The rabbit’s digestive system is quite complex but sensitive at the same time. Therefore, your bunny can instantly become ill and tend to experience serious diseases if she’s fed improperly. It usually happens if you have brought the first rabbit into your home.
A rabbit’s diet should primarily consist of fresh hay, particularly timothy hay, which is rich in fiber, leafy greens, grass, and water. The rabbit pellets made from grass, hay, or grains also make a good option sometimes. But the processed human foods and the dairy products we consume should be avoided when feeding your pet.
Especially junk food, even when fed in small amounts to the bunnies, is not appropriate for their health.
What Are Quavers?
Quavers are a potato-based snack produced by British snacks manufacturer “Walker.” It comprises crunchy, curled-up, deep-fried potatoes that both kids and adults love. At different times, the company launched different flavors. The most popular ones include cheese, prawn cocktail, and salt & vinegar.
In addition, some limited editions included ketchup, bacon, cheese and onion, and sweet and sour flavor.
Although a tasty snack, it’s junk food. It’s high in its fat content and adds calories to your nutrition checklist. It does not provide any health benefits.
Whether you can feed bunnies quavers or not depends entirely on whether they can consume potatoes or not. Secondly, make sure if they can have deep-fried ones.
Can Rabbits Eat Potatoes?
Rabbits are hasty eaters who love a well-balanced diet of fresh vegetables like peas, cabbage, broccoli, kale, carrots, carrot tops, and fruits like apple, banana, pineapple, etc. grapes. Fresh human foods like these fruits and vegetables can make up 10 to 20% of the rabbit’s diet.
These fruits, veggies, and greens should be varied on a regular basis to ensure that your rabbit receives a diverse diet.
Each rabbit is different, and therefore some may be sensitive to a particular fruit or vegetable. But the case is different for potatoes. They are not poisonous but are not healthy either. Potatoes are almost entirely starch which cannot be digested efficiently by the rabbit’s digestive system, so it’s better to avoid feeding them potatoes.
Can Rabbits Have Raw Potatoes?
Raw potatoes have 60 to 80% starch in them. The small intestine of rabbits can’t digest sugars, and these accumulate in the cecum. A cecum having starch or sugar in high concentration is favorable for the growth of pathogens that produce toxins. These toxins induce severe pain and stress with many other ill health symptoms, putting your rabbit’s life at risk.
Rabbits’ teeth grow continuously, almost 2mm every week. Therefore, they need a high-fiber diet to wear down these continuously growing teeth.
Moreover, their digestive tract is designed to process low-protein diets, and they need a high amount of fiber in their food to ease digestion. From this point of view, raw potatoes are not a healthy choice for a rabbit as potatoes offer only 2.3 grams of fiber per 100-gram portion.
Can Rabbits Have Cooked Potatoes?
A common misconception about potatoes is that cooking will reduce their starch content. Sure cooking does remove starchy content in small amounts, but the majority of the starch still remains. Furthermore, fiber content remains the same; cooking ain’t gonna bring some fiber.
All these reasons make cooked potatoes bad for your friend.
Harms Caused by Potatoes
Potatoes are not good for your rabbit. They can cause the following issues:
The cecal bacteria of rabbits are essential for ferreting nutrients in the gut. Excess carbohydrates in bread and potatoes can upset the rabbit’s intestinal microflora. As a result, the food is fermented incompletely, and the resulting products of incomplete fermentation can alter the pH of the cecum. This altered pH allows the growth of several pathogens and therefore puts the rabbit at risk of digestive diseases and several other diseases. Therefore, avoiding large amounts of carbohydrates is the key to maintaining the well-being of their digestive system.
Indigestible and low-fiber foods like potatoes can cause GI Stasis in rabbits. In this condition, the food is stuck in the rabbit’s gut and cannot move through the digestive tract. It is a life-threatening condition that can kill rabbits in as little as 24 hours. Take your bunny to an emergency veterinary facility immediately if you detect common signs like not eating or pooping. In such conditions, the simplest strategy to adopt is to feed your rabbits a hay-based diet and give them lots of exercise time.
For more info on how the gut of these small animals works and how GI stasis can be treated, go through this complete guide.
Can Rabbits Eat Potato Chips?
Till now, you must have an idea why potatoes as vegetables are not safe for rabbits to eat. It also gives the idea that eating potato chips won’t bring any benefits to your bunny.
In fact, chips such as quavers are a big no for these animals as the potato is no longer in its original form. Instead, it has been deep-fried, bringing a lot of fats to your rabbit’s daily nutrition. Moreover, it’s packed with a lot of seasonings, more than half of which are harmful to rabbits.
While eating, don’t leave quavers carelessly if you have a bunny friend. If you ever catch him eating leftovers of these potato chips, take it away from him instantly.
What to Do If A Rabbit Eats Potatoes?
If your rabbit has eaten a bit of potato, it won’t possibly cause a problem as this veg is not toxic for him. It’s just unhealthy. But if he ate the same tiny amount of quaver chips, he’s prone to some serious issues. So it’s best to keep these pets away from potatoes and especially from quavers. If you are afraid that your rabbit has eaten a handful of these chips or an inappropriate amount of potatoes, immediately take him to a vet.
Other Foods to Avoid
- Peanut butter gives your rabbit tummy ache and should be avoided at all costs.
- Some colorful rabbit pellets are available in pet stores that have a lot of bright, fruity components in them. These pellets look appealing on the pet store shelf, but their high sugar content and added nuts and seeds are bad for a rabbit’s stomach.
- Do not treat him with beans, seeds, and nuts.
Healthy Treats for Your Bunny
- Give rabbits timothy hay to eat. It’s very beneficial. Besides timothy hay, add meadow and orchard grass to their diet.
- Leafy greens like cabbage and kale are good for your rabbit.
- Rabbit loves to eat bananas. He finds this fruit tasty, and the good news is that it’s nutritious. However, banana skin is safe but is not recommended.
- You can treat your rabbit with apples too. They are completely fine and pose no risks. Apple skin is beneficial, too, as it’s rich in antioxidants and fibers, both of which are required for your bunny. But keep the seeds and stems away; he might not be able to digest these.
- Rabbits can have grapes. Even the dried form of the fruit, also called raisins, is safe.
- Pineapple can’t be excluded from the list. The core of the fruit makes a beneficial treatment for your rabbit.
- Herbs such as cilantro, parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary, peppermint, lavender, and many more are safe for rabbits. Many of these herbs can be grown in the home’s backyard garden.
Remember to feed the rabbit all the sweet foods in a moderate amount, keeping in view the harms of high sugar levels in his digestive tract.
Quavers are an example of highly processed human foods. So they are not suitable for rabbits. However, fresh vegetables in a small amount are recommended for them. But particular vegetables like potatoes and onions are not safe for them because these are low-fiber vegetables.
Moreover, the oil used in the chips is not safe for them because high-fat content can harm their gut. Condiments or seasonings used in such foods are not healthy for them either.