If your rabbit keeps nosing around the orange while you are enjoying it, you may wonder can rabbits have oranges? You may start thinking, is it safe to feed oranges to rabbits? The answer is yes. Your rabbit can eat oranges along with other fruits and vegetables, but oranges should not be given as a significant part of the diet. Most of the diet of rabbits should consist of fresh hay and plenty of water.
Can Rabbits have Oranges?
Rabbits are herbivores, and they enjoy eating fruits and vegetables. Among the fruits, oranges have an excellent reputation because of their nutritional value, delicious taste, exciting aroma, and plenty of vitamin C. these qualities increase the selling points of oranges, and therefore, you see a lot of oranges around. If you want your rabbit to taste this delicious fruit, you should know all the pros and cons of feeding oranges to your rabbit. Let us discuss oranges in detail.
Oranges should be Fed as an Occasional Treat.
The rabbit’s digestive system is adapted to digest fruits, vegetables, and plants. The major diet of rabbits consists of fresh hay, while fruits and vegetables supplement the quality of diet. Hay is fed to rabbits on a regular basis, while fruits such as oranges should be fed as an occasional treat. Orange is high in sugar, and rabbits are not adapted to digest a lot of sugar because it causes stomach upset.
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Just like oranges, other fruits are also high in sugar. Therefore, you should save sweet fruits as an occasional treat. Only in this way will your rabbit’s weight and digestive system stay healthy, and you will stay happy. Can Rabbits have Oranges?
Typical Diet for Rabbits
The typical regular diet of rabbits consists of high fiber and low protein plant sources. Hay and grasses make the typical rabbit diet. The only thing rabbits need other than hay or grasses is plenty of water. Other than hay or grasses, fruits and vegetables can supplement the diet by providing extra nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
Your bunnies can have fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet as long as they don’t upset the stomach. Fruits and vegetables such as oranges add variety to your rabbit’s diet. You can feed a commercial pellet diet to your rabbit. A commercial pellet diet should be high in quality and contain at least 18% fiber. You should not stock a commercial pellet diet for more than six weeks.
Why Do Rabbits Like Oranges?
Rabbits are cute little pets; they tend to eat in an opportunistic way. Whatever you put in front of them, they will tend to sniff and eat it. Most rabbits love to eat sweets. According to FDA, oranges are full of sugars. On an estimate, a full orange contains 14g of sugars. High sugar makes the orange a delicious treat for rabbits.
It makes one thing clear that rabbits love to eat oranges, and they are full of sugar and other nutrients. At the same time, it alerts us to the consequences of feeding high sugar to rabbits who are not adapted to digest it. Therefore, no matter how much your rabbit likes to eat an orange, you are suggested to feed oranges only in moderate quantities as an occasional treat. Oranges cannot be the regular snack for your rabbit.
Can Rabbits Eat Orange Peels?
It is now clear that rabbits can eat oranges and enjoy them as an occasional treat. But what about the orange peels. Can rabbits eat orange peels? Or should your rabbit stick to just fruits?
The fact is that your rabbit can eat orange peels, and there is no harm in feeding orange peels except for the risk of pesticides. If you ensure organic farming of oranges, you can feed orange peels to your bunnies. However, if you are purchasing oranges from the regular market, there is a health risk of feeding pesticides that are toxic to your rabbit.
The opinion here is not to take the risk by offering orange peels to your bunnies. Your bunny can take all the advantages of taste and nutrition from the fruit part. It is better to avoid orange peels for the sake of your bunny’s health.
Can Rabbits Eat Dried Oranges?
Before the verdict, let us see what is dried oranges actually. Dried oranges are basically the oranges but without water. They have their water removed by the drying process, and they often shrink in this process. The fruit becomes smaller and may seem a better option; however, a dried orange does not offer more than a regular orange. It contains the same amount of nutrients but in a small size.
Therefore, it offers no good to rabbits. The process of drying makes sure the removal of water concentrates the same number of calories and sugar in a small package. Additionally, many companies add sweeteners to improve the taste and preservatives to improve the shelf life. It makes it more dangerous for your bunny’s health.
Concludingly, you should opt for dried oranges for your bunnies. You should always prefer fresh oranges to ensure your bunnies’ health.
Nutrition Facts for Oranges
Primarily, oranges fall in the category of sweet and sugary food. When we checked at Nutritionvalues.org, we found that the major portions of nutrition were carbohydrates 91%, proteins 7%, and fats 2%. Besides this, oranges are rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber. Both these nutrients are essential for your rabbit to eat. The high sugar and high calorie make it not suitable for the regular diet of rabbits, but it makes oranges one of the sweetest fruits that you can offer to your rabbit.
Health Benefits and Dangers of Oranges for Rabbits
You should know that oranges need more vitamin C than oranges can offer. Vitamin C is an important vitamin for the health and normal metabolism of the body. Oranges are a rich source of vitamin C. If your bunny is eating oranges, you should make sure that he is not getting vitamin C from other sources as well. The excess of vitamin C can lead to kidney damage. Oranges don’t have enough vitamin C to cause this damage, but vitamin C from other sources as well can do the job.
Oranges are rich in sugar and vitamin C, but they are deficient in other nutrients. It makes oranges not the best choice of treatment. Unless your bunnies are fond of oranges, you should shift to other nutritious sources such as blueberries. Oranges don’t have plenty of other vitamins and minerals; therefore, it is better to choose blueberries or other fruits and vegetables that contain plenty of nutrients.
How to Feed Oranges to Your Rabbits
The way you feed oranges to your rabbit is important as it is directly linked to the health of your bunnies. The first and foremost important thing is to peel any orange you are going to feed your rabbit. You should remove the white pith as much as possible. Both pith and peel are not nutritious enough to feed your rabbit. Therefore, it is of no value to feed pith and peel.
Your rabbit is not capable of eating the full orange in one bite. You should make segments to let your bunny eat as much easily as he can.
Always be sure to peel any orange that you’re going to feed to your rabbit and remove as much of the white pith as possible. Both the peel and pith are bitter and have very low nutritional value. After this, breaking the orange into segments will make it easier to moderate how much your rabbit eats at any one time.
How many oranges Should I Feed My Rabbit?
Up till now, we have made our argument clear that oranges are the most sugar-containing treat that you can offer to your rabbit. Another argument we have made is that rabbits don’t have the relative digestive system to digest this much sugar. As most of the diet of rabbits is fiber, it is not good to stuff your rabbit with oranges. Oranges are not nutritious as they are deficient in many other vitamins and minerals.
If you and your bunny prefer eating oranges, an occasional treat is the best way to offer it. You should observe strict moderation while offering oranges to your rabbit. The moderate amount of orange to feed your rabbit is not more than the size of their paw once a week. If you increase the number of oranges, the health risk increases along.
Types of Oranges to Feed Your Rabbit
Oranges are available throughout the world in much-varied quantities. If you visit a grocery store, you will find half a dozen varieties of oranges. We don’t focus on the variety of oranges because there is no obvious difference in nutrients among them. All the varieties of oranges offer high sugar and vitamin C; therefore, whatever type of orange you feed your rabbit brings the same results.
Final thoughts – Can Rabbits have Oranges?
Oranges are very sweet and delicious. Rabbits tend to eat oranges with pleasure. Your bunnies can enjoy eating oranges once a week as they are rich in sugar and deficient in vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C and sugars are the main nutritional component of oranges that can be beneficial for your rabbit if you feed oranges in moderation.