In this rabbit-centric article, we have discussed in detail about rabbits’ diet, particularly revolving around the idea of whether or not they eat worms.
The preponderance of a rabbit’s food should consist of pure, safe drinking water and high-quality hay plus grass. The digestive system of a rabbit demands hay or grass to operate correctly. Therefore, a plentiful source is needed. Leafy greens and a little number of pellets can be added to it.
But the question is, do rabbits only eat green stuff, or do they go for worms as well? There is a trick answer to this.
Yes, rabbits CAN eat worms but their digestive system is not designed in such a way that it can optimally process meat or worms, since they are herbivores.
Do rabbits eat earthworms?
As explained before, that rabbits being herbivores, it is quite uncommon for rabbits to eat worms, including earthworms, in abundance.
While eating grass in the wild, they can, however, eat a few with it, but not purposely to supplement their diet.
With that being said, according to a recent study, it was found that earthworms can prove to be highly nutritious for rabbits, as long as they do not eat them in a large quantity.
The study found that earthworms may replace 30% of the protein in a developing rabbit’s diet without causing any physiological problems.
Also, they found a bunny’s digestibility was 5% higher in rabbits after having a limited quantity of earthworm meal included in their diet than having the traditional controlled diet.
However, it is important to bear in mind that this study used earthworm meal, which is dried earthworms ground down into a fine powder, which is likely what made them easier to digest for the rabbit.
Live worms would probably not be something your rabbit would be interested in as feed.
Some worms like red wigglers also let off toxic mucous when in danger from predators which is likely to be poisonous and dangerous to your bunnies.
Do rabbits like meal worms?
Rabbits can have mealworms in tiny portions, and there will generally be nothing wrong with that.
They actually seem to enjoy meal worms and it is thought that this is because they’re fed a vegetarian diet of mainly bran.
This likely makes mealworms as appealing as plants to confused bunnies, especially ones hungry for more foods.
However, if consumed in too much quantity, it can be bad for their health, particularly their fragile digestive system.
It is widely known that rabbits are herbivores, which is why meat, insects, and worms generally are not advised for them to consume.
So, to state it in simple words, rabbits eat mealworms like they do many other insects but should mostly be prevented from doing so for the betterment of their own health.
Can a rabbit get worms?
While rabbits are less likely to take up worms than cats and dogs, they can still get them.
The pinworm is the most frequent form of worm that infects rabbits. The common rabbit pinworm is a parasitic worm that lives in the intestines of rabbits.
It does not pose a major health risk to rabbits and generally goes unreported, but it can cause itching, skin irritation, and redness around their rear ends.
Pinworms are transmitted to rabbits by their feces, which contain pinworm eggs. Briefly stated, pinworms can affect your rabbit if it consumes contaminated excrement from another sick rabbit.
At the pet store, breeder, or shelter, your rabbit was most likely exposed to pinworm-infected excrement from its parents.
To determine whether your rabbit has pinworms, your veterinarian will examine a sample of their feces using a fecal smear under a microscope or a fecal float test.
Your veterinarian will be able to tell whether pinworm eggs are present.
Considering rabbits are coprophagic (animals that eat their own feces), pinworms are difficult to cure.
During therapy, rabbits commonly re-infect themselves by consuming contaminated excrement.
Anti-parasitic medicines will be recommended if your rabbit is diagnosed with pinworms.
Furthermore, you must be vigilant in cleaning and removing any excrement in and around your rabbit’s cage and other locations regularly.
There is another worm known as tapeworm in rabbits. Cittotaenia variabilis is the main source of tapeworm infection in pet rabbits.
The mites are ingested by the rabbits while they are grazing or eating infected hay. The abdomen and liver are where the larval form will grow and the gut is where adult stages of mites end up.
Rabbit tapeworms can only be transmitted to humans if rabbit meat is consumed raw. Therefore, this is not a health worry for the ordinary rabbit owner!
The rabbit pinworm is not the same as the pinworm seen in humans, so you’ll be pretty safe in that department too.
Do rabbits eat bugs and insects in the wild?
While eating the grass and grazing around, rabbits may eat insects in minimal quantity.
But while they may eat a bug or two, it is quite unlikely for them to intentionally go for larger insects. This is because the primary source of the diet of rabbits is grass and hay.
Nevertheless, this does not mean that rabbits won’t eat bugs and some do develop the habit of eating insects.
In rare circumstances, rabbits develop some undesirable characteristics of carnivores and prefer eating insects.
Though this is generally considered harmless in most cases, but if it’s your pet bunny, it is advised to visit a vet as soon as feasible to understand why it is happening.
Parasites and fleas are the most common types of insects that pet and wild rabbits go for.
This is mostly because rabbits try to relieve themselves of the itching caused by them, and in the process of doing so, they end up biting and eating the cause of their discomfort.
Flying insects like crickets or flies might also pique a rabbit’s interest. This is owing to the fact that they generate a lot of noise. Rabbits can hear quite well.
Their concentration will be drawn to the drone of a fly or the beating wings of a moth, and they may be devoured.
In this article, we have discussed rabbits’ diet in quite a lot of detail and while it is widely known that rabbits are herbivores, they can and do eat worms whether accidentally or eaten purposely.
The major part of their diet consists of hay, grass and certain vegetables which rabbits love as they’re plant based foods.
They might devour a worm or an insect here and there. Mealworms and earthworms are generally safe for rabbits to consume, but only in limited quantities; otherwise, they will mess with their digestive system.
This article was formulated with the most up-to-date information and studies to help you better understand your pet and their diet routine. By the way, have you ever pondered over whether or not humans can eat worms?