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Can Rabbits Eat Sunflower Seeds? (Read This First!)

Sunflower seeds make a nutritious treat for many animals if the seeds are fed in a moderation. And hence, rabbits are also seen to munch on various fruit and flower seeds as occasional treats, it might intrigue you to know whether rabbits can eat sunflower seeds as well or not. 

Therefore, let’s look deep into the findings added ahead to learn the answer.

Can Rabbits Eat Sunflower Seeds? 

Rabbits can eat sunflower seeds as an occasional treat in a small amount, not as the main food for rabbits. Sunflower seeds don’t contain lots of nutrients, thus, feeding a rabbit sunflower seeds frequently or in a large quantity isn’t beneficial for its health, rather the rabbit can get sick.

There are salted sunflower seeds, black sunflower seeds, raw sunflower seeds, white sunflower seeds, regular sunflower seeds, and shelled sunflower seeds. Below it has been briefly explained which sunflower seeds are edible and safe for rabbits to eat. 

Salted Sunflower Seeds:

Rabbits can not eat salted sunflower seeds because their digestive tracts are quite sensitive and different from humans, so they don’t really do well if they are fed any human snack or flavored animal/rabbit food.

Besides, salt is considered somewhat toxic for rabbits so consuming salted sunflower seeds can cause them serious health issues as well. So always feed unsalted and unflavored sunflower seeds. 

Black Sunflower Seeds:

Black sunflower seeds are the most suitable ones for rabbits and rabbits absolutely can eat them in a moderate amount every week to get fiber, Vitamin E, protein, and linoleic acid from the seeds.

Black sunflower seeds are a great source of energy and necessary fats for rabbits that keep their body warm during winter and make their fur shiny. 

Raw Sunflower Seeds: 

Raw sunflower seeds are edible for rabbits too. They are unsalted, aren’t roasted, and have no additional flavor or other ingredients. Rabbits can eat these raw seeds as a whole but the shells should be peeled off.

White Sunflower Seeds:

White sunflower seeds are safe for rabbits to eat as well. It’s like other sunflower seeds but it’s tender and the seeds are white in color. Just peel the shell and feed your rabbit. 

Regular Sunflower Seeds:

Rabbits surely can eat regular sunflower seeds as an occasional treat along with a regular diet. However, regular sunflower seeds don’t make a good treat as BOSS because these seeds lack nutrients and shells are too hard, so can’t be eaten with shells on.

Shelled Sunflower Seeds:

Rabbits shouldn’t eat shelled sunflower seeds because the shells are hard enough for rabbits to munch on and can cause potential health hazards, or even demise if a rabbit chokes on the sunflower seed shells.

Can Baby Rabbits Eat Sunflower Seeds? Can Wild Rabbits Eat Sunflower Seeds?

Baby rabbits also can consume sunflower seeds like the adult ones but the feeding amount of sunflower seeds should be small. And you should feed sunflower seeds occasionally as treats with baby bunnies’ regular diet. And don’t feed shelled sunflower seeds. 

And as far as it is concerned about wild rabbits, know that wild rabbits can eat sunflower seeds if they get access to eat them. However, eating shelled or a large amount of sunflower seeds can cause them severe health risks. 

Besides, don’t ever try to wild rabbits’ sunflower seeds as they need their foraging instincts for surviving, rather than being reliant on you.

Are Sunflower Seeds Safe For Rabbits? Can Lionhead Rabbits Eat Sunflower Seeds? 

It’s absolutely safe for rabbits to feast on sunflowers, in fact, the whole sunflower plant including its flowers, leaves, stem, and seeds are safe for rabbits to consume. 

However, rabbits should eat sunflowers in moderation, particularly the seeds to prevent any digestive issues and health risks. 

The lionhead rabbits are a domestic breed of rabbits, so sometimes they also can eat sunflower seeds like other domestic rabbit breeds. But they should eat a small amount only. 

7 Reasons Why Sunflower Seeds Can Be Fed To Rabbits?

Sunflower seeds do contain a sufficient amount of good stuff in them to be a nutritious addition to a rabbit’s in a small quantity. The most apparent reasons that clarify the need for feeding sunflower seeds to rabbits are listed below with proper justifications. 

Good Fats: 

Sunflower seeds aren’t packed with a high amount of fat, it only has 19gm of fat in a ¼ cup of serving, thus, it’s a healthy low-fat treat for rabbits. 

Besides, rabbits mostly live by eating greens that certainly don’t have much fat, so if sunflower seeds are fed to rabbits, they will get some good fat that would help these energetic rabbits to burn energy and withstand cold.

High In Fiber: 

Sunflower seeds are a good source of fiber and fiber is an essential element for rabbits to maintain their energy level, growth, and have a healthful digestive system. Therefore, rabbits should eat sunflower seeds as a part of their diet. 

Also, fiber lessens LDL cholesterol in the rabbits’ blood.

Has Protein: 

Having protein is another needed element in a rabbit’s diet and the black oil sunflower seeds offer rabbits some proteins as much as 15%. Protein helps a rabbit with its growth, especially helps with its immune system’s health. 

Contains Calcium, Vitamin E, And Potassium: 

Sunflower seeds also do contain a moderate amount of Vitamin E, calcium, and potassium. So if rabbits eat sunflower seeds, the calcium in them will help them have a nice skeletal structure. 

Vitamin E will pair up with protein and will boost their immune system, also will clear out toxins from their body. And potassium will help them to regulate their body fluids. 

Helps To Lose Weight: 

If the rabbit is overweight one, it should eat sunflower seeds in its daily diet because sunflower seeds help in keeping the stomach full, thus, the rabbit tends to eat less. 

Reduce Inflammation: 

Sunflower seeds offer anti-inflammatory advantages, feeding sunflower seeds to rabbits once every week will lessen the risk of chronic inflammation.

Makes Coat Shiny And Thick: 

To have a thicker, warmer, and shinier coat, rabbits should eat sunflower seeds as ingesting sunflower seeds puts oil in rabbits’ coats. Plus, keeps the rabbits warm in winter by providing them with energy. 

What Are The Nutritional Values Of Sunflower Seeds For Rabbits? 

Among all the nutritional values sunflower seeds offer rabbits, healthy fat, fiber, and protein are the main ones. 

Below a chart containing all the nutritional values per 30 gm of sunflower seeds is added to let you understand how much nutritional values rabbits can get from sunflower seeds.

Nutritional Values Of Sunflower Seeds For Rabbits (Per 30 Grams)

Nutrients In Sunflower SeedsNutrients Per 30 Grams Of Sunflower Seeds
Fats10 grams 
Carbs6.2 grams
Protein 5.50 grams
Fiber8 grams
Niacin10% of the RDI
Iron5% of the RDI
Vitamin E35% of the RDI
Copper25% of the RDI
Selenium 30% of the RDI

What Happens If A Rabbit Overfeeds On Sunflower Seeds?

Consuming a large number of sunflower seeds can cause a rabbit to throw up and stomach ache because the directive system isn’t too strong to digest so many seeds. 

Overfeeding sunflower seeds can also lead a rabbit to obesity as these seeds have fat and calories. 

Constipation, kidney problems, allergy are the other health issues that can be caused due to overfeeding sunflower seeds to a rabbit. 

How To Give Sunflower Seeds To Rabbits?

Feeding your bunnies’ sunflower seeds is not a difficult task as bunnies themselves like to munch on sunflower seeds. However, as sunflower seeds are fed as a treat to rabbits, here are 2 simple ways of giving your rabbits sunflower seeds.

Give As Whole: 

There are two types of sunflower seeds, the black oil sunflower seeds aka BOSS and regular sunflower seeds are fed to rabbits. If you are feeding your bunny black oil sunflower seeds, just give 5-6 black sunflower seeds in your bunny’s feed hopper. 

And see him eating them as a whole notorious, tasty treat. 

There is no need to peel off the sunflower shell if you are feeding back oil sunflower seeds. 

Peel The Shells And Feed:

If you are feeding your furry bunny regular sunflower seeds then do remember that peeling off the sunflower seed shell is more than essential before you give him the seeds to eat. 

It’s because eating regular sunflower seeds with shells can cause him health issues, or worse demise. 

So thoroughly peel off the shells from regular sunflower seeds first, and then just place 5-6 seeds in his eating plate as a whole treat.

Final Thoughts

Sunflower seeds can be fed to rabbits as a part of their diet in moderation only, not as a staple food. Sunflower seeds don’t have all the necessary nutrients in them to be the main food that can be fed in a big portion, so don’t feed sunflower seeds too often to rabbits, they can fall sick.