Many mammals like raccoons, foxes, and rodents are seen eating grasshoppers. But rabbits are herbivores and they mainly feed on grass and hay. Both wild and domestic bunnies mostly get their food from plant sources.
Rabbits would seldom munch on insects but the possibility of eating one in the wild is there. If given a chance, they might try their hands-on insects including grasshoppers. However, grasshoppers have no nutritional value for bunnies and therefore it is not recommended to add them to the furry animal’s diet.
If rabbits eat insects and grasshoppers on a regular basis, it would make their stomachs upset and cause other complications.
Let’s find out if bunnies eat grasshoppers and what happens if they do so.
Do Bunnies Eat Grasshoppers?
A question that is often put up by rabbit owners is, do bunnies eat grasshoppers? Some people also inquire about ants, worms, and ladybugs. The answer is, that rabbits won’t eat bugs intentionally or if given a chance. But there can be exceptions to this rule.
A bored or extremely hungry rabbit may want to catch a grasshopper if there is nothing else available. If domestic rabbits are seen going after bugs, it means their diet lacks enough protein or fiber.
Rabbits have a very complex digestive system and in order to keep it moving, they munch almost constantly. Even if they snack on grass or hay all day long, it won’t make them sick. You can have an unlimited supply of hay for your bunnies without worrying about them overeating or getting sick.
But when it comes to other foods including fruits, vegetables, and even insects, eating too much of these would upset their stomach and lead to diarrhea and other complications.
A rabbit doesn’t show illness unless she is extremely ill. That is why if you see your bunny going after grasshoppers and other insects, you have to step in and stop this behavior immediately.
Why Rabbits Don’t Eat Bugs?
Rabbits seek out a diet that is high in fiber content. This includes grass hay and some fresh fruits and vegetables. Rabbit owners also feed them pellets, which are made from different varieties of hay and offer good nutritional value.
Bugs and insects do not provide the same amount of fiber or any other nutritional value for that matter. That is why rabbits don’t go after bugs in the wild even though they live together and encounter a number of insects every day.
Another reason for a rabbit to not kill and eat grasshoppers and other insects is because it’s not a predator. In order to eat an insect, one has to kill it first. And this is something rabbits are not trained to do.
Since bugs are not part of a rabbit’s natural diet, these insects can make them sick. If you think your rabbit is showing this type of behavior out of boredom, you can provide them with other foods to munch on or some other form of entertainment to keep them away from bugs.
Why Rabbits Won’t Eat a Grasshopper?
It is very rare that a rabbit would eat a grasshopper because unlike other insects, which are easy to ingest, grasshoppers have a hard outer shell and it’s difficult to break open.
Moreover, rabbits won’t be able to break it down properly because of their teeth’ structure. They don’t have teeth to chew food and therefore anything that is hard or difficult to break down is not meant for bunnies.
Another reason for a rabbit to not seek out a grasshopper is its zero nutritional value. Eating a grasshopper wouldn’t satisfy a rabbit’s hunger or nutritional needs and therefore she wouldn’t want to eat it.
Nevertheless, a bunny may still devour a grasshopper if given an opportunity or if there is nothing else to eat. But this behavior should be closely watched so it doesn’t become a habit and harm the rabbit’s health.
What Happens If Your Rabbit Eats a Grasshopper?
If your rabbit accidentally ate a grasshopper, nothing would happen. But this event could lead to seeking out more bugs and insects in the garden out of curiosity.
Some insects carry different types of disease organisms in their bodies as well as bacteria on their feet or other parts of the body. If your bunny eats one of these insects, she might get sick because of having a sensitive digestive system.
Tapeworms that live in our digestive systems are often carried by different types of bugs. If one rabbit gets infected with one of these, she may spread the disease and make other rabbits sick.
Grasshoppers can be easily ingested because they are green in color and a rabbit may mistake them for a plant. If you want your bunny to stay away from grasshoppers in the garden, make sure you dust your outdoor plants with food-grade diatomaceous earth to reduce the insect population.
Since rabbits are herbivores, they actively seek out a diet that is high in fiber and low in protein content. They have no urge to eat bugs and insects in the wild because of the same reason. Moreover, since a rabbit is a prey animal and not a predator, it would not want to kill another animal or insect for that matter.
However, exceptions are always there and so you could see a wild rabbit feeding on grasshoppers and other insects. If you see your domestic bunny actively seeking out insects and grasshoppers, it means you’re not feeding her enough fiber-rich foods.
It is important to keep rabbits away from all types of insects because you never know which of these insects carry disease organisms that could make a rabbit sick. Illness in rabbits only manifests itself when it has become a serious complication. It is therefore advisable to keep a check on what your rabbit eats and doesn’t eat.
If your garden plants attract a lot of insects including grasshoppers, you can use food-grade Diatomaceous Earth to limit their production. This will help reduce the chance of your bunny accidentally eating insects that look a lot like plants.