If you are wondering “can rabbits eat chives?” this article is for you. And to answer such a question- technically, yes, rabbits can eat minimal amounts of chives, but a larger quantity can be dangerous because of several reasons.
Some sources suggest that serving chives and onions to rabbits can decrease their overall immunity. Blood abnormalities are high risk, but studies fail to give strong evidence about them.
In this article, we are going to learn more about chives and their effects on rabbits. But you have to keep in mind that not all rabbits would want to munch chives. Thumper, my beloved rabbit pet, certainly has the guts to eat a stalk of it. I don’t know about your pet if it can do the same.
Anyway, if you want to know more about this, keep scrolling!
What Are Chives?
When we talk about culinary terms, chives are classified as an herb typically used as a garnish. Botanically speaking, chives are aromatic grasses that bear pretty lilac flowers, which are edible.
This plant herb is famous for being on top of deviled eggs, soups, and salads. More so, they are delicious as an addition to soft cheeses and stir in melted butter. The flower of chives are not only beautiful, but they are also full of flavor.
Compared to the chive greens, the flowers have a milder taste and add a lovely color to the dish. And since we now know that rabbits can eat chives, you need to know that these contain a lot of phosphorus, calcium, and a hint of fat and fiber.
That only means that rabbits cannot consume a lot of this herb. Besides, chives are spicy, which can upset your pet’s stomach. But, if you are eager to feed them with chives, you can give a small amount once every week. That will be enough for your bunnies if you wish to see them away from any problem.
Comparison Between Scallions And Green Onions To Chives
I bet that you are also confused about how to identify these plants. Scallions and green onions come from the same species and genus, making them very similar to each other. It is an onion that is harvested for scallions while it is not matured enough, and the shoots are still green and fresh.
Though these two are almost identical, scallions are known as bouncing onions because they do not form a bulb. These kinds of onions are prevalent in ethnic cuisine and are more flavorful when grilled.
On the other hand, chives came from a different species than the scallions and green onions. Along with parsley, chervil, and tarragon, it is considered an herb and a garnish. Chives are one of the key ingredients in French haute cuisine.
Why Feed Chives To Rabbits?
Can rabbits eat chives? Chives contain vitamins and minerals that can support the system of rabbits somehow. The best benefit that chives can offer your pet is its antioxidant content. Let us elaborate on this matter:
With antioxidants’ help, it can reduce the number of free radical activities in your furry friend’s body. This particle occurs naturally in rabbits causing it to be an issue if it is not eliminated. Chives are also beneficial in reducing the risks of diabetes and other inflammatory conditions.
Why Not Feed Chives To Rabbits?
Since chives are from the onion family, you know for sure that rabbits cannot digest vast amounts of this plant. When it was the first time for my pet Thumper to have chives, we surely did not like the experience.
He was sniffling onto my shopping bag when I heard a faint munch. Afterward, I came closer to see that Thumper ate almost a stalk of the chive! He left the remaining part lying on the kitchen floor. I observed him for a long time to see if there are adverse effects but thank goodness there wasn’t any.
However, if your rabbit likes the taste of chives, you need to be cautious in serving this herb. Some risks can surely harm them if eaten in large servings in the future so tune in because we will discuss it here.
#1. Chives can cause gut and blood problems
Along with the allum family which is spring onions, garlic, onions, and chives, feeding rabbits too much can cause gut and blood problems. There are cases in which it can lead to hemolytic anemia where the red blood cells become fragile and have the tendency to rupture.
Though these effects do not happen on a sudden count, they may take place within days after your bunny consumed it. Since rabbits cannot vomit, foods that can upset their stomach will be stuck there until it does a bowel movement.
For your pet to do that, it should have enough fiber, but unfortunately, chives only contain a little of it. If the digestion stagnates, the food can be impacted and hardened, which can cause a blockage. Even if you give them more chives to suffice the fiber content, massive amounts are still not right for them.
#2. N-propyl in chives binds to the sides of the red blood cells
There is an oxidizing substance found in chives that is called n-propyl disulfide. This composition binds on the sides of the red blood cells, which the other cells recognize as a foreign body. Because of that, the red blood cells will then be destroyed, giving an adverse effect on the body of your pet.
If this happens on a large scale or the problem persists for a long time, your pet may become anemic due to the destruction of red blood cells.
#3. It is overall poisonous to rabbits
Some sources strongly emphasize that chives are not for rabbits because it is purely dangerous for them. This herb, along with its family, is no good for them mostly when consumed in large amounts. That is why proper knowledge is indeed essential for a healthy pet.
If you think that your pet ate above the average serving, you need to immediately seek vet help! Humans are indeed less sensitive than rabbits, so we should not compare that thought. Be sure to study the fruit or vegetable that you are going to give your pet to avoid future health issues.
Can rabbits eat chives? Though rabbits won’t be in danger if they ate even a couple of bites of chives, this food might become a problem, especially if it harms the digestive system. Although rabbits can have chives once a week, it does not necessarily mean that it is okay to feed them a little more.
If you notice that your bunny does not like chives’ taste, do not push them to eat this herb. When introducing your pet to chives, a minimal amount would be sufficient to know if they like or dislike it. If not, you are at the advantage of not wasting the stalk lying in their cage.
I hope the information from this article will help you take better care of your pet rabbit’s diet. Thanks for reading!
Maria Schultz is a talented writer and a passionate animal lover who brings her expertise in the pet industry to the Petcosset team. With a degree in English and years of experience writing for various pet-related publications, Maria deeply understands the latest news and products in the pet industry. She is dedicated to providing pet owners with the most accurate and up-to-date information to help them take the best possible care of their small friends. When she’s not writing about pets, Maria can often spend time with her beloved pets, including a rescue dog and several cats.