Skip to Content

Can Birds Eat Rabbit Food? (All You Need to Know)

In our everyday life, pets indeed are one of our best companions. They provide us with joy and help us get through a bad day. Many people love to keep multiple pets and they interact with each other. Below, we will know about their diets to help us feed out pets with less effort.

Can birds eat rabbit food?

Birds can eat rabbit food as rabbit food contains natural ingredients and items that are commonly included in a bird’s diet whether it be domestic or wild birds. Rabbit foods provide almost the same nutrients to birds as bird food – but that depends on the brand of rabbit food you chose to feed. 

There are different types of rabbit food or pellets that are found in pet stores, but most of them have a hay base and a combination of processed grains and plants. 

Among the types of rabbit food – one type consists of just processed grains and plants on a hay base while the other consists of that with addition to seeds, dried foods and nuts as well.

Although the one with seeds, nuts and dried plants are not healthy for rabbits to consume on a regular basis, the components are quite similar to a bird’s diet as they eat seeds, nuts and can also feed on hay. 

Rabbit food does provide the birds with the same nutrients, vitamins and minerals that they would get from foraging for food outdoors. And due to the versatility of a bird’s diet, they face no major issues by feeding on rabbit food.

However, this does not imply that you should only feed them rabbit food – birds require a healthy and balanced combination of different bird seeds in their food which aren’t included in rabbit foods. 

Therefore, you should try to give birds the food pellets that have been specifically designed for them.

Wild birds:

Feeding rabbit foods to wild birds is perfectly fine because they do not rely on human intervention or feeding to ensure their proper diet, they manage their proper diet from foraging outside and getting the proper nutrition. 

Baby birds:

However, the case is different for baby birds if you’re feeding them. 

They cannot forage for food themselves and it is necessary that you ensure their proper nutrition. Thus, it is important that you only feed baby birds with bird food or baby bird food until maturation. 

Would a pet bird eat rabbit food? Is it okay for birds to eat rabbit food?

Rabbits are herbivores therefore their food consists of natural items and elements such as hay, seeds, nuts and often dried fruits. 

Whereas birds are omnivores, meaning they eat both natural items as well as other living beings thus their food pellets often contain a combination of seeds, nuts as well as dried insects. 

Being omnivores, birds can also consume other sorts of plant based items and digest them well without any adverse consequences. Which means that birds can eat the hay, seeds, nuts and the dried fruits that the rabbit foods come with.

However, the question is – just because your pet bird can eat rabbit food, is it actually healthy for them? 

The answer is yes and no – it is healthy if you feed your rabbit bird food occasionally but it isn’t healthy for them to eat rabbit food on a daily basis because rabbit food does not cover all the nutrients a bird needs.

3 reasons why birds will eat rabbit food

There are several reasons why birds can and will eat bird food and the reasons are stated below:

Birds are omnivores:

Unlike rabbits who are herbivores, birds are like humans who eat both plant based and animal based items. This means birds can eat plant based foods without facing any digestive complications. 

Rabbit food usually consists of either hay and dried plants or a combination of that with different seeds, nuts as well as dried fruits.

Whichever the type of rabbit food you pick, they will contain items that are edible for birds.

Rabbit food contain seeds:

Plant based bird food mostly consists of bird seeds, nuts and different types of seeds from various fruits and vegetables which best covers their nutrient requirements. 

And since some rabbit foods contain seeds, they can also be fed to birds as a temporary alternative as a food source.

However, make sure that the rabbit food you feed your birds contain seeds and nuts – some rabbit food variants don’t contain them as they are regarded as unhealthy for rabbits.

Rabbit food is processed similar to bird food:

Rabbit foods contain hay and dried plants which are processed into tiny pellets and as for the seeds and nuts, they are processed to stay well preserved as well. 

Although bird food does not contain hay and dried plants, their seeds and nuts are processed similarly to the seeds in rabbit foods.

How to stop birds from eating rabbit food?

Although rabbit food is okay for birds to eat, they might disrupt your rabbits from having a proper meal. Therefore, follow the steps below to prevent your birds from eating rabbit food:

Set up a fake predator:

Using scarecrows has been the oldest and most traditional way to keep birds away from approaching a place. So a fake predator should be your first line of defense to keep birds from approaching rabbit food. 

Toys such as plastic snakes, owls or cats can be kept near the food  bowl of your rabbits to prevent birds from approaching.

This step alone would significantly reduce the number of birds approaching the rabbit’s food bowl, however if there are still some birds raiding and eating the rabbit food – follow the remaining steps.

Keep rabbit food in a confined place:

Birds like to roam around in open spaces and dislike being confined in an enclosed space, you could take advantage of this behavior to keep the rabbit food in a place where the birds will not want to venture into. 

You could schedule your rabbit’s feeding time and take your rabbits to the confined space for feeding. 

Even if the birds can see the rabbit food, they will be discouraged from going in due to the fake predator and confined space of the feeding area.

Use automatic feeders:

Lastly, once the rabbits have become habituated to their feeding in the confined space. Get an automatic feeder that dispenses food and water at their scheduled time. This would prevent any spillages that the birds would want to feed on and ensure proper feeding of rabbits.

What’s the difference between rabbit food and bird food?

Despite their similarities, there are some differences between bird food and rabbit food that makes them distinct. Below explained are a few of those differences:

Rabbit foods mostly contains hay and dried plants:

Rabbits are herbivores, which means they mostly eat plant based foods as well as hay. But more importantly, their teeth are efficient at tearing and chewing hay and plants while their digestive systems are packed with enzymes most suited to digest those foods. 

Birds can eat rabbit food as well but not as efficiently as rabbits therefore it is best for birds to be fed bird food.

Bird foods mostly contains different types of seeds:

Unlike rabbits, a bird’s beak is well suited to cracking seeds and breaking them down into smaller bits, which is why bird food contains mostly seeds and nuts unlike rabbit food. 

Although rabbits can break and eat seeds, they are not healthy for rabbits to be fed regularly, therefore they are included in small proportions in rabbit food. So the quantity of seed in rabbit food is a lot less compared to the amount in bird food.

Both of them are designed to meet different nutritional needs:

Birds and rabbits are completely two different types of animals, which means both of them have very different nutritional requirements and need a variety of food to be included in their diet in order to meet those needs. 

There isn’t any common food that meets the nutritional requirements of both birds and rabbits, therefore both of them are different in terms of what proportion of nutrition they provide per serving.

What animals will eat rabbit food?

There are many animals that can eat rabbit food for the same reason birds can eat rabbit food. Many herbivores and omnivores have many foods in common with rabbit food, so they can eat them without any issues. 

Below listed are the few common domestic pets that can eat rabbit foods:

  • Chickens
  • Birds
  • Horses
  • Cattle
  • Goats
  • Ducks

Final Thoughts

Birds can eat rabbit food because it contains natural nutrients and elements that are typically found in the diets of both domestic and wild birds. Rabbit foods supply nearly the same nutrients to birds as bird food – but this is dependent on the kind of rabbit food you feed.