Like other animals, rabbits require a balanced diet, including Timothy hay, fresh greens, and certain vegetables. On the other hand, not all vegetables are good for a rabbit, just as not all greens are good for a rabbit.
This suggests that not all grasses are appropriate for a rabbit to eat regularly. In addition to foods, rabbits always need access to fresh water. First, leaves, sprouts, or young shoots come from a common wheat plant, or as we now know, wheatgrass.
You can, like most foods, find many species and variations; however, this phrase describes any grass resembling creeping couch grass. In humans, these shoots are used as a dietary supplement because they contain many elements, including minerals, vitamins, chlorophyll, and amino acids.
So, the question is, can bunnies eat wheatgrass, and is this grass for rabbits a healthy solution? In our guide, you can learn more about whether, can rabbits eat wheatgrass? By the end, you’ll see what you can and can’t add to your rabbit’s diet and how to care for wheat grass if you decide to grow it yourself. (Read Can Roosters Eat Layer Feed)
What is Wheat Grass?
The tender young shoots of the first leaves or sprouts of the ordinary wheat plant are known as wheatgrass. People frequently add these delicate greens to their smoothies for their high nutritional value. Vitamins, minerals, and amino acids are all present in wheatgrass.
The cereal grain that wheatgrass yields is the reason it is planted. Green wheatgrass is often harvested before the seeds develop, though wheatgrass can also be dried into brown hay. The plant’s stalks turn a deep golden-brown color when the seeds ripen, and it is then utilized as pet bedding.
Can Rabbits Eat Wheat Grass?
Bunnies may consume wheatgrass and the dried hay that results from it. However, wheat-based goods like grains and bread are off-limits to rabbit consumption. You shouldn’t have a sudden change in food and gradually introduce the wheatgrass to your rabbit.
After eating, monitor your rabbit for signs of minor health issues such as digestive discomfort, flatulence, or diarrhea. Because a rabbit’s digestive system works so quickly, these health issues can happen within 2 hours when rabbits eat wheatgrass or digest any new food.
What Nutrients Does Wheat Grass Contain?
Vitamins A, C, K, E, and B6 are all in wheatgrass, which is a nutrient powerhouse.
Additionally, it contains significant amounts of dietary fiber, which helps both bunnies and humans with digestion, and good amounts of thiamin, niacin, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, copper, selenium, and other nutrients.
How To Introduce Wheat Grass to Your Rabbit
It’s crucial to know how to feed your rabbit these tender shoots. Also, no matter how healthy, never substitute food for their Timothy hay as part of the rabbit’s diet. 80% of your pet’s daily diet should always consist of good-quality hay, such as Timothy, which rabbits love.
Hay will keep the rabbit’s digestive tract in good working order and stop its teeth from continually growing. Comparing wheatgrass to hay, the percentage of fiber is substantially lower, and it won’t effectively wear their teeth.
In addition, your rabbit needs a good mixture of fortified rabbit pellets every day at around 1/4 to 1/2 cup of pellets for every 6 pounds of body weight of your rabbit. A rabbit’s daily diet also needs small amounts of fruit and 10% to 15% fresh vegetables. Most vegetables are leafy greens, and wheatgrass can be given to your rabbit with various green plants and fresh greens.
Until at least 12 weeks old, don’t feed baby rabbits leafy greens. Typically, adult rabbits eat 1 cup of greens for every 2 pounds of body weight daily. Additionally, you must ensure the wheatgrass is free of pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides. Hence the reason, it can be worth growing these grasses at home. (Read Can Chickens Eat Spiders)
How To Grow Wheat Grass
- To cultivate your bunny greens, start by looking for organic wheatgrass seeds.
- The next step is to rinse your seeds and prepare them for soaking.
- You will need roughly two cups of seeds to cover the bottom of a planting tray that is 16 inches square.
- Your seeds should be rinsed under cool water in a colander or fine mesh strainer. Put the wet seeds in a bowl after letting all the water drain from the colander or sieve.
- Add around three times as much water as seeds in the bowl, then wrap it in plastic wrap.
- Give the seeds at least 10 hours or overnight to soak. For a total of 10 hours or three nights of soaking, repeat the process of rinsing the seeds and adding water to the basin twice more.
- Your seeds will have started to sprout by this time. Now, drain the seeds.
- Your planting tray should have paper towels on the bottom. Then, fill it with organic soil to a depth of about 1 inch.
- Don’t cover the seeds; scatter them on top of the soil and lightly press them down.
- Spray the growing tray evenly and lightly with water.
- To safeguard the seeds, cover them with wet paper towels.
- Every morning and night, raise the paper towels and lightly water the seed tray.
- After that, layer fresh, damp paper towels over the seeds. After four days, remove the paper towels to see your sprouts begin to grow.
- Every day, spritz the grass with a clean, cool water spray.
- When a second blade of grass begins to emerge from the first one, it is time to harvest. Keep the planting tray in partial sunshine.
- Wheat grass grows fast in nine to ten days after you start growing your wheatgrass. The grass blades are easily cut off the plants with scissors at the soil line.
Growing Wheat Grass in Soil
The identical procedures for growing wheatgrass in a tray can be used instead of planting the seeds in the ground. If you have a lot of wheatgrass, you can harvest it and store it for the winter to serve as bedding for your rabbit.
To ensure that your hay crop retains as much of its nutritional value as possible for several months, you should store it out of direct sunlight in a dry, non-airtight space.
Most rabbits love wheatgrass because it has a sweetness to the tender young shoots and is packed with nutrients for your furry friend. However, limit it before they end up with an upset stomach.
Can Rabbits Eat Wheatgrass Daily?
No, rabbits shouldn’t regularly eat wheatgrass. Vegetables of all kinds should always be a part of your rabbit’s diet. Otherwise, it can give your rabbit stomach issues. Green wheatgrass plants cannot provide all the nourishment bunnies need. As a result, rabbit owners should only feed this as a healthy treat.
Avoid feeding pet rabbits any food they can overeat that isn’t hay, as the rabbits won’t consume enough fiber for the bunnies body to function. (Read Why Do Donkeys Bray At Night)
How To Care For Wheatgrass
Wheatgrass gives your rabbit the most nourishment so that you can grow wheat grass in a food dish or similar. You can find several organic brands of wheatgrass seeds that are safe.
Wheatgrass seeds will last longer in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Growing wheatgrass requires a 3-inch-deep container that you can fill with a half-inch to an inch of organic potting soil. Spray with water, but don’t over wet. Suitable drainage holes can help avoid excess moisture.
- Put a thin layer of potting soil on the wheatgrass seeds. Cover a second layer of the same potting soil on the seeds. Cover the jar and spray again.
- Instead of storing the container in indirect light, put it in the refrigerator for two to three days after starting your seeds and sealing it in plastic wrap.
- Bring your seeds to room temperature.
- Check and water wheatgrass numerous times a day. It shouldn’t be soggy or dry.
- Remove the plastic wrap after four or five days when the wheatgrass is an inch tall. Spray wheatgrass daily until the desired height is reached.
- Watch for wheatgrass mildew, and any moldy wheatgrass roots should be discarded. Clean your container with bleach and start a fresh batch.
Feeding bunnies wheatgrass can be a healthy addition to their diet, as long as it doesn’t make a complete substitute for hay. Also, when feeding wheatgrass to rabbits, you need to limit the amount of your bunny to around fifteen grams, and from there, your bunny can gradually increase what they eat over a week. (Read Do Rabbits Eat Insects)
Remember, the absence of fiber is a common cause of digestive issues in rabbits, so feed your rabbit wheatgrass as a treat.