Chives are very commonly found as “green and healthy” leafy veggies. They are very common in Asian households. It’s a staple in most dishes and it’s only natural that you might think you can give a bite of it to your bunny. But is it safe for your bunnies? 

As a responsible rabbit mom, it’s natural you might be careful about what to feed your bunny. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. The good news is, that you are at the right place. 

So, can rabbits eat chives?

Of course not! Rabbits cannot eat chives. This kind of herb along with onions, garlic, or any kind of food of the onion family is not for rabbits. They are highly toxic and poisonous to rabbits’ health.

Let’s see why chives are a big NO for the rabbits and why you should never feed chives to your bunnies.

Let’s hop straight in! 


Are Chives Toxic To Rabbits?


Chives, scientific name Allium schoenoprasum, is a species of flowering plant in the family Amaryllidaceae that produces edible leaves and flowers.

Their close relatives include the common onions, garlic, shallot, leek, scallion, and Chinese onion. It is no surprise that rabbits and aromatic herbs are not the best of friends. 

Are chives toxic to rabbits? Yes, chives are poisonous to rabbits and shouldn’t be fed to them. Rabbits should not eat chives leaves, scrapes (hollow and tubular stems), bulbs, or clustered pale purple flowers.

All parts of chives are toxic or poisonous to rabbits since they have disulfides and thiosulfates that give them intense flavor and aroma.

Chives create strong toxicity inside the rabbit’s body. Eating chives can cause acidity, stomach ache, and bloating.

Let’s discuss the nutritional value of chives and we will understand why we shouldn’t feed chives to rabbits:

  • Energy 126 kJ (30 kcal)
  • Carbohydrates- 4.35 g
  • Sugars- 1.85 g
  • Dietary fiber- 2.5 g
  • Fat- 0.73 g
  • Protein- 3.27 g


  • Thiamine (B1) (7%)- 0.078 mg
  • Riboflavin (B2) (10%)- 0.115 mg
  • Niacin (B3) (4%)- 0.647 mg
  • Pantothenic acid (B5) (6%)- 0.324 mg
  • Vitamin B6 (11%)- 0.138 mg
  • Folate (B9) (26%)- 105 μg
  • Vitamin C (70%)- 58.1 mg
  • Vitamin E (1%)- 0.21 mg
  • Vitamin K (203%)- 212.7 μg

Trace metals

  • Calcium (9%)- 92 mg
  • Iron (12%)- 1.6 mg
  • Magnesium (12%)- 42 mg
  • Manganese (18%)- 0.373 mg
  • Phosphorus (8%)- 58 mg
  • Potassium (6%)- 296 mg

Among these ingredients phosphorus, a lot of calcium, and acids that a chive contains are very harmful to a rabbit’s health.

You may think that the other compounds are healthy but you can provide those with other food items. You shouldn’t risk your rabbit’s health by providing chives to them. 

Let’s discuss why you should never feed chives to your bunnies and why they are toxic. 

Also, check out Can Rabbits Eat Lavender? Is Lavender Oil Safe For Rabbits?

Why Chives Are Not Safe For Rabbits?


Chives are not safe for rabbits. Rabbits can consume very little amount of chives but a round amount of chives can be toxic for your bunnies.

That’s why you should be on err while feeding chives to bunnies. Just because they can eat a small amount you should never try to feed it to them to be on the safer side. 

Chives belong to the allium family like garlic, onions, spring onions, and more. All veggies belonging to the allium family aren’t the best food to give to rabbits. They can cause gut and blood problems in rabbits.

There are cases in which it can lead to hemolytic anemia where the red blood cells become fragile and have the tendency to rupture.

Even though it doesn’t happen that the second rabbits consume chives, this problem could develop in a few days. Every rabbit mom knows that the one main issue with rabbits is that they cannot vomit food that they don’t like.

Because they can’t vomit out chives, they will remain in their stomach causing digestive issues and they will be stuck there for a long time. 

There is an oxidizing substance found in chives

that is called n-propyl disulfide. This composition binds on the sides of the red blood cells, which the other cells recognize as a foreign body.

Because of that, the red blood cells will then be destroyed, giving an adverse effect on the body of your pet. If this happens on a large scale or the problem persists for a long time, your pet may become anemic due to the destruction of red blood cells.

When consumed in large quantities, chives may trigger Heinz body formation that will cause hemolytic anemia (as red blood cells are damaged), methemoglobinemia (less oxygen delivered to cells), agglutination, as well as hemoglobinuria (hemoglobin in the urine). 

Do Rabbits Eat Chives In The Garden?

This should be another of your concerns. If you have chives in your backyard garden, there is a chance that your rabbit could go and munch on them.

However, because it is very aromatic the chance for the rabbit to go back over and over is unlikely since they don’t like aromatic flavors. 

Even though, if there is even a slight chance that your bun would go back to the chives garden then you should be cautious.

You can fence around the garden to make sure your rabbit doesn’t go and eat the herb. You can also use rabbit repellent on the herbs to make sure that your rabbit doesn’t go near it. 

You might also like to read Can Rabbits Eat Hummus? | Can Rabbits Eat Chickpeas?

What To Do If Rabbits Eat Chives?


Chives are toxic when rabbits consume too much of them. Indeed, you cannot always keep an eye on your bunny but your rabbits will show some signs of toxicity when they consume chives. 

The symptoms are:

  • Snoozing for quite a longer time than usual.
  • Loss of appetite. We were talking about it just a few ago.
  • Start coughing.
  • Grinding teeth again and again. It happens because of mouth irritation.
  • Their urine color may change and their poop should be seen as a kind of liquid which is a sign of diarrhea.
  • Weakness. Your rabbits can be seen as lazy and weaker. It may try to lay more than usual.
  • Lethargy 
  • Fainting and collapsing 
  • Pale gums
  • Decrease tolerance to exercise if they end up being anemic. 

If you notice your rabbit showing any of these signs of toxicity, consider taking him to your vet for diagnosis and treatment.

Alternatives For Chives

Some herbs are really good for a rabbit’s health and digestive system. The following herbs are safe and can be found easily to feed rabbits:

  • Basil
  • Lavender
  • Mint
  • Mustard
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Safe
  • Rosemary
  • Tarragon
  • Watercress

Frequently Asked Questions

Do rabbits eat garlic chives?

Overcooked chives lose their flavor, so only add them in the last few minutes of cooking. Garnish salads and soups with them, or serve them raw in salads or as a fresh garnish. Garlic chives prefer a sunny location and average, well-drained soil for their rapid growth. Alliums are deer and rabbit resistant, like all other alliums.

How much cilantro can a rabbit eat?

Depending on the size of your rabbit, the average amount of fresh, cleaned cilantro should be between half and one-third of a handful. Cilantro can be fed to rabbits every day, but only in small amounts. Here, moderation is essential!

Final Word 

By now we know the answer to the question: Can rabbits eat chives? No, they absolutely cannot eat chives. They are poisonous to rabbits. Even though chives are OK in small amounts, I wouldn’t take the risk of feeding chives even in small amounts to my bunnies. 

If you notice any of the chives’ toxicity in your bunny then you better rush to the vet immediately. Even though chives have nutritional benefits, it doesn’t apply to buns because their digestive system is very complicated. 

It’s a must that every rabbit mom researched what they feed their rabbits because they are very picky eaters. I hope this article solved your questions about chives and furry friends. 

For more questions, comment down below! 

Also, check out Can Rabbits Eat Cilantro? Is It Safe For Rabbits To Eat Cilantro?


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