Cymbopogon, lemongrass, Cochin grass, silky heads, fever grass, barbed wiregrass, Malabar grass, or oily heads is a genus name for various species of grass with a lemony scent used in culinary, herbal medicine and traditional spiritualism.
Cochin grass is native to the African, Asian, Australian, and Tropical island plants and belongs to the family Poaceae or Gramineae (the grass family). Can you share this grass with your rabbits, or is it harmful and poisonous?
Is lemongrass safe for rabbits?
Yes. Lemongrass is safe for rabbits, and bunnies cat eat fresh or dry lemongrass in moderation. However, unlike other herbs given in small quantities as a treat, you can make it one of the leafy greens that bunnies eat, i.e., a cup full of 5-6 leafy greens with lemongrass being one of them is enough for a two-pound weighing bunny.
In other words, feed them as you usually do with other fresh grasses such as wheatgrass, crabgrass, oats, timothy, and so on. However, don’t substitute it with hay, which should be at least 80% of your rabbit diet. Fresh foods (veggies, grasses, safe plants) should account for 10-15%, while premium-quality, high fiber pellets should be about 5%.
Keep treats including herbs, fruits, non-leafy veggies, flowers, and commercial rabbits treats at no more than 5% of your rabbit’s daily calorific intake.
This aromatic grass is nutritious, may boost red blood cell level, prevent the growth of yeast and bacteria, has pain-relieving and swelling abilities, and may improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
For instance, in humans, lemongrass herbal tea may help lower cholesterol, prevent infection, relieve anxiety, boost immunity, relieve pain, increases blood cell levels, may help with bloating, among others. We are not sure if bunnies will benefit in the same way.
Feeding it to your bunnies
When buying lemongrass for your rabbit, go for organic one as it is free of herbicides or pesticides. You will find it in most grocery stores.
Alternatively, if you grow it, use a scissor to cut some or let your furry critter graze for a short while. Avoid giving your bunny any lawn mowed grass (lawn clippings) as the mowing heat and cutting process will speed fermentation, increasing risks of stomach upsets.
Go slow. Begin with a small amount as you watch how your rabbit’s tummies will respond. If there isn’t any diarrhea, gas, bloating, or GI upsets, you can increase the amount that we have stated over about a week to two weeks. Their tummies need time to adjust to the new food.
Finally, while some bunnies may like Cochin grass, others may not like it due to its lemony scent. Even wild rabbits, lemongrass isn’t one of the most preferred food as these animals tend not to like aromatic or strongly scented plants.
More on lemongrass
In culinary, you can use citronella grass, C. flexuosus (Cochin or Malabar Grass), or West Indian lemongrass (C. citratus). However, C. citratus is the best choice for culinary uses and in making lemongrass teas. Additionally, its use as a medicinal herb, in perfume, tea for anxiety (Brazilian folk medicine), or boosting immunity (in the Caribbean).
Traditionally, lemongrass include being an ingredient of the hoodoo van van oil or by itself protecting against hoodoos against evil spirits while beekeepers may use it attract bees to swarms since it imitates the pheromones that honeybees emit from their Nasonov gland
Finally, citronella grass and Cymbopogon winterianus are grown for harvesting citronella oil that is used in insect repellant candles or sprays, in soaps, and aromatherapy.