Can Rabbits Eat Swede? Can Baby Rabbits Eat Swede?


My neighbour’s baby clocked a year old last week and when she visited, I was tempted as well as excited to feed her some ice cream. To an extent, I was scared, because I didn’t know how she would react or if she would have taken the ice cream.

I was also scared the ice could harm her gums. She didn’t have many teeth. I retreated eventually and didn’t feed it to her. I guess we feel the same way when our bunnies grow a little cuter and mesmerize us each day. It’s normal to feel like trying new things.

Many times you wonder if you can feed the bunny something different from the usual hay and grass and water. Temptations will always come. It’s best to deal with it in the right way and with the right thing.

Rabbits don’t always have to eat only hay and food full of fibre and grass and all the other leafy greens. Rabbits are allowed to take fruits, vegetables, and other treats too. Shall we check out if swede is an edible treat for your rabbit or just another vegetable to kick out of the way?

Can Rabbits Eat Swedes?

Gladly, yes. Rabbits can eat swede as well as digest it without so much of a problem.

Swede is a root vegetable you can feed your rabbit as a treat or dynamism to its regular diet. Something to spice up the rabbit’s eating habit and also keep it away from harm. You don’t have to think twice before you slice that swede and take it to your rabbit.

Rabbits require a lot of fibre because of their digestive system. It is established that rabbits have very sensitive digestive systems and one has to be careful with whatever the rabbit is fed. You can give your rabbits swedes but you have to be careful. Be very careful that you don’t feed them too much.

What are Swedes?

For fun and fact check, swede is also known as rutabaga in certain places. It has a few other names depending on your location. It is a root vegetable that was cultivated in the 17th century by the cross-linking of turnips and cabbage.

It came out to be a root vegetable with features between the two. Swedes have a sweet flavour, lovely texture, and taste somewhat bitter (this depends on the genes of the human tasting it). It is more bitter to some humans than others.

A swede is half purple and half cream in color. It can be eaten fresh or cooked. There are different techniques in which it can be cooked. For humans, the leaves, as well as the roots, are edible. The skins can be eaten as long as they are fresh. But can we say the same for rabbits?

What Are The Nutritional Content of Swedes?

Before we proceed, let’s check out the nutrients in swedes. The root vegetables are quite nutritious. They consist mostly of carbohydrates and sugar. In about 100grams of swede, there is a total carbohydrate of 9g, 4.5g of dietary fibre, 2.3g of sugar, and 1.1g of protein. It has no cholesterol but contains 12 mg of Sodium and 305 mg of potassium.

You can also find vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, and calcium in it. Now, let’s find out if our bunnies can eat them or not.

Can Rabbits Eat Lots of Swedes?

As much as you can safely feed your rabbits swedes, it is not advisable to replace their food with swedes. Swedes contain a lot of carbohydrates and sugar which your rabbit should not take in a large quantity. High ingestion of carbohydrates and sugar can cause bloating and dangerously make your rabbits obese. 

Also, too many swedes can cause a long-term health problem known as gastrointestinal stasis. This is the problem in which the digestive system of the rabbit is affected and it becomes difficult to digest food. Swedes may contain needed nutrients such as vitamins B and C but rabbits won’t be able to eat enough to withdraw these vitamins from the vegetable.

Fun fact, rabbits can produce as much vitamin C as they need. Why use that as an excuse for too many swedes? It is best to stick to foods that are low in sugar and high in fibre to get the nutrients from these reliable sources. Let the hay and grass be the main food, swipe in some swede occasionally. 

More so, carbohydrates will allow the rabbit’s teeth to be overgrown rather than hay which keeps the rabbit’s teeth at a mild level. Too many swedes will never be proper for your rabbit.

Can Rabbits Eat Swede Skin?

Humans are free to eat swede skin when the swede is fresh. It is the same for rabbits. Due to the sensitivity of the rabbit’s digestive system, whenever you need to serve fruits or vegetables, it is essential to serve them fresh. Hence when the swedes are fresh, yes, rabbits can eat swede skin.

Interestingly, rabbits can eat every part of swedes. From the root to the leaves, to the skin and the vegetables. It is not harmful to rabbits and they can eat it well. But not every rabbit eats them.

That’s no problem though, swedes are only meant to be treats and not the main diet. Whether your rabbits eat them or not does not cause any problems. You shouldn’t fret when they don’t accept it. You shouldn’t cower when they eat it either. Just watch.

Can Baby Rabbits Eat Swede?

Have you heard that when you need to introduce something new to your rabbit, it has to be in bits? You haven’t? Good, because now you know. As much as it is good for you to feed your rabbits something different once in a while, you shouldn’t rush it into them as well. 

Remember the story of the one-year-old I told earlier, I couldn’t rush ice cream down her throat because it would have been wrong and it could have caused her harm.

Although baby rabbits can’t eat swedes because their system isn’t well developed, as they grow big enough to finally take them, it is essential to introduce it slowly.

Baby rabbits shouldn’t be fed swedes because they still need the regular hay and grass for growth. For swede roots and peels, give them only a little about a teaspoon once in a while.

Can Rabbits Eat Raw Swede?

Fresh foods are the best for rabbits, not cooked or processed foods. It all comes down to their digestive system. When buying or pulling swedes for rabbits’ consumption, it is essential to check that the source is free from insecticides, pesticides, and herbicides.

It can cause harm when the rabbits ingest swede that comes from a source with this much content especially since they have to consume it while it is fresh.

Raw swedes are perfectly fine and the right choice when you need to feed your rabbits. However, it has to be from the right source and in the right amount. The conflict now is, what is the right amount to feed your rabbits.

How Can I Feed My Rabbits Swede?

Don’t forget that baby rabbits shouldn’t take swedes, not until they are much bigger. However for the rabbit that is big enough to take swedes, here are a few things to take note of to ensure your rabbits eat safely and harm-free.

  • A rabbit that weighs about 2kg or 6lbs can successfully ingest and digest one tablespoon of swede. This rabbit can also eat the roots and leafy greens as well.
  • As long as your rabbit is in good health and has no stomach problems, you are permitted to feed the rabbit swedes once or twice a week. 
  • Swedes can be fed with the use of your hands to your pet. An avenue to draw closer and establish an intimate relationship with your rabbit.

Note that whenever you serve your rabbit swede for the first time, you need to monitor it closely and make sure that there are no side effects. If your rabbits find it difficult to digest the swedes or it causes bloating, then it is best to stop and make sure to visit your vet too.

Swedes are only meant to be compliments and are not mandatory. You don’t have to force them.


Trick or treat? Treats for your rabbits, please. Don’t just load them with hay and grass. Try something different but not in a toxic manner. Fruits and vegetables are advisable as you have seen but don’t rush into them. Don’t try to use them to replace their food either.

Rabbits deserve the utmost care and should be fed with the right things in the right amount. Don’t give them what will affect their digestive system or growth.

Swedes make an awesome treat for your rabbits. Not the babies though. Keep that in mind as you dice that root vegetable and feed your pet. Because now you know it is safe for them to eat. 

Written by Justin Michaels

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