Swiss chard is a very nutrient-packed vegetable that many of us grow in the garden. In fact, you may have noticed wild rabbits sometimes eating this plant’s leaves. But is it safe for rabbits?
What is Swiss Chard?
Swiss chard is a leafy green veggie, which is related to spinach and beets. In fact, its leaves strongly resemble beet leaves. However, the stalks of this plant are very colorful. You’ll commonly see white stalks, red, yellow and even orange.
This leafy green plant can be eaten raw or cooked. When served raw, the leaves have a slightly bitter taste. When cooked, they have a mild, sweet flavor that resembles spinach.
Swiss chard is another veggie that’s packed with nutrients. These include vitamins A, C, and K, along with antioxidants, and more.
You can use Swiss chard in a variety of recipes, too. It can be used as a dip, eaten creamed, pickled, and more.
Can your bunny eat Swiss chard?
Swiss Chard & Rabbits
The good news is that Swiss chard is non-toxic and safe for rabbits to enjoy! However, there are some things to keep in mind when feeding this leafy green to your bun.
For one thing, Swiss chard contains oxalic acid. If rabbits have to much oxalic acid, they can develop bladder and kidney problems. However, in small amounts, this substance will not cause a problem.
Eating Swiss Chard for the First Time
If your fur bunny hasn’t eaten Swiss chard before, then you’ll want to introduce it to him slowly. This means giving your rabbit a small amount of this leafy plant, and then waiting to see if he tolerates it or not.
Bunnies that don’t tolerate a veggie may develop an upset stomach, gas and even diarrhea. So, give your bunny a little bit (a small piece) of Swiss chard, and then wait about 12 hours to see if he develops any digestive problems. If so, then wait for a while before trying it again.
In addition, you want to avoid chopping the Swiss chard into very small pieces. This is because rabbits prefer their food to be whole. And do make sure the Swiss chard is fresh and well-washed before serving it to your bunny.
As you can see, it’s OK to give your rabbit Swiss chard. But to avoid digestive and other health problems, only serve Swiss chard to your rabbit in small amounts once in a while. This way he can still enjoy a varied diet, but without getting sick!