Can you eat pet rabbits?

In this article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat pet rabbits?”. We will also answer other questions related to the topic, such as how rabbit meat tastes, the health risks of eating rabbit meat, and items you can feed your pet rabbits.

Can you eat pet rabbits?  

Yes, you can eat pet rabbits as they’re not illegal in the U.S. However slaughtering your pet rabbits is unethical because if you truly love your pet rabbit, why would you consider eating it.

Is it illegal to eat your pet rabbit? 

In the United States, rabbit meat is allowed to be eaten. Under the Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2018, slaughtering cats and dogs for human feed is prohibited. In terms of other countries, only Kerala, a state in India, has banned rabbit killing. Other than that, no other country has yet banned rabbit meat consumption.

Why should you not eat your pet rabbit? 

The most important reason for not eating your pet rabbit is that it is unethical. While it is true that rabbits are not prohibited from being eaten, pet rabbits are however raised for companionship. If you truly want to eat a rabbit, search for meat rabbits or rabbits that have been kept specifically for human use.

How does rabbit meat taste?

The flavour of rabbit meat is determined by the rabbit’s age. The younger the rabbit, the better it tastes. If cooked incorrectly, order rabbits, particularly wild rabbits develop a pungent odour that makes them difficult to eat. Rabbit meat is similar to chicken and it absorbs whatever spices are added to it.

Is rabbit meat healthy? 

Yes, rabbit meat is healthy. It is an excellent source of iron, protein, vitamin B12, and niacin. Iron makes you energetic and your blood healthy. Protein is important for muscle repair, whereas vitamin B12 is important for the growth of skin, and muscles.

Are there any health risks of eating rabbit meat?

Here are the dangers of consuming rabbit meat, as far as your health is concerned.

Parasites

Warbles, flukes, and intestinal worms are among the parasites that can be found in rabbit flesh. The majority of these parasites can be killed by properly cooking the meat to an internal temperature of 160°F. 

Tularemia 

Also known as the “Rabbit Fever”. Tularemia is a disease spread by bites of infected insects that transform the bacterium Francisella Tularensis to anyone who comes in contact with the affected animal.

Protein poisoning

Often known as, “Rabbit Starvation”, occurs when a person consumes only rabbit meat for an extended length of time. Our bodies require fat to operate correctly, but rabbit meat is low in fat, thus consuming it exclusively would typically result in rabbit starvation.

What should you feed your pet rabbit? 

Bunnies, like us, like a nice dinner. Your pet rabbit will be healthy and happy if you feed it a balanced diet of hay, veggies, pellets, and freshwater. Continue reading to learn more about what to feed your pet rabbit. 

Fresh Hay 

Fresh hay should make the majority of your rabbit’s food and should be accessible. Adult rabbits can eat grass and oat hay while younger rabbits should be fed alfalfa. Hay is beneficial for rabbits because it supplies vital fibre for digestive health. Make sure the hay looks and smells fresh, and store it in a dry place.

Veggies 

Your pet rabbit’s regular meal should include a wide variety of vegetables. When selecting vegetables, look for those that are fresh and pesticide-free. It is important that you wash your vegetables before giving them to your rabbit. Houseplant leaves shouldn’t be fed to your pet rabbit as they might be harmful to them. Your pet rabbit will love the following vegetables 

  • Basil 
  • Broccoli leaves
  • Carrot tops, give sparingly as they’re high in calcium 
  • Cilantro
  • Celery 
  • Kale, sparingly
  • Romaine lettuce 
  • Mustard greens 

Water 

Your pet rabbit must have access to fresh water at all times. A hanging water bottle is a good solution if you have a cage. If your pet rabbit doesn’t appear to be drinking water directly, you can provide the vegetables slightly damp.

Pellets 

Your pet rabbit will turn its nose up at stale pellets, so buy them when they’re still fresh. Look for pellets with high fibre content and low protein content. As your pet rabbit grows older, you’ll need to remove the number of pellets it eats, as they’re high in protein and can cause obesity and other health problems.

Treats 

Your pet rabbit will love treats every now and then. Feed your pet treats occasionally and don’t feed food items that are high in carbohydrates. Don’t feed chocolates to your pet rabbit as they’re toxic for them. The best option for treats is fruits, but you need to make sure that you give them fruits in small amounts as some fruits are very high in sugar content. Buy pesticide-free, organic fruits. Options for fruits as treats include:

  • Apple without seeds 
  • Banana
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry 
  • Pineapple

Is there anything you should never feed your pet rabbit?

Rabbits have a digestive system that is unique to them. Their unusual capacity to assimilate fibre and nutrition allows them to adapt to a variety of habitats, but their particular digestive systems necessitate extra caution while feeding them. Click here for an extensive list of all the things you should never feed your pet rabbit.

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question, “Can you eat pet rabbits?”. We also answered other questions related to the topic, such as how rabbit meat tastes, the health risks of eating rabbit meat, and items you can feed your pet rabbits.

References

https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/feeding-your-rabbit
https://resources.bestfriends.org/article/rabbit-diet-what-feed-bunny

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.