Greens are a vital part in creating a natural rabbit diet, and should be fed daily. There are two kinds of greens available to you as rabbit food, namely wild collected (or grown) forage or cultivated greens (either from your garden or the local shop). While it is undoubtedly more natural to feed your rabbit primarily on wild greens it can however sometimes be a problem for those living in cities, working long hours or in the colder winter months.
It is of benefit to note that on the whole rabbits will tolerate wild greens better than cultivated greens, the latter of which should be introduced into the diet gradually and one addition at a time.
Personally I choose to feed primarily wild greens in the summer when there is an abundance of food and more daylight hours to allow collecting, I do however try to ensure at least one green feed a week is made up cultivated greens to ensure the rabbits remain tolerant of them. In the winter I generally drop to feeding greens only every other day of which most are cultivated with only the weekend feeds been supplemented with wild greens (this is obviously due to it being harder to collect a range of forage in the winter months and the fact that the time I have available before and after work each day is in darkness). I do however continue to supplement with fresh grass or fodder grown in my own garden and do encourage a range of weeds/green to grow to add to my rabbit diet over the winter months.
Greens can be split into two main categories - leafy greens which make up the majority of the diet, these can be free-fed and unrestricted, the 2nd variety 'Others' is usually made up of roots, flowers and fruits these must be fed in smaller quantities but provide a range of vitamins, minerals and health benefits.
Making up a Green Feed
The ideal is to provide constant access to leafy greens, ensuring rabbits always have as much as they wish to eat, enable the to eat slowly over the course of the whole day. This may not always be practical so an alternative is to feed 2-3 large meals of greens each day. Offer at least 5 different varieties in each serving and vary the types of green offered to ensure you are providing a balanced diet for your rabbit.
Above is an example of a feed selection, the feed is mainly made up of a selection of leady greens some with high water content (romain lettuce & celery) and one with a high oxalic acid content (spinach), with a root vegetable for extra energy.
Variety is the spice of life
The easiest way to ensure that your rabbit gets a varied and healthy diet with all the different minerals and vitamins they need is to vary what you feed. Each time you go foraging or shopping try to select different plants from your last feed, constantly be looking for new things to try (obviously after carefully checking they are suitable). But more importantly go with the seasons, feed what is available at that time, either in the wild or from your shop, this will naturally ensure variety through the course of the year. If you find yourself constantly veering towards the same options, shake things up a bit for your bunny.
Use the pages in my nutrition guide to see some of the options available to you for each type of green as well as some of their key benefits.