Mushrooms are a type of fungus that can be found all over the world. While they are not typically eaten by humans, they are a popular food choice for rabbits. In this article, we will answer some of the most common questions about mushrooms and rabbits. We will also provide tips on how to feed mushrooms to your pet rabbits, and list some substitutes if you cannot find mushrooms locally.
What are mushrooms?
Mushrooms are a food family of fungi that can be eaten by humans and animals. While they may appear to grow “naturally” in the wild, most mushrooms sold for food have been farmed or cultivated in a laboratory setting. In many countries, such as Switzerland, France, and Thailand, it is illegal to sell wild-harvested mushrooms. That is because it can be very difficult to determine whether a mushroom is safe, toxic, or even hallucinogenic! Once you cut into them, you can see that mushrooms are made up of several layers. The outermost layer is called the peridium. If the peridium peels away on its own, the mushroom is considered to be edible, but if it needs to be peeled away, you should never eat that mushroom.
How often should I give my rabbits mushrooms?
Although your pet rabbit will only need to eat one or two types of safe mushroom each day, it is best not to feed him any more than that – even if he asks for more! You can also decrease the amount you feed your pet by half every other week so that his stomach can adjust and get used to less fungus food.
How many mushrooms do rabbits eat a day?
A pet rabbit will only need to eat one or two types of safe mushrooms every day. This is the equivalent of about the size of a dime, or a quarter.
Is fresh or dried edible mushrooms good for rabbits?
Both fresh and dried edible mushrooms are OK for rabbits to eat in small quantities. Again, not all mushroom types are safe for rabbits because some contain toxins that can cause illness and sometimes even death in a rabbit.
What mushrooms are safe for rabbits?
When giving your rabbit any sort of mushroom, make sure that it is intended for human consumption. For instance, shiitake, maitake, and oyster mushrooms are safe for rabbits to eat in small quantities.
What is your experience feeding mushrooms to rabbits?
I fed my pet rabbits store-bought, picked in the wild mushrooms. They were OK with them for a bit but then their appetite decreased and they wouldn’t touch them anymore. After I learned that not all types of mushroom are actually healthy for rabbits, I stopped giving my rabbits fungus foods.
Are mushrooms bad for rabbits?
There are a select types of mushrooms that are poisonous to rabbits. You should always avoid feeding your pet any wild mushrooms because they may be toxic, or even hallucinogenic! Make sure to never give your rabbit store-bought or picked-in-the-wild mushrooms in order to avoid feeding him a poisonous mushroom. Always opt for a safe mushroom that is intended for human consumption if you want to feed your rabbit a fungus food.
Is it safe to feed mushrooms to your pet rabbits?
While pet rabbits can eat a very small amount of certain types of mushrooms each day, not all types of them are actually nutritional and healthy for your rabbit. The best way to protect your pet is to feed him or her only mushrooms that you know are safe. Do not give your rabbit wild-harvested, store-bought, picked-in-the-wild, or grown in your garden mushrooms.
Where can I get mushrooms for my rabbits?
You should never give your pet wild-harvested or store-bought mushrooms because they may be toxic to rabbits. Instead, opt for giving your pets rabbit-safe mushrooms such as shiitake, maitake, and oyster mushrooms.
What to do if your pet rabbits are sick from eating mushrooms?
If you suspect that your pet rabbit has eaten poisonous mushrooms, take him or her to a veterinarian immediately. Some of the initial signs of mushroom poisoning include lethargy, weakness, and lack of appetite. These symptoms may progress into muscle twitching, tremors, and nausea. Some types of certain poisonous mushrooms can also cause kidney or liver failure in a rabbit, which can be fatal.
Do rabbits like mushrooms?
Although your pet rabbit may visit the garden and free range areas around your house, there is no need for him or her to eat fungus at all. Feeding a rabbit mushrooms will not improve his health and might even harm it.
Can pet rabbits eat mushrooms?
Most pet rabbits can eat a very small amount of certain types of mushrooms each day. However, it is important that you do not feed your rabbit wild mushrooms! For instance, a red capped mushroom from the Amanita family is very toxic to rabbits, so this type of mushroom should never be fed to rabbits.
Food family of mushrooms.
Even within the edible food family of mushrooms, there are some varieties that rabbits should definitely avoid. For instance, while some mushrooms are safe for human consumption, they can be fatal to rabbits. The best way to protect your pet is to feed her only mushrooms that you know are safe. Do not give your rabbit wild-harvested, store-bought, picked-in-the-wild, or grown in your garden mushrooms.
6 good substitutes for mushrooms.
There are many other foods that you can feed your pet rabbits instead of mushrooms, including:
Apples (remove the seeds and core)
Grapes (remove stems)
Parsnips (cooked or raw)
Peas (fresh or dried)
Sunflower seeds (unsalted)
4 steps to prepare mushrooms for rabbits.
If you decide to feed a safe mushroom to a pet rabbit, follow these steps:
- Wash the mushroom thoroughly.
- Slice or chop the mushroom into small pieces.
- Steam the sliced mushrooms for at least 20 minutes before giving them to your pet rabbit. This will kill any bacteria that may be on the fungi.
- Include some healthy greens with your rabbit’s sliced mushrooms in order to increase his nutrient intake and provide a good balance of vitamins and minerals.
4 health benefits of mushrooms for rabbits.
- Mushrooms are rich in protein and low in fat, so they provide your pet rabbit with an energy boost.
- Safe mushrooms for rabbits contain 19 essential amino acids that contribute to muscle development and tissue repair.
- Mushrooms offer your pet rabbit cardiovascular benefits because they help balance blood sugar levels.
- The potassium in safe mushrooms for rabbits can help reduce or prevent high blood pressure and keep your rabbit’s nervous system healthy.
6 Possible concerns when feeding mushrooms to rabbits.
- Feeding your pet rabbit wild-harvested, store-bought, picked-in-the-wild mushrooms may result in him eating a poisonous mushroom.
- Store-bought or wild store-bought mushrooms should never be given to your pet rabbit because they may contain toxins that cause illness and even death in a rabbit.
- Mushrooms can contain salt and other additives so it is best to give your pet rabbit fresh, organic mushrooms.
- A mushroom’s texture is unique for each type, some of which may not be appropriate or safe to eat by a bunny.
- Some types of mushrooms are simply too big to be given to a pet rabbit.
- Including wild-harvested mushrooms in your pet rabbit’s diet may change his gut microbiome and lead to diarrhea.
7 signs of illness from feeding mushrooms to rabbits:
- Vomiting (sometimes with blood)
- Loss of appetite (anorexia)
- Foul breath
- Weight loss
- Bad gas
- Increased thirst (polydipsia) or urination (polyuria)
6 Tips before giving mushrooms to rabbits:
- Never feed wild-harvested, store-bought, or picked-in-the-wild mushrooms to your pet rabbit.
- Wash the outside of the mushroom thoroughly before giving it to your pet rabbit.
- Slice or chop mushrooms into small pieces so that they are easier for your bunny to chew and digest. This will also allow you to monitor how much he is eating because some types of mushrooms may be too big for him to eat.
- Steam the sliced mushrooms for at least 20 minutes before serving them so that they are safe and free of any soil bacteria or other contaminants.
- Include healthy greens with your pet rabbit’s sliced mushrooms in order to increase his nutrient intake and provide a good balance of vitamins and minerals.
- Never eat a wild mushroom unless you have positively identified it as a non-toxic species first. To learn more about possible toxic mushrooms, see this list .
Lest We Forget
So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about mushrooms for rabbits. Do you have any questions or comments? Leave them below and we’ll be happy to help. And don’t forget to share this article with your fellow bunny lovers!