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Thread: Beech is it safe?

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    Wise Old Thumper tulsi's Avatar
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    Default Beech is it safe?

    I have been giving my rabbits and guinea pigs beech twigs with leaves on which they all love.

    Saw online that beech wood is on the poisenous list but that the leaves are ok????

    Anyone know any thing about this?

    Sould I take off the stems/twigs and just feed the leaves?

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    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tulsi View Post
    I have been giving my rabbits and guinea pigs beech twigs with leaves on which they all love.

    Saw online that beech wood is on the poisenous list but that the leaves are ok????

    Anyone know any thing about this?

    Sould I take off the stems/twigs and just feed the leaves?

    Yes beech is safe

    http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/GI_dise.../Branch_en.htm

    Flora and Adar enjoying fresh beech tree branches

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    I have never fed Beech, but only because we don't have any here. I have always thought that it is OK (both wood and leaves), but on checking now have seen that some sites say otherwise. Where did you see it was poisonous?

    When I've found in the past an inconsistency between different sites I try to check other wood/leaves that are also listed on the sites to see how accurate they are with wood/leaves known to be definitely safe or poisonous.

    It is very difficult to find a trustworthy site which covers safe and poisonous woods for rabbits.
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    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omi View Post
    I have never fed Beech, but only because we don't have any here. I have always thought that it is OK (both wood and leaves), but on checking now have seen that some sites say otherwise. Where did you see it was poisonous?

    When I've found in the past an inconsistency between different sites I try to check other wood/leaves that are also listed on the sites to see how accurate they are with wood/leaves known to be definitely safe or poisonous.

    It is very difficult to find a trustworthy site which covers safe and poisonous woods for rabbits.

    I've mentioned before that Twigs (aka Parsnipbun) has said that feeding beech is safe

    https://www.harcourt-brown.co.uk/art...lem-with-lists

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    Wise Old Thumper Santa's Avatar
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    Personally I wouldn't feed beech. It's one of those ones that I've seen listed as both safe and unsafe and it just intuitively doesn't 'feel' right to me as the leaves are a very hard and waxy consistency. I fed it once several years ago and a bun choked on a piece; I had to swing her downwards over my arm to free it. Arguably she could have been eating anything when that happened, and it just happened to be beech, but I do think the consistency and texture of the leaf contributed to it. There are so many things that are genuinely safe and good to feed without any question over it, that personally I would leave out anything which is even vaguely debatable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa View Post
    Personally I wouldn't feed beech. It's one of those ones that I've seen listed as both safe and unsafe and it just intuitively doesn't 'feel' right to me as the leaves are a very hard and waxy consistency. I fed it once several years ago and a bun choked on a piece; I had to swing her downwards over my arm to free it. Arguably she could have been eating anything when that happened, and it just happened to be beech, but I do think the consistency and texture of the leaf contributed to it. There are so many things that are genuinely safe and good to feed without any question over it, that personally I would leave out anything which is even vaguely debatable.
    Iím with you on this

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    Wise Old Thumper tulsi's Avatar
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    Yes. I didnt cut any beech leaves today. Shame though as they all loved it. Oh well they will 'just' have to put up with willow, hawthorn, bramble and ash!

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    Mine used to eat a fair amount of beech as it was the dividing hedge between gardens when I lived in that rented house with the big garden. They've not had any for 2 years now but I did include some in todays forage intended for winter feeding. Because my bunnies ate it readily I'm inclined to believe it is safe. My three are very savvy about plants. Whenever I pick a random sprig of something I didn't mean to (eg buttercup, berries on hawthorn etc) it will often be left by all of them

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    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tulsi View Post
    Yes. I didnt cut any beech leaves today. Shame though as they all loved it. Oh well they will 'just' have to put up with willow, hawthorn, bramble and ash!

    They still have a fair selection!

    Shame not to feed it as two reputable sources say it's fine - Twigs Way (a Garden Historian and also has a rabbit sanctuary) and Medirabbit, whose website I trust.

    But you have to go with what you feel is right

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    Wise Old Thumper Santa's Avatar
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    It's a tricky one isn't it, there's a difference between 'safe' meaning 'not toxic' and 'safe' meaning 'unlikely to cause harm in any way'. I also get a bit perplexed that it never seems to be actively mentioned, so the photo on the medirabbit page is captioned to be of rabbits eating beech, but beech isn't listed in the 'safe trees' list...same for parsnip bun's foraging book. Does anyone have the 'gardening for rabbits' book, is it mentioned in there? Eileen Walthall, who wrote 'wild nutrition for pet rabbits' says she wouldn't feed it.

    In the absence of it appearing in any of the commonly cited lists of safe things, I'd make the assumption that even if it is safe, it probably isn't delicious, otherwise as it's such a common tree, it would be in all the books as recommended food and our bunnies would be shovelling it down like they do with willow and apple
    Last edited by Santa; 18-06-2018 at 06:16 PM.
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