Yes, rabbits can eat watercress (and other leafy green vegetables) as part of their diet. Alongside hay, water, and a small number of pellets, rabbits are supposed to have a variety of green vegetables as part of their balanced diet.
You can give your rabbit about one cup or a handful of greens for every two pounds that they weigh. Fresh greens are usually given twice per day.
Useful Tip: Before serving watercress to your rabbit, wash it and remove roots and any brown leaves.
Why Does My Rabbit Need Vegetables Like Watercress?
The main part of your rabbit’s diet should be an unlimited amount of hay. They also need fresh water, a limited amount of pellets, and an adult-sized handful of vegetables. This is so they can receive all the vitamins and nutrients they need to be healthy.
Although watercress is a brilliant food source for your rabbit to eat, you need to vary the vegetables that you give them. Make sure you mix watercress with up to five other types of leafy vegetables or alternate so your rabbit isn’t just eating watercress every day and nothing else!
What Are the Benefits of Feeding My Rabbit Watercress?
Watercress is nutritious for your rabbit. If used alongside other leafy green vegetables, hay, and pellets then it provides everything your rabbit needs to thrive.
Some of the reasons to give your rabbit watercress include the wide range of vitamins and minerals found in watercress. Vitamins C and K are particularly high, as well as minerals like calcium, manganese, phosphorus, and potassium. It also tastes good to your rabbit and provides a good variety in their diet.
What is Watercress?
Watercress is a green leafy vegetable that naturally grows in streams. All parts of it are edible and the leaves have a peppery flavor. It’s very nutritional and makes a fine meal for your rabbit.
Where Can I Get Watercress?
You can usually buy watercress in supermarkets or you can grow it yourself. It’s relatively easy to grow and – since it’s an aquatic plant – you don’t need a garden to grow it. Check out the steps below if you want to learn how to grow watercress at home.
How Can I Grow Watercress?
To grow watercress at home, all you need are some seeds, access to water, and a container:
1) Plant the seeds in spring – making sure there’s always water in the container and that it’s kept in sunlight. You can also grow watercress in soil as long as you keep the soil constantly damp.
2) Harvest the watercress approximately 21 days after they emerge. If you use scissors to harvest, more watercress will usually grow (at least once more).
3) Wash the watercress before giving it to your rabbit. It can be kept in the fridge for up to a few days.
Can I Feed Watercress to Baby Rabbits?
You shouldn’t feed watercress to baby rabbits. You should only feed your baby rabbit food appropriate for their age – which usually includes a specific type of pellets and hay.
Once they reach around one year old, you can begin to introduce a new food into their diet.
When trying something new, only give your rabbit a very small amount and monitor them over the next day to check for any problems. If you think something is wrong, speak to your vet.
Are There Any Risks of Feeding My Rabbit Watercress?
Like anything, you can have too much of a good thing.
If you feed your rabbit too much watercress or don’t include it within a balanced diet, your rabbit can develop health issues. The same can be said for baby rabbits.
As mentioned above, baby rabbits shouldn’t have vegetables like watercress until they’re one year old. Wrongly feeding your rabbit can cause gastrointestinal issues and potentially require a trip to the vets.
Make sure you wash the watercress before offering it to your rabbit. If there are any chemicals, bacteria, or pesticides on it, your rabbit could get sick.