Botanically, a nut is a fruit with an edible seed enclosed on a hard inedible shell and they include chestnuts, acorns, hazelnuts. However, the term can be loosely used in culinary to include almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, cashews, peanuts, Brazil and macadamia nuts.
They are a good source of carbs, fats, proteins, dietary fibers as well as some vitamins and minerals making them an important part human diet and snacks.
Can my rabbits have nuts?
No. Rabbits should not be given any kind of nuts, seeds or grains. Although most of them are not toxic or poisonous to rabbits, they are not one of the healthiest diets for these pets. If you insist on them, then go for very small amounts and occasionally.
If you still don’t agree with our advice, then here is what bio.miami.edu notes. i.e., “a good quality rabbit pellet DOES NOT contain dried fruit, seeds, nuts, colored crunchy things or other things that are attractive to our human eyes, but very unhealthy to a rabbit.” Therefore, forget about even raisins.
Similarly, PETA says that “walnuts are high in fat, not fiber, which can cause your rabbit uncomfortable indigestion.” High fats, carbs, and low fiber is something all nuts have in common.
Finally, Best Friends also warns against them by stating that you should “not buy rabbit pellets that have dried corn, nuts and seeds added because those foods can potentially be very harmful to rabbits.”
However, do not assume that if you offer your bunny a nut, it will ignore it. In fact, most of them are likely to eat it and even want more.
Why do we not recommend them?
Rabbits require high-fiber low energy foods
Rabbits are hindgut fermenters and their digestive system is adapted to handle foods that have a high amount of fiber and low energy. This is the reasons why hay accounts for over 80% of their daily food requirements.
Therefore, they cannot handle the lots of fats and carbohydrates that nuts have and you expect issues such as cecal dysbiosis, enteritis, diarrhea among other problem because the excess amounts of carbohydrates and fats may lead to a shift in the cecum flora.
Also, fiber plays a role in gut motility, wearing down teeth, removal of ingested fur and well as ensuring a healthy gut.
They are highly calorific
Assuming your bunny can cope up with them, the second problem that is likely to arise is weight gain and obesity. This is because they are highly calorific.
Rabbits with obesity end up with other health problems as well as the inability to groom or participate in cecotrophy. Their longevity is also reduced if they are overweight.
Can rabbits eat monkey nuts?
We thought to isolate this part since the issue is more of not knowing what they are rather than whether bunnies can munch them or not. These are peanuts, groundnut, or goober and they are neither any different from the rest we have looked at. Therefore, they should not be given to your bunnies too.
If you insist on giving your bunnies any kind of nuts, let them be an occasional treat and do not exceed one or two if they are medium and small respectively. For larger ones, give them a piece. Let these amounts you have given them be the only snack for that day.
Otherwise, stick to hay, some leafy greens and not more than one treat of either a non-leafy vegetable or safe fruits that these pets can eat. There are lots of healthy foods you can give your bunny.