If left to their own devices, our bunny friends will gnaw away at everything they can find in our homes and gardens. While that may not be a bad thing for some owners, it can be very dangerous to rabbits, as some of the plants one may have in his house and backyard are poisonous to bunnies. Some popular plants we might have around are ferns. But are they ok for bunnies? Can rabbits eat ferns without problems or not?
Ferns are plants that can be easily found both into the wild and in our homes, so rabbits can find them and start chewing. Into the wild, rabbits wouldn’t normally touch plants that are toxic or poisonous unless nothing else was available, but with domesticated rabbits things are not the same so it’s better to know if what you have in your home garden is ok or not for them.
What Ferns Are
Ferns are not a single plant species, but a whole group of plants containing many species. While we may spot the occasional fern that grows around our area, the reality is that there are so many species of ferns and fern like plants and some of them are toxic to most animals.
Some ferns are highly toxic to most animals because they contain two substances called thiaminase and ptaquiloside, which produce damage to the animal’s bone marrow further causing anemia and hematuria. But what about rabbits?
Can Rabbits Eat Ferns
The problem with answering to the question if can rabbits eat ferns is that there are many different types of ferns, some of which are bad and others that are not, making it very difficult to know exactly which ones are good and which ones are bad for our furry friends.
There are some animals and insects that eat ferns, and rabbits are included, but that doesn’t mean they can eat all types of ferns, so if you’ve got ferns at home, in your garden or the area around your house, you may want to check and find out what kind of fern you’ve got and if it’s poisonous to rabbits or not.
Rabbits can eat ferns, but only certain types of ferns or parts of them and some only during certain times of year.
Toxic and Non-Toxic Ferns
In general, the plants that are considered true ferns are also non-toxic to animals, and your rabbit might like to have a little bit of them in his diet.
Some of the most common ferns that are also poisonous and your rabbit should not eat are Bracken fern, California fern, Cloak fern, Jimmy fern, Plumosa fern, Sprengeri fern, Lace fern and Maidenhair fern.
Things to Consider
Since there are so many species of ferns and there aren’t too many tests made regarding the toxicity of these plants to various animals, it’s better to keep away of plants about which you’re not sure are safe or consult a specialist before feeding them to your rabbit.