Satisfy Wild Rabbits with a Swiss Chard Patch

Love the Easter Bunny, but not in your garden? If you plant a patch of Swiss chard away from your garden, bunny rabbits will be thrilled and content to eat the Swiss chard rather than your garden. Make it a good size patch, if possible, as you want the rabbits (wild only) to have plenty of Swiss chard to last as long as possible.


Do not feed domestic rabbits Swiss chard or lettuce for that matter, as it will give them diarrhea and they will die. Wild rabbits are use to eating this type of foliage and don't get sick. Growing up on a rabbit farm, it was important that wild rabbit's not be hanging around the domestic rabbit's as they could bring disease. My father would always plant a field of Swiss chard, way down in the north forty, so all the critters would be happy. Wild rabbits stayed away from our gardens, close to the house, as well.

By Suzy from Clinton, TN

Editor's Note: We could find no evidence that chard was dangerous for domestic rabbits. There was a small amount of concern about the oxalic acid content and it was suggested to limit the amount of dark leafy greens (spinach, beet greens, etc.).


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May 10, 20190 found this helpful
Top Comment

I found this comment about chard and other leafy greens. Silverbeet is another name for Swiss chard. But I saw other sites recommend brussels sprouts as a treat so there is some disagreement. I'd use moderation and a balanced variety of fruits and vegetables. Note that avocado, potatoes and broad beans are all considered poisonous and should be avoided entirely.

"Cabbage, Kale, Broccoli, silverbeet, spinach and brussel sprouts can cause tummy issues like colic and bloat so only feed very small amounts of these and lettuce can cause scours.

Foods you can feed:

Carrots , Carrot tops, Apples, Greens, Grass, Puha, Broccoli, Dandelion leaves & flowers, Bananas, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cranberries, Grapes, Kiwifruit, Mandarins, Mango, Nectarine, Orange, Papaya, Pears, Peach, Plums, Pineapple, Raspberries, Raisins, Strawberries, Watermelon, Apple tree leaves, Alfalfa, Basil, Borage, Brussel sprouts, Bok Choy, Clover, Capsicum, Coriander, Chives, Dill, Citrus tree leaves, Celery leaves, Marjoram, Lavender, Fennell, Chicory, Endive, Marigold, Parsley, Radish tops, Rosemary, Watercress, Wheatgrass, Snowpeas, Dock leaves (before they have gone to seed), Celery stalks chopped into small pieces (stops choking on long stringy bits).


Here is a list of other foods to avoid:

Most human foods , Nuts, Crackers, Biscuits/cookies, Chocolate, Cereals, Seeds, Oats, Beans, Milk, Bread, Pasta, Wheat, Corn, Yoghurt drops.

Absolutely do not feed these as they are poisonous to rabbits:

Potatoes, Daffodil, Rhubarb, Lillies, Mushrooms, Avocado, Broad beans, Oak, Sweetpea, Buttercup, Kidney beans, Jasmine, Nightshade, Snowdrop, Privet, Hemlock, Foxglove, Iceberg lettuce, Any leaves from evergreen trees."

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April 1, 20090 found this helpful

I'd always read that the pellets that were fed to rabbits were meant to fatten them up for eating. We've always fed our rabbits lots of fresh veggies from our garden, including lettuce and chard, with no ill effects. My last rabbit lived to be almost 10 years old. But we did this from the time we got them, and did not change their diets abruptly--maybe that made a difference.


We grew fresh clover for them and they ate a varied diet too. We also has fenced in spots where we let them run and dig, and they were safe from predators. We allowed them to roam freely in our garden whenever we were in the yard. They were always very happy and sweet pets. A favorite food were the leaves from kohlrabi plants.

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April 2, 20090 found this helpful

Wish I'd known this last summer. We were given a Zip-loc baggie full of Swiss Chard. We hated the leathery texture and strong flavor, and ended up tossing it.

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June 6, 20090 found this helpful

I am going to do that this year! They are under the shed and I am going to do a little garden just for them!

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January 26, 20120 found this helpful

This sounds interesting but I seriously have my doubts it would work. I mean if they randomly come into my yard, they can't read signs that says "this direction for Swiss chard" LOL...fencing is the easiest way for me to keep them out and is also what works for most people. If I were sure it worked, that would be great!


JustplainJo who doesn't like Swiss Chard, use it while it is still very young; cut it as you would lettuce and it grows back faster than you can bat an eye. Chances are the people who gave it to you, gave you too mature stuff.

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May 9, 20190 found this helpful

Chard is completely safe for rabbits. It has many health benefits. My rabbit eats it all the time.... no diarrhea and hopping around. I don't know where you got your info from but it is safe

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