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Do Rabbits Eat Rhubarb? (All You Need to Know)

Rhubarb is a kind of vegetable. There are several parts on a rhubarb. Some of these parts are edible while others are not. On the other hand, rabbits are a widely known animal around the world. Today, we are going to discuss and find out whether rabbits eat rhubarb or not. 

Do rabbits eat rhubarb?

Rabbits can not eat leaves, stalks, and flowers of rhubarb plants as they are not a safe source of food for them. Eating rhubarb plants can cause several health problems for rabbits in the form of kidney and renal failure. It can even cause the demise of rabbits.

Let’s talk about different parts of rhubarb and see if rabbits can eat them.

Rhubarb leaves:

Rhubarb leaves are the most toxic part of the rhubarb plant. They have a high amount of oxalic acid in them that can cause serious health problems for the rabbits. Experts suggest that rhubarb leaves should not be eaten by rabbits because of the oxalic acid in them. 

If your rabbit consumes rhubarb leaves, it can even cause the demise of the rabbit. Rhubarb leaves are not a safe source of food for rabbits and should be avoided at all cost. 

Rhubarb plants:

Rhubarb plants should not be fed to your pet rabbit. Rhubarb plants have no nutritional value needed for the proper growth of the rabbits. Rather rhubarb plants contain a toxic called oxalic acid that can be detrimental to the health of your rabbits. 

The fact that rhubarb plants can be eaten by humans does not mean rabbits can eat them too. Rhubarb plants can never be a source of food for the rabbits as they are not safe for the overall health of the rabbits. 

Rhubarb stalks:

The stalks of rhubarb plants can vary in color due to anthocyanin. The rhubarb stalks can be found in red, green, and pink color. However, the stalks of rhubarb plant should not be eaten by the rabbits. 

Because just like other parts of the rhubarb plant, the stalks possess a tremendous amount of oxalic acid that creates toxic reactions inside the body of rabbits.

Do rabbits like to eat rhubarb?

It is believed by animal experts that rabbits do not like to eat rhubarb as they are aware of the toxicity of rhubarb plants. Specially, the wild rabbits would not indulge themselves in eating rhubarb plants even if there is no other source of food. 

However, the same thing can not be said about a pet rabbit. The pet rabbits do not have the required intelligence to realize that rhubarb plants are bad for them. So you should not leave your rhubarb plant unprotected in the garden if you have a pet rabbit. 

Because your rabbit might end up eating rhubarb out of curiosity and hunger.

Eating the rhubarb plant can cause health problems for your pet rabbit and you will have to take your pet rabbit to a vet as soon as possible.

Do wild rabbits eat rhubarb?

Wild rabbits avoid eating rhubarb as they know about the negative health effects of rhubarb plants, leaves, and stalks. Wild rabbits are intelligent enough to realize the dangers posed by rhubarb plants. 

Moreover, rhubarb plants are used as a rabbit resistant plant in the garden by gardeners to repel wild rabbits. Wild rabbits are naturally aware of the risks of eating rhubarb plants, leaves, and stalks. 

They know that rhubarb plant is not a safe source of food for them even if it tastes good. So wild rabbits would never eat rhubarb plants and would rather stay hungry. 

What is rhubarb?

The edible stalks of most vegetables are commonly known as rhubarb. But there are significant differences between the edible stalks and the actual rhubarb plant. The original rhubarb plant is known by the name culinary rhubarb

Rhubarb plant got this name as the stalks of rhubarb plant are cooked and consumed by rhubarb. 

The rhubarb plant is a hybrid vegetable comprising two types of rhubarb. Those two rhubarbs are rhaponticum and rhabarbarum. Rhubarb plants can not be eaten by rabbits. But it does hold a lot of health benefits for humans. 

One of the primary health benefits of rhubarb is prevention of diabetes. Rhubarb also helps the human body to fight against the possibility of cancer. 

But oxalic acid found in rhubarb plants is bad for both humans and other animals. That is why experts suggest you to eat only the stalks of a rhubarb plant and avoid eating other parts of the plant. 

To be precise, the rhubarb leaves should not be consumed by humans due to the massive amount of oxalic acid in them. Eating the rhubarb leaves can even cause the demise of humans. 

Why can’t rabbits eat rhubarb?

There are a lot of reasons why rabbits are not able to eat rhubarb. Let’s discuss in detail about some of them. 

Toxic effect:

First of all, the toxic effect of the rhubarb plant is the major reason why rabbits can not eat rhubarb. Basically, the rhubarb plant is full of oxalic acid which can result in poisonous effects in rabbits. 

Rabbits should not be fed something that does them harm rather than good. The primary effect of consuming rhubarb plants for rabbits is poisoning. 

Absence of nutritional value:

The rhubarb absolutely does nothing for the proper growth and health of the rabbits. The leaves, stalks, and flowers of the rhubarb plant have no nutritional value for the rabbits. Moreover, it causes several long term and short term health problems for rabbits. 

Absence of health benefits:

Eating rhubarb plants does not bring any health benefits for rabbits. Rather it hampers the health of the rabbits in the form of kidney and renal failure. 

If you care about the overall health and well being of your rabbit, then you should not feed rhubarb leaves, stalks, and flowers to your pet rabbit. 

The chance of demise:

If you unknowingly feed too much rhubarb plant to your pet rabbit, then it can cause the demise of the rabbit. The oxalic acid found in the leaves and stalks of rhubarb plants is strong enough to cause the untimely demise of your rabbit. 

Rhubarb plant for rabbits is not considered as a safe source of food by experts. 

The repellent effect:

Rhubarb plant works as a rabbit repellent in the garden. Rabbits will avoid entering your garden if they sense the presence of rhubarb plants there. The repellent effect of rhubarb plant makes it inedible for rabbits and rabbits will look for a safer source of food. 

Is rhubarb deer and rabbit resistant?

Rhubarb is known for being a deer and rabbit resistant plant. Deer will avoid entering your garden if there are rhubarb plants in the garden. Deer are intelligent enough to know about the toxicity of rhubarb leaves, stalks, and flowers. 

The oxalic acid of rhubarb plant has a negative side effect on the health condition of deer. 

So they will avoid eating the rhubarb plant even if there are not enough sources of food available in the garden. Most of the time, deer will stay away from your garden if it has rhubarb plants in it.

Just like deer, rabbits are also afraid of the rhubarb plants and tend to stay away from gardens with rhubarb plants. Planting rhubarb plants along the perimeter of the garden is a common way of fighting against invasion of deer and rabbits in the garden. 

What to do if a rabbit eats rhubarb?

Sometimes your pet rabbit can end up rating some part of the rhubarb plant due to curiosity or hunger. The steps mentioned below can be taken when this happens. 

Inspect the symptoms:

First of all, you will need to inspect the symptoms shown by your rabbit to see if it has been poisoned by a rhubarb plant. One of the major symptoms of rhubarb poisoning is seizures if the rabbit has eaten a huge amount of rhubarb plant. 

Other mild symptoms of rhubarb poisoning include lethargy, problem with digestion, and appetite loss.

Inspect the rhubarb plant:

Then, you will need to inspect the state of your rhubarb plant to find out how much has been consumed by your pet rabbit. The leaves of the rhubarb plant are more dangerous for the health of rabbits than the stalks. 

Knowing the parts and amount of rhubarb plant eaten by your rabbit will assist the vet in improving the condition of your rabbit. 

Take the rabbit to the vet:

You will have to take your rabbit to the vet for permanent solution and treatment. No treatment should be given to rabbits without the supervision of a professional vet.

Final Thoughts

Rhubarb leaves, rhubarb stalks, and rhubarb flowers should not be fed to rabbits. The oxalic acid present in rhubarb plants can result in serious health problems for rabbits. Rhubarb plant has no health benefits for rabbits and can cause several short term and long term problems for them.