!
DANA KREMPELS, Ph.D ~
You may have heard it from a breeder, pet store owner, or even a veterinarian who is not as familiar with recent rabbit health information as one might hope: Fresh vegetables will give your rabbit “diarrhea.” Nothing could be further from the truth than this old myth. In fact, fresh greens help keep intestinal contents hydrated, which makes them easier for the bunny to pass. Trace nutrients, fiber, and just plain old tastiness are other benefits of fresh greens. After all, what do you suppose wild rabbits eat? Fresh, moist greens are about as important as hay in maintaining a healthy intestine.
Be sure to wash everything thoroughly to remove pesticide and fertilizer residues as much as possible. Even organic produce should be washed well to remove potentially harmful bacteria, such as E. coli.
Serve the vegetables wet, as this will help increase your rabbit’s intake of liquid. This helps keep the intestinal contents moving well, and the bunny healthy.
Please don’t make the mistake of serving less-than-fresh vegetables to your rabbit. A rabbit is even more sensitive to spoiled food than a human is. If the vegetables smell stale or “on the fringe”, they could make your bunny sick. Follow the Emerald Rule of Freshness when feeding your rabbit friend: “Don’t Feed it to Your Bunny if You Wouldn’t Eat it Yourself.”
Note: Comments in italics were added by Meadow