It looks like rabbits can eat anything, but there are many foods that you should not give them. But can rabbits eat bok choy?
Absolutely! Bok choy is known as a nutritious vegetable that rabbits can enjoy. Learn more about how you can add bok choy to your rabbit’s meal!
Knowing more about Bok Choy
Bok choy is considered one of the main types of Chinese cabbage introduced in North America. It became known during the 19th century. It is also called pak choi or pok choi.
Although its stalk may look like celery, it belongs to the mustard family. This family includes cabbage, turnip, and broccoli.
Its leaves are dark green that can be round or flat. Depending on its variety, the stalk’s color can be white or light green. A mature bok choy may grow up to 12 inches. Meanwhile, an immature bok choy is known as baby bok choy. Its length ranges up to three to six inches.
All of the parts of this cruciferous veggie are edible. If you haven’t eaten bok choy yet, it tastes like cabbage.
Its leaves have a grassy flavor with a kick of peppery flavor. They are soft and crisp that is why most rabbits love them. Baby bok choy is sweeter compared to the matured ones.
A 100-gram bok choy is about 95% water. It also has 13 grams of calories, 2 grams of carbs, 1 .5 grams of protein, and 1 gram of dietary fiber.
Benefits of Bok Choy
Bok choy is identified as a beneficial vegetable you can give safely to your rabbits. It is full of nutrients that it has lots of benefits to your rabbit’s health.
It has calcium that prevents stone formation in the bladder. In addition, it has high antioxidants that protect the rabbits from different diseases.
Unlike spinach, bok choy is low in oxalates. Oxalates are natural compounds that can be found in plants. When taken in high amounts, these compounds may lead to kidney stones.
It may result in more fatal conditions like kidney failure. Besides its low oxalates, bok choy is also low in calories, which rabbits need in their diet.
This leafy vegetable is also a good source of vitamin A, C, and K. Vitamin A is also known as retinol. One of its benefits is that it keeps the rabbits’ eyes healthy.
Hence, it makes it easier to see even in poor light. Meanwhile, vitamin C strengthens their immune system and keeps them hydrated. To treat blood clotting issues, vitamin K is helpful.
Quercetin is also high in regular bok choy. It is a flavonoid that has anti-inflammatory effects. It helps reduce swelling and eliminate cancer cells.
Plus, it maintains blood sugar and prevents heart disease. Other minerals and vitamins that you can find in all bok choys are B vitamins and manganese. They also have sodium and potassium.
Rabbits love eating bok choy because it is crunchy and tasty. It also has a small amount of fats. Plus, it boosts rabbits’ digestive systems.
Adding Bok Choy to Your Bunny’s Diet
Because of sensitive digestive systems, be careful in adding new foods to your rabbit’s meal. In choosing bok choy, look for those with little or no sign of browning. Ensure that it has vibrant color and doesn’t have any wilted leaves.
First, wash it in cold running water to ensure that the bok choy doesn’t have farm chemicals. Cut a small piece of it and feed it to your rabbit. After your pet consumes it, wait for about 24 hours. Check the stool of your rabbit. If it becomes soft, stop feeding bok choy to it.
If your rabbit’s droppings are normal, add bok choy to its diet gradually for at least one week. Combine it with 4 to 5 other leafy veggies.
You can mix it with one type of high oxalic veggie like mustard greens, parsley, and radish tops. An adult rabbit can consume at least 2 cups of veggies a day. Give the bok choy only at least two times per week.
A bok choy, if refrigerated, can stay fresh for three to four days. You can also give other Asian greens to your rabbit, such as shanghai bok choy.
Things to Prevent when Giving Bok Choy to Your Rabbit
Vegetables should only be 10% of the bunny’s diet. They should be given in moderation. Rabbits’ diet must be composed mainly of hay to prevent hairballs in their intestines.
Same with other vegetables, feeding too much bok choy may harm your pet. As a warning, never give bok choy to baby rabbits.
The stem and core of regular bok choy are cruciferous. Since some rabbits have sensitive digestive systems, they may experience harmful effects.
If you notice that your rabbit has a sensitive stomach, you better remove the stem and the core. After that, feed the bok choy. If you have given it to your rabbit and it starts hunching, the stem or core must have passed gas into its stomach.
Feeding them only the bok choy’s leaves can be costly. The stem and core can be given as a special treat to rabbits by cutting them in tiny portions.
Don’t forget to put them in the refrigerator to stay fresh. Also, never give bok choy as a juice or a smoothie. It will reduce the nutrients your rabbit will get from the veggie. Giving the stem of baby bok choy to your rabbit is safer
Other Veggies you can include to your Rabbit’s Nourishment
Although bok choy is highly nutritious and fun to eat, not all rabbits like its taste. If you observe that your rabbit is not enjoying the veggie, you can choose from lots of vegetables. Here are some of them:
- Red leaf
- Green leaf
- Brussel sprouts
- Spring beans
- Turnip greens
- Dill leaves
You can also give fresh fruits to your rabbit as a special treat. However, you should only give them once or twice a week. Here are some of the fruits that rabbits can consume:
As a rabbit owner, you must know what food is beneficial to your rabbit’s health. Aside from the foods listed, there are other treats you can give to your pet.
Veggies that Rabbits Must Avoid
All vegetables are nutritious, but not all are good for your rabbit. Giving the wrong food to your rabbit can disturb the natural gut flora of your pet.
Also, it can grow bacteria that can produce toxins and gas. It can make the rabbit ill. Here is a list of veggies you must never give to your bunny:
- Raw potatoes
- Iceberg lettuce
- Kidney beans
- Broad beans
- Raw onions
Frequently Asked Questions
What other foods are fatal to rabbits?
Some other foods that rabbits must avoid are yogurt drops, bread, and pasta. Also, cereal, walnuts, and avocado are dangerous to rabbits’ health. If you include new treats to your rabbit, consult a veterinarian before feeding it to your pet.
How will I know if my rabbit suffers from gas because of bok choy?
You will know if your rabbit is suffering from gas if gurgling sounds come from its stomach. Also, you will notice that your rabbit prefers being alone.
It becomes lethargic, and its eyes are partially closed. Other symptoms are hunched posture, reduced appetite, and grinding teeth.
Why can’t I feed bok choy to my rabbit every day?
Since 95% of normal bok choy is water, regularly giving it to your rabbit may lead to diarrhea. Also, it cannot sustain the fibers that the rabbit needs.
Fibers keep the flow inside the bunny’s digestive system running smoothly. If the fiber is insufficient, your rabbit may suffer from gastro-intestinal statis.
Can I feed my rabbit with cooked bok choy?
Yes, you can feed your rabbit a cooked bok choy. But make sure that you don’t combine anything like spices, condiments, and other veggies.
Also, serving the bok choy raw is more nutritious. Your rabbit would also love a raw bok choy because of its crispiness and fresh taste.
Is it safe to give bok choy to baby rabbits?
Never give bok choy to baby rabbits. For six weeks, they must only depend on their mother’s milk. After being weaned from their mother, they will be introduced to hay and pellets.
Vegetables, like bok choy, are given to the rabbits once they have matured. Young rabbits have a delicate digestive system that you must be concerned about.
Can rabbits eat bok choy? Of course! It is full of minerals and vitamins that your bunny should never miss. But like with other vegetables, you must be careful in giving new food to your pet. Although bok choy is healthy and delicious, sadly, not all rabbits can consume it.