Can Rabbits Eat Basil – Leaves, and Plant?

Can rabbits eat basil
Written by Editorial

Do rabbits eat basil leaves or plant or is this herb harmful? If you love this herb and you often include it in most of your cooking, but you’re not certain if you can give your furry friend a bit or not, we got you covered.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) also referred to as Saint-Joseph’s Wort is a popular culinary herb that belongs the Lamiaceae, the mint family. Depending on the type, this culinary herb has a strong or pungent but sweet smell. Beside culinary, this herb is also used in folk medicine such as the traditional Chinese medicines as well as Ayurveda.

There are many types including the sweet, Genovese, purple, lemon, lime, Africa blue, cardinal, green, spicy globe, summerlong, cinnamon, Greek, Clove (African), Green Ruffles,  Rubin, Dark Opal, holy, Thai sweet, Italian, and lettuce basil, among others. 

Can rabbits eat basil
Can rabbits eat basil?

Can I give my bunnies basil?

Yes. Rabbits can eat basil. It is one of the rabbit safe herbs and one of those that bunnies prefer, together with others such as spearmint, peppermint, parsley.[1]

These pets will also enjoy other herbs including rosemary, oregano, mint, sage, lemon mint, cilantro, dill, among others.

Basil should be fed to your pet in the same way you feed him or her with other leafy greens. A chopped cup of at least 4-5 different types of leafy greens, basil being one of them per two-pound rabbit body weight daily. Also, keep varying the leafy greens, herbs, and vegetables.

Some leafy greens you could mix include kales, cilantro, Mache, escarole, cucumber leaves, carrot tops, wheatgrass, watercress, mint, turnip greens, dandelion greens, romaine lettuce among others. The list is endless.  However, always ensure you include only one or none of the high oxalic leafy greens.

Nutritionally, this herb has some carbs, fiber, proteins, small amounts of fats and vitamins including A (and beta-carotene), B1, B2. B3, B5, B6, B9, choline, C, E, and K. Also, it has minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, sodium and potassium. These nutrients make it an exceptional choice of a herb to give your rabbits.

While introducing this herb, begin with small amounts and look at how your rabbit’s stomach is going to react after a day. You can afterward increase the amount over a period of at least a week.

Also, ensure that your basil is free of any farm chemicals (herbicides, pesticide, and insecticides) and thoroughly it cleaning under running water.

Finally, note that excess amount of any leafy greens or quick introduction may cause stomach upsets including bloating, gas, diarrhea, among others.

Do rabbits eat basil plant or leave?

Whereas bunnies can safely eat it, they tend to avoid most plants that have a strong scent including rosemary, oregano, and basil [2]. However, sometimes, it is possible for them to nibble the basil plant and leaves.

If they are damaging this plant or any other crop in your garden, you should consider various means of controlling rabbits such as fencing, trapping, habitat modification, use of repellents, scare devices, or intercrop them with plants that are less inviting.


Rabbits can eat basil leaves or plant including its stem. It is safe. However, it is not one of the most favored vegetable or leafy greens that this pet will often nibble but they may nibble it from time to time. 

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