So can rabbits eat chicken pellets? The answer might surprise you: Nope! Chicken pellets are bad for rabbits.
Besides, manufacturers created chicken pellets for chickens, not rabbits.
Chickens require a high protein and calcium intake, whereas rabbits do not need too much calcium.
So if you are psyched up and willing to learn more about all the nitty gritty ins and outs, KEEP SCROLLING…
- Chicken pellets consist mainly of various protein extracts
- Chicken pellets aren’t suitable for your bunny to eat. So don’t feed it to them!
- Stick with hay, grass, and vegetables should you wish to be creative.
Can Rabbits Eat Chicken Pellets?
So, can rabbits eat chicken pellets? Some things don’t go that well together: skiing in shorts and a t-shirt ― So does giving the wrong feed to your bunnies.
Just don’t do it. Doing so could lead to developing health issues, which may be deadly.
Remember that rabbits aren’t chickens: Rabbits are herbivores and require a diet based on grass and hay. Sprinkling some fresh vegetables into the mix is also fine.
Chickens, on the other hand, are omnivores, able to munch on a variety of plant and animal origin, the key ingredients in chicken feeds (and can be pellets too).
So, to meet the chickens’ dietary requirements, you will feed them chicken feeds (hence the name). But will this work for rabbits?
No, because plant and animal matter are the main ingredients in these feeds, unlike herbivore-friendly rabbit pellets packed with grass and hay extracts.
So when you decide to feed your bunny chicken feeds, it can only lead to complications:
They will burn too many calories, leading to problems such as tiredness and lethargy (not good!), and they can even die.
So be careful, and don’t forget to check out these good treats for rabbits to feed them healthy food.
What Is Chicken Feed Made From?
If you twirl your hair thinking by yourself, “what the heck is in chicken feeds,” I’ll tell you a secret:
There are many different types of chicken feed, and their quality varies from one to another .
Some are more organic with natural ingredients, while others are packed with supplements and extracts to increase their nutritional value.
If you don’t believe me, look at the back of any pack of this stuff. You might be surprised at the many lines of ingredients listed.
To make it easier, I’ll simplify this monster of a list:
- Cereal grains – These are the usual ingredients in most chicken feed, consisting mainly of corn or wheat.
- Animal protein – This is often a meal made from the bone and meat of animals such as cows and goats.
- Vegetable protein – Soya beans are usually the vegetables used due to their high protein content.
- Nutritional supplements – Manufacturers add these supplements to the chicken feed to meet the chicken’s diet requirements.
Sadly, no matter how good the chicken feed is, it’s NOT rabbit food. So, look for anything on this list, as it might pose a caveat.
CHECK: Can Rabbits Eat Banana Peels?
Will Eating Chicken Pellets Hurt The Rabbits?
The simple answer is yes! Still, they may not experience any problems immediately, but if you keep giving your bunny chicken pellets, you will harm them in the long run.
Below are some of the health problems your pet rabbit may have by eating chicken feed:
Your bunny ― wild or domesticated ― has a digestive system that evolved to digest a diet high in fiber and low in calories .
Chicken feeds produce high-calorie and low-fiber meals, opposite to what your bunny wants: high-fiber, low-calorie meals.
The high calories found in chicken feeds will result in heaps of fat and will quickly have your bunny put on weight (not good!).
The high calories and other ingredients in chicken feeds will eventually contribute to your bunny’s weight gain and obesity, hampering their quality of life.
Obesity in rabbits causes numerous health issues, such as joint pain, movement, and breathing issues. So do the right thing: steer clear!
2. Gastrointestinal Problems
If you think going for a morning jog is essential, guess what?
Your bunny also needs to exercise. Indeed not, it risks developing gastrointestinal issues ― which their wild counterparts are lucky not to have.
With an improper diet and exercise routine, your pet rabbit can soon become an overweight rabbit, amplifying this effect because their cages are somewhat limited.
What’s more, their scraps and morsel diets don’t pack a natural diet, so your bunny often develops nutritional deficiencies.
With such horrible eating habits, most domestic rabbits lack fiber intake, leading to bowel issues like constipation.
Over time, this will eventually lead to impaction and stasis .
Impaction is where food matters are blocked in the gut and prevented from moving. Stasis, on the other hand, is where matters tend to move very slowly through the gut.
If left untreated, both conditions could kill your bunny.
So act fast before this happens!
Excessive calcium in the body causes stones. Chickens need as much calcium as they can get, especially during egg-laying.
The eggshells consist mainly of calcium, which they need plenty of to form correctly. Moreover, they will need calcium to keep their bodies healthy during egg production.
Because of the large amount of calcium in chicken feeds, your bunny will struggle with digesting it as it’s just too much.
Thankfully, your bunny, a natural calcium producer, doesn’t need the extra calcium.
So, when a rabbit feeds on chicken feed, its body will have excessive calcium.
The body will not absorb the calcium supplement ― instead, it will eliminate it through urine.
The result is a gritty consistency in a thick sludge form. If the rabbit continues eating chicken pellets, overtimes, the stones will begin to form.
You may consider reading our rabbit food buying guide if you are concerned about choosing food for your bunnies.
Will Rabbits Eat Chicken Feed?
Rabbits are opportunists and will munch on almost anything given to them. Chicken pellets are NOT safe for rabbits to ingest.
So refrain from feeding these feeds to them.
What Pellets Can I Feed My Rabbit?
Timothy pellets for grown-ups and Alfalfa for babies.
As an estimation, feed them 1/8-1/4 cup per 5 lbs of their body weight.
So can rabbits eat chicken pellets?
Nope! Don’t give chicken food, feed, or its pellet forms to your bunnies. It will make them sick. Not even a bit of chicken feed.
These foods contain too much calcium and protein and are considered harmful foods for your bunny.
Not only do they put on body weight, but incorrect dietary habits will eventually lead to serious health complications, and can even kill them, so beware!
Watch their calcium levels and ensure their meals ― depending on their age ― are adequate.
Calcium may devastate your bunny’s health, so caution this gremlin. The other cave creature to watch out for is protein.
Feed your bunny a balanced diet, mainly hay and grass, their staple foods.
If you want, chuck in a couple of veggies!
So, tell me whether you have ever tried feeding chicken pellets to your rabbits!
- 1. What Chickens Eat | Chicken Farmers of Canada [Internet]. www.chickenfarmers.ca. 2017. Available from: https://www.chickenfarmers.ca/what-chickens-eat/#:~:text=The%20main%20ingredient%20of%20all
- 2. Hamlin J. The importance of fibre in rabbit health [Internet]. The Veterinary Nurse. 2012 [cited 2022 Dec 7]. Available from: https://www.theveterinarynurse.com/review/article/the-importance-of-fibre-in-rabbit-health#:~:text=Insufficient%20fibre%20levels%20can%20cause
- 3. Intestinal obstructions in rabbits – Bishops Stortford Vets [Internet]. [cited 2022 Dec 7]. Available from: https://www.stortvet.com/intestinal-obstructions-in-rabbits/
Andreea is a very passionate content creator and her purpose is to provide you with the most interesting articles, while constantly discovering new facts. She’s been freelance writing for the past five years and has created numerous articles and educational materials while managing her own mom blog.
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