They love cruciferous vegetables, but can rabbits eat green beans?
Like all pets, bunnies will eat and chew anything if left to their own devices. There is always a danger that they will ingest something that they’re not supposed to. Rabbits specifically are susceptible to digestive and gut problems because their digestive tracts are so sensitive.
Their health is thus related to their stomach health thus it is important that they only digest the best hay and veggies you can provide them.
Rabbits are herbivores thus, they can only eat plant-based food. This then includes fiber-rich produce such as hay, leafy greens, and certain fruits and nuts. However, there is still the question of whether green beans are healthy for rabbits to eat. Green beans are derived from plants, so they should be okay for rabbits right? And so people ask.
In this article, I will be talking all about green beans as a part of a rabbit’s diet. If you’re curious to know more about this topic then read on further.
Are There Different Types of Green Beans?
Green beans are legumes that come in long, green pods. They have leaves that are green or purple in color. Each pod also contains 4 to 6 beans. These beans are usually cooked first before they are ingested by humans as they contain Lectin which can be harmful to humans when ingested in large amounts.
However, lectins are not harmful to lagamorphs like rabbits so it is safe for them to ingest raw. There are also different types of green beans available in the market. These beans are all safe for rabbit ingestion in moderate amounts.
- String Beans
- Haricots Verts
- Long Beans
- Flat Beans
- Wax beans
Can Rabbits Eat Green Beans?
Yes, rabbits can absolutely eat green beans. However, it is not advisable that you replace your rabbit’s diet with only green beans. Raw hay should still make up 80% of your rabbit’s diet. Also, you’ve probably heard that green beans can cause gas when ingested in large amounts by humans. The same is true with rabbits that is why while rabbits can eat green beans, you should only give this as an occasional treat.
The reason why beans cause gas and in some pretty common cases, indigestion is because of the way beans interact with the bacteria in the gut when it is being digested. The bacteria inside the digestive tract of bunnies ferment the move that passes through it.
Beans react easily to these fermenting bacteria thus, this could cause problems such as gas, indigestion, or worst, diarrhea. Diarrhea can easily be fatal to rabbits so you would want to avoid any situation wherein they might suffer from it.
When people think of rabbits and herbivores they automatically think of “vegetables” and while that is largely true, natural rabbit diets are made up of high fiber hay and not vegetables.
Rabbits need to eat a lot of hay for a day, sometimes they eat their weight in hay for a day. Rabbits should never eat vegetables only. Instead, pet owners should follow the recommended proportions for a nutritious rabbit diet:
- 80% of a rabbit’s diet should be made of hay
- 10% should be leafy vegetables
- 10% can be pellets, certain nuts, or certain fruits
It is better to consider beans as treats rather than regular staples for your rabbit’s diet. Green beans are low-calorie treats and rabbits will very much enjoy their crunchy texture.
Are There Health Benefits to Eating Green Beans?
There are health benefits that your rabbits can gain from eating green beans. One of the best things about it is that is a low-calorie treat and will thus not contain any sugar. Thus, green beans are healthier than bananas, another high-value nutritious food for rabbits.
Bananas are like sweets to rabbits and while they can also be nutritious to them, bananas contain large amounts of sugar that can cause rabbit weight gain. You won’t have this problem with green beans.
Green beans are also high in fiber thus moderate quantities of it can help in the good function of a bunny’s digestive tract. It also has moderate amounts of vitamin C that can aid in your rabbit’s muscle maintenance thus keeping them from contracting or developing scurvy-like diseases. Aside from healthy muscles, Vitamin C also helps rabbits maintain a good blood system.
Vitamin A is also present in green beans. Vitamin E is a healthy antioxidant for the body. Finally, green beans contain Vitamin K which aids in the development of healthy bones. Other nutrients that can be found in green beans are the following:
How Often Should I Feed my Rabbit Green Beans?
Feed your rabbit green beans occasionally. Since green beans can cause gas and indigestion it is not recommended for rabbits to always have green beans as part of their diet. Also, it is important to know that green beans while healthy for rabbits should be introduced slowly and singly. Do not introduce green beans with other fruits and nuts. This will make it hard for you to identify what food intolerances your bunny have. Besides, introducing too many foods at the same time will increase the chances of indigestion.
However, the leaves of green beans are safe to be eaten as part of your rabbit’s daily salad mix of leafy greens.
How Should I Introduce my Rabbits to Green Beans?
If you plan to check if your rabbits are safe to eat green beans, you can follow the following tried and tested ways below:
- Introduce green beans slowly: maybe add one green bean to your rabbit’s meal. It is better to have your rabbit check and sniff the green bean first. If the rabbit eats it then it’s more likely they like it but if they spit it out or if they ignore it then, it is best to just leave it. Do not force-feed your rabbits.
- Do not introduce green beans with other foods: if you’re going to introduce new food to your rabbits, make sure that you are introducing them slowly, in low quantities, and singly. Do not mix and match or combine new food groups. Your rabbit’s digestive tract needs to adjust to the new food before you can introduce another.
- Monitor your rabbit for 24 hours: it is important for you to monitor your rabbit for 24 hours after you have introduced a new food to them. Check if your rabbit exhibits lethargic behavior. Also, check if there are changes to their stool after feeding them new food. Misshapen stool, absence of stool, or diarrhea is a cause of concern and should merit a vet visit.
- Increase the number of green beans but control the frequency: if your rabbit can digest green beans then you can increase the amount of intake but you still have to control the portions and the frequency. Hay should still make the bulk of your rabbit’s diet. Also do not ever feed rotting, frozen, or processed beans to your rabbit. Rabbit diets should always be fresh. Also, make sure to wash vegetables that rabbits will be eating as there can be traces of pesticide in farm-grown beans that can harm your rabbit.
Rabbits generally like green beans but this is not a recommended substitution for hay. Green beans are healthy treats and should be given in moderation to keep your rabbits healthy and happy.