Can rabbits eat lemongrass? Lets discuss all aspects. As a teen, I had a furry, adorable bunny named Tim that I loved so much! I remember browsing the internet one fateful day for grasses and herbs that would nourish Tim’s body until I stumbled upon an article that almost ruined his life. The article proposed that experts recommend that pet rabbits should be fed food similar to the ones their wild fellows eat in the field. I recalled seeing some wild, little rabbits roaming a field in my neighborhood, grazing on the grasses and herbs there.
“Mehn!” I blurted in excitement and rushed to pluck some of the grasses for Tim. In my naivety, I fed more than two handfuls of these grasses to him and thought I have given Tim the best! A few hours later, Tim started vomiting profusely and panting deeply, in a hunched posture. I was scared to death! I rushed him to a vet and it was discovered that I poisoned him, unknowingly.
In my 25 years of being a vet, I have treated similar cases countless times! That’s why you should be careful of the grasses you feed to your rabbits—don’t act in ignorance!—seek an expert’s advice. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about feeding lemongrass to rabbits. Just read to the end!
Can my bunnies eat lemongrass? You may ask again. Yes, lemongrass is nutritious for your rabbits when fed in the appropriate amount and age. But, it should not be a major component of your bunny’s diet as it also has some health hazards associated with them.
What You Need to Know about Lemongrass
Lemongrass is also called Citronella. It is scientifically known as Cymbopogom Citratus; an aromatic grass classified with the Poaceae family. It normally grows in warm tropical regions, its height reaching 1 to 1.5 meters. Lemongrass is indigenous to Southeast Asia and has two major species namely; West-Indian lemongrass (also known scientifically as Cymbopogon Citratus) and East-Indian lemongrass botanically called Cymbopogan flexuosus.
West Indian lemongrass is used majorly for food preparations while East-Indian lemongrass is used to extract essential oils used to produce perfumes, soaps, and body creams.
According to Verywellfit.com, lemongrass has 3 mg of calcium, 34 mg of potassium, 0.2mg of manganese, 2.9mg of magnesium, and small amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and niacin.
Further nutritional data analyzed by https://www.petmd.com/ shows that:
lemongrass composes of 99 kcal of energy, 25.31g of carbohydrates, 1.82g of protein, 0.49g of fat, 0mg of cholesterol, 19% of folate, 1.101mg of Niacin, 0.08mg of pyridoxine, 0.135mg of riboflavin, 0.065mg of thiamin, 6mg of vitamin A, 2.6mg of Vitamin C, 6mg of sodium, 723 mg of potassium, 65mg of calcium, 0.266mg of copper, 8.17mg of iron, 60mg of magnesium, 5.244mg of manganese, 1% of selenium and 2.23mg of zinc.
Just as you can see, lemongrass has a very high acidic content!
What are the Health Benefits of Lemongrass?
Lemongrass contains calcium which makes your rabbit’s teeth and bone strong and healthy. It also prevents bone deficiencies. The iron content of lemongrass promotes oxygen circulation and healthy metabolism in your rabbits. It reduces the risk of anemia and deformed hemoglobin during the formation of red blood cells.
Manganese activates enzymes that trigger important chemical reactions in your rabbit’s body. It also boosts the brain process and prevents epileptic seizures. Vitamin A enhances the eyesight of your rabbits and produces a protein—called Rhodopsin based in the eye cells—that absorbs light. It is the major reason your rabbits can see in poorly lit places.
Do Rabbits Enjoy Eating Lemongrass?
Yes, many rabbits savor the crunchy taste of lemongrass! Don’t fuss if your bunny refuses to eat, it could be that they dislike the taste or scent of the lemongrass. Focus on feeding them the fiber-rich and nutritional foods they enjoy the most. You can try out some herbs like thyme or rosemary to see if they will like it. Don’t force them to eat lemongrass if they detest it!
Which Part of the Lemongrass Plant Should My Rabbits Eat?
Generally, rabbits prefer eating the stalks of lemongrass plants. The stalk is crunchy and tasty! The leaves of lemongrass are also good for your rabbit to eat as most of the nutrients are trapped there. However, you can mix the stalks and leaves in its diet.
Can rabbits eat lemongrass – Cooked?
The heat used in cooking lemongrass makes it very easy and fast for microorganisms to decompose during fermentation processes. This may cause stomach upset in any rabbit that eats it. Always feed fresh lemongrass to your rabbits.
Can rabbits eat lemongrass – Dried?
Dried lemongrass has a few different nutrients when compared to fresh ones. Lemongrass can have fungus or mold build up if it’s not properly dried. This can result in stomach upset in your rabbits. We recommend you focus on serving only fresh lemongrass to your rabbits.
When can Rabbits Start Eating Lemongrass?
Do not feed lemongrass to your baby rabbits. Their digestive system is not mature to break it down and their stomach does not have the bacteria that digest lemongrass. To prevent health issues in your baby rabbits, start serving lemongrass to them from 12 weeks and above. Give a few stalks and wait for 24 hours to see how it settles in their system.
Adult rabbits should also be fed a small amount of lemongrass. Do the same for your pregnant and lactating rabbits. Overfeeding them with lemongrass may make their stomach full; they may refuse to eat other foods rich in protein and fiber—which they need the most!
How Much Lemongrass Can a Rabbit Eat?
You can serve 128 grams or a cup of lemongrass for every 1 kg of their weight daily. Avoid giving an excess of it as lemongrass has natural acids which when taken in large quantities can harm your rabbits. Always add high-fiber foods like hay to their daily diet, too! Their digestive system is designed to break down fiber-rich food. Lemongrass is very low in fiber; your habits may suffer health issues if denied other nutritious foods.
How Do I Find Lemongrass for my Rabbits?
You can get lemon grass from a grocery store close to you—though not all grocery stores will have it! If you’re not sure where to get it, you can place orders for high-quality lemongrass from this online store and get it delivered to your doorstep. Make sure you buy organic lemongrass—they are free of pesticides or any chemical that may be harmful to your rabbits.
Alternatively, you can decide to grow your lemongrass at home. Lemongrass thrives well in warm and humid climates and a good plant vessel can be used to grow it.
Wondering how you can grow lemongrass? Follow these procedures:
- Get a large vessel with at least 14 inches. Your lemongrass roots may break the container if it’s too small. You can use vessels of different sizes.
- Fill the vessel halfway with rich loamy soil.
- Plant one stalk in a container. Do not over-stock with multiple stalks as it will yield many plants that will overcrowd the planting space, suffocating the plants due to inadequate space.
- After planting, water the soil.
- Keep in a warm and sun-lit space.
- Ensure you water the plant daily
- Also, add organic fertilizers for faster growth. Do not use pesticides or herbicides on the lemongrass plant as it could harm your rabbits when it is fed to them.
- Always use scissors to cut the lemongrass you want to feed to your rabbits. Don’t serve any lawn-mowed lemongrass—if you grew it in your backyard. The mowing heat triggers fast fermentation that can cause stomach upset in your rabbits.
You can learn more about how to grow lemongrass in this detailed content
Lemongrass Recipe for Rabbits
- Select fresh lemongrass for your rabbits; get rid of any withered or yellowed lemongrass that is already eaten by insects.
- Carefully examine the lemongrass to remove any insect stuck to it, that can cause digestive problems or stomach upset in your rabbits
- Properly wash the lemongrass with clean, cool water, taking out any remaining dirt stuck around.
- Put a few of the washed lemongrass into a clean, shallow dish that can be toppled over. You can also combine other veggies like hay to make it more nutritious.
- Serve it to your rabbits and watch how they eat it. You can give them water, also!
- After feeding, remove any leftover food and clean the feeding space.
Overfeeding my Rabbit with Lemongrass?
Yes! Feeding too much lemongrass to your rabbits puts them in ill-health conditions like:
- Obesity: lemongrass is rich in calories and very low in fiber. Too much of it can cause overweight in your rabbits, which is a symptom of obesity.
- Diarrhea: Giving excess lemongrass to your rabbits can soften their stool—due to low fiber content—causing diarrhea. Take your rabbit to a veterinarian immediately if you notice signs of diarrhea; your rabbit may die if treatment is delayed. Always enrich your rabbit’s diet with fiber-rich foods in addition to lemongrass, if you want a healthy diet for them.
- Gastrointestinal stasis: excess lemongrass in the stomach of rabbits activates the multiplication of bacteria that produces gas. These gases cause discomfort when trapped in your rabbit’s belly. Gastrointestinal stasis can kill your bunny if treatment is delayed for 24 hours. Your rabbit will show the following signs if it has gastrointestinal stasis:
- Noisy stomach
- Inability to stool or fart
- Stomach bloating
- Hunched posture
- Low body temperature
Do these immediately you notice these symptoms:
- Increase your rabbit’s temperature by laying it in a hot place: a lot of lamps can be placed next to its body.
- Massage both sides of its belly at the same time
- Take your bunny to a veterinarian for further diagnosis and drug prescription.
Can I Serve Lemongrass Juice to my Rabbits?
Many people think they can give lemongrass juice to their rabbits—just because rabbits can eat lemongrass. You may ask: if my rabbit is free to eat lemongrass, why shouldn’t it take the juice? What’s the difference!? The fact is: the digestive system of your rabbits is quite different from yours.
Lemongrass juice is a concentrated form of lemongrass and it has high acidic content—it is not healthy for your rabbits! Remember, you always use hot water to extract the juice, your bunny does not need this. It can cause serious stomach upset. Stick to the normal lemongrass you offer. If you want a healthy life for your rabbits, do not serve lemongrass juice to them.
Are There Alternatives to Lemongrass?
Yes!, there are varieties of food rich in essential nutrients, you can buy for your pet rabbits. You can get basil, mint, alfalfa, rosemary, wheat grass, peppermint, pea pods, watercress, clover and wheat, and lots more to enrich their diet. But, if you want to save yourself the stress of trying to figure out how to mix these foods or the exact amount to offer your rabbits per day, you should purchase rabbit food products that have the exact nutrients—in the right proportion—that your rabbit needs. We recommend these products to you:
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- Russel Rabbit Tasty Mix: this is rich in fiber and natural ingredients—very nutritional for adult rabbits of all sizes. Ingredients like wheat, pea, maize, and essential vitamins were added to produce a healthy diet your bunny will enjoy. You can look up more about Russel Rabbit Tasty Mix here. Many people love feeding it to their bunnies!
- Oxbow’s Essential-Adult Rabbit Food: this food is produced to meet the nutritional necessities of your adult rabbits and promote healthy living. It contains hay for wholesome digestion, antioxidants that boost the immune system, and vitamins and minerals that enhance the daily body functions of your rabbits. It is mainly for mature rabbits—1 year and above! Growing, pregnant and lactating rabbits are not allowed to eat it. You can check out more about Oxbow’s Essential-Adult Rabbit food.
- Vitakraft Slims: this alfalfa-flavored food is a crispy and tasty snack for your pet rabbits. It’s a mix of healthy veggies and whole grains!—with no preservatives, artificial flavors, and sugar. It is enriched with vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, folic acid, calcium, and other essential nutrients in the appropriate amount.
Why You Should Feed These Food Products to Your Rabbits
- It prevents selective eating habits in rabbits that are usually associated with mixing different raw food in a diet
- Healthy ingredients and essential nutrients are added in the right proportion for the healthy well-being of your bunny.
- These food products are produced under the guidance of expert veterinarians and nutritionists
- There is a low risk of your rabbit developing health problems associated with an inadequate diet.
- It will save you the stress of buying and mixing different food ingredients to spice up your rabbit’s diet.
Can rabbits eat lemongrass?
Yes! Lemongrass is a safe food that can spice up the diet of your rabbits. However, it should be served in small amounts because of its high acidic content. Make sure it’s not a major component of your rabbit’s diet; always mix it with other fiber-rich, nutritious foods if you want well-being for your little friend