Should I feed my rabbit greens, vegetables, herbs or grass?
So many people are feeding their rabbits lots of green vegetables. Many more are converting to a daily diet of hand picked, or scissor cut lawn grass. Why is this so?
Just have a think about the rabbit in his or her natural habitat in the wild. Ask yourself to visualise this natural environment and what plants you see growing. Let's close our eyes and think... We see grasses and seeding grasses of one or perhaps two kinds, bark, leaves that have fallen from trees, some fresh and some dried by the sun and wind. We see twigs and fallen branches. We may see some natural growing shrubs or weeds such as dandelions or seasonally perhaps wild berries. The natural, fresh seeds on the grasses are not the same as the dried, treated seeds used in rabbit mixes but rather they are a living food, part of the grass itself.
In this natural rabbit environment what don't we see? Again, close your eyes and what do you not see? We don't see green vegetables, nor carrots or any other vegetable do we? No.
We could come to the conclusion that perhaps rabbits are meant to eat the grasses, bushes and weeds, leaves and native plants that they find as they explore outside their burrows and perhaps not the 'greens' that most vets and internet advisors are recommending.
Eating grass and a soft and a hard fresh top grade hay will not only help your bunny to have a natural diet but will give his teeth a lot of exercise and grinding down which will lessen the risk of 'spurs' forming on his or her teeth.
We can also save money by feeding our bunnies grasses. Simply leave a section of your lawn for the bunnies and water daily. Cut enough each day with a pair of scissors. If you provide an unlimited supply of fresh, top grade hays such as oaten hay and Timothy hay then your bunny will be eating ala naturale and your wallet will be fatter.
One thing is sure, if we stop feeding Coles bought green vegetables and feed the bunnies their natural plant and grass based diet we would be feeding them as nature intended.
A Blade of Grass - Why is it special for your rabbit?
This is a blade of GRASS, enlarged many times. The jagged edges are specialised structures called PHYTOLITHS. Grasses make this from the SILICA they absorb from soil. Not all species produce these daggers, some distribute phytoliths throughout their leaves, basically housing tiny granules of GLASS. Funny as it may sound, but grasses produce this as protection against being eaten! Not only is grass high in fibre, but these phytoliths are like SANDPAPER for your bunnies teeth.