Can Birds Eat Rabbit Food? Everything You Need to Know!

Birds are versatile creatures – they are the least picky when it comes to food.

Birds and rabbits are considered herbivores. Thus, in times of food shortages, one might wonder: Can I use rabbit food as an alternative to bird food?

If you guessed ‘Yes’, then today’s your lucky day!

Occasionally, birds can snack on organic, preservative-free, and sugar-free rabbit food. However, for a balanced diet, you should also provide them with nutritious bird seeds, mealworms, fruits, and vegetables!

However, it is safe to say our avian and lagomorphs friends have vastly different needs when it comes to food.

Keeping that in mind, let’s investigate this topic further!

Why Is Rabbit Food Safe for Birds?

Most bird foods involve pellets, dehydrated vegetables, and seeds, which is a similarity shared by bird food, hamster food, and rabbit food.

The similarity in ingredients in both types of foods makes them safe for birds to feed on occasionally.

Although there is a debate in the bird community about how Alfalfa (a common ingredient found in rabbit pellets) is toxic to birds.

Beautiful flowers of alfalfa plant

Studies have proved them wrong as they prove that the rich fiber content in Alfalfa aids in digestive issues like constipation and indigestion in birds.

Considering that you’re buying store-bought rabbit food, foods that don’t contain any additives are perfectly safe for birds.

Additives like sugar, salt, or any preservative can lead to indigestion or even salt toxicity (aka salt toxicosis) in birds.

Thus proving that it’s best to steer clear of the ones with any additives. In terms of natural and fresh food, birds can eat almost everything rabbits can.

However, rabbits have teeth and stronger jaws to munch down on their tasty fruits and vegetables.

Unlike rabbits, birds have stronger beaks instead. Yet they cannot bite through most tough foods.

Two beautiful rabbits with a bowl of pellet foods

If you plan on letting your bird and rabbit enjoy the same food, you are going to risk some choking hazards.

Hence, when serving foods like carrots to your birds, ensure that they are finely chopped to avoid such incidents.

Is Rabbit Food a Perfect Alternative to Bird Food?

When you bring the word ‘perfect’ into context, things get a bit iffy.

Before we get into the details, you might wonder why I mentioned that birds are ‘considered’ to be herbivores.

The reason behind that is birds being herbivores is a big misconception that has been taught for ages.

Most birds are opportunistic omnivores! They require a protein-concentrated diet that will enable them to grow stronger bones and muscles.

Sufficient protein in their diet helps them be immune to diseases like Angel Wings Disease.

Whereas rabbit food has high fiber content to suit their requirements.

A blue tit eating pellet foods from a bird feeder

It is precisely why I previously mentioned how a bird’s nutritional needs are the polar opposite of a rabbit’s.

Considering all of these, store-bought see how store-bought rabbit food is not a substantial dietary substitute for birds.

Can Rabbit Food Be Used As Treats?

Without any additives, store-bought rabbit food is safe, so why not? You can feed your bird rabbit pellets as an occasional treat and even as a remedy.

Like I said before, the fiber content in rabbit food helps with digestive problems. If you run out of bird food, you can use rabbit food as a backup.

What to Look for When Buying Rabbit Food for Your Bird?

When choosing rabbit food that is safe for your bird, there are 3 key things to look out for:

  • No preservatives
  • No refined sugars
  • 100% organic ingredients 

These are the basic requirements you should look for in store-bought rabbit food to ensure your bird’s safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here I will answer the FAQs about feeding rabbit food to birds.

Can Birds Eat Commercial Rabbit Food?

Commercial rabbit food consists of hay and vegetables, which are healthy for birds. 

However, it cannot be redeemed as a substantial diet as it is more fiber-based due to being targeted for rabbits only.

Can Birds Eat Alfalfa Pellets?

Alfalfa-based pellets are perfect for birds to eat on occasion. It regulates blood pressure levels and helps egg-binding in birds.

Can Birds Eat Rabbit Pellets?

Yes, birds can eat rabbit pellets. Rabbit pellets are high in fiber and vitamins, making them a great addition to your bird’s diet as an occasional treat.

Can Wild Birds Eat Rabbit Food?

Wild birds will benefit if you add rabbit food to your bird feeders. Fibers help store energy and aid digestive problems. Migrating birds requires high amounts of energy. Rabbit food delivers just that.

Besides migrating birds, local birds should occasionally consume rabbit food as they require lower sustenance.

Final Remarks

Lastly, it’s always important to remember that health is more important! 

Rabbit food can only be a temporary fix and never a sustainable bird food alternative.

If you’re planning to use them as treats, remember to always check out if all three requirements listed above are met. Your bird’s health should be the primary concern here.

Photo of author

Written and Fact-checked by David Neff

Author at BirdBonica

David is an expert birder and bird parent with in-depth knowledge of birds. He has years of experience observing birds in their natural habitats, studying their diets, behavior, and more. (Learn more about David here...)

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1 thought on “Can Birds Eat Rabbit Food? Everything You Need to Know!”

  1. Thank you very much.

    I would like to feed a pair of nesting Egyptian Geese and a pair of nesting Hadeda on rabbit food as apposed to Koi food.
    The birds have taken to frequenting my large Koi pond.
    I would feed them small amounts when they come begging.
    Roy VIckers
    Durban by the sea.


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