Rabbits Eat Grass

With all the different dry foods, fancy types of hays and treats available for discerning rabbit owner to chose from sometimes the simplest diet options get overlooked. Grass is the most natural of foods for a rabbit to eat and is often readily available at very low (if any) cost.

It is tasty, if you are a rabbit, and will often tempt rabbits who turn their noses up in disgust at hay. It is also high in fibre, great for wearing down teeth and the rabbit digestion system has been perfected to digest it.

So why do many rabbits never get to eat it?

Grass in TraysThere is often a worry among rabbit owners that fresh foods can upset the gut and cause diarrhoea. It’s true, if you suddenly gave your rabbit a large pile of grass it probably would upset their gut, but a large pile of a different brand of dry food or treats would have the same effect. New foods need to be introduced to rabbits gradually. Start by feeding small quantities of grass daily and build up the quantity gradually over10 days of more.

If you are picking grass, rather than letting your rabbit graze, then use scissors or pull it up. Do not feed lawn mower clippings. The heat and crushing action causes the grass to start fermenting which will upset the gut if eaten.

Don’t have a lawn? No problem. Grass is easy to grow and can be grown in trays, window boxes or pots on your window sill.  Put some general purpose compost (available at garden centres/DIY shops) in a tray or pot and sprinkle grass seed on top. Water if it gets dry and wait.

You can either cut the grass or put the whole tray/pot in your rabbits pen.  If you put the tray in your rabbits pen take it out again after they’ve eating it and allow it regrow. In a few weeks it will be ready for them to eat again. As well as being tasty it is an excellent form of enrichment to prevent your rabbit getting bored.

Normal lawn grass seed is fine to use but you you can also buy Timothy grass seed or seed/weed mixes that contain other plants such clover, dandelion and thistle (as shown below).

Grass/Weed Mix

The different plants help provide different vitamins & minerals, mimicking a wild rabbit’s diet which contains a varied assortment of plants in addition to grass.

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90 Responses to “Rabbits Eat Grass”

  1. Debbie Wilkinson says:

    Please can you tell me the best place to get:
    seed/weed mixes that contain other plants such clover, dandelion and thistle
    I would like to grow some grass for my rabbits.

  2. Tamsin says:

    Hi Debbie,

    The most varied mixes I’ve found are on ebay, search for “rabbit seed mix” they are also sometimes listed as mixes for tortoises or other herbivores.

    You can also buy seeds here: https://www.thehayexperts.co.uk/Grow+Your+Own.16/

    It’s the wrong time of year now but when it gets a bit warmer you can collect seeds directly from dandelions and thistles and they’ll grow just as well as seed you buy.


  3. Kylie says:

    I just love rabbit and I feed them till their hearts content. I am actually, giving them fresh vegetables everyday but according to what I have read a few weeks ago. Rabbit should have at least 75% of hay so I always make sure that they have enough hay supply in their rabbit hutch.

  4. Korina says:

    Thanks for the tips!

    I am a new rabbit mom, and i am very anxious about feeding my 2 rabbits well. I just have a question. My partner and i have build a house for them and on the roof we have planted grass.

    Today we opened the roof for the first time for them and they went grazy! They just couldnt stop eating. The one is 1 month old and the other 2.

    I am afraid that too much grass is going to harm them, so i closed the roof. My question now for you is that:

    Do you think i should let them decide by themselves how much grass to eat, or leave them on the roof with the grass for a couple of minutes a day?

    ps i read that diarrhea can be deadly for the rabbits..

    Thank you very much in regard, you have helped a new mom a lot already!!

    • Tamsin says:

      Hi Korina,

      I would limit the grass, particularly for such young bunnies. It’s important to make any changes to a rabbit’s diet gradually, so start with a little each day and build up the amount gradually over a few weeks.


  5. Marco says:

    I know you say not to feed them grass clippingsfrom a mower due to the issues with fermenting, but what if I were to dry the clippings as hay would be dried. Could this be used as a direct substitute for hay? Also, is a diet of hay and fresh grasses/weeds/garden wastes sufficient for a rabbit? Many sources insist on pellets, but I feel that there must be an alternative.

    • Tamsin says:

      It might be okay if you spread them out immediately to dry. I’d try it with a small amount and see how it look once dry. The other option would be to use something like a strimmer so the grass didn’t get quite so chewed up. I cut a bowl a day with scissors.

      Yes, rabbits can cope fine on a diet without pellets, it’s usually referred to as the ‘hay and veggies’ diet. Although veggies can also mean weeds. The important thing is to feed a wide range of veggies/plants so your rabbits get a full range of different vitamins & minerals.

  6. Jacob Gjesdahl says:

    Hi. Me and my girlfriend are trying to raise bunnies on our lawn and are trying to get them to have babies. Is it possible that bunnies have been bred to pellets in the past hundred years so that they now have trouble having babies on just their natural diet? We’ve had 3 failed breedings already between 2 does, which seems unusual…

    • Tamsin says:

      I’d strongly advise against this. It’s very easy for breeding to get out of hand. Rescue centres often have to deal with people that started off with two and now have hundreds. I’m not exaggerating, I think the total of the last one I heard about way 174 and that didn’t include the offspring of the females that gave birth after arriving at the rescue. In the US there is a big problem with feral colonies, where people have let a few bunnies breed our of hand in their garden and they’ve ended up populating the whole neighbourhood!

      So, nope, breeding is not usually a problem except on an individual basis, for example STDs can cause infertility as can uterine cancer. If you really want to breed you need to get rabbits from a responsible breeder that will give you advise on genetics, backup and talk you through all the issues.

  7. jolo says:

    May i ask a question… I live in a place almost surrounded with grass. I don’t know what kind of grass it is, if it is cogon or carabao grass. I feed it to my rabbit only a single straw, without drying it up but washed. Can I feed lots of it to my rabbits? Please answer…

    • Tamsin says:

      I’m not sure about the different types of grass, they aren’t something we get in the UK. A good way to work out is if it’s okay for horses. Grass that is good for horses is generally good for bunnies. You’ll need to increase the amount you feed gradually, so just start with a little bit each day and build up over a few weeks, keeping an eye that your rabbit doesn’t get soft droppings which is a sign you’re going too fast.

  8. lisa miller says:

    I am curious, and have been trying to no avail to find the answer to my question. I own angora rabbits, which are prone to wool block. If I let them graze, will this help to prevent wool block, or do I still need to feed them dry hay also? Any info would be great. Thanks.

    • Tamsin says:

      Grass is just as good as hay, as it contains all the same fibre that helps move things through the gut. I would say grass might be even better as it keeps the gut more hydrated and one of the issues with blockages can be food etc. becomes compacted and dried out making it hard to move through the gut.

      I tend to provide hay too as a convenience just in case they eat up all the grass but Scamp won’t bother with hay when grass is available instead.

      If you aren’t keeping your Angoras for wool/showing, and you find they have frequent gut issues, you could consider trimming them. I know many pet angoras do this particularly underneath to reduce matting and it would of course reduce the amount of fluff they could potentially ingest.

  9. Holly says:

    Can i give my rabbits grass instead of hay cos we don’t have a car so we can’t buy hay!?

    • Tamsin says:

      Hi Holly, Yes, grass is just as good as hay for rabbit. Introduce it slowly though so your rabbit’s digestive system can adjust to the new food gradually.

      • Caitlin says:

        I am so glad to hear that grass is a great alternative to hay, as I am allergic to the dust and I think my one bunny is too. However, I have also been told by several vets that hay isn’t just for digestion- it’s also for keeping the teeth flat. My bun’s teeth were starting to point and my vet suggested it was likely due to the softer hay I was feeding him. So I have added some crunchier stuff to his diet.

        So I think it is important to include hay in the diet for dental care, although certain woods (branches and twigs) can also achieve this result. So it’s finding a balance that works. My advice is to always talk to a vet that’s you rust and check in with them when trying new things to make sure that what you’re doing is keeping your baby healthy and happy!

        • Tamsin says:

          Hi Caitlin,

          That’s absolutely right, hay (or grass) is just as important for tooth wear. You might find it helpful to read this article: http://www.therabbithouse.com/blog/2011/10/07/grass-hay-tooth-wear/

          It’s actually not the crunchiness of hay that causes tooth wear. It’s tiny rough spikes on the surface that act like sandpaper. That’s how wild rabbits teeth are still worn down even though they eat grass not hay. So rather than crunchy hay, what you need is hay with a rough surface i.e. when you pull a piece between your fingers it catches on your skin. The same with grass, if you feel different types, you’ll find some feel quite smooth where as other have a really rough surface.

          It’s also why pellets aren’t much help for teeth wear, although they are crunchy, they aren’t rough so they don’t have the same wearing action.

          It’s weird as grass seems like it would be something soft and pellets crunchy, but it’s why horses, rabbits etc. all have teeth that grow continually in the first place. Otherwise the grass they eat would wear them away!


  10. Ashley says:

    Hi I was wondering if I could just give grass from my lawn to my rabbits instead of giving them hay (I may give them hay every once in a while) but do you think this would be fine? I also will give them their pellets and veggies too.

    • Tamsin says:

      Hi Ashley, yes, that’s absolutely fine, just cut it with scissors for them rather than a mower and don’t use any chemicals on it. You’ll need to build up the amount gradually so their digestive system can adjust. In summer I feed Scamp grass from our lawn, when it stops growing fast enough to produce enough for him in winter I swap back to hay.

      Rabbits need hay or grass available all the time so it doesn’t hurt to have hay available as a backup.

  11. Laurie says:

    What about tics we have wanted to put our rabbits cage on the ground so they can eat grass. Do we have to worry about ticks?

    • Tamsin says:

      It depends where you are and whether ticks are a problem in your garden. I would think most lawns are tick free (certainly in the UK) but I’m not sure about other countries. Try asking your local vet practice for advice – they’ll have local knowledge.

  12. Nichola says:

    Our rabbits usually go mad for there nuggets (they have hay always available and also grass when they come out). One of the rabbits has had a mild infection around her lady bits from pulling out some fur (she malts once year), but that has virtually cleared up after taking her to vets and giving her antibiotics and cleaning the area twice a day. Anyway both rabbits over the last 4 days have hardly had any nuggets but have ate grass when they have been out. The amount of wee’s and poo’s has also gone down, but not stopped. They seem fine enough in themselves, they arent charging around but with the hot weather they have seemed more than happy to lay outside than be running around.

    I am just really wanting to know, should we be concerned that they aren’t eating nuggets and obviously not eating as much as there wee and poo has reduced? Is there anything we can do? We have some Fibreplex (I think that’s what it is called – it encourages the rabbits digestive system to start working again) from the vet for the rabbit with the infection incase she stopped eating, but she is eating grass, it doesn’t seem necessary to be giving that.

    Many Thanks

  13. Tamsin says:

    Hi Nichola,

    I think I’d get them a vet check up just in case. Usually you’d expect poo and wee to increase if they are eating lots of grass as it’s high in fibre and has a high water content.

    Are they used to eating grass? A sudden change from one food to another can trigger digestive problems.

    The vet can give them an injection to stimulate their appetite and encourage gut movement, the fibreplex certainly wouldn’t hurt.


  14. Micala says:

    Hi, we got a two year old netherland dwarf about two weeks ago. We were told to feed her pellets. I really did not know that there were different kinds of pellets, so i gave her the ones that came with the cage we bought, which had other stuff in them like dried corn and such. Well, these seemed to upset her digestive system so i stopped giving them to her. She eats hay and drinks water fine and then i tried introducing just the plain pellets to her, but this seemed to make her sick too. I am not sure if it is just because she is not used to this kind of pellet or what…and i also have given her some veggies but i am afraid to give her too much of anything. Any suggestions? When you say to introduce new veggies or weeds at a slow pace…what does that mean?? Like one clover a day or three or four? or like one celery top a day for a week and then two a day for a week?? not really sure how to do this and i don’t want her to starve “(

    • Tamsin says:

      Hi Micala,

      First don’t panic, as long as she eats plenty of hay she won’t starve. Rabbit’s digestion is designed for grass and they are great at processing all the goodness they can out of it.

      Which pellets and how much did you give her? And when you say she got sick, what were the symptoms? I would suggest starting very slowly with pellets if she’s had trouble, so you could start with one pellet on the first day, two on the second day, three on the third and so on. For a netherland you won’t need many pellets in total – build up to about 10-15g per day and then see how she does on that. The problem may just be too much of a change if you gave her a bowl/handful in one go.

      I would try and introduce one new thing at a time, then you can tell which (if any) cause a problem. So it might be better to hold off on any new veggies (just feed what you have already) and then work on pellets. Clover is quite small so yes, I’d probably try three of four and if that had no negative effect the same the next day or a little more. If the increases over the next few days had no effect you could build up a bit faster. One 6″ dandelion leaf would be another plant to start with. Bramble/blackberry leaves are also good for rabbits with digestion issues as they are nice and fibrous (start with one leaf and work up).

      What you could introduce now would be some different hays, for example you could try readi grass, oat hay, meadow hay etc. If you can get it you could also look for dry plant/herb mixes for example dandelion sometimes they sell hay with it mixed in too. These are generally very gentle on the digestion and add a bit of diversity to the diet as different hays/dried plants have different vitamin/mineral contents.

      I hope that helps 🙂


  15. Stephen Blakely says:

    Hi there. Just wondering, would it be safe to give rabbits grass cut with a push mower (eg. http://www.diy.com/nav/garden/garden-power-tools/lawnmowers/cylinder_lawnmowers/B-and-Q-Hand-Push-Cylinder-Lawnmower-12698600)? As it wouldn’t have the heat or chemicals, but does seem to crush the grass a bit (though probably not as much as a powered mower). Many thanks.

  16. D Dis says:

    Can you supplement dry grass for hay?

    • Tamsin says:

      Yes, hay, fresh grass, kiln dried grass etc. can all be used as the ‘hay’ portion of a rabbits diet 🙂

  17. April says:

    hi im just wondering if its alright to feed my rabbits sour Grass?

  18. I am visiting Italy for 3 months. My rabbit is loving the fresh grass and dandelions until I discovered he got ticks. It could be from running outside, but I also believe they are crawling onto his face when eating the fresh picked grass/dandelions. I have soaked, washed and rubbed but this is the third time he has been bit. How can I avoid ticks? Should I just avoid fresh grass/dandelion. What can I feed him in the abundance I fed him the grass/dandelions? Thanks for your help!

    • Tamsin says:

      Hi Natalie,

      I would imagine that if you are washing the dandelion/grass that shouldn’t be the source of the ticks. You could try submerging them in a bowl of water for half an hour (you might need to weight them down with something) I would think that would finish off any bugs.

      It’s more likely he’s catching himself them running in longish grass.

      You could use a flea treatment and see if that helps. In the UK ‘Advantage’ has one suitable for rabbits. It’s really important you pick one designed for rabbits not cats/dogs as some eg Frontline can be toxic to rabbits.

      Maybe try plants higher up? I don’t know what’s available locally but things like bramble/blackberry, apple tree leaves, grape vine etc. or if there is anywhere suitable a lawn where the grass is kept short is less likely to have ticks in.

      Obviously is you aren’t feeding fresh grass, he’ll need hay.

      I hope that helps 🙂

  19. Lyn Reynolds says:

    I have been cutting fresh grass for the last few weeks for my two house rabbits.
    They are passing huge amounts of urine. I am worried they’Re going to have an electrolyte imbalance it’s so much.
    They are also peeing out with their litter tray which is unusual.
    They do eat four or five bowls a day. Is that just too much?

    • Tamsin says:

      Hi Lyn,

      Lucky rabbits, Scamp has his delivered by the bowl too 🙂

      It’s normal for rabbits to get most of their water intake through food rather than drinking water – and lots of grass is the most normal food for them to eat. They may wee more than eating dry food like pellets/hay though.

      Grass looks like a bigger portion than hay does as the water gives it more volume – you might find cutting a spare bowl and spreading it out on some paper (away from your bunnies) to dry out will give you a better comparison to what they ate in hay. It’s amazing how much it shrinks and looks like a much smaller portion of hay. They can eat as much as they want.

      However, eating grass shouldn’t make them go outside the tray. There are a few things that can cause that – they may be marking for some reason, but health issues like a urine infection can also cause it. It might be worth a vet checkup just in case it’s unrelated to the fact they’ve switched to grass.

      Hope that helps

      • Lyn Reynolds says:

        Thanks for the reply. Can you tell me what is best to use in their litter trays. I normally use newspapers with hay on top but I can’t get enough papers to keep up with the amount of urine. Thinking about buying cat litter but not sure if that is suitable.

  20. Emily says:

    I think i may have moved to fast with feeding my bunny, I have been really carefull with veggies and give very little pellets, if any, but she goes out in a pen in the garden and eats grass till her hearts content! Also my children pick her grass and dandelions! I have noticed her poop is after and darker and she’s not eatining all her night time poop, so i no her diets too rich! So my question is, do i just stop everything and start again with feeding her just hay and water or just carry on and let her adjust, but dont add anything new to her diet? Thank you

    • Tamsin says:

      Hi Emily,

      It’s normal for rabbits eating grass to have darker brown/black coloured poop. You might have heard/read about big golden poop being the ideal and that’s normal for rabbits eating hay, but the colour will vary a lot depending on the type of hay or if they are eating grass.

      Not eating the night time poop is an issue though, it may well be all the grass has been too quick a change, so restricting it and then upping gradually may resolve it. Personally, it would depend on how bad it was, if it’s just the odd missed poop I’d make a gradual change, if she ends up caked in sticky poops then go for the water/hay reset.

      It could also be something specific rather than just a lot of grass, sometimes rabbits will react to a particular vegetable – in which keeping a diary may help. Or it could be the grass+pellets is too rich. In terms of quantity when they are eating grass, weeds and veggies too, I tend to feed about 10g of pellets to 1kg of bunny body weight.

      I hope that helps 🙂

  21. Zee says:

    Im wondering about my rabbits (3 of them ^^) diet. We havent bought any hay. So i give them carpet grass / flat grass, cause we dont hav oth types. Is this carpet grass ok??? I had only found one website listing carpet grass is ok. We had just had them 3days ago.. (Never had a pet before > <). Oh and we gave them one type of fresh vege, n pallets too. Havent start on any treats yet. This is a very useful website for me. Please help,Tq.

  22. Zee says:

    Oh, im not sure on our rabbits type. They dont hav folded ear or extra long fur. Not so small.. Just the usual one i think. Hope this information help. Just worrying.

  23. Elijah says:

    Hi is it alright to feed my rabbit sour grass

    • Tamsin says:

      Sorry, I’m not familiar with that one. You could try asking a local vet or checking with nearby stables – if it’s a type of grass that’s good for horses then that usually means it’s ok for rabbits.

  24. Deb patterson says:

    The baby wild bunny in my yard is eating grass seed. Is that ok ?

    • Tamsin says:

      Hi Deb, yes perfectly normal. The grass and grass seeds provide lots of nutrition this time of year for young growing bunnies.

  25. Bee says:

    Hi! I live in the tropics and we have grass everywhere. So far I’ve been feeding my singleton Orchard from oxbow but it gets really expensive so I’m thinking about getting them fresh grass instead. A couple farmers here breed cows and goats. I noticed above that you said that grass that is suitable for horses is the best, but what about the ones that is fed to cows and goats? :3 I hope you can help. Thank you!

    • Tamsin says:

      Hi Bee, Scamp’s favourite hay is the Orchard grass too, but it is a little pricey! It’s quite a saving if you feed grass alongside. The orchard grass is called Cocksfoot here in the UK and the scientific name is Dactylis glomerata. I’ve found it growing locally and also bought some seeds to try growing it myself. Googling it looks like it shows up in a lot of places around the world so you may even have it growing locally too!

      I don’t know what grass species you’d have but I would imagine that the grass the cows/goats are eating would be just fine for rabbits too.

      You might be able to get seed for specific grass species if you have space outside to grow your own.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  26. olivia says:

    can my three month old rabbit eat grass?

  27. Webb says:

    Some neighbor has a pet rabbit that likes to come to my yard at night. I have been noticing some brown patches and began to wonder if rabbits eat grass. Thanks to your website that question had been answered. Assuming that this rabbit is feasting on my grass, is there any humane way to prevent or at least discourage rabbits from eating grass at my location? Fencing is not an option for my front yard in any way. Thanks

    • Tamsin says:

      Rabbits natural diet is grass, but generally unless it’s a small area one rabbit should actually be quite good for your lawn. They will crop it short (saves you mowing) and at the same time their droppings are excellent fertilizer (and not a health hazard like cats/dogs). Rabbits have a set territory so killing the grass isn’t in their best interest, it needs to continue to grow to provide future food.

      However, being out and about at night isn’t very safe for the rabbit – lots of things like to eat them. I’d have a word with your neighbour about it – they might not even realise he’s getting out!

      Ps. not much will deter a rabbit other than a physical barrier and even they they are good at digging under fences

    • sky bunny says:

      rabbit poop is one of the best natural plant foods.its a win win situation they cut your grass and in return you get free fertilizer.

  28. david says:

    My son has a rabbit which eats the grass .The grass is getting thinner and thinner ,the garden is about 30 foot ×20 foot would this be the cause of just one rabbit?

    • Tamsin says:

      That should be enough for one bunny. It may just be the problems any lawns suffer from.

      They get a lot of people sized traffic that compacts the ground and damages the grass. You could try aerate it (making holes with a fork) – google will give you tips on this.

      If it’s dry then watering will help, or boggy then adding sand may help drainage.

      Fertilising it may also help as the nutrients in the soil decrease over time. Bunny poops are great for this, you can soak them until they turn to mush and then water the lawn with them if you don’t want whole poops laying around. Avoid any commercial fertilisers that aren’t pet safe.

      You could fence off a portion at a time and reseed/rest it. Supplementing with hay may also give the lawn a break.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  29. Tajdid says:

    I have 2 bunnies .. i live in a busy place and there is no grass .. i tried to buy hay but i couldnt..i have followed a video about wheat grass but it takes long time to grow.. what should i do now?

    • Tamsin says:

      What was the person you got the rabbits from feeding them? You’ll need to keep them on the diet they are used to and then work on getting a source of grass or hay as soon as you can. You might be able to find hay in a petshop or where they keep farm animals, or order it online.

      If you’ve got room you can grow grass, but you’ll need space if you want to grow enough to feed them all the time.

      What do other people in your area feed rabbits?

  30. Crystal says:

    I have a new rabbit that does not seem interested in hay very much. She eats some, but not nearly enough. The vet was concerned about her teeth and I have to take her back in a couple of months to have them checked again. I was thinking about adding grass to her diet since she doesn’t eat enough hay, but I am concerned it will not wear her teeth down enough. I can easily grow lots of fresh wheatgrass, but am concerned still about her teeth…..I have grown it in the past, but always just added it as a portion of their greens.
    (I have two other rabbits that are great hay eaters.)

    • Tamsin says:

      Hi Crystal,

      Adding in grass is a great idea. Grass is just as good as hay for tooth wear, it’s the rough surface of grass (the way it catches if you run it between your fingers) that creates the wear not the fact that hay is crunchy because it’s dry. There is a blog post here that explains it: http://www.therabbithouse.com/blog/2011/10/07/grass-hay-tooth-wear/

      Hay and grass are interchangeable so, if you can grow enough, then you could feed her grass instead of hay, although build up the amount gradually like you would with introducing any new food.

      If you’ve got the space you could also dry your own grass, turning it into hay. Just cut it, spread it out thinly (inside on a tray is fine) and it should dry out and look like very tasty green hay within a week.

      I hope that helps 🙂


  31. Samantha says:

    What type of soil can i use to grow grass? Is any type of grass okay to grow or only specific types? If any type is okay to use, can i dig up some from my yard and so i dont have to start from seeds. I do NOT use pesticides or fertilizer in my yard. Under my oak tree i have some grass that grows it is tall and skinny, i do not plan on using carpet grass. Can i use the soil from my yard?

    • Tamsin says:

      Soil from your yard is fine if you don’t use pesticides. Top soil or multipurpose compost from a garden centre will work too. Grass isn’t particularly fussy.

      Any type is grass is fine, although you may find your rabbits show preferences for particular ones as they’ll have slightly different flavours. You could cut some and check your rabbits like it first. Normal lawn seed is fine is you do decide to grow from seed (it grows quickly) just avoid anything with added weed or moss killer etc. If your yard grass ever gets long enough to flower you can use the seeds from that too.

      It’s fine to dig some out if you’d like to use that, most grass has quite shallow roots, so you only need to dig a few inches deep. Give it a good water once you’ve replanted it. You may find it wilts and look sad initially where it’s been disturbed but it will regrow. You’ll probably find it also grows better once you put it in a pot and take care of it and it’s not competing with your oak tree for water and light.

  32. Kk says:

    How old do my rabbits have to be before i can feed them grass?

    • Tamsin says:

      If your rabbits have not grown up eating grass then I’d suggest waiting until they are 12 weeks old and have been with you at least two weeks. This gives them time to settle from the stress of changing homes and any diet changes that involves, and their guts are more robust than 8 week old bunnies. Introduce it slowly, just a little to start with and building up gradually keeping an eye on their poops to make sure they stay well formed.

      Baby rabbits whose mum eats grass will naturally start to nibble grass too as they start on solids and can continue from there.

      It’s sudden changes that cause problems, so that’s what you want to avoid introducing any new food 🙂

      • Marfude says:

        Hi I wanted to know if its ok for my bunnyto eat grass in my backyard. It was sprayed a few years ago and I wanted to know if it would still harm my rabbit. Please reply as soon as possible

      • Jumana saya says:

        Can you help me in my area there is no grass or Hay I try buying online but they don’t ship in my country I give them a lot of veggies but I can’t find a pet store near my area now my question is can they live without Hay or grass

        • Tamsin says:

          You are likely to run into issues with teeth problems if you don’t feed grass and would need to feed a lot of high fibre plant matter to prevent gut issues too.

          There is no grass at all in your region or just you live in a city with no green spaces/garden? You could grow your own grass from seed in trays. Or you could look at wheat grass, which can be grown in containers with just a bit of water and no soil.

          Do you have animals like horses near by? If so find out where they get their hay supplies from.

  33. sky bunny says:

    can grass and weeds be used as replacement for veggies on days we just don’t have any?Also we have Bermuda grass/common mallows/London rocket/chickweed and they are all loved by my rabbits but my rabbits seem to turn there nose up to timothy hay so will this fresh grass and weeds also help there teeth grind down and fiber?I give them unlimited timothy hay but they LOVE fresh grass and weeds.and final question I always wash my grass and weeds before serving can they get worms or anything from the grass being outdoors if its not washed or even washed?

    • Tamsin says:


      Grass and hay can be used interchangeably, so it would be fine to feed the fresh grass instead of timothy hay. Grass is just as good as hay for wearing teeth and provides the same amount of fibre. Hay is basically just grass minus the water where it has dried out. You’ll need to build up the amount of grass gradually if they aren’t used to it, but if you have enough grass it can completely replace hay.

      The other plants/weeds would be a substitute for the veggie portion of their diet. Wild plants are actually often a healthier option to human veggies and they are leafier and high in fibre, as we tend to not like eating anything too tough whereas it’s great for rabbits. Plus free food!

      Avoid picking in areas that areas that are soiled, e.g. your neighbours cats favourite poop spot, or have a lot of wild rabbits but generally it’s safe to use fresh foods without washing. Rabbit’s seem to rarely pick up worms and then only usually from each other. If you’d like to learn more have a google on foraging for rabbits – it’s becoming quite popular for people to supplement their buns diet with foraged foods.

      • sky bunny says:

        Thank you so much,my bunnys are not interested in timothy hay I have to cut back there pellets so much for them to just eat the hay then when I refill the pellets the next day they freak out like they haven’t eaten in days.I have 2 more questions,After I pick the fresh grass how long can it stay good for before it goes bad or ferments?I usually throw it out after a day but will it keep for long periods?as I tend to pick way too much grass.Also I wash the grass then dry with a fan would this help clean the grass from cat pee and cat bugs?I have cats all over.

        • Tamsin says:

          Rabbit’s actually need very few pellets (despite what they may tell you!) a maximum of 25g per 1kg of body weight. Though personally, I half that when they eat fresh foods as well. Pellets are very dense calories and very tasty so if they fill up on those they tend to be more reluctant to eat hay. It’s like children that would happily eat cake for breakfast and lunch and dinner!

          If you spread the grass out thinly so it dries out rather than sweats and ferments then it will keep as long as hay – I’ve a post on making your own hay here: http://www.therabbithouse.com/blog/2011/07/01/making-hay/ You’ll find it dries very quickly in warm weather outside or inside a heated house. It will look like green hay in 24 hours, though takes longer to fully dry if you want to store it in a bag for later use. If you scatter rather than pile up when feeding you should find that any spare in the pen dries out and they’ll eat it over a few days with it being progressively drier. You are just making hay in the pen with them. If you are worried leave some outside the pen but in the same area and you can monitor how it dries out in the conditions you have – if it’s cold or humid it won’t work as well.

          It’s best to avoid any areas heavily used by cats – if they poop in your favourite cutting spot you could pop a bit of mesh over to keep it cat free. Anything outside (including the hay that you buy from pet shops) is going to have some contact with bugs etc. but rinsing is fine and should help remove any traces.

  34. Cari Thomas says:

    I have a question… I am building a rabbit garden for my bunnies, I got them a pet-door going directly out to it. Can I plant monkey grass for them?

    • Tamsin says:

      I’m not sure that monkey grass is actual grass – I think that’s just a description as it has grass like leaves. I don’t know if it’s safe for rabbits – googling there are some references to toxicity for other animals.

      It’s best to only pick plants you are sure are safe. For a clump forming grass – orchard grass/cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata) would be an option – that’s a normal grass that you’d find in a field – the one you sometimes see that looks like a hummock instead just flat turf. You can grow it easily from seed.

      Keep in mind anything they have access to they will eat so you might want to protect the main plants in some way e.g. an upturned hanging basket or mesh so they have some protection but the rabbits can nibbles the edges.

  35. Nonoy says:

    Can you tell me about diseases that can be picked up when feeding grass? I want to understand how much risk there is if I don’t wash the grass extensively before feeding it to my bunnies. Thanks!

    • Tamsin says:

      It’s really a case of minimising risk. For example picking grass from areas that aren’t soiled by other animals like dogs and cats and avoiding areas with big wild rabbit populations (the grass there isn’t likely to be long enough to pick anyway).

      Worms would be a possibility – they can be easily resolved with wormer if you spot them. They aren’t particularly common in rabbits though.

      If you are in the UK you need to have your rabbit vaccinated against Myxomatosis and VHD1 & 2. Both these diseases could potentially be spread from grass (although less so Myxo), however it’s much more likely that your rabbit would contract them from your shoes/clothing or biting insects that can travel several miles. So my feeling is that feeding grass doesn’t really increase the risk of those.

      Most people I know that pick grass don’t wash it. Hay isn’t washed either.

      If you have a rabbit savvy vet they’d also be able to talk you through the risk in your area 🙂

  36. Kiki says:

    If rabbits can’t eat mowed grass, then how is the hay cut for their food? It was a thing that came up in discussion and I thought you might know. 🙂

    • Tamsin says:

      When we use a domestic lawn mower to cut grass it’s chopped and crushed to condense the waste into a small volume – this speeds up the decomposition – it gets hot, wet and mushy. When hay is made, the grass is cut with a blade at the base but otherwise left intact and spread out to dry then turned regularly – this creates dry, tasty hay.

      There is no reason you can’t cut your lawn grass with scissors or a scythe and make hay or feed it fresh, it’s just domestic lawn mowers that are the issue.

  37. Chase says:

    Is it ok to feed my rabbits monkey grass?

    • Tamsin says:

      It’s not an actual grass species (monkey grass is just a common name that describes it as looking a bit grass like) so wouldn’t be suitable as a grass/hay replacement.

      I couldn’t find anything specifically about it’s toxicity to rabbits but it is listed as resistant (less likely to be eaten by wild rabbits) so I would say at the least it’s not particularly tasty.

      I would avoid it. You want the types of grass you’d find in a lawn or field.

  38. Nicole Douglas says:

    can bunnies eat sour grass(the flour)

  39. VARYA says:

    Hi! Thank you so much for this post!
    I have a question i cannot find an answer to anywhere!
    I started giving my bunny more and more fresh grass and she is loving it. I grow it in a cat litter box so there is enough of it that she almond st completely stopped eating her hey. Now, the thing that concerns me about it is that she started to pretty much use that little patch of grass as her litter box????????. I mean it makes sense, its a large pan that she fits into and eats from. Thats what she does (or did) in her actual hey filled litter box.
    So my question is- is it safe for her to pee/poop onto the grass she eats and the soil it grows from? I know her poop can be a great firtelizer but what about her pee? Can i ultimately just replace her litter box with a boxed patch of fresh grass? Im so puzzled because i think its totally gross but also it feels like it would be natural for her????????????

    • Tamsin says:

      I’m glad she’s enjoying the grass. The trouble with pooping in the grass tray is it will be hard to clean and build up over time, so I’d discourage it. You could try moving her litter tray next to the grass, and scattering a handful of the soil she’s been using in it. That might encourage her to switch back. If it’s a very large tray, then you could even slot a smaller litter tray within it where she is going that you can easily remove to clean out.

      Soil is very natural for rabbits so they enjoy digging, sleeping and sometimes pooping in areas with it. Scattering poop as they eat is quite common, but I’d expect she probably picks a specific spot within the tray for wee? If so they grass will probably stop growing in that area.

  40. Kacy says:

    What do I feed my bunny if i don’t have grass, pellets, Or hay??

    • Tamsin says:

      Rabbits need to eat grass either fresh or dried as hay. You don’t have any grass where you live? You can buy grass seed and grow your own, or you’ll need to source a supply of hay.

      • Jaciena says:

        Hello, my friend is trying to make a rabbit run in a fenced in part of her yard and i am helping her. The ground is currently just dirt and some weeds we dont know what they are. We want to remove everything and start from scratch with seed mixs described above. The main problem is the grass , we want to fibd out if sod mats from home depot are safe to use. .

  41. Jaciena says:

    Hello,I recently purchased a container of white clover seeds from a home depot near me. Upon reviewing the label i saw that it was mixed with walnut shell pieces,but they are easy to separate from the clover seeds. Then I saw that the seeds are coated with something that may be a fungicide…if I wash and plant the seeds will the white clover that sprouts be safe for the rabbit?

    • Tamsin says:

      Does it say what it is on the container? Sometime they coat small seeds just to make them easier to see when planting. Are you growing outside. To be honest, I wouldn’t be too worried I think by the time they’ve grown and been repeatedly washed by watering there shouldn’t be too much left.

  42. Jaciena says:

    What brand or grass type that is lawn grass seed safe for rabbits? Need to get grass seed for my friend’s rabbit . The area we will out the grass seeds is bare dirt roughly 8 ft in length and 5 ft worth from the fence to the house. We have bought two and mats both of st Augustine lawn grass. But those coated $19.96 just for the two of them…so we would like to know what lawn grass seed is safe for rabbits and where to but it. Thank you for your help.

    • Tamsin says:

      You just want plain seed – nothing with added herbicide or fertilizers. I don’t know what brands would be local to you. You may even be able to find somewhere that sells it lose and you can scoop what you need into a bag. Any species of lawn grass is fine.

  43. Jessica says:

    Would it be ok to feed my rabbit grass cut with an electric mower?

    • Tamsin says:

      Hi Jessica,
      No they chop and crush the grass so it starts fermenting. Cut some with scissors before you mow the rest of your lawn. If you cut a section with scissors each day you will have less mowing to do too 🙂

  44. Baylee says:

    Hi! I had a question about grass and mowing, I could seem to find an answer yet. If the lawn had just been mowed and I let my bunny out would the freshly mowed grass upset his tummy? He didn’t eat grass clippings just the grass that had just been mowed.

    • Tamsin says:

      Do you mean grass that’s still growing but has had the tops cut off? If so that won’t cause any trouble 🙂

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