As grazing animals, rabbits need access to fresh hay and grass to provide the bulk of their diet. However, not all types of grass are safe for pet rabbits. Certain grasses can upset their sensitive digestive systems and backyards often contain toxic plants. Before allowing your rabbit to graze on your lawn, it’s important to understand which grasses are rabbit-friendly and which to avoid.
In this article, we will discuss tips on the best grass varieties to grow or collect for your bunny, how to ensure the grass is pesticide-free, and how much grass to offer as part of a balanced diet. With some care and planning, providing your pet rabbit with nutritious grass can be a fun way to supplement their usual hay intake.
Do Rabbit Eat Grass?
As herbivores, rabbits need hay and grass to provide roughage and promote good digestion. However, not all grass is safe. Rabbits prefer soft, tender grasses like wheat, rye, and fresh turf. Avoid grass treated with pesticides or from areas rabbits cannot access to graze naturally. Introduce new grass gradually mixed with hay. Grass should be a supplement, not a staple. For optimal nutrition, focus on continual hay intake along with a measured amount of pellets and vegetables.
So, before providing the grass to your bunny, you have to ensure that the grass is free from toxic or hazardous elements. If everything is okay, you could give the grass to your bunny.
Is Fresh Grass Good for Rabbits?
Yes, fresh grass is good for rabbits. Fresh grass contains a lot of fibers, nutrients, and minerals, which are essential for the rabbit’s health. These micronutrients boost the immune system of rabbits and keep them healthy and strong.
You know wild rabbits depend on grass mainly. So, let your rabbits eat grass from the yard beside its dwelling place. Additionally, allowing your rabbits to eat grass will be a great source of exercise and entertainment. And the bunny needs to exercise daily.
Just keep in mind the following precautions in case of feeding grass.
- Is your bunny accustomed to eating grass? If not, get used to her with grass slowly.
- Is the grass treated with pesticides? If yes, don’t allow the grass.
- Is the grass treated with any chemicals? If yes, it will surely harm your bunny.
- Have you recently trimmed the grass with a lawnmower? The grass will be fermented.
- Do the other pets use the grass? If yes, consider the situation first because there is a chance of urinating here.
After ensuring that the grass is free from all hazardous elements, then let your bunnies eat it. The natural environment is far better than a confined one.
Your bunny will get real entertainment from nature. For her safety, you can use a playpen for your rabbit.
If you have enough time to pass with your bunny, then you can use a harness for the rabbit. By this process, your bunny will be more intimate with you.
Can Baby Rabbits Eat Grass?
Baby rabbits can eat grass when they are 4 months old. Grass contains a high level of fiber. Baby bunnies do not have the specific bacteria to digest grass. However, you may provide a small amount of grass at the initial stage. Although your bunny may not eat, at least she will be used to it.
So, it would be better until your bunny becomes mature. In the meantime, you could provide alfalfa hay for your baby bunny.
Can Rabbits Eat Grass Instead of Hay?
No, you should not provide fresh grass instead of hay to the rabbit. Hay is the dried version of grass. But hay contains more fiber than grass which is beneficial for long-term health for the bunny. You should ensure at least 80% of its meal by Hay. Besides hay, you could allow your bunny to graze on the fresh grass.
Let’s know the difference between Hay and grass.
Simply Hay is the dried version of the grass. Hay can be preserved more time than grass easily and Hay is perfect for outdoor habitat.
So, you should use Hay for these reasons.
- Hay contains more fiber.
- It is harder than grass and bunnies love to chew.
- It can be preserved for a long time.
- Safe and doesn’t have any side effects.
Moreover, If your bunny refuses to eat Hay and prefers grass, you may go for the grass. Just Grow grass on the lawn and feed it to your rabbit.
You could provide this timothy hay instead of providing grass to your bunny.
Can Rabbits Survive on Just Grass?
No, the rabbit can not survive on the grass only in a healthy manner. To ensure the healthy life of your bunny, you should provide other food items like hay, pellets, vegetables, water, fruits, and others.
Most interestingly, rabbits can live only on water and Hay. But you should not allow her to live alone in the Hay and water. In this way, your bunny will be weak.
So, you could provide some green leafy vegetables, grass, and pellets besides Hay and water.
Can Rabbits Have Too Much Grass?
Overeating grass may cause long-term health issues for the bunny. Initially, you can not understand, but after a certain period, you will notice bloating and other physiological problems in your bunny. So, don’t allow unlimited grass to your bunny. Instead of grass, you could provide unlimited hay to your bunny.
Initially, allow a little grazing so that they can be accustomed to the new feed habit.
Besides, you should observe the consequences of eating grass. Lacking digestion bacteria may cause diarrhea.
After a successful adaptation, it is OK to provide much grass or other food.
Can a Rabbit Eat Weeds and Plants from the Yard?
Yes, the rabbit can eat weeds and plants. But unfortunately, all the plants and weeds are not safe for the bunny. Some of the plants may be lethal also. Bunny can’t differentiate which one is toxic and which is non-toxic. So, as a rabbit parent, you need to be serious about the food of your bunny.
I have included a list of safe and unsafe weeds and plants here.
- Goose Grass
- Smooth Sow Thistle
- Garlic Mustard
These are completely safe for the bunny. These plants and weeds have no side effects on the rabbit.
Here is the list of unsafe weeds and plants for the bunny, according to the Rabbit Welfare Association.
- Comfrey Dahlias
So, don’t allow your bunny to eat this toxic grass. You should remove these plants from your yard.
Is it OK for My Bunny to Eat Wet Grass?
Yes, it is OK. Rabbits can eat wet grasses just after the rain.
In the wild, it is a widespread scenario. So, let your bunny explore the garden after the rain.
But in most of the cases, pet rabbits don’t want to eat wet grass. I have observed it from my personal experience.
Do Rabbits Eat Insects?
Generally, the rabbit doesn’t eat insects like fleas, ticks, termites, flies, beetles, grasshoppers, mites, spiders, crickets, aphids, moths, caterpillars, and other small pests.
But you may see your bunny eat a bug though it is a rare case. Maybe they do it in playing mode.
Because the digestive system of the bunny doesn’t allow digestion of any living animal. Rabbits can only digest fiber-containing plants, vegetables, and other food items.
Hopefully, you have got your answer to the question of whether can rabbits eat grass from outside.
As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to provide the appropriate food and dwelling to your bunny. Your bunny is worth it indeed.
Last but not least, grass can’t be the best alternative to hay.
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