Many people are interested in the idea of feeding insects to rabbits, but there is a lot of conflicting information about whether or not this is safe for your pet. This article will help you understand what you need to know when it comes time to feed your rabbits some bugs!
Food family of insects
Insects are members of the arthropod family. Some other members of this food family include:
1. Crustaceans (lobsters, crabs, shrimp)
2. Myriapods (centipedes and millipedes)
3. Arachnids (spiders and ticks)
How often should I give my rabbits insects?
It depends on how big of an issue you have with pests in your garden. If you have a very bad infestation of insects, you may need to consider giving your rabbits more often. Also, something else to think about is that it takes time for food items to digest and move through the gut. Since insects have exoskeletons that dissolve in water, it takes longer than a mammal with a digestive tract. This can mean that your rabbits may not feel full for very long and want to find more food soon after the meal.
How many insects do rabbits eat a day?
Rabbits do not typically eat many insects in a day, if they are given any at all. They will nibble and hunt throughout the day and maybe eat one or two bugs in total.
What is your experience feeding insects to rabbits?
I have been feeding my pet rabbits insects for over a year now. It really helps me bond with them and they seem to enjoy it very much. They will hunt and eat bugs that I drop into their pen, or eat them from my fingers. I supplement with baby food and some hay though just to be on the safe side.
Are insects bad for rabbits?
No! Insects can be a healthy part of your pet rabbit’s diet; however, there are some issues that you need to watch out for when feeding your rabbit insects. See the section further down about “Possible Concerns”.
Is it safe to feed insects to your pet rabbits?
YES! All mammals have an instinctual way of knowing whether or not something is good for them to eat. If they think it tastes bad, then it probably is. This includes rabbits and other pets as well!
Where can I get insects for my rabbits?
There are many places where you can find insects for your rabbits. Some people raise crickets, mealworms or waxworms specifically for their pets to eat. Other sources include:
Plant pots outside – especially if they are crawling around in mulch
Under logs, stones, what have you
What to do if your pet rabbits are sick from eating insects?
If your rabbit(s) get sick after eating insects, you may want to consider taking them into the vet. You will want to report the symptoms that your rabbit is having, especially if they are related to what you fed them.
Do rabbits like insects?
Yes! Rabbits are natural browsers and they will naturally eat anything that comes their way for food, including insects. They do not typically seek out insects and it isn’t a part of their daily diet, but they will eat them if it happens to be in their area.
Can pet rabbits eat insects?
YES, rabbits can eat insects. However, the way in which the insects are prepared or gathered can lead to some risks that you may not be aware of.
4 steps to prepare insects for rabbits.
To feed insects to your rabbits, you will need to follow these four steps:
1. Properly breed your insects
Feed them a proper diet and keep the conditions where they are breeding clean. You don’t want to breed food that is full of mites or bacteria.
2. Wash your insects
You will want to wash them off before feeding to your rabbits because, as with any food item, you don’t know what kind of pesticides or herbicides may have been sprayed on them. This is especially important if you are planning on feeding your rabbits insects from your garden.
3. Cook them
This step is necessary for all food items that humans eat, so why should it be any different for our pets? You don’t want to give raw insects to your rabbits as they may contain parasites. Here is a site that has some great information on how to cook insects for human consumption:
4. Coat them in something tasty
This step is completely optional, but it adds a little bit of extra flavor and makes the insects easier for your rabbits to eat. I coat my insects in some coconut oil and then roll it in some dried cat food. This gives them a strong and very delicious smell that makes them even more appealing to eat!
7 health benefits of insects for rabbits.
- Insects can be a nutritious part of your pet rabbit’s diet
- Insects can be a healthy supplement for your rabbit if they already have a proper diet
- Insects provide protein and essential nutrients like: Calcium, copper, iron and zinc
- Rabbits love to eat insects; it’s natural!
- Insects are low in fat and high in protein
- Insects can be a nutritious part of a raw diet for your rabbits
- Insects have exoskeletons that dissolve in water, so it takes longer to process and digest them than mammals with a digestive tract. This means that two or three insects will keep most rabbits full for a longer period of time than if they were fed a meal.
7 signs your pet rabbit is sick from eating insects.
- Your bunny has not eaten its food and seems hungry
- Your rabbit is lethargic or depressed
- You notice insects near your pet rabbit
- You notice more feces being produced then normal or that the feces are watery. This may indicate that your rabbit is not digesting the protein in its diet correctly.
- Your rabbit seems to have a rash or other skin changes
- Your rabbit has diarrhea, gas, bloating, or indigestion
6 Tips before giving insects to rabbits. Even pests can be bad for your rabbit!
- Some pests are poisonous.
This includes fire ants, hornets, wasps, bees, scorpions, blister beetles and many more. Be sure that you are not feeding your rabbits something that could harm them or kill them!
- Some pests can carry disease
- Some common garden insects may be carrying chemicals on their bodies from the plants they were eating (including pesticides!). Be sure to research all insects you wish to feed your rabbits and make sure that they are not poisonous or carrying any kind of parasites.
- Some insects bite and can cause irritation in your pet rabbit
- Rabbits and insects may not go well together; some rabbits may be too aggressive.
- Your rabbits will need a separate location to eat their food where they cannot steal each-others food or fight over it.
To Come To The Point
We hope you have found this article interesting! If you have any questions about ice cubes for rabbits, please leave a comment below. Thank you so much for reading and we look forward to hearing from you soon!