Every bunny needs access to fresh greens to stay happy, and healthy!! But why spend money on vegetables when the healthiest options are already growing free in the world around us!? This list of Safe Forage has been compiled with help from the wonderful Forage NZ team, and other rabbit experts in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Before foraging, ensure your bunny’s Filavac vaccination is up to date.
Remember, always wash any food you forage before feeding, do not pick from areas that have heavy foot traffic or have been sprayed with pesticides, and always leave the root system behind so the plant continues to flourish!
Your rabbit should have one to two cups of fresh food per kilogram of their weight daily.
Click here to access our Foraging Guide
Rabbits are fibrevores, which means they feed primarily on fibrous foods like grass, we feed our rabbits hay which is dried grass. Grass is very healthy for your bunny and be fed daily.
Plantain – Plantago/Fleawort
Perhaps our favorite weed at the rescue, Plantain is a superfood, high in vitamins and very fibrous which helps keep your bunny regular. Plantain can be fed daily and in New Zealand comes in the broadleaf or narrow leaf variety. The leaves and seed stalk can be fed fresh but also work very well dried or dehydrated. We used to eat Plantain for its healing properties (Check Shakespeare plays) and can you eat it yourself, best when the leaves are young and tender. Both Broadleaf and Ribwort Plantain are common in NZ growing wild and in your lawn, spot it by its very tall thin seed stalks
Puha/Raraki – Sonchus/Milk Thistle/Sow Thistle/Hare Lettuce
Puha is the tall ubiquitous weed growing all around the world in temperature regions. A member of the dandelion family it has the same yellow flowers but with long spade-shaped leaves. This can be fed daily to your bunny with the thick stems of fully grown plants particularly delicious and crunchy. The leaves, stems, and flowers can be fed.
Rich in vitamins B, C, and D and highly nutritious Chickweed is another feed daily super-food for bunnies. This plant is soothing for the digestive tract which will help during moulting seasons. Chickweed can be identified by a thin white threat running inside the stems when broken
Sticky tall strands of sprawling cleavers come up in early spring and is another much-maligned weed that is highly beneficial when eaten. Give this for healing and cleansing and recovery for your bunny. The sticky leaves are also great for helping keep fur through the bunnies system when moulting.