Can rabbits eat clover?
Well, there are two sides of this question. In essence, yes, your rabbit can have all clover parts including leaves, flowers, or stems. It's on the safe side. He can also have clover sprouts. The problem is the intestinal gas that can occur when eating clover in higher quantities.
Giving small amounts is the solution. Like anything, too much of some food will give gas or other pain in the stomach. Also, another reason not to feed too much clover is that it's too high in proteins for a rabbit. We recommend using it as a treat or topping hay with it, for more taste. Also if you have it in greater quantities you can dry it, and use it for later.
Rabbits cannot eliminate gas and because plants such as clover can cause gas it's recommended to use it sparingly. It can make your rabbit suffer from bloating and other forms of pain. If you don't stop feeding on foods that produce gas (clover, but other veggies too) and you don't carefully treat him then this can be fatal.
Don't offer free access to your garden or to a part of the garden where grows clover. Is best to offer access to areas where is no clover at all. This is because you cannot have any control on it and he can overeat it.
Just a tip! Rabbits will not have any problem eating clover flowers, sprouts, or stems but the long roots of clover are better for their digestion.
What do rabbits should eat in greater quantities?
Always offer a large quality of fresh grass or grass hay from this list: Timothy, Oaten, Wheaten, Pasture, Paddock, Meadow or Ryegrass hays. They are superior to clover or clover hay. They providing adequate amounts of fibers for gastrointestinal and dental health. They assure chewing movements for a longer period of time. Lucerne (alfalfa) and Clover hay are too high in protein and calcium.
There are over 300 types of clover between which we mostly encounter:
- white clover
- red clover
- wild clover
- yellow clover
- sweet clover
- purple clover flowers
- four/three leaf clovers
- crimson clover
Do rabbits eat red clover or sweet clover? Red clover is not dangerous. In general, the clover that bees like is fine. They can try sweet clover, too. These types of clover are high in protein and calcium, too. Therefore, if you offer them only as a treat there should be no problem.
New fresh foods need to be introduced slowly. Your rabbit's gut bacteria need time to adapt to processing new foods. It's a good idea to introduce one type of food at a time, then if your rabbit is sensitive to that sort of food it's easy to identify and avoid it in future. Read more about what veggies should rabbits eat.
What about baby bunnies or wild rabbits?
Can baby bunnies eat clover?
Baby bunnies can have a few leaves of clover. There is a lot of chance that he had already tried some grass from his mother. However, you should keep it simple. From 3-4 weeks old until 7-8 weeks old you should try a mix of milk, water, alfalfa, and pellets.
Baby bunnies shouldn't have veggies until they're 12 weeks old but they can eat grass, though. If you see any bad reaction on your baby bunny then wait a little while before giving him any more. Read more about what to feed baby rabbits.
Do wild rabbits eat clover?
Wild rabbits have access to clover in the wild and in farmers' gardens but they do not encounter it all the time. During winter they will not eat it at all and during summer they will have a large array of other choices, from flowers to twigs, from buds to barks and needles.
In general, domesticated rabbits tend to avoid clover that is too new or too brown. However, what do wild rabbits possess is an internal clock that guides them better than a domesticated or a pet rabbit. Still, the thing to remember is that pet rabbits really do enjoy clover and they will eat it in larger quantities if they are offered the opportunity.
Also, always check any weed before giving it to your rabbit. Problems can appear with sprayed plants because of mosquitoes or weed control.