Animals that eat grass are known as herbivores, meaning they derive their main diet from plants. Many animals eat grass as a large portion of their diets, although the percentage of grass eaten can vary according to season. Cattle eat more grass in fall and winter than they consume in spring, according to Texas A&M University. On the other hand, herbivores such as bison eat about the same amount of grass year-round.
About 93 percent of the bison's diet is grass, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website. A typical day for bison includes periods of both grazing and resting. These animals graze on grass after dawn, going out in groups of three to four. After filling up their stomachs, they rest. Bison eat about 1.6 percent of their total body mass each day with dry vegetation, equaling about 24 lbs. per day. In the Texas Panhandle, the home of the Texas state bison herd, bison feed on blue stem, buffalo and gamma grasses.
Deer are one the few animals able to digest grass leaves, notes the Hamilton Nature website. These herbivores can be common pests in urban landscapes. Some of the ornamental grasses they consume include inland sea oats, maiden grass, gulf muhley, pampas grass, Lindheimer's muhley and purple fountain, according to Texas A&M University. They eat more grass in spring because there's more available; this is immature grass due to melting snow, says the University of Idaho. Spring immature grass, also, has less cellulose, so it's easier for mule deer to digest.
Grass is the bulk of a meadow mouse's diet, according to Cornell University. Meadow mice (Microtus pennsylvanicus), have small eyes, short legs short ears, blunt noses and a blocky form. Mature mice are chestnut brown on the top portions of their bodies with gray and cinnamon speckles on their lower bodies. They're 7 inches long when full grown, which includes a tail smaller than 2 inches. These pests remain active throughout the year. Mow grassy or weedy borders to control the population of these pests. Removing weeds and high grass from around fruit trees and ornamental plants also helps reduce the amount of meadow mice.
Voles, which are small rodents, are mostly vegetarians, says the University of Connecticut. Although they look like mice, they lack a long tail. They mainly damage turf by tunneling below ground and by their runways they create in sod. Just as mice, voles specialize in eating grass seeds.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images