Yes, camels can eat grass. In fact, grass makes up a large part of their diet. Camels can digest grasses better than most other animals due to their specially adapted digestive system.

However, just because camels can eat grass doesn’t mean it is always healthy for them to do so. Like all animals, camels need a balanced diet to stay healthy. If they eat too much grass, it can cause problems with their digestion and lead to malnutrition.

To better understand how grass affects camel health, let’s take a closer look at what camels eat and how their digestive system works.

divider-multipet How Much Grass Does a Camel Eat Per Day?

The amount of grass a camel eats per day depends on a few factors, such as the type of grass, the camel’s age, and whether it is nursing or pregnant.

On average, an adult camel will eat around 66 to 88 pounds (30 to 40 kg) of grass per day. Nursing and pregnant camels may eat even more, up to 110 pounds (50 kg) per day. Young camels, or calves, will usually eat less than adults, around 22 to 33 pounds (10 to 15 kg) per day.

The type of grass also affects how much a camel will eat. Some grasses are more nutritious than others, so camels will eat less of them to get the same amount of nutrients.

A young camel with its mother
Image Credit: chris clark, Pexels

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How Does the Camel’s Digestive System Work?

The camel’s digestive system is specially adapted to digest grasses. The first part of their digestive system is the rumen, which is a large chamber in their stomach where food is partially digested.

The rumen contains bacteria that break down the cellulose in grasses, which not all animals can do. Another animal that’s capable of this feat is the cow. This system works to break down the cell walls of plants. It then releases nutrients like vitamins, minerals, proteins, and essential lipids that the camel can absorb.

The second part of the camel’s digestive system is the small intestine, where most digestion and absorption of nutrients take place. The camel’s small intestine is longer in proportion to its body size than that of other animals. This allows more time for nutrients to be absorbed from the plant material.

So, grass is an important part of a camel’s diet, but it is not the only thing they eat. Camels also consume oats, wheat, and grains. What’s more, a camel’s diet can vary depending on where they live. In some areas, there may not be much grass available, so camels will eat other plants, such as shrubs and leaves.

Do Camels Need to Drink Water?

Camels do not need to drink water as often as other animals because they are able to conserve water better than most. This is due to several adaptations, such as their long eyelashes, which protect their eyes from the sand and sun, and their thick skin, which helps prevent water loss.

Camels also have a renal rete, which is a network of blood vessels that helps filter out water from their urine before it is excreted. This allows them to retain more water in their bodies and prevents them from becoming dehydrated. However, camels still need to drink water regularly to stay healthy. They will typically drink around 30 to 50 liters (8 to 13 gallons) of water per day.

When they are able to find food and water, camels can go for long periods without either. They can survive for up to six months without food and two weeks without water. This is why camels are often used in deserts, where other animals would quickly die of thirst or hunger.

camel drinking water
Image Credit: Amanat Ali, Pixabay

divider-multipet Conclusion

Can camels eat grass? The answer is yes, they can! Camels are actually herbivores, so their diet consists mostly of plants. Grass is a perfectly healthy food for them to eat and provides many nutrients that keep them healthy and strong, along with many other plants. If you’re ever wondering what to feed your camel, grass is always a good option!

Featured Image Credit: Mitch Fox, Unsplash