What animals eat grass?

In this brief article, we will answer the query,”What animals eat grass?” We will discuss what small animals eat grass. We will also look at what farm animals eat grass. We will discuss why some animals prefer feeding on only grass and leaves.

What animals eat grass?

Graminivores is a term that refers to herbivores that primarily feed on grasses. However, they do not only feed on grasses, they also eat various plant matter which include twigs, flowers and green leaves.

These animals usually have well formed digestive systems that are well adapted to digest the massive amounts of cellulose that they consume. Cellulose is in plenty in fibrous plant matter and is difficult to digest for other animals.

Graminivores also have specialized enzymes which assist in the digestion process and may also have symbiotic gut bacteria that assist again with digestion all the way through to fermentation as the plant matter moves through the intestines.

There are many animals that are graminivores and they include cows, horses, cattle, deer sheep, buffalo, goats,elk,  bison, capybara,  zebras, African wildebeest, geese, chicken, turkeys, grasshoppers, giant pandas,rabbits,  hippopotamuses and donkeys.

What small animals eat grass?

As earlier mentioned, small animals such as insects as well as really large animals such as elephants eat grass. Small animals that eat grass are insects such as grasshoppers and mammals such as rabbits. 

Several animals also like herbivores and omnivores also consume grass but not all animals primarily eat grass only. Grasshoppers for instance eat grass as well as leaves, seeds and flowers. 

Other grass eaters are the beaver, bandicoot, aye aye, capybara, cotton-top tamarin, chipmunk among others. More animals that feed on grass are Guinea pig, Flying squirrel, Gray Mouse,Indian Palm Squirrel, Water vole, Gopher and Emperor Tamarin. They are not all exclusively grass feeders as they sometimes feed on other plant matter.

Let’s take a deeper look at how some small animals eat grass:

Mites

Mites are related to spiders because they both have 8 legs and they also spin webs. Actually the presence of the webs is a sign that you have a mite infestation. Mites usually eat the underside of the grass blade and are usually very problematic in times of drought as they can consume a lot of grass.

Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers are very partial to grass so swarms of them can feed on large volumes of them including some human foods such as wheat, otas and corn. Some types of grasshoppers prefer to nibble the edge of the grass blade anch chew it halfway and they use their feet to give it to their mandibles.

What farm animals eat grass?

A lot of animals do consume grass but they are all not entirely graminivores. Now, while herbivores feed on grass as their primary source of food it doesn’t necessarily mean that they cannot live without grass.

Examples of farm animals that feed on grass are sheep, cattle, cows and birds such as turkey and chicken. However, goats and deer are also key farm animals that feed on grasses but they are not grazers and are considered as browsers.

Cows mostly feed on grass and pasture while calves (baby cows) also drink milk. However, if there is scarcity with pasture and grassland cows can as well consume grain-based foods such as barley.

Sheep also consume grass such as orchard grass. Rabbits feed on timothy-grass, orchard grass and oat. Farm animals can also tend to overfeed on grass and this can result in adverse effects because grasses tend to have a lot of sugar or cellulose.

Why do some animals prefer feeding on only grass and leaves?

This comes down to adaptability. Herbivores are animals that feed on plant based foods. Animals that feed on grass and leaves are accustomed to the food, habitats and have become adapted to it. 

These animals are well adapted to grass and leaves and have digestive systems that can handle the volumes of grass and plant based materials that they eat. 

You can learn more about animals that feed on grass here.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have answered the query,”What animals eat grass?” We discussed what small animals eat grass. We have also looked at what farm animals eat grass. We have discussed why some animals prefer feeding on only grass and leaves.

Citations

https://kidadl.com/facts/common-animals-that-eat-grass-great-grazing-facts-for-kids

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