We are all familiar with winter squash, and we love to eat it. But, the question is – can our pet rabbits do the same? Can I feed my rabbit acorn squash, for example?
You might know acorn squash by its other name – pepper squash. With this particular food, it’s a matter of taste. The thing is, many owners out there want to share the food they eat with their pets. So, can rabbits eat acorn squash?
Squash is certainly healthy, but rabbits are not allowed to eat too much of this food. If you’re interested in finding out how and when to feed acorn squash to your rabbits and more about this food in general, continue reading! You won’t regret it.
Can Rabbits Eat Acorn Squash?
You must be worried about some foods and the possibility that your pet will be able to consume and digest them properly. In this case, it is acorn squash, a.k.a pepper squash.
Fortunately, we have good news for you and your pet. Your rabbit is allowed to consume acorn squash just like you. However, there is one catch. Since you, as owners, can enjoy this treat whenever you want, your rabbit is not in the same position.
Rabbits can eat acorn squash – but only as a treat and occasionally. When I say treat, I immediately emphasize the possible time span. Therefore, this is by no means your rabbit’s daily food.
When And How Many Times Is It Acceptable To Give Your Rabbit Acorn Squash?
Acorn squash can be given 2, maximum 3 times a week. Anything beyond that is unnecessary and dangerous for your pet.
Acorn squash can be given as a treat, but it can also be served as an addition to the main dish. Your rabbit needs a varied diet and vitamin intake on a daily basis, but you need to pay attention to the amount.
Acorn squash is best given once a day, usually around noon. Avoid giving your rabbit acorn squash early in the morning or even late in the evening.
In case your rabbit eats too much acorn squash late at night, chances are it won’t digest it properly. It is one thing to be allowed to give your rabbit this food, and another to do it properly.
I am going to lay down the rules on how to serve your rabbit acorn squash correctly.
- The first thing is buying fresh acorn squash. When choosing this food, pay attention to the fact that it is fresh and not rotten (we will talk about the details in a few minutes).
- Wash acorn squash well. Sometimes it takes several jets of cold water to clean it thoroughly.
- Take a knife and cut acorn squash into small pieces. Be sure to discard the seeds. Take a good look that some didn’t remain inside. Watch out for the pieces – they can’t be too small, as this can cause choking.
You don’t have to peel acorn squash. Your rabbit can eat both skin, leaves, and pellets. Rabbits prefer the skin of the acorn squash. They eat leaves the least (which is pretty odd since they are herbivores)
What About Rabbits Trying This For The First Time?
In case this is the first time you give your rabbit acorn squash, it might be a good idea to peel and cut it well. This is to prevent stomach aches.
Rabbits accustomed to this treat may eat this more often, but for those who are just getting to know this treat – better be careful!
Also, it would be good to be close to your pet while eating for the first time. In case it starts to choke or simply discards the food, remove the acorn squash from its cage.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Rabbits are not supposed to eat cooked acorn squash. Once it’s cooked, it loses most of its nutritional value, and even more importantly, your rabbits’ stomach can’t take it. With herbivores, it’s always best to stick to fresh and raw food.
Acorn Squash: Some Ground Information
What is plain acorn squash made of? Here’s all the details you need.
|Total fat||0.1 g|
If you look closely, this is not such a dangerous composition. In addition to this, we also have vitamins like:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B
These are all preferable in rabbit diets, but there’s two vitamins that you mustn’t oversee. In large amounts, they can be dangerous for your pet rabbit. I’m talking about potassium and oxalic acid.
Acorn squash contains:
- 347 mg of potassium
- 2o mg of oxalic acid
Types Of Squash
Squash isn’t just made from acorns. There are many types, and here are the most popular ones:
|Summer squash||This is meant to be eaten immediately, and not stored for a long time.|
|Winter squash||As the name suggests, this can stay in your pantry over winter.|
|Butternut squash||This is a sweet squash, and it’s not preferred for animals.|
|Hubbard squash||This type of squash has a sour taste.|
|Pumpkin||Although this squash is pretty dense, it’s still very healthy.|
|Zucchini||This one is packed with nutrients like vitamin A, B and C.|
|Delicate squash||Made from peanuts and sweet potatoes, it belongs to the summer group.|
Acorn Squash: Storage Life
Just like any other food, acorn squash can go bad, and you need to know how to check it.
Here’s how to check if your acorn squash is bad:
- Look for soft spots once you cut the acorn squash:
Once you cut the acorn squash in half, if you notice that it’s too squishy inside, it’s probably rotten – throw it away immediately!
- Look for black spots on the skin:
Before you pick or buy your acorn squash, you should watch out for black spots. They are most commonly signs of pesticides and worms.
You can keep acorn squash in your kitchen pantry, sealed in a container and away from any moisture. This food can last for a couple of months if stored properly.
Why Should I Feed My Bunny Acorn Squash?
Here are 5 promised health benefits that can result from feeding your rabbit acorn squash.
1. It Can Improve Your Rabbit’s Vision:
No matter what pet you have, it is important to keep its eyesight healthy. Although in the case of rabbits, we mostly attribute this to carrots – this is not the only fruit. You can also give acorn squash to improve your rabbit’s vision, especially night vision.
2. It Can Boost The Immune System:
Foods such as acorn squash are very beneficial for specific periods of time – such as winter, for example. Given its strength and the fact that it is rich in various vitamins, you can count on it to protect the weak immunity of your pet.
3. It Can Maintain Bone Strength:
One important aspect of this food is that it contains sufficient amounts of calcium, and it is precisely this vitamin that is responsible for bone strength. Giving acorn squash to young rabbits will ensure proper bone development.
4. It Promotes Healthy Coat And Skin:
You can expect a thicker coat and nicer skin for your rabbit if you decide to include acorn squash in their diet on a regular basis. Vitamins inside can affect hair growth and coat thickness.
5. It Controls Sugar Levels:
Acorn squash is not a particularly sweet treat, unlike others that can get into your rabbit’s food bowl (berries, for example). If you want to neutralize your rabbits’ sugar intake or replace one treat with a healthy choice, go with acorn squash.
So we see that acorn squash can bring your rabbit a lot of health benefits, however, this is only possible if you stick to a limited intake.
What If My Rabbit Eats Too Much Acorn Squash?
If you fail to prevent your rabbit from eating too much acorn squash, you can expect some side effects like:
- Abdominal pain
- Weight gain
The first thing you need to pay attention to is the indication of stomach and abdominal pain.
In case your rabbit overeats acorn squash, you may notice signs of stomach pain: less movement, dizziness, difficulty standing. In this case, immediately remove the acorn squash from your rabbit’s food portion.
Nausea can result from either eating too much or rotten acorn squash. This health issue can last for a couple of days, and your rabbit might start avoiding eating other foods.
Even though acorns are now sweet, they can contribute to gaining weight. And with rabbits, this can happen pretty quickly. These are very small animals, and they need even less to become chubby.
The amount of carbs contained in acorn squash can make your rabbit gain a few extra pounds after only a week. And once this happens, it’s hard to make them disappear.
The last and most common outcome is diarrhea. Any excessive amount of food can result in diarrhea. In the case of acorn squash, your rabbit doesn’t need a lot to start showing diarrhea symptoms.
Suppose this happens, remove acorn squash for some time from your rabbit’s diet and replace it with tons of water.