Do Rabbits Eat Sunflower Seeds? {How Much Is Safe?}

My rabbit is staring at me while I’m chewing on sunflower seeds and watching TV. Do rabbits eat sunflower seeds?

Have you ever given your rabbit black oil sunflower seeds? Why do rabbits like it and what are the risks associated with sunflowers and their seeds?

We’ll discuss other seeds too in this article and determine how much sunflower seed is acceptable for rabbits.

Do Rabbits Eat Sunflower Seeds?

Yes. Rabbits love sunflower seeds, but should you be giving it to them daily? I say no due to their high fat content and risks of digestive problems.

I offer 4-6 sunflower seeds per week for each rabbit only in the winter months to prevent overheating in summers. The oils in sunflower seeds keeps them warm and toasty in the winter.

Feeding your rabbit potatoes, maize, beans, seeds, or nuts is not advised. Some foods are challenging for rabbits to digest and may result in severe digestive issues.

Can Rabbits Eat Shelled Sunflower Seeds?

Feeding S rabbit sunflower seeds with the shells ON will provide additional required if you choose to.

For rabbits, the shells are simple to gnaw through. Due to their high fat content, black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS) frequently cause your rabbit to put on weight.

BOSS shells are thinner and easier to digest. Removing the shell is what I do on rare occasions where I offer them to my rabbits. Seeds are not part of their staple diet. It’s all about the hay first and foremost.

Can Rabbits Eat Sunflower Seeds With Black Oil?

Yes. Black oil sunflower seeds, or BOSS as they are more often known, are tasty to rabbits. The general consensus is that six seeds in their diet once a week is sufficient.

Before giving these to bunnies, most owners advise hulling them or removing the shells. Others claim the shells are a good source of fiber.

When to Give A Rabbit Sunflower Seeds

The time of year to give your bunnies sunflower seeds is important. They are excellent for providing your rabbits with shiny coats and raising their body temperatures because of the oil and high fat content.

Several rabbit owners only provide them during the winter because of this. The issue in the summer is that rabbits may retain the extra fat that will keep them too warm.

This may prevent them from activity levels and exercise that they are used to during this time. Sunflower seeds are great for winter months to keep them warmer.

Black Oil Sunflower Seeds Nutritional Information

As BOSS is the preferable choice for rabbits, let’s examine their composition in greater detail:

  • Fat – 28%
  • Fiber – 25%
  • 15% protein
  • Calcium
  • Iron B vitamin
  • E vitamin
  • Potassium

Sunflower seeds don’t have enough nutrients to serve as your rabbit’s major source of nutrition, but they do have enough of the good things in them to make a terrific supplement to your rabbit’s diet in moderation.

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How Much Sunflower Seeds To Give A Rabbit

Don’t let the rabbits eat too much sunflower seeds. At large dosages, its high oil and fat content will result in more serious problems.

  • The majority of rabbit enthusiasts recommend 5-6 seeds each week.

Although it might not seem like much, this is a safe quantity. Peeling is a good idea for conventional sunflower seeds but not necessary for BOSS seeds.

The increased fat and oils are excellent for warming up the rabbit’s body and promoting a smooth and warm coat.

However in the summer, this might cause some rabbits with thicker coats to overheat.

Can Rabbits Eat Seeds?

Yes. When given in little amounts or as a special treat, rabbits will eat virtually any kind of seed. Some seeds contain high concentrations of chemicals, which can lead to illnesses that are potentially lethal.

Eating high quantities of seeds can lead to impaction or other digestive disorders in rabbits since seeds are often more difficult for rabbits to digest than other types of food.

This is why I limit the amount of seeds my rabbits eat. Blending them helps reduce the chances of impaction.

Why Should Rabbits Not Eat Seeds?

It is not recommended to feed dry seeds to rabbits since they might be the right size to clog the pylorus and small intestine and result in a major obstruction.

Examples include:

  • locust bean seeds
  • dried peas
  • sweet corn
  • tiny seeds like milo
  1. The risk of digestive system obstructions is still a possibility. This is due to the fact that some seed coats, also known as hulls, shells, or testa, are indigestible.
  2. Nonetheless, ground-up seed hulls are a popular addition to many staple diets because they are an excellent source of fiber.
  3. We shouldn’t forget that other foods and substances can sometimes cause blockages, usually where underlying problems are involved, the primary offenders being their own fur and carpet fibers.
  4. When compared to other meals that would generally be offered to rabbits or rats, many seeds have a greater fat content, which might be a cause for worry.

Do Rabbits Eat Pumpkin Seeds?

Yes. Pumpkin seeds are one of the few seeds that rabbits may safely eat. Rabbits should only sometimes treat themselves to raw pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin seeds are nutrient-dense because they include:

  • calcium
  • iron
  • zinc
  • copper
  • manganese
  • potassium
  • vitamin A
  • B-complex vitamins

Can Rabbits Eat Sunflowers?

Yes. Although sunflowers in and of themselves are not dangerous to rabbits, overfeeding them to your pets may cause the following problems:

1. GI stasis

If your rabbit is eating sunflower instead of hay, it might get gastrointestinal stasis. Be careful not to substitute sunflower for your rabbit’s staple diet of hay, vegetables, and pellets.

2. Diarrhea

Moreover, feeding your rabbits too many sunflower seeds at once might cause diarrhea. When new food is offered to rabbits too quickly and in excess, it frequently results in diarrhea.

3. Soft Uneaten Cecotropes

As rabbit diets often lack fiber, feeding your bunnies excessive amounts of unneeded food, such as sunflower, may also result in soft uneaten cecotropes. Feeding lots of fiber-rich hay will help cure this.

Risks Of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds For Rabbits

Due to their high fat content, black oil sunflower seeds frequently cause your rabbit to put on weight. Throughout the winter, fall, and spring, the increased body weight helps rabbits regulate their body temperature.

In the summer, your rabbit may not need to retain as much body heat, therefore you might want to reduce the amount of black oil sunflower seeds your rabbit eats during that time.

Fresh Timothy hay and water should be your rabbit’s main food sources if you want to keep them healthy.

Also provide rabbit pellets from your neighborhood pet shop that provide them with the nutrients they require for their diet.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Do Rabbits Eat Bird Seeds?

Yes. Due to the fact that rabbits, whether wild or domesticated, are herbivores, there is no problem with their eating bird seed.

Bird seed mixtures often include a variety of nuts, fruits, and seeds, including peanuts, raisins, cherries, sunflower seeds, and maize millet.

2. How Many Black Oil Sunflower Seeds Should I Give a Rabbit?

You only need a few seeds per rabbit. You should be careful not to overfeed the rabbit because this will make them obese and sluggish. BOSS may assist blow a rabbit’s coat if it appears to be caught in a molt. We only feed our rabbits 4-6 seeds each week.

3. Can Rabbits Eat Chia Seeds?

Yes. It is acceptable to give your rabbit some chia seeds on sometimes as a treat, as long as you do not give them a significant amount of chia seeds on a daily basis.

It is recommended by the majority of veterinarians that you limit the amount of chia seeds your rabbit consumes to no more than twice per week, and no more than six at each meal.

4. Can White Sunflower Seeds Be Eaten By Rabbits?

As long as it’s not a lot every day, giving your rabbits white sunflower seeds as a reward is fine. The majority of vets only advise giving your rabbit 5-6 sunflower seeds a week.


Variety is essential to a rabbit’s diet. Before introducing new meals to your rabbits, be sure to do your study on the kinds of foods that are safe for them to eat.

For your rabbit, exercise and attention are also beneficial. Be sure you play with them, spend time with them, and allow them to explore their cage each day without frightening them.

To restate, it’s acceptable sometimes to give your rabbit some Sunflower Seeds. Although they are a tasty treat, these sunflower seeds should never be a regular part of a rabbit’s diet.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way. 


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.