Rabbits eating pepper plant leaves- is this safe?

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LittleFluffyBunnies

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So I have been using my mom's small fenced in garden to exercise the rabbits. I know most of the plants in there are safe, except for the tomato plant which the rabbits don't seem to bother with. However, we have jalepeno, green bell pepper and peppadew plants and for some reason the rabbits seem to be addicted to the leaves. I try to stop them from getting too much since I don't know if it's safe, but they keep going back to it. Will it harm them if they eat it or should I stop them?
 

Preitler

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Well, since pepper leaves are edible, and also the green fruit, I don't think there is any immediate danger. I would worry about the plants, not the bunnies :roll: .

Also, the solanin in tomatoes and potatoes isn't really deadly.
 

LittleFluffyBunnies

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Thanks everyone! I'll just keep shooing them away from it. Maybe I'll figure out a way to block it off even.

Lol, my mom has given me permission, and she doesn't care about the peppers really as the bushes are quite large :lol:
However, she wasn't very happy when one of them found out that baby basil plants are delicious and gobbled them all up :oops:
 

Jenuala

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Well, since pepper leaves are edible, and also the green fruit, I don't think there is any immediate danger. I would worry about the plants, not the bunnies :roll: .

Also, the solanin in tomatoes and potatoes isn't really deadly.
I disagree with you there . Tomato plants are poisonous, one of my rabbits died a week after eating tomato plants . A traumatic week of veterinary treatment did not save her.
 

MaggieJ

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So I have been using my mom's small fenced in garden to exercise the rabbits. I know most of the plants in there are safe, except for the tomato plant which the rabbits don't seem to bother with. However, we have jalepeno, green bell pepper and peppadew plants and for some reason the rabbits seem to be addicted to the leaves. I try to stop them from getting too much since I don't know if it's safe, but they keep going back to it. Will it harm them if they eat it or should I stop them?
Hi there, LFB.

There are so many conflicting experiences with plants containing solanine that I think we must consider the green plants of tomato, peppers, potato, and eggplant to be toxic. At the same time, they are not always fatal to rabbits.

If the rabbits were mine, I would not allow them to have access to those plants. Even if they don't die, the illness caused could be very painful for the rabbit. Why chance it?

Perhaps next season, your mother could consider planting all questionable plants at one end of the garden so it could be fenced off from the area where the bunnies play. There will still be problems. Plants like basil are very attractive to rabbits.

Perhaps an exercise pen that can be folded away when not in use if the answer. Is there an area of lawn or patio where you could set one up?

~ Maggie
 

Zee-Man

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I think we should be clear..

Solanine is in Potatoes not Tomatoes
Tomatine is in Tomatoes, not Potatoes.

Both are glycoalkaloids and each is different in effect.

With both plants, all of the parts bear their respective poisons. That would include the white part of the tuber and red part of the fruit. Now, solanine is quite prevelant in the leaves of potato and can cause illness. Tomatine is also found in the leaves of tomato, and to date has not caused any reported illness in humans.

Concentration, as with many poisons, is the real question. Consider, 7 drops of bleach in a gallon of water is a high enough concentration to kill microbes, but has barely any effect on humans and animals. Consider, a TRACE amount of arsenic is required for humans to live. Carbon Monoxide is required for human (and other mammals) bodies to function. Of course none of these can be tolerated in high concentrations.

Not many potato leaves are needed to get a high concentration of solanine. On the other hand, the needed amount of tomato leaves to get a high enough concentration is exorbitant. I have cooked with tomato leaves for many years. The leaves are a key ingredient to my spaghetti sauce.

Dosiedoe (as well as the wild rabbits, argh!) enjoys tomato leaves. There is at least one other member of this forum who feeds her rabbits tomato leaves regularly.

I don't mean to belittle anyone's adverse experiences with tomato plants. But empirical evidence as well as nutritional science would not support a categorical claim of "deadly" for tomatoes.
 
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