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Thread: Can bunnies eat Sorrel?

  1. #1
    Wise Old Thumper Blackberry & Co's Avatar
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    Default Can bunnies eat Sorrel?

    I've been trying to Google the answer, but there seem to be a lot of conflicting opinions.

    It's classed as an herb, or so a lot of places say, and plenty of places say all herbs apart from chives are safe for bunnies.

    One site I looked on had it listed on its 'poisonous' list but also on its 'medicinal' list for bunnies!


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    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackberry & Co View Post
    I've been trying to Google the answer, but there seem to be a lot of conflicting opinions.

    It's classed as an herb, or so a lot of places say, and plenty of places say all herbs apart from chives are safe for bunnies.

    One site I looked on had it listed on its 'poisonous' list but also on its 'medicinal' list for bunnies!

    It's one of those yes, no, maybe plants - really helpful I know


    Rumex acetosa - common sorrel is listed as toxic

    Oxalis acetosella - wood sorrel (also known as Shamrock plant) - listed as possibly toxic.

    Would you take the chance?

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    Young Bun Preitler's Avatar
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    Well, it's the oxalic acid that can be a problem when the dose is too high, and some animals cope better with it than others (sheep bad, cattle better). Small amounts, a few leaves now and then, wont hurt, but I wouldn't give a handfull at once. Oxalic acid is in several other plants and food too, and there's a lot to read about it on the net.

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    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preitler View Post
    Well, it's the oxalic acid that can be a problem when the dose is too high, and some animals cope better with it than others (sheep bad, cattle better). Small amounts, a few leaves now and then, wont hurt, but I wouldn't give a handfull at once. Oxalic acid is in several other plants and food too, and there's a lot to read about it on the net.

    Oxalic acid isn't the toxicity issue I was referring to Preitler. There's oxalic acid in spinach and bunnies happily eat it. I wouldn't feed sorrel in the same way.

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    I am not sure about rabbits but I know that budgies can eat Lemon Sorrel. I feed it to Raul and he loves it. I get it fresh from the Hydroponic farm. I don't care too much for it as it is very sour so I pick it just for him.

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    Young Bun Preitler's Avatar
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    Can't find any reference to any other stuff in Sorrel? Also can't find the values for sorrel to compare it with other stuff, but it's quite a lot.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxalate

    Yes, that stuff is in spinach too, and they sure love to eat sorrel too. But you don't feed spinach to livestock.

    Toxicity is always a matter of the dose, and since oxalic acid is a big thing in lifestock feeding it is generally referred to as toxic because some animals can have negative effects at rather low doses. That's why those plants are rated "toxic", but it doesn't say that your bunny drops dead or gets sick from a leaf now and then. That's true for a lot of plants containing rather low levels of toxins, there aren't that much out there that kick a bunny out of it's boots.

    Too much of oxalic acid isn't good for thr kidneys, but any herbivore has some tolerance to that stuff.
    So, avoiding it is a good thing, but no need to panic because of a few leaves now and then.
    Last edited by Preitler; 24-04-2017 at 09:07 PM.

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    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preitler View Post
    Can't find any reference to any other stuff in Sorrel? Also can't find the values for sorrel to compare it with other stuff, but it's quite a lot.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxalate

    Yes, that stuff is in spinach too, and they sure love to eat sorrel too. But you don't feed spinach to livestock.

    Toxicity is always a matter of the dose, and since oxalic acid is a big thing in lifestock feeding it is generally referred to as toxic because some animals can have negative effects at rather low doses. That's why those plants are rated "toxic", but it doesn't say that your bunny drops dead or gets sick from a leaf now and then. That's true for a lot of plants containing rather low levels of toxins, there aren't that much out there that kick a bunny out of it's boots.

    Too much of oxalic acid isn't good for thr kidneys, but any herbivore has some tolerance to that stuff.
    So, avoiding it is a good thing, but no need to panic because of a few leaves now and then.

    Really? Hemlock? Ragwort?

    I personally wouldn't like to experiment
    Last edited by MightyMax; 24-04-2017 at 09:41 PM.

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    Wise Old Thumper Blackberry & Co's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies - now I'm more confused than ever

    The sorrel I have is red vein sorrel - there seem to be a lot of different types out there, so I don't know if that makes a difference.


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    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackberry & Co View Post
    Thanks for the replies - now I'm more confused than ever

    The sorrel I have is red vein sorrel - there seem to be a lot of different types out there, so I don't know if that makes a difference.

    I find foraging, and what's toxic/not toxic quite confusing

    If only there was clear and definitive info out there, but sadly not!

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    Warren Veteran keletkezes's Avatar
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    Ragwort may be safe for bunnies... I'm not going to try it on mine but there's anecdotal evidence to say it's OK...!
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