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Can Rabbits Eat Sunflower Seeds? Should They? – Find Out Here!

  • Amy 

Can Rabbits Eat Sunflower Seeds? Should They?

Do rabbits eat sunflower seeds? Quick answer, yes, they do!

But should you feed them sunflower seeds? Now that needs more discussion.

If you’ve never fed sunflower seeds to a rabbit before, then you might be wondering whether or not it’s safe, and we’re here to help you learn about that.

Are Sunflower Seeds Edible For Rabbits?

Sunflower seeds are delicious, even for us humans. Needless to say, lots of animals also find them appetizing, including rabbits.

Sunflower seeds are edible for rabbits. 

However, when feeding your rabbit Sunflower seeds or any other seeds, be careful not to overfeed them.

Sunflower seeds may have some health benefits for rabbits, but they’re not the best for them.

If you want to try feeding your rabbits Sunflower seeds, opt for Black Oil Sunflower Seeds.

Black Oil Sunflower Seeds For Rabbits

Regular sunflower seeds simply do not have the nutrients your rabbits need and have thick and hard shells that make them hard to eat and digest. 

Black oil sunflower seeds, on the other hand, have thinner shells and are a better source of nutrition for your rabbits.

Black oil sunflower seeds contain Vitamin E, B vitamins, high protein levels, linoleic acid, a good source of fibre, iron, potassium, and so much more.

Black oil sunflower seeds also contain 28% fat which makes them a good source of energy. They can also provide body heat and keep your pet warm in cold weather. This makes Black oil sunflower seeds a great winter tonic for rabbits. 

The high levels of protein in Black oil sunflower seeds help your pet’s milk production, resistance to diseases, and overall health and growth.

Fibre is essential in a rabbit’s diet, and with 25% fiber content, Black oil sunflower seeds are definitely a good source of fiber for your pet.

Black oil sunflower seeds also have calcium which supports rabbits’ bodily processes like heart function, coagulation, muscle contraction, electrolyte levels in the blood and, of course, bone health.

Feeding Black Oil Sunflower Seeds To Rabbits

Too much of anything is bad. 

The benefits of Black oil sunflower seeds come with a risk. 

Seeds and nuts are fatty foods, including raw seeds. 

Rabbits have more sensitive digestive tracts than humans. They can’t digest fats properly.

Aside from digestion, too much fat can also affect the proper motility of the GI tract in rabbits.

Excess fat can also cause severe health complications when it accumulates in the arteries and liver.

The fat can also lead to weight gain, or worse, obesity. Do not feed your rabbit seeds if they already have extra weight or if you have a lazy rabbit that is prone to obesity. 

Another concern with feeding Black oil sunflower seeds to your rabbit is choking.

Seeds can also easily get stuck in their teeth and cause discomfort, so only give them striped sunflower seeds.

So to feed your rabbits Black oil sunflower seeds, you need to peel off its shell first and only give small amounts of striped seeds occasionally.

The fat content in Black oil sunflower seeds can also make your rabbit get extra heat production when the weather is hot. Only give them in cooler months and definitely do not feed them in summer months to avoid any heat issues.

Slowly introduce Black oil sunflower seeds to your rabbit and monitor them after feeding. If you notice any unusual symptoms or if they get diarrhoea or watery feces, stop giving them Black oil sunflower seeds.

If in doubt, before or after feeding Black oil sunflower seeds to your rabbit, contact your veterinarian. 

Can Rabbits Eat Sunflower?

Yes, they can. Rabbits can eat the petals of sunflowers without any problems as long as they feed in moderation.

Just make sure that the flowers aren’t treated with pesticides or any chemicals that may hurt your rabbit.

Generally, rabbits can eat any flowers, and petals humans can eat.

Other flowers rabbits can eat:

  • Common Daisy
  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Dandelion
  • Dill
  • Yarrow
  • Pot Marigold
  • Lilly
  • Jasmine
  • Hibiscus

What Other Seeds Can Rabbits Eat?

Rabbits can also eat raw pumpkin seeds. But just like with Black oil seeds, they should be an occasional snack.

Pumpkin seeds can offer many health benefits for your rabbit when eaten in moderation but also comes with side effects similar to Black oil sunflower seeds.

Other seeds that are generally safe for rabbits to eat:

  • Pine nuts
  • Squash
  • Safflower
  • Flax seeds (linseed)
  • Melon (honeydew, watermelon, cantaloupe)

Again, make sure to feed them bits of seeds and as occasional treats only and with no salt or any seasonings. 

Remove the shells because they can be difficult for rabbits to digest and cause your rabbit to be uncomfortable if the shells get stuck in their teeth. 

Conclusion

Wild rabbits know what food they can and cannot eat, but your indoor pet rabbits may not, so you need to choose well for them.

If you plan to feed your rabbits sunflower seeds, or any seeds for that matter, ensure that they are only a small part of the balanced diet rabbits need because they will not be a great sole source of nutrients. 

Feed them plenty of hay, leafy green vegetables, maybe some rabbit pellets, and only give occasional seed or tonic treat. 

Each individual rabbit will have different nutritional content needs in their actual diet, so it’s best to discuss with your veterinarian if sunflower seeds are something they need. 

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Amy Toliver

Hey'all I'm Amy, a born foodie and diagnosed with celiac disease 7 years ago. I refused to cave into tasteless, boring gulten free food and create my own! On my blog you'll find info & cool facts along with recipes, all on gluten free foods!