No, do not feed your rabbit freshly cut grass clippings. If the grass is no longer planted in the ground, it is not suitable for your rabbit.
If you have mown the lawn, the grass clippings will start fermenting faster than usual, which can give rabbits digestive issues. Make sure your rabbit is at least 12 weeks old before gradually introducing grass into their diet.
You should still give your rabbit access to hay, clean water, vegetables, and pellets alongside any grass. It is very important that your rabbit has a balanced diet.
Read on to find out how you can safely give your rabbit a tasty, grassy snack.
Like hay, grass has an extremely high fiber content. This makes it a perfect snack for your rabbit – it’s also nice and easy to digest.
Fresh grass is the primary source of food for wild rabbits, who get all the fiber they need from it. It’s also coarse enough to help them manage their teeth.
When you mow the lawn, the heat and the cutting process kick starts the fermentation process. This makes the grass unsuitable as it would upset your rabbit’s gut. This should be avoided at all costs.
If your yard has grass and is secure, you can let your rabbit graze. If you do this, make sure you are nearby to monitor your pet and make sure they are safe. This includes watching out for predators and making sure they don’t eat anything toxic amongst other things.
If your rabbit hasn’t had grass before, it’s important that you control the amount they have by only giving them a limited amount on the first day. You’ll then need to make sure they don’t have any ill effect before you let them have more. Slow and steady is the key here to avoid upsetting their sensitive digestive system.
If you have recently treated your grass or there’s any sort of chemicals in your garden (e.g. weed killer) don’t let your rabbit eat anything until all traces of chemicals are gone.
If your garden isn’t secure or there’s another reason why you don’t want your rabbit free-roaming outside, you can purchase a run for your rabbit. This will ensure that they stay in a certain area. Make sure it is bunny proof so they can’t leap out, dig to freedom, or escape through any other means. You also want it to be safe so other animals can’t get in.
Buy Grass Products From the Pet Store
If you don’t have a yard or don’t want your rabbit eating your grass, you can pick some up from a pet store. This is a safe substitute for the real thing and just as nutritious.
If you don’t have a yard or perhaps aren’t able to let your rabbit eat the grass you do have outside, there’s always the option to grow grass in your home. All you need is a tray, soil, and grass seed. Plant the seed, place it in direct sunlight and keep watering, before you know it you’ll have a mini grass patch in your window.
You can use scissors or pull the grass up for your rabbit. If you want to do this, ensure that you give it to your rabbit as quickly as possible. You don’t want the grass to be sitting for more than an hour as it will break down and spoil.
This is not ideal long-term, as you can only bring in small amounts at a time to prevent it spoiling.
You should still give your rabbit unlimited hay, some pellets, green vegetables, and water.
Grass is very similar to hay, but shouldn’t replace it. You can give them both grass and hay together, but hay should make up 80% of their diet.
Ask yourself these questions to help ensure the grass is safe before the feasting begins:
- Has the grass been treated by any chemicals? This includes weed killer, repellents, cleaning fluid amongst others. If so, the chemicals may be toxic to your rabbit.
- Do any other pets use the same grass? There may be urine or feces on the grass which are best avoided. This could be from dogs, cats, or other animals.
- Do any wild animals access your garden? This could be squirrels, birds, foxes, and more who could have left traces on the grass.
- Has the grass recently been mown or cut? Any grass trimmings left behind will have fermented and can cause digestion issues for your rabbit.
- Has your rabbit eaten any grass before? If so, you need to carefully introduce them to grass, in small portions until their sensitive stomachs are used to it.
- Is my garden secure? This means enclosed all around with no gaps to escape from your property and no toxic plants.
If you can check all of these boxes, your grass is likely safe for your rabbit. Always monitor them while they’re outside.