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Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Provide a well rounded diet without commercial feed, including discussions of the methods and merits of growing fodder.
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#61  Unread postby Beach Bunny » Fri May 27, 2011 11:05 am


oops i meant Hosta and Dichondra .Dichondra is a different plant.I have some growing in a planter and for hosta are all varieties safe?

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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#62  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri May 27, 2011 12:10 pm


As far as I know, all varieties of hostas are safe. I know nothing about Dichondra. In most cases, I keep ornamentals away from rabbits, just on principle. I suggest you google by full botanical (Latin) name along with keywords such as rabbit and toxicity to determine their safety.
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#63  Unread postby Beach Bunny » Tue May 31, 2011 8:34 am


I cant seem to find any info either way on the Dichondra so i guess it's better to be safe and not use it.

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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#64  Unread postby MaggieJ » Tue May 31, 2011 8:59 am


I think the point with fresh greens is not so much "will this plant poison my rabbit?" as "will this plant make a valuable contribution to my rabbit's nutrition and good health?" This is the reason I favour the broad-leaved invasive European weeds listed in the SAFE PLANTS list. These are what wild European rabbits have been eating since the last ice age and we know they are good forage for our rabbits.
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#65  Unread postby Beach Bunny » Tue May 31, 2011 9:32 am


Good point, unforunatly telling the other people you live with you want to plant a "weed" garden in their yard may not go over well LOL. I think sticking to herbs an perhaps some marigolds will hopefully make everyone happy.

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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#66  Unread postby MaggieJ » Tue May 31, 2011 11:17 am


Dandelions and purslane are gourmet garden greens. Plant any weeds in nice rows and tell folks they are European salad greens. :twisted:
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#67  Unread postby Beach Bunny » Tue May 31, 2011 11:28 am


Hmmm i think can get away with purslane..but i've never seen it where would you get it?

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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#68  Unread postby MaggieJ » Tue May 31, 2011 2:25 pm


Here's a garden variety of purslane. It's good for people too. :)

http://www.wildgardenseed.com/index.php?cPath=49
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#69  Unread postby hoodat » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:27 am


I never have to pull purslane in my garden. I let my Mexican neighbors know when I have a lot of it growing and they send the kids over to pull it.
There are seeds available for French dandelion which is much bigger than the wild and just as good for the rabbits. Pretty good in your salad too if you blanch it. That takes the bitterness out.
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#70  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:49 am


It's always a decision here whether to give purslane to the rabbits or eat it ourselves. I like it in salads, stir-fries and stews. :)
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#71  Unread postby hoodat » Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:52 am


My rabbits solve that problem for me. For some reason they just don't like it. Purslane is used in Mexican cooking to thicken soup kind of like the Cajuns use Okra.
Lots of people talk to animals.... Not very many listen, though.... That's the problem.

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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#72  Unread postby Iggysbabysitter » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:41 pm


I have been reading up on cattails as food. Even for human consumption, the entire plant is edible. Leaves are tough, the white core is sweet... described kinda like asperagus, zuchini, or cucumber (peeled and chopped for salads or soups), and the root is supposed to be starchy like a potatoe. My buns had a mound of grape vine tossed in an hour ago, and some was still there when I checked on them. I tossed in a few whole cattails, and everybunny came running. They prefer this sweet treat to grapevine, devouring the long leaves first then the core. I have yet to see if they prefer this to willow. I'll try drying a bunch for winter feeding since I have been able to find so much of it (MaggieJ, it's all over the base and the parks where I bring the kids! I love finding free bunny food). I noticed your list notes only the leaves, but I wonder if it could be changed to entire plant (the favored part being the leaves). I'm not sure where to find it's value as a protien source (I wonder if it is as valuable as willow. One site lists just basic nutritional blurb).
I did find one draw-back for using cat tails as a food... they filter the water they are in, and so are filled with whatever was in the water (ewwwww, ditch run off). So, perhaps it's best to consider where your water supply is coming from before consuming... (sorry MaggieJ, I never considered this before harvesting those for your bunnies. Perhaps I could bring you some from the beach where I know they test the water regularly).
I had also wondered about elephant grass, as it seems to be everywhere and there MUST be a purpose for it. Has anyone looked into it? I could only find one mention of it as an undesired food source, perhaps better for bedding.
Last edited by Iggysbabysitter on Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#73  Unread postby MaggieJ » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:29 am


I changed the entry for cat-tail (bullrushes) in the safe plants list. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Must get in there and make some other additions and changes too.

Don't worry about the water quality where you harvested the cat-tails, Iggysbabysitter. It is spring fed and likely every bit as good as our well-water. My bunnies cleaned up all I gave them except a few of the round stems. I kept some back to dry to make sure they like them that way too.
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#74  Unread postby hoodat » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:17 am


Thanks for clearing up the cat tail question. I have often looked at them and wondered but could never find anything definitive on line so I hesitated to feed them. I'll try some on my bunrabs and see what they think. My rabbits are fussier than most since they get so much clover. They tend to look on other greens as second class food.
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Re: Questions and comments about plant safety for rabbits.

Post Number:#75  Unread postby Iggysbabysitter » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:16 am


In a search to determine the value of cat tails, I found the nutritional value page :) Yay!
willow leaves : 34 calories, 20% protien, 68% carb
cattail : 7 calories, 19% protien, 81% carb
Hmmm. MaggieJ, would the low cal count cause this to be a low value for winter feeding? Or would it all balance out once the rest of the diet is considered? (wheat+barley grains, BOSS, salt lick, willow branches, cattails, alfalfa blocks and hay, grass hay, carrots and various kitchen scraps).
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