The first time you go to the vet in search of rabbit care tips, you get a list of things your rabbit can and can’t eat.
A friend joked her list of things not to feed was longer than of things she could feed her bunny.
And though she was joking, there was some truth in that. Rabbits have a subtle digestive system, so they can’t eat just anything.
That said, can they eat grass? Is it safe? This article answers these questions and others relating to them.
Keep reading to get the answers.
Can Bunnies Eat Grass?
Yes, bunnies can eat grass. They are natural grazers, so they can safely eat grass from the yard or garden.
However, the grass should be pesticide free to avoid poisoning your bunny. That’s why owners should be very keen on what their bunnies eat.
It’s also advisable to monitor your bunny while grazing so you can see what he eats. He may munch on sprayed grass if unmonitored, leading to serious tummy illness.
Do bunnies eat all types of grass?
Rabbits eat almost all types of grass. The recommended types are those used to make hay, like oat hay and timothy hay.
Remember, hay is just dried grass, so you will be getting the fresh version of grass before it’s dried.
If you are feeding your rabbit grass from the lawn, you should know that grass grown on lawns differs from the recommended types to feed your bunny.
This is because grass from the lawn is grown for an overall look, so it’s not that nutritious. But this doesn’t mean it’s unsafe for your bunny. It’s safe but less nutritious.
You can try other grass seeds if you depend on your lawn for grass to feed your bunny. And not just grass; include other healthy herbs to spice things up.
Common grass types for bunnies include:
- Timothy grass
- Orchard grass
- Meadow grass
- Oat grass
But don’t limit your bunny to the above types. The list is endless, so add other healthy types for additional nutrients if you can.
Can baby rabbits eat grass?
Like adult bunnies, baby rabbits can safely eat grass. However, they need time to adjust and prepare their sensitive digestive systems for the grass.
When introducing it, do it slowly and let their tiny bodies adjust accordingly. Offer small amounts at a time with water at the side to help with digestion.
But don’t worry, rabbits can digest grass with ease. They can survive with water and grass alone; it’s just that we feed them other foods to top up the nutrients.
Grass contains high fiber, which is great for your rabbit’s health. It aids in digestion and keeps them full for a long time.
Can My Rabbit Eat Grass?
Yes, it’s more than OK since rabbits can safely digest grass, provided it’s not contaminated with pesticides or any other thing that would upset your bunny’s stomach.
Every rabbit needs grass in its diet since it relies on high fiber content to maintain optimum intestinal health.
Without fiber, the movement of food in the digestive system slows down, leading to serious illness, which may lead to death.
Apart from digestion, fiber is crucial for your bunny’s teeth since it helps wear them down and prevents them from growing too long and causing pain. This can affect your rabbit’s eating habits.
So you see, your bunny eating grass is not only OK but also important as grass contains nutrients and high fiber, which are crucial in her diet.
Can grass be harmful to my bunny?
Sadly, although grass is safe for your bunny, it can be harmful.
This occurs when you don’t introduce it slowly and instead feed your bunny in bulk at once. And this goes for all rabbits, whether adults or young ones. They all need to adjust slowly, especially if they are eating grass for the first time.
In addition, contaminated grass is harmful to your bunny. Ensure the grass is safe from contamination before feeding it to your bunny.
If you can, let your bunny graze instead of cutting the grass and feeding him. Feeding lawn clippings to rabbits is dangerous since they can ferment in the gut, leading to fatal complications.
Though grass can be harmful to rabbits, the harm can easily be avoided. You just need to monitor your bunny when eating grass, ensure the grass is safe and introduce it in portions for beginners.
Risks of rabbits eating grass
Risks are likely to occur when the grass is unsafe or your bunny eats a lot at once, especially if they are not used to it. Some of the risks include:
- An upset stomach: In the event of contamination, your rabbit may experience an upset stomach. The severity depends on the contamination of the grass, specifically, what contaminated it. In addition, if your bunny eats lawn clippings, they may ferment in the gut, leading to an upset stomach. This may also occur if your bunny is eating grass for the first time and eats a huge amount.
- Digestive issues: An upset stomach from eating grass affects the digestive system, so your bunny can’t digest food properly.
- Death: If digestive issues are severe, they may cause a terminal illness that may lead to death if left untreated.
How Much Grass Does a Rabbit Eat Per Day?
If she is used to it, your bunny can have unlimited access to grass. Bunnies in the wild graze throughout the day. Their complex digestive systems demand constant chewing and feeding on high-fiber grass to prevent blockage.
But if she is not used to grass, then you should feed a small portion at a time. If everything goes well, monitor how she reacts to it and increase the portions with time. The idea is to slowly introduce grass to her diet so she doesn’t have difficulties digesting it.
With time, bunnies get used to grass and can eat as much as they want without any problems. As I said, they are natural grazers and are meant to digest grass and other herbs.
Don’t be worried that she is eating too much grass, especially if she is used to it. There is no harm in your bunny eating grass, provided it’s safe.
How Can my Bunny Eat Grass Safely?
To start with, don’t go from having any grass in her diet to having unlimited access to grass overnight. Introduce grass slowly until she is used to it.
In addition, make sure the grass she eats is free from pesticides, insecticides, and animal droppings. Simply make sure the grass is “clean” and free from any contaminating agents.
When grazing, monitor what she eats so she doesn’t munch poisonous weeds along with the grass. It’s best if you inspect the lawn first before letting her graze.
If you must, cut the grass with scissors as lawn clippings are not safe for her. However, it’s safer for her to graze than to eat cut grass.
Ensure she is comfortable when eating grass. That is, the lawn is safe from anything that would cause injury or scare her away.
It’s OK for your bunny to eat grass. In fact, grass is an essential part of their diet.
Even baby rabbits can safely eat grass; they just need moderation when starting until their digestive system can comfortably digest it.
The important thing is to make sure that the grass is safe to avoid causing digestive problems for your bunny.