Can Rabbits Graze on Freshly Mowed Grass?
by Question from Helen
Rabbit School - Everything You Need to Know About GRASS!
Can Rabbits Graze on Freshly Mowed Grass?(question answered by Kerry Greener of Just Rabbits Limited)
Let's cut to the 'grass' and get down to 'grass tacks'…
The question of 'grass' comes up many times with rabbit owners and that's not
just with new rabbit owners either.
You could be making a transition between cages and free roaming, you could
have moved to a new home and your bunnies have grass available for the first
time, or you could have been gifted a bunny and have no idea what is safe for
him to eat and what is not!
Whatever the reason, this page should give you all you need to know about
Of course, we all know that rabbits love grass. In fact it's a vital part
of their diet. The main component of every rabbit's diet should be fresh grass
or hay. And don't be confused about the two either. Hay is just dried grass.
Want to know more about hay?
Click here to learn more...
The high fibre content in grass and hay is the most important thing in maintaining
good dental and intestinal health in rabbits. Without this crucial fibre, the
digestive system cannot process food through the gut. It also plays a vital
part in keeping your rabbit's teeth worn down. The chewing and grinding action
prevents teeth become long and in some cases fatally so.
This is why you'll always see a bunny munching so fervently on grass whenever
However, grass comes in many forms, and some of these can be dangerous for
your bunny. There can be certain situations that raise just as many questions
as there are dangers!
Let's answer a few of the more common quesitons that Just Rabbits has been
asked over the years…
Questions and Answers about Grass
Q. "How long after my grass has been mowed can I place my rabbits
in their run?"
from Helen in Australia
A. Simple – Providing there are no loose clippings on the surface, straight
away. The danger with mown lawn does not come from the freshly cut lawn itself,
but the loose clippings the lawnmower makes.
Q. “Why are lawnmower clippings dangerous for rabbits to eat?”
A. Lawn mower clippings cut by any powered lawnmower have been affected by the
heat of the engine and the friction of the cutting action. It's this heat that
starts a fermenting process in the clipped grass which is not good for a rabbit's
digestive system. This is why it's also important to rake any clippings left
behind on the lawn after mowning too.
Q. “My rabbits are not used to eating grass, what should I do?”
A. Free roaming for rabbits is the best way but if your rabbit is not used to
grazing then they will need to be taught and weaned on to it just as a baby
would solid food! As long as your garden/yard is safe for rabbit to roam freely,
then you can wean your bunny on to grass for a few minutes a day to start and
then build up to a few hours over the course of a few weeks. Rabbits will naturally
graze in the early hours of the morning and at dusk, usually for about 2 to
3 hours at a time, given the chance.
Q. “My rabbits don't have free access to grass, but I know it's
important for them, how can I give them the best diet they need?”
A. If your rabbit doesn't have access to grass, you can copy the natural grazing
behaviour so enjoyed by rabbits by growing grass from seed in a big pot or tray.
Keep several pots and trays on rotation so your buns always have a fresh supply
to nibble on.
You can also cut grass from outside for your rabbit and scatter it around their
pen. If you do decide to go foraging on their behalf, make sure you use big
hedge scissors, a scythe or machete and not grass cut from a powered machine
of any kind.
Q. “How can I be sure my lawn and grass areas are safe?”
A. There are many hidden dangers with garden lawns that you may not have considered
Here are just a few you can check before you give your bunny free grass roaming
rights, check your lawn is free from…
- Traffic fumes
- Poor fencing or unsecure borders
- Pesticides and/or weedkillers
- Excessive bird excrement
- Toxic bulbs or poisonous plants & weeds
- Direct risk from overhead predators
- Underground toxicity from contamenated water table
- Sewerage leaks
- Wild rabbits
Share & Comment
If you have any questions about grass (or hay for that matter), please feel
free to post a comment below.
Just Rabbits aims to answer as many questions as we can!
Or perhaps someone else reading this post will be kind enough to help you
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