Can Rabbits Eat Lemongrass? What You Need To Know.

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can rabbits eat lemongrass
can rabbits eat lemongrass

Last Updated on August 23, 2021 by Rei

My two rabbits Tyr and Freya love herbs, in fact, I feed them some whenever I’m cooking. Tyr especially loves the stalks of lemongrass because it’s tough and rabbits like to grind their teeth on sticks and stalks.

Lemongrass is mostly available in Asian countries and is used in different kinds of foods like chicken, pork, and seafood dishes. On western countries and other parts of the world, you can find lemongrass in Asian food stores.

Rabbits experts conclude that the best diet to give to your rabbits needs to be close to what they eat in the wild. Rabbits in the wild don’t have an unlimited supply of hay so they need to supplement their diet with herbs that are available to them.

That’s why it’s important that you occasionally give them some herbs as an addition to their hay diet. Lemongrass can be given in small quantities not because it’s dangerous to rabbits. But because there are better herbs to give to your pet rabbit.

In this article, I will be talking about the different benefits of feeding lemongrass to your rabbits. I will also talk about the different amounts of lemongrass based on your rabbit’s age.

And lastly, I’m going to tackle the risk of overfeeding lemongrass to rabbits and the different alternative herbs you can give to your rabbits.

So without further ado, lets get started:

What are the benefits of feeding lemongrass to rabbits?

What are the benefits of feeding lemongrass to rabbits?

Gist:

Lemongrass is rich in vitamin B and folate. It also contains minerals like calcium, iron, and manganese which are great for rabbits.


Lemongrass is a great herb to give to rabbits because it contains vitamins and minerals that are great for rabbits.

Warning:

Although lemongrass has these benefits, overfeeding your rabbit is not recommended. This is only to inform you of the different vitamins your rabbit can get when you give them lemongrass.

Here are the different benefits of feeding lemongrass to rabbits:

  • Vitamin B – Symptoms of rabbits that have vitamin B deficiency include diarrhea, anemia, loss of appetite, rough skin, and reduced litter size.
  • Calcium – Symptoms of rabbits that have calcium deficiency include week teeth, increased bone fractures, and bone deformities can occur.
  • Iron – Iron is important in oxygen transport and metabolism. Rabbits that have an iron deficiency can result in anemia and impaired hemoglobin formation.
  • Manganese – Deficiency in manganese can result in leg problems and brittle bones. It can also result in reproductive failure.

Source: Blas, Carlos de., and Julian Wiseman. The Nutrition of the Rabbit. CAB International, 1998.

How much lemongrass can a rabbit eat?

You can feed your rabbits 128grams or 1 cup of lemongrass for 2 lbs(1kg) of your rabbit’s weight per day. But be careful that you give it to them slowly at first because rabbits don’t tolerate sudden changes in their diet.

Adult or fully grown rabbits

Adult rabbits or rabbits that are 12 weeks to 7 months old can be given lemongrass gradually and in small amounts. Make sure that you gradually incorporate lemongrass into their diet to avoid triggering diarrhea.

After a few weeks of slowly giving your rabbits lemongrass, you can start regularly feeding your rabbit 128 grams or 1 cup of lemongrass per 2lbs(1kg) of your rabbit’s body weight per day.

Young or growing bunnies

Young bunnies that are less than 12 weeks old should not eat any lemongrass. The majority of a young bunny’s diet should only consist of hay.

Since young bunny’s gut flora is not yet developed, feeding them lemongrass could trigger gastrointestinal stasis or a bout of fatal diarrhea.

Pregnant or lactating rabbits

For pregnant or lactating rabbits, give them 128 grams or 1 cup of lemongrass per 2lbs(1kg) of your rabbit’s body weight every other day.

The reason why rabbits should eat less lemongrass when they are pregnant is that pregnant rabbits need a lot of proteins and feeding them too much lemongrass could make them full and in turn, eat less food rich in protein.

When can rabbits start eating lemongrass?

When can rabbits start eating lemongrass?

Gist:

You can start giving your rabbits lemongrass at 7 months old. Until then, only feed them hay.


Although lemongrass is a great supplement to your rabbit’s diet, it should not take the majority of your rabbit’s diet. Remember that your rabbit’s diet should be 80-90% hay, 5-10% leafy greens, 1-0% treats.

Likewise, young or growing rabbits, especially those that are less than 7 months old should only eat hay. Preferably alfalfa or timothy hay.

Rabbits that are young have a very sensitive stomach because their gut flora is not yet accustomed to digesting different kinds of foods. As a result, when you feed them leafy greens when they are young, you could upset the delicate balance of their gut flora and trigger a bout of diarrhea.

If your rabbit is on the growing stage, just stick to hay and water until their fully grown. Here’s a table that shows at what age can you feed leafy greens to your rabbit:

AgeHayPelletsVegetablesFruits
7 weeks to
7 months
Unlimited alfalfaUnlimited
12 weeksUnlimited alfalfaUnlimitedIntroduce vegetables (one at a time) in small quantities < 1/2 oz (15 g)
7 months
to 1 year
Introduce grass
hay, decrease
alfalfa
Decrease amount fed
to ½ cup per 6 lbs
(2.7 kg) BW
Increase vegetables
fed daily gradually
No more than 1-2
oz (30-60g) per 6
lbs (2.7 kg) BW
Adult
(1-5 y)
Unlimited grass
hay, oat hay, straw
¼ to ½ cup per 6 lbs
(2.7 kg) BW
1-2 cups per 6 lbs (2.7
kg) BW
No more than 2
tbsp per 6 lbs (2.7
kg) BW
Seniors
(>6 y)
Increase alfalfa hay
fed to frail, older
rabbits but monitor
calcium levels
Continue adult diet if
weight is okay; frail,
older rabbits may fed
unlimited pellets
Source: https://www.lafeber.com/vet/wp-content/uploads/Basic-Rabbit-Care.pdf

When should you not feed lemongrass to rabbits?

When should you not feed lemongrass to rabbits?

Gist:

You should not feed lemongrass to your rabbits when you notice any changes in their stool.


If you’re noticing any odd behavior or changes in your rabbit’s stool(diarrhea), you should immediately remove any other food except hay.

Just to be safe bring them to a vet especially if they are young or less than 7 months old because a bout of diarrhea to young rabbits is often fatal.

Also, if your rabbit is new to eating lemongrass, you should only feed them small amounts at a time. Then, wait for at least 24hours before you give them another serving of lemongrass.

Risks of overfeeding lemongrass to rabbits.

Obesity

The best diet for your rabbit is a combination of fiber, protein, and fats. When the majority of your rabbit’s diet consists of lemongrass, there is a risk that your rabbit could get obese because large amounts of lemongrass are high on carbs.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea in rabbits is often caused by improper feeding habits. The most common mistake rabbit owners make when feeding their pet is when they feed too much new food when their rabbit’s gut flora is not yet accustomed to it.

A solution would be to feed your rabbit slowly and only in small amounts at first when your introducing food that they haven’t eaten before. This would give your rabbit’s gut flora time to adjust to the new diet.

Wait for at least 24 hours to give them another serving of lemongrass when you’re trying to introduce it to their diet.

Gastrointestinal stasis

The best diet you can give to your rabbit is the closest they eat in the wild.

For instance, rabbits in the wild tend to get most of their nutrition on the mixture of grass, herbs, and other available leafy greens.

Gastrointestinal stasis happens for a variety of reasons. One of them is a sudden change in their diet because it triggers a change in their bacterial flora.

Therefore, it’s important that you do not give large amounts of lemongrass if your rabbit is not used to eating them in large amounts.

Great alternatives to lemongrass.

When it comes to your rabbit’s diet, having a variety of food is the most healthy option. The reason is that rabbits in the wild tend to have this variety.

A lot of sources say that the best diet for rabbits is a diet that mimics the one that they have in the wild. Here’s a list of vegetables and leafy greens that are recommended for rabbits:

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Can rabbits eat lemongrass during pregnancy?

    Yes, lemongrass is safe to feed to pregnant or lactating rabbits. Just make sure that they are still eating their required hay and your only giving lemongrass to supplement their diet.

  2. Can rabbits eat lemongrass root

    Yes, lemongrass roots are safe for rabbits. Just don’t make it a habit of letting them eat large amounts of lemongrass roots and they should be fine. The reason you don’t want to feed them large amounts of lemongrass roots is that it doesn’t contain enough nutrients a rabbit needs for the day.

  3. Can rabbits eat lemongrass stalks?

    Yes, lemongrass stalks are safe to feed to rabbits. In fact, they love to nimble on the stalks because it’s hard and they love to grind their teeth using it.

  4. Can rabbits eat lemongrass leaves?

    Yes, lemongrass leaves are safe to feed to rabbits. Lemongrass leaves are a great supplement to your rabbit’s diet. It provides some minerals and vitamins that are great for rabbits. Just make sure that lemongrass is not the majority of your rabbit’s diet — it should be hay.

Conclusion

Lemongrass is a safe addition to your rabbit’s diet because it contains vitamins and minerals that are great for rabbits. Not to mention rabbits love herbs like lemongrass.

The best diet for your rabbits is the one that mimics what they have in the wild. Wild rabbits often have a mixture of diet that’s composed of grass/hay, herbs, and occasionally fruits.

Therefore it’s only logical that you should mix in some herbs to your rabbit’s diet to give them a well-rounded source of nutrition.

You can safely give lemongrass to your adult rabbit(more than 7months old) 128 grams or 1 cup of lemongrass per 2lbs(1kg) of your rabbit’s body weight per day.

Rabbits that are young or less than 7 months old should not eat lemongrass because it could disrupt the balance of their gut flora and could lead to a bout of diarrhea which could be fatal if not treated.

As for rabbits that are pregnant or lactating, reduce the amount of lemongrass to make way for more nutritious foods because it’s important that pregnant rabbits get the right amount of nutrition(see great alternatives to lemongrass section).

If your planning on giving lemongrass to your rabbits, you should do so gradually to not trigger a bout of diarrhea. Only give them small amounts each day and observe for any abnormalities in their stool and adjust accordingly.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (October 15, 2021) Can Rabbits Eat Lemongrass? What You Need To Know.. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-lemongrass/.
"Can Rabbits Eat Lemongrass? What You Need To Know.." Bunny Horde - October 15, 2021, https://bunnyhorde.com/can-rabbits-eat-lemongrass/

Sources

  • Blas, Carlos de., and Julian Wiseman. The Nutrition of the Rabbit. CAB International, 1998.
  • Buseth, Marit Emilie., and Richard A. Saunders. Rabbit Behaviour, Health, and Care. CABI, 2014.
  • Cheeke, Peter R. Rabbit Feeding and Nutrition. Academic Press, 1987.
  • Lebas, F. The Rabbit: Husbandry, Health, and Production. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1997.
  • Meredith, Anna, et al. BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine. British Small Animal Veterinary Association, 2014.
  • Patry, Karen, et al. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver: Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling. Storey Publishing, 2014.
  • Richardson, V. C. G. Rabbits: Health, Husbandry and Diseases. Blackwell Science, 2002.
  • Varga, Molly, and Frances Harcourt-Brown. Textbook of Rabbit Medicine: Revised and Edited. Elsevier, 2014.
  • Basic Rabbit Care
  • Lemongrass
  • Gastrointestinal stasis