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Wicker - How Much is Too Much?

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HalaBuns

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Hi all!

I bought the girls a Trixie wicker play tunnel, which are taking great delight in destroying.

It is 100% natural so no concerns about the material itself, but I have been taking it away from them because they’ve been getting so involved with it, that I’m worried they are eating too much of it and it will be bad for them.

Am I right to be limiting their access to it, or is it safe for them to chew / eat as much as they like?
 

Zee-Man

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This was an intriguing question. Some wicker is made of willow or basswood, but most is simply rattan. Rattan is a type of palm. I couldn't find anything in the top 5 pages of Google search about rattan vines being edible. A few species of rattan produce an edible fruit, but that is not pertinent.

I would have to say that rattan is no more good/worse for a rabbits gasto tract than any other wood. While their hindgut is designed to digest cellulose it really isn't great for lignified plant matter. Even termites avoid lignins! Rabbits can handle (even enjoy) green stems from various trees, but naturally avoid the senescent wood.

I am given to understand that rabbits that are chewing on wood are engaging is teeth wearing activity. A lot of that activity may indicate a serious dental problem.

You may like to be aware that rattan is also grown to accumulate heavy metals in soil and effluent. I couldn't find any information if rattan grown this way was harvested to any other use.
 

zuppa

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Hi all!

I bought the girls a Trixie wicker play tunnel, which are taking great delight in destroying.

It is 100% natural so no concerns about the material itself, but I have been taking it away from them because they’ve been getting so involved with it, that I’m worried they are eating too much of it and it will be bad for them.

Am I right to be limiting their access to it, or is it safe for them to chew / eat as much as they like?
Hi, it should be safe for them to chew, I stuff willow tunnel with hay and they have lots of fun with it :)

Rabbit love willow branches I get some for them every time I can, I give them fresh or dried, with leaves. I think it is healthy toy/snack. Trixie is a reputable brand and it should be safe for rabbots to chew on it.

Also I stuff a wicker basket with hay and my Smokey loves it so much, I had a pic of it somewhere even posted here a few months ago I will see if I can find it now

Yep, this was Smokey's fav basket, I still have it somewhere but about 1/3 of it now, I will find it and will give her again, she loved it :)

 
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HalaBuns

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This was an intriguing question. Some wicker is made of willow or basswood, but most is simply rattan. Rattan is a type of palm. I couldn't find anything in the top 5 pages of Google search about rattan vines being edible. A few species of rattan produce an edible fruit, but that is not pertinent.

I would have to say that rattan is no more good/worse for a rabbits gasto tract than any other wood. While their hindgut is designed to digest cellulose it really isn't great for lignified plant matter. Even termites avoid lignins! Rabbits can handle (even enjoy) green stems from various trees, but naturally avoid the senescent wood.

I am given to understand that rabbits that are chewing on wood are engaging is teeth wearing activity. A lot of that activity may indicate a serious dental problem.

You may like to be aware that rattan is also grown to accumulate heavy metals in soil and effluent. I couldn't find any information if rattan grown this way was harvested to any other use.
Thank you, that’s really interesting. I’ve tried to find out what Trixie make their wicker goods from, but it just says “100% all natural”

Good point about their teeth as well. They’re not chewing on any of their other wooden chew toys or willow sticks any more than they usually would and there are no other signs that they might have a problem, but I’ll keep a check on it. They just seem to really enjoy this wicker item.
 

HalaBuns

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Hi, it should be safe for them to chew, I stuff willow tunnel with hay and they have lots of fun with it :)

Rabbit love willow branches I get some for them every time I can, I give them fresh or dried, with leaves. I think it is healthy toy/snack. Trixie is a reputable brand and it should be safe for rabbots to chew on it.

Also I stuff a wicker basket with hay and my Smokey loves it so much, I had a pic of it somewhere even posted here a few months ago I will see if I can find it now

Yep, this was Smokey's fav basket, I still have it somewhere but about 1/3 of it now, I will find it and will give her again, she loved it :)

That’s such a cute idea! My two would have destroyed that in a day haha

I don’t know whether it’s possible to get fresh willow where I am, but I got some willow sticks which they also love. I leave a few in their favourite spots in each room to try to encourage them to go for those when they fancy a chew, rather than my pillows, which they also love 😬
 
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