Can Rabbits Eat Chicken Feed
Can Rabbits Eat Chicken Feed

I have seen several rabbit owners that rear chickens in their homes complain of their rabbits sneaking into their chicken hutch. To eat the chicken feed served to them! Some parents allow their rabbits to continue eating these chicken feeds just because their rabbit loves the flavor. This single act has landed many rabbits in the clinic!

That rabbit pellets and chicken feeds in pellet forms look alike doesn’t mean they are the same. Their nutritional content is far different! Your rabbit may not be able to differentiate one from the other because they have the same grain-like size and feel. 

So, can rabbits eat chicken feed? You may ask again. In this article, we will disclose everything you need to know about chicken feed and if rabbits can eat it. Let’s delve into the details!

What You Need To Know About Chickenfeed

Chicken feed is a chicken meal that is made from a mixture of different ingredients. To satisfy the nutritional needs of birds at each growth stage. It is made by grinding chicken meat, grains like wheat or barley, and other ingredients. And combining them according to a particular nutritional measure that chickens need. 

According to organic, the chicken feed consists of:

  • Cereals like wheat, corn, and barley. Or the byproducts gotten from the processing of these grains. Which contains large amounts of calories.
  • Soybeans, poultry meat, peas, bones, and fish meal are very high in protein 
  • Fats from sunflowers, beef meat, or linseed are used in its mixture. 
  • Vitamin A, and vitamin B12 
  • High amounts of calcium, sodium, and potassium.
  •  Additives to boost its nutritional value 

The type and quality of ingredients used depend on the stage of the birds. There are starter chicken feeds for baby chicks, grower chicken feeds for growing chicks, and layer chicken feeds for egg-laying birds.

rabbit food
rabbit food

Can Rabbits Eat Chicken Feed?

Chicken feed is produced to meet the nutritional requirements of birds. Chickens are omnivorous animals! Very different from rabbits who feed majorly on grasses and vegetables. The grains and other ingredients in the chicken feed may be very difficult for the rabbit’s system to digest. This results in serious health problems that can harm your rabbits. The high calcium and protein content in chicken feed can be toxic to your rabbit’s body. This is because their body is not built to absorb the excess of these. They are built to digest fiber-rich foods like hay and other feeds.

Do Rabbits Like Eating Chicken Feed?

Most rabbits love the corn flavor and taste of chicken feed. They can hurriedly nibble on it once they see it. That they enjoy it should not make you allow them to eat. Rabbits cannot differentiate foods that are healthy for them from harmful ones. It is your responsibility to control their feeding habits. If you want their well-being! Moreover, your rabbits may mistake the normal pellets you serve them for chicken feed in pellet form. This is because their texture and size may look alike. Never allow your rabbits to eat chicken feed.

Is All Chicken Feed Bad For Rabbits?

Of course, yes! The chicken feed may be in different forms and quality. Such as mash which is finely crushed, and pellets which have cylindrical forms. Crumble which is in loose grain-like fragments and scratch which is normally in the form of morsels. In whichever form they exist, they have the same basic ingredients and nutrients. That may harm your furry friend! Do not allow your rabbits to eat any form of chicken feed.

Is Chicken feed Generally Poisonous in Rabbits? 

I must balance this! A small nibble of chicken feed cannot hurt your rabbit. So, do not panic if your rabbit mistakenly eats chicken feed. In the real sense, chicken feed is not toxic in rabbits. Its adverse effects in rabbits are caused by the fact that the greater amount of its ingredients is indigestible. And this can cause digestive problems! However, the ones that get digested can result in health issues when taken in large amounts. That’s why we do not advise you to allow your rabbits to eat chicken feed.

What’s The Difference Between Rabbit Pellets and Chicken Pellets?

Rabbit pellets are made from hay and other added nutrients. And compressed into cylindrical forms for easy munching. They are healthy for your rabbit’s consumption. Most producers use cheap fillers like cereals to make up their pellets. Such rabbit pellets should not be fed to your bunnies. On the other hand, chicken pellets are simply chicken feed that is processed into cylindrical compacts. They contain ingredients like cereals, chicken meat, feathers, fish meal, beef fat, calcium, and other additives. Which are harmful to your rabbits. Their digestive system cannot break down all of these substances!

Health Problems Caused By Feeding Chicken Feed To Rabbits 

Safe rabbit food

The following are the health problems that can develop in rabbits if you allow them to eat chicken feed.

  • Blockage in the Gastrointestinal tract: chicken feed contains substances that are not easily digestible in your rabbits. This causes one of the food matter to clump together and block the gastrointestinal tract. This can be fatal if treatment is delayed. Some of the symptoms of this health problem include consistent bloating, inability to eat, difficulty in defecating, and general body weakness. Take your bunny to a vet as soon as you notice these.
  • Imbalance of gut bacteria: chicken feed has high amounts of protein that can cause unhealthy growth of the bacteria colonies in the gut system. This can cause inflammation or redness of the intestinal wall. Signs of this are watery stool, loss of appetite, and gritting of the teeth caused by pain and feces covered with mucus.
  • Obesity: chicken feed has high levels of calories which can make rabbits gain weight quickly. When ingested in large amounts. This leads to obesity which is usually associated with problems like difficulty in movement, breathing, and defecation. And pains around the joints!
  • Liver disease: the high calories in the chicken feed are stored as fat in the liver of rabbits. These fats are removed in droppings. Rabbits eat these droppings to process these fats. These droppings are called caecotrophs. Rabbits find it difficult to pass out caecotrophs when they ingest chicken feed excessively. This complicates the whole process and causes the accumulation of fats in the liver. Leading to liver disease over time! This condition can be fatal if treatment is not administered quickly. Small pellet-like droppings or inability to pass out stool can be a sign that your rabbit is suffering from liver disease. Consult your vet when you notice these signs for immediate diagnosis and treatment.
  • Kidney Stones: chicken feed is rich in calcium which rabbits do not need in large amounts. Excess calcium is passed out into the urinary tract for removal via urine. These calcium particles can stick together to form stone-like masses. That can block the bladder and cause pain. This needs surgery to remove it. When you see blood or granular particles in your rabbit’s urine, know that your rabbit may be suffering from kidney stones.

Are There Alternatives To Chicken Feed?

Yes! There are many healthy food products you can buy from any nearby grocery store or any online store. We have listed a few of these products below.

  • Food from the wild: This is a daily balanced diet made with natural foraging ingredients like vegetables, fruits, and flowers. There are no cereal fillers, added sugar, or artificial preservatives. It consists of timothy hay compressed into pellets with the addition of nutritional supplements. Amino acids, antioxidants, prebiotics, and probiotics are contained in the right proportion to nourish your rabbit’s body. It also has high fiber content that boosts your rabbit’s digestive health and maintains the balance of the gut bacteria. Other ingredients like carrots, rose metal, marigolds, and spinach are added to meet the nutritional needs of your rabbits.  Food from the wild has a perfect resemblance to the varieties of foods eaten by wild rabbits in their habitat. Rabbits over 6 months old are allowed to enjoy this tasty snack. You can check out more details and buy.
  • All Natural Timothy Hay: this is 100% natural hay with great taste! And nutrients that support your rabbit’s digestive health. It is pesticide-free with no artificial ingredients or preservatives. Your rabbit will love its taste and flavor. It is rich in fiber that keeps your rabbit’s teeth and gastrointestinal system in good health. You can look up more details and buy here.
  • Kaytee Supreme Rabbit Food: this is a complete blend of whole grains, natural protein, fiber, and oils in the right amounts. To boost your rabbit’s overall health. Its product package is sealed to retain its freshness! It’s fortified with vitamins and minerals. It has no artificial color, flavor, or preservatives.  You can check out more about it and buy it.
  • Timothy Biscuits: this is a nice rabbit snack Baker with carrots! It is crunchy and very tasty. Its fiber-dense quality helps to keep your rabbit’s teeth in shape through chewing activities. It is made from high-quality timothy hay. It has no added artificial flavor or color. And provides a variety of nutrients that nourishes your rabbit’s body. It is best served during play time and helps you to bond with your furry friend. Check more details and buy!
Chicken and Rabbit

Frequently Asked Questions Related To Can Rabbits Eat Chicken Feed?

Can Rabbits Eat Chicken eggs?

Never give chicken eggs either raw or cooked to your rabbits. It can make them sick when ingested in large amounts because their digestive system cannot process it.

Moreso, rabbits need more fiber and little protein in their diet. The high protein in chicken eggs is not good for their well-being. Nonetheless, most rabbits detest chicken eggs and will refuse to eat them. While a few rabbits with odd food preferences may nibble on it. 

Can Rabbits Eat Chicken meat?

Rabbits are naturally herbivores. They can’t eat chicken meat whether raw or cooked. Chicken meat is harmful to their digestive system and overall health. If your rabbits like nibbling on any find they see, keep away chicken meat from them.

Can Rabbits Eat Chicken Bones?

Never serve chicken bones to your rabbits. Even though bones are dense and can wear away the teeth of your rabbits, preventing overgrowing-growing. Their digestive system can’t break it down. Always keep in mind that rabbits should only be fed grasses, vegetables, and pellets. Since they are herbivores!

Can Rabbits Eat Chicken Feed – Conclusion 

The chicken feed contains high amounts of protein, calcium, and other substances that are largely indigestible in rabbits. These nutrients chicken feed settle well in a chicken’s body because they are naturally herbivores. Rabbits are the opposite! They are herbivores and their diet comprises mostly grasses and vegetables. Their digestive system is not built to break down the content in chicken feed. So, rabbits can’t eat chicken feed. It results in health problems that may harm them. Never allow your rabbits to eat chicken feed.

About the Author

Dr Jan Pol

Founder & Author

Dr. Pol has written several best-selling books. Namely: Never turn back on an Angus cow—my life as a country vet, tales from his illustrious, a memoir that recruits amusing, incredible 45+ year veterinary career and often poignant. He has also launched several animal food products. Especially for dogs, cats, horses, chickens, goats, and rabbits. He started in December 2019 and has launched more over the years. In 2013, Dr. Pol was awarded an honorary doctorate of public service by Central Michigan University.

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