Can rabbits eat bok choy?
Yes, you can give your rabbit bok choy. It is the kind of leafy vegetable that all rabbits can eat without any major health issue. You only have to be sure your rabbit can tolerate it. Give him a small piece, wait for 24 hours and see if there are any signs of gas or soft stools. You should follow this steps with all the vegetables that are new to your rabbit.
If he tolerates it well then you can start feeding him in progressive amounts, in combination with others vegetables, assuring variety in his diet. In general, rabbits can tolerate very well this vegetable.
You can feed 1 cup of greens for 2 lbs of rabbit body weight: 3 quarters made of greens that have lower levels of oxalates or calcium and 1 quarter made of vegetables that are higher in these substances.
Bok choy is not toxic for your rabbit but you should respect the right quantities. Some health issues will appear when eating bok choy in larger quantities.
Leafy greens should make up only 10% of a rabbit diet, non-leafy greens only 5% and fruits around 5%. The basic diet should be made up of hay (80%) and high fiber pellets (only when you're not feeding vegetables). Only high fiber foods can assure balance and keep the food passing through the intestines. Bok choy compared to hay has not enough fiber, therefore, if you do not feed enough hay then hairballs may occur.
Here are some advantages of feeding bok choy to rabbits:
- It contains a modest amount of calcium, which is a good thing for a rabbit. Their basic food has more than enough calcium. Therefore, you will avoid bladder stone formation.
- Bok choy is low in oxalates. You don't have to worry about them like you would normally do for spinach, for example. Read more about spinach and why oxalates are not good for rabbits, or even humans.
- High amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from different diseases. Rabbits can take their antioxidants from a lot of sources but bok choy can be a better source for it than the fruits, for instance.
- Bok choy contains lots of vitamins. Feeding bok choy is a good way of taking care of your rabbit's nutrition. Is a very good source of vitamin A, C, and K. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting. If you think that he's hardly recovering from some bruises or after a surgery you can supplement his vitamin K through this amazing vegetable.
- Bok choy is low in calories. A rabbit's diet should always consist of fewer calories. What they need is a lot of fibers in their diet.
- It's crunchy and tasty enough to keep his diet diversified.
Can rabbits eat bok choy stems or cores?
Bok choy is a cruciferous type of vegetable. Does bok choy core and stems give gas to my rabbit? In opposition to the leaves, the core and stems can give gas to your rabbit. It really depends on your rabbit digestive system. Rabbits can normally eat bok choy stems and cores. If your rabbit has a sensitive digestive system it should be served in smaller amounts or only from time to time.
If you don't want to risk or you have noticed some bad signs from your rabbit when eating this veggie, it's better to avoid it. Some rabbits can tolerate it very well, others just cannot. You have to try it on your own rabbit first.
If you are not feeding very often the stems but you still want to feed bok choy it can become a little bit costly to feed bok choy. You better cut the stems and cores and keep them in the freezer. Therefore, you can give it to your bunny only as a treat, in a smaller portion, and less frequent.
How can you tell if your bunny has gas? Shifting from one strange position to another or hunching up can be a sign. Keep an eye on your rabbit to discover any signs of diarrhea or GI stasis. Their stomach/intestinal issues are the most sensitive. If your rabbit is not willing to eat, try feeding his favorite treat. If he is refusing that too do not hesitate to contact a vet.
Other things to consider when feeding bok choy
Can bunnies eat baby bok choy? For baby bok choy, you don't need to cut the stems. They are too fragile and thin to have the same effect as normal stems would do.
Never serve a green smoothie or a soup to a rabbit even if is made from his rabbit-friendly veggies. The juice has less fiber than the fresh greens.
Sometimes the cruciferous family (cauliflower, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, or brussels sprouts) will never cause problems but sometimes they do. Other Asian greens like bok choy, Shanghai bok choy, or Pak Choy are also well-tolerated by rabbits. The stems from other vegetables like Coriander, Parsley, or Dill are just fine for your dear pet rabbit.
Because Endive is in the chicory family and not in the cruciferous family we do not encounter the same situation as for bok choy. The stalks and cores are ok for rabbits to eat as long as they eat only a little bit at the beginning. Rabbits have distinct personalities but they all need time to adapt.
Remember that you always have more choices to choose from. If you don't like taking risks you can always stick to his well-known diet. There are lots of bunnies out there that have no problem eating bok choy in reasonable amounts, but in the same time, your rabbit can be different.