Potatoes are probably one of the most popular food in the world. They come in a hundred different shapes and flavors – whether as chips, fries, or puree. Almost everyone eats potatoes almost every day. But can rabbits eat potatoes and the skin without any problems? Are rabbits even allowed to eat potatoes or are they poisonous?
Today’s article will discuss whether it is possible to feed rabbits raw potatoes, or if they should be boiled. We are also going to talk about the leaves and potato skins.
Can Rabbits Eat Potatoes?
Rabbits are called omnivores, so their diet must be monitored very carefully. The body of rabbits is not able to digest everything. In addition, certain rules must be followed. The potato is one of the most affordable crops and is always on store shelves in abundance.
So, let’s see if it is possible to give raw potatoes to rabbits and how to do it correctly.
This root is a juicy food that rabbits eat with pleasure. The body of the animal, in general, copes with the digestion and absorption of this food. As part of this there are many useful properties:
- vitamins C and B;
- trace elements: magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, silicon;
- ascorbic acid;
The last component is quite controversial. On the one hand, it contributes to rapid weight gain, which is good for fattening. But on the other hand, eating too many raw potatoes leads to obesity. Especially if the rabbit is inactive.
Therefore, due to the starch, potatoes should be given to rabbits in small portions.
However, boiled potatoes are useful for lactation and pregnant females. It contributes to the formation and the lactation process and also improves the quality of the milk. It is best not to feed this rabbit raw potatoes during this period, otherwise, the milk will be thick and block the milk ducts.
There are absolutely no proteins and inorganic salts in potatoes. It is generally served alongside products that contain these missing elements (clover, alfalfa, meat and bone, and fish meal).
Learn about the benefits and harm of other vegetables in the following articles:
- Can Rabbits Eat Apples?
- Can Rabbits Eat Cucumbers?
- Can Rabbits Eat Pumpkin?
- Can Rabbits Eat Corn?
- Can Rabbits Eat Bananas?
Feeding Raw Potatoes to Rabbits
Before you feed the rabbit raw potatoes, first of all, you need to separate them out. That means, remove the rotten potatoes and the green ones. They contain solanine, which is a poisonous substance that causes poisoning.
Selected good potatoes should be washed and sliced. Raw potatoes can be introduced into a bunny’s diet as early as four months. Potato slices are added to the usual food. If the rabbit refuses to eat them, you can try again in 2-3 weeks.
In winter, rabbits eat raw potatoes more easily than in summer, as there is a shortage of succulent forage. Also, this vegetable is preferable if the diet is poor or the drinker is out of water.
If an intestinal disorder arises from raw potato, then this juicy vegetable is best replaced by another. But, when a rabbit eats potatoes well, then no more than 10% of the daily portion of food should be added to the diet.
Feeding Boiled Potatoes to Rabbits
And now about whether it is possible to give rabbit boiled potatoes. After heat treatment, the vegetable is absorbed much better. In this case, if the rabbit does not eat raw potatoes, then most likely they will give preference to boiled ones. But before cooking you need to clean the tubers, removing the sprouts.
Boiled potatoes are also saturated with vitamins and micronutrients but to a lesser extent. Of course, there is starch, but in this form, it is much better absorbed. In a diet for rabbits, this product can take 40 to 60% of all food. This is around 200 grams of potatoes per day for meat-fed individuals.
Boiled potatoes, which are mashed, can be fed to pregnant and lactating rabbits. Young animals gladly eat these foods, which are only used to adult food.
If you feed the rabbits potatoes and at the same time do not give them enough exercise, then they quickly get fat. In this case, the rate should not exceed 50-70 g per day. When the animal is in constant motion, you can increase the portion to 100 g. Most often, potatoes are mashed and mixed with other rabbit food.
Can Rabbits Eat Potato Skins?
It is not recommended to feed potato skins to rabbits, but they can be dried and fed in very small doses.
Potato skins are suitable food for many pets. It can be given to rabbits only if the tuber has been washed well and if the skin is not cut from a green potato. Also, they must not have mold. Frozen potatoes won’t work either.
Potato skin is usually given in boiled form. It can be crushed and added to other foods. Rabbits can reject such food. Sometimes dry food is added to cooked peels.
Another option for potato skin is to dry them and grind them into flour. Before this, you should also select good, not moldy peels. The composition of vitamins, they are comparable to ordinary potatoes. The flour should be stored in a cool, not humid place, and before serving the rabbits steamed with boiling water and cooled.