After publishing our article going over if rabbits eat black eyed susans or not, we noticed a number of other seemingly random questions being asked by the community with one of the more common ones being if rabbits will eat insects or not. Letting your rabbit eat insects is controversial within the rabbit keeping community and although a small number of people do try to feed their rabbits insects, the majority avoid it and we will cover why in our article below.
Other than the Snowshoe hare, all other species of rabbit and hare have evolved to be total herbivores meaning that their digestive system has evolved to efficiently process plant based foods. Unlike insectivores that can do well on a high protein and fat diet, the digestive system of a rabbit has not evolved to process food in that way can it will common result in digestive upset or even vomiting.
Most rabbits, especially domesticated pet rabbits seem to instinctively know that there is no point in them eating insects and they will usually just ignore them. We know that there are a couple of videos on social media of rabbits eating insects but we would never recommend that you ever attempt to duplicate it with your own rabbits as the negatives drastically out weight the positives.
Are Insects Safe For Bunnies To Eat?
Insects are not considered safe for rabbits to eat as rabbits are herbivores, not insectivores or carnivores so their digestive system struggles to process foods with a high fat and protein macronutrient ratio. Wild caught insects can also have pesticides and herbicides on them too adding an additional risk to your pet rabbit’s health so it is usually better to just avoid them altogether.
Some insects can naturally contain poison in them or secrete poison onto their skin if they feel threatened to deter a predator from attempting to eat them. This can add another risk to your rabbit if it does end up eating insects and it can accidentally become poisoned but as we touched on earlier in the article, most rabbits will just ignore insects that they see be it intentionally offered as food or just a random insect that ends up in your pet rabbits cage.
Wild insects can present a biting risk to your pet rabbit too that can end up causing your bunny pain. If your rabbit does live in an area where there are fire ants or any other type of insect that may bite your rabbit, you should look to move your pet rabbit to a new area as soon as possible. Not only can the bites of some insects hurt your pet rabbit but in some situations, the bite may end up infected and cause additional problems too.
Do Bunnies Eat Insects?
A small number of bunnies may eat insects and there are some videos on social media proving this to be correct but most rabbits will ignore any insect that ends up in their cage go just go about their daily business. Some rabbits may sniff at an insect or watch it closely to try and workout what it is but it is very rare that they will eat an insect, especially a live one.
There are a number of videos on social media showing rabbits run away from insects as soon as they move and we would guess that this will be one of the main reactions that you are able to expect from your pet rabbit if you do put an insect in its cage. The majority of pet rabbits are well kept and have minimal experience with live insects and seeing one can often give them a shock.
One case that has a much higher than average chance of your pet rabbit eating insects is if the rabbit has a problem with ticks or mites and the bunny is eating the insects as a way to remove them from itself or another rabbit. This is instinctual for rabbits to groom a parasites off each other but if you notice your rabbit is having issues with parasites it should be quarantined from other rabbits to prevent the parasite from spreading and then treat with the appropriate treatment.
What Should You Feed Your Bunny Instead Of Insects?
There are plenty of food options on the market that you are able to feed your pet bunny instead of insects with all of them being much better dietary options than insects. Commercial rabbit food is a great option as it is cheap, readily available, and has a macronutrient ratio that is ideal for a rabbit to eat.
There are a huge range of treat foods available for rabbits to eat too that you are able to use to supplement their diet and offer a break in taste and texture to their main food. You are able to purchase commercial rabbit treats or just feed your pet rabbit vegetables from your kitchen that will serve as a much better option than insects.
Some people do prefer to feed their pet rabbit nothing but the vegetable scraps from their kitchens to make sure that their pet rabbit is always eating fresh food. This is generally fine in most cases but just double check that the vegetables that your rabbit eats are safe for rabbits. You also have to factor in that a rabbit needs a balanced, varied diet of vegetables to have a nutritionally complete diet too where as commercial rabbit foods already offer this right out the bag.
That brings our article going over if bunnies eat insects or not to an end and we hope that we have been able to help you better understand that you should try to avoid your rabbit eating insects if possible. Insects just present too much of a risk to a rabbit if eaten with there being minimal upside potential so it is usually best to just give your pet rabbit a suitable food instead.