Natural Feed for Rabbits
Here is a list of plants that I have fed to my rabbits without problems: dandelion greens, wild chicory, plantain, raspberry and blackberry leaves, clover, comfrey, freshly cut apple and willow twigs with leaves, grasses, certain herbs like parsley, lemon balm and basil, carrot and beet tops.
The MOST IMPORTANT THING to remember when introducing rabbits to green feed is to go slowly, starting with just a few leaves and gradually increasing amounts. ANY sudden changes in feed can really make a rabbit sick.
Once your rabbits are used to greens, bear in mind that it is best to feed a variety rather than just one at any meal. This is helpful both from a digestive and nutritional angle. It also provides a welcome diversion to be served with a variety.
All greens should be freshly cut, clean, dry, and unwilted. Anything not cleaned up should be removed at the next feeding. Greens can be dried like hay and are very safe to feed this way. A wire shelf works well as a drying rack. Greens can also be hung in bunches as you would do for herbs and dried for winter use.
A good quality grass or timothy hay is an excellent daily addition to the rabbit's diet. It provides needed roughage and also gives the rabbits something to do. Nibbling hay takes time.
Feeding alfalfa and clover is probably the most controversial aspect of feeding rabbits naturally. Legumes are high in protein and calcium, which is great -- to a point. Because there is already a lot of alfalfa in the pellets, when feeding a combination it is possible for the rabbits to get too much protein and calcium. Excess calcium can result in "bladder sludge" as the unused calcium is excreted. Drying alfalfa and clover is supposed to help, but I don't understand the reason for this. I suggest, however, keeping the amount of these two excellent greens down if you are also feeding pellets.
Please remember that while I am delighted to share my observations on this topic and while I have had excellent results with supplementing comemrcial pellets with the discussed green feeds, I am still experimenting and breaking new ground. Go slowly with your rabbits and be vigilant for problems. Get a good book on weeds if you are not knowledgeable enough to identify them without help. When in doubt, DON'T. I will post some links to some helpful sites when I have time to go through my bookmarks.