Rabbits can eat a number of fruits and can often also eat parts of the fruit that humans cannot or will not eat, such as peels, leaves, stems, and flowers. Rabbits are herbivores, which means that these plant-based treats are their only source of nutrition. While rabbits should be eating plenty of hay and vegetables, certain fruits can be great substitutions for store bought treats.
Can rabbits eat banana peels? Yes, rabbits can safely eat banana peels with the same moderation that they would eat any fruit.
What Is a Banana Peel Made Of?
Bananas, including the peels, are made of organic matter, which is another way to say that they are living material that grew through the natural production of sugars and fibers to create a fruit. Banana peels are mostly carbohydrates at 59.1% and secondarily fiber at 31.7%. If you know much about what rabbits can and can’t eat, you know that fiber is good for rabbits and carbohydrates should only be fed in moderation. The banana peel has less carbohydrates and more fiber than the banana fruit, making it a good substitute to the sugary fruit as a treat.
What Vitamins and Minerals are in a Banana Peel?
Banana peels have all the same vitamins and minerals as the fruit, but usually in higher concentrations. This means that the peel is even healthier than the banana! The peel is rich in vitamins B6 and B12, as well as the minerals potassium and magnesium. It also contains smaller amounts of calcium and iron.
What Chemicals are in a Banana Peel?
Bananas do have trace amounts of harmful chemicals, but not enough to make a human or rabbit sick if eaten within reason. The banana peel contains a very small amount of hydrogen cyanide, about 0.0013% by weight. This is well within the acceptable range of this chemical and can’t cause harm to your rabbit. It also contains oxalates, which can cause kidney disease, but again at a very low and safe level. If you plan to feed banana peels to other animals such as pigs or poultry, however, you should watch out for saponins, which can inhibit growth and paralyze the sensory system. Fortunately, these chemicals appear to have no effects on rabbits.
Are Banana Peels Good for Rabbits?
While they contain many vitamins and minerals and relatively high fiber, banana peels are still a fruit and should be fed in moderation. They are better for a rabbit than the banana fruit due to the fact that they are lower in sugar, but they’re not necessarily “good” for rabbits. They make a great treat and will probably make your rabbit happy, but you shouldn’t replace any part of your rabbit’s diet with banana peels or make banana peels a regular part of your rabbit’s diet. All fruit, including banana peels, should be fed sparingly, at most every one to two days.
Are Banana Peels Bad for Rabbits?
Banana peels are only bad for rabbits if fed in large amounts. Rabbits can’t have a lot of sugars or starches, which banana peels are high in just like any other fruit. Too much fruit of any kind will cause digestive issues such as gas and bloating that can cause your rabbit significant pain and even serious health issues. Make sure you are only feeding small amounts of banana peels, less than one inch of peel per 6 pounds that your rabbit weighs. You should also introduce banana peel slowly to make sure that no digestive issues occur the first time your rabbit eats them.
What Happens if My Rabbit Eats Too Much Banana Peel?
If your rabbit eats to much of a banana peel, they could have a serious negative reaction. It’s important to regulate how much fruit your rabbit eats because rabbits can’t digest sugars or starches and need to eat fiber to move the undigested substances through their system. Best case scenario your rabbit will have some diarrhea and you will need to monitor it and provide plenty of hay and water. In a worst case scenario, the sugars may build up and start to ferment, which will cause the growth of bad bacteria in your rabbit’s stomach and can permanently damage its digestive system, or your rabbit may develop GI stasis, a fatal condition in which its digestive system stops working entirely. If your rabbit eats too much banana peel, make sure it immediately eats plenty of hay or grass and drinks water. This will help move the sugars through its system safely and hopefully avoid the worst symptoms.
Can Rabbits Eat Underripe Banana Peels?
Yes, under- or unripe bananas are safe for rabbits. When a fruit is not ripe, all of the sugars in it have not developed yet. This means that unripe fruit is less sweet and lower in sugar. Rabbits should not eat certain unripe fruits such as raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries, but both the banana fruit and peel are safe. Despite the fact that they have marginally less sugar, unripe bananas should be fed just as sparingly as ripe bananas. The one thing to keep in mind is that the fruit will be less sweet and therefore may be less appetizing to your rabbit. If it refuses to eat the unripe banana, you may want to wait until the fruit is ripe and try again.
Can Rabbits Eat Rotten Banana Peels?
You should never feed your rabbit any rotten fruit, vegetables, or hay. Rotten foods are just as bad for rabbits as they are for humans, if not more so. Bananas rot because the banana is constantly using its source of starches to stay fresh and alive, and when it runs out of these starches it begins to decay and die. These decayed parts will give both humans and rabbits an upset stomach, and because rabbits are so small, much smaller amounts of rotten fruit can cause much bigger problems. If you are looking to get rid of rotten fruit, feeding it to your rabbit is not a good idea.
Is Banana Peel Better Than Banana Fruit for Rabbits?
While it may be marginally better to feed your rabbit banana peel due to the higher fiber content, the difference isn’t enough to allow feeding your rabbit more peel or feeding them peel in addition to the recommended amount of banana fruit. You should only feed your rabbit a piece of banana fruit the size of your thumb OR an inch or less of banana peel. You can feed it a combination of the two if this is an equal or smaller amount, but not more.
Can rabbits eat orange peel? No, all citrus fruits are bad for rabbits, and this is especially true of the peel. In citrus fruits, the chemicals that are harmful to rabbits are at their highest concentration in the peel, making it the most dangerous part. Rabbits shouldn’t be fed any citrus fruit, peel, or juice.
Can rabbits eat banana leaves? Yes, rabbits can safely eat banana leaves and in fact can eat them as a significant part of their diet with no ill effects. If you have a lot of banana leaves, feel free to substitute them for the leafy greens part of your rabbit’s diet.
How much fruit can rabbits eat a day? Rabbits should not eat fruit every day, but they can safely eat around one to two tablespoons per 6 pounds of body weight about every two days.