Yes, Rabbits can eat swede, or rutabaga, safely. Swedes aren’t poisonous (toxic) to rabbits – it’s just that they’re not very healthy for them.
However, swede should only be fed in small portions occasionally to rabbits.
The peel, stem, and leaves of swede are also safe for rabbits to eat.
Swede is high in carbohydrates, so should only be an occasional treat for rabbits. Swedes should only be a small-sized treat, not a major part of their diet.
The main diet for a rabbit should be hay, with a handful of greens each day, and water.
What if my rabbit doesn’t like swede?
Just like humans, rabbits have likes and dislikes. Not all people like swedes, and neither do all rabbits.
Health Benefits of feeding Swede/Rutabaga to rabbits?
Swede contains high levels of important micronutrients such as Vitamin K, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, zinc, several B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. They even have small amounts of iron and calcium.
Vitamin K is required for blood clotting (which is important if your rabbit is injured or recovering from surgery), but it also supports a healthy reproductive system.
Vitamin C, which doubles as an antioxidant, supports a healthy immune system and lowers your rabbit’s risk of disease.
Vitamin E also aids in blood clotting and immunity, but it plays other important roles in overall health as well—a deficiency in this key vitamin can cause liver problems, reproductive illnesses, irreparable heart damage, and muscle wasting.
What are the risks in feeding Swede/Rutabaga to rabbits?
If you give bunnies too much swede or rutabaga, you risk two dangers:
- In the short term, your rabbit may have trouble digesting the swede (their digestive systems are delicate). This can lead to bloating, and GI stasis (a bit like constipation).
- In the longer term, swedes are high in calories, and with the wrong mix of nutrients for rabbits. If rabbits eat mainly swedes, they may become fat and unhealthy, and not live as long.
How much swedes should I give my rabbit?
You can give up to about a tablespoon of swede to your rabbit daily. You should only give swede as a treat to your rabbit – it should not be the rabbit’s main food.