Can Rabbits Eat Lavender, Uses Of Lavender On Your Backyard Farm

Lavender is a wonderful herb to have on hand in your rabbitry or on your hobby farm because it does so much. Lavender is an herb that everyone has at least heard of even if you haven’t tried to use it.

If you take the time to learn how to use herbs in your rabbitry you can save a lot of time and money if you learn to treat your animals yourself.

I started using herbs with my rabbits when I was a young teen because there were not a lot of options out there for treating issues with rabbits. Also, the trouble with rabbits is they go down hard and fast. You may not have time to wait for a vet and if you do get in you could be paying multiple hundreds of dollars to someone who is just guessing at what the issue is.

can rabbits eat lavender header image

Whether you raise rabbits or something else it is definitely beneficial to become efficient and confident enough to treat the common issues you see. You will be able to likely help them before they get too far along. 

So answer to the question, can rabbits eat lavender. Yes…. But make sure you keep reading because lavender does have some medicinal uses and if you grow lavender at home and make a regular habit of feeding it to your rabbit you don’t want to cause breeding issues or some other health issues.

Quick note: I am not a veterinarian. All of the advice I share is based on my own research and the results I have had in my own real-life experience with raising rabbits for the past 20+ years.

Personal Experience With Lavender In The Rabbitry

While I never want my animals to get sick it is reassuring to have first-hand experiences that back up what you already know.

On a cool morning, I came out to find one of my Intermediate does (teenager) with a massive case of diarrhea. Fluctuation in weather and temperatures is never kind to rabbits. It can make them sick for no real reason. I am always watching for issues to come up during seasonal changes.

lavender growing in the garden

I knew this doe needed treatment ASAP. I truly thought this doe was a goner. So I went to my garden and clipped about 10 inches worth of the lavender plants I had growing there and fed that to her. Thankfully she was willing to eat it the lavender because sometimes rabbits are sick enough they won’t eat anything.

I did the same thing that evening. Then came out the next mourning and she was looking much better but not fully there just yet.

I did the same thing on day two and on the morning of day three she was back to her old self.

Is Lavender Safe For Rabbits

Lavender is a safe herb for rabbits and can be given without worry. I would not personally feed it daily but using it once a week or less would be fine.

Do not give essential oils internally and avoid using undiluted oils on animals with kidney problems.

DO NOT feed the lavender plant if it was dry and now has a hint of mold smell or has spots on the plant. Rabbits are very sensitive digestive systems and mold can kill them. Sometimes its worth buying professionally dried herbs to avoid this.

When You Can Use Lavender

Lavender can be used for a lot of things and honestly, if you keep lavender on hand all year round you will be set to fix almost anything you run into with your rabbits.

lavender growing in the garden

Use Lavender Right Before Travel

Whether you are going to a show or on a long trip lavender will help your rabbit stay calm. But the other thing that it will help with is minimizing the side effects of travel.

It will help with things like your rabbit going off feed and keep them from picking up any illnesses along the way because of the antibacterial properties of the herb.

When They Appear Sick

If I can see diarrhea or they look like they don’t feel good then I will give my french lops about 4-5 inches of the fresh plant once every 12 hours until I see a change. It usually takes about two days before they start to go back to their old self.

If there is no diarrhea but they aren’t eating: Rosemary and Comfrey are the other two I will use if I don’t think the situation is severe enough to warrant lavender. Often times when I notice the rabbit has not eaten as much feed as it should have for the past 24-36 hours they are having a minor digestive issue. These two herbs work as a mood booster and minor digestive aid.

If I notice that one of my rabbits has not eaten the amount they should I check them over to make sure there is nothing else visibly wrong. Then I give a sprig of rosemary if it is available. Or a comfrey and rosemary mix of equal parts dried.

Lavender’s Medicinal Overview

  • Antidepressant
  • Antibacterial
  • Astringent
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Tonic

There is not much Lavender won’t do. It is a great disinfectant of wounds, bites, skin rashes, skin irritation, and small cuts. Its anti-inflammatory properties will make the injuries less painful.

So if you need to keep working on an injury that will take some time to heal then adding dried lavender to the feed will definitely help with keeping the animal calm and allowing you to work.

It is not an anti-biotic so if there are skin infections or something like an abscess Eucalyptus oil works best.

Lavender For Training

Using lavender in the rabbitry for calming animals that are going through emotional trauma as well as behavioral training is a great help. If I have a rabbit that is not as friendly as I would like lavender will help them calm down while I am working with them to be more open to me touching them.

If you don’t have fresh lavender then give the herb dried. I give about 2 tablespoons of herb to a 13-pound rabbit.

 Lavender For Rabbits Leaving You As A Breeder

 Lavender is one of the things I like to do as an extra for my rabbits that are leaving to go to their new homes. I will feed fresh lavender for about two days before they leave and also add some dried lavender to the transition feed I send with the rabbits at pickup.

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How Much Lavender Can Rabbits Eat

Rabbits can eat about 1 inch of fresh plant per pound of weight if you are not treating any health issues. 

The reason you don’t want to feed rabbits a lot of extra things outside of their normal diet is they will be filling up on leafy greens that don’t have the nutritional value that they need. 

If you want to give your pet rabbits a treat every so often that is fine. But make sure they eat their commercial rabbit pellets (the most healthy way to feed them) before giving them the extras.

Young rabbit eating lavender

Where You Can Get Lavender

This is the company I love to buy from on Amazon and have great results with their herbs. This is a full-pound bag which I realize is a lot if you have a small rabbitry. It does stay good long time if you keep it dry and out of the sunlight.

I realize buying a pound might sound like a lot for some people with just a few rabbits. So with that said I also linked a smaller bag of lavender that should work well.

Starwest Botanicals Organic Dried Lavender Flowers Extra Grade, 1 Pound

Anthony’s Organic French Lavender Petals, 5 oz, Extra Grade, Dried, Gluten Free & Non GMO

Growing Lavender

If you like to garden then definitely grow a plant or two. French lavender or English lavender are the most common and first choice if you choose to plant some in your garden. They have a strong smell and you can smell the strong aroma of lavender from several feet away when the wind is right.  You will not be disappointed if you add these beautiful flowers to your garden.

Fresh lavender will have the best quality if you can grow it but if not then dried is totally fine.

I grow the herbs that come back year after year in my flower beds so I can dry them for winter. That way I have them as often as possible without having to buy dried herbs. 

Lavender is easy to grow and is drought resistant and is winter hardy. So if you live in the northern states lavender should do well if planted in the ground.

Lavender is a game-changer and will make a huge difference in your rabbitry. If you want to learn more about other herbs I use you can read more in this post about using herbs to treat common health issues in rabbits.

ike a lot for some people with just a few rabbits. So with that said I also linked a smaller bag of lavender that should work well.

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