As terrestrial herbivores, zebras consume only plant-based foods.
Shrubs, grasses, herbs, stalks, leaves, cultivated crops, twigs, fruits-bearing plants, and certain marine vegetation. They also consume the roots and bark of trees but prefer to feed on green trees and plants.
All zebras ingest fibrous foods as well. Although their diet also contains low-nutrient goods, their digestive tract is adaptive and meets their nutritional requirements.
They frequently eat in zigzag patterns. As they progress, they collect leaves from one plant in their mouths.
They spend between 14 and 18 hours per day feeding themselves.
Zebras do consume fruit. However, whereas zebras graze only on fallen fruits in the wild, zebras kept in captivity will consume fresh fruits such as apples. Grass accounts for about 90% of their total diet.
Do Zebras Eat Fruits?
While zebras may occasionally come across fallen fruit as a snack, it is infrequent enough to be considered a part of their typical diet.
However, in captivity, zebras are occasionally given fruit such as apples as a treat.
Zebra prefers long, coarse grasses high in fiber but low in protein and minerals. Bermuda and red oat grass are two of the plains zebra’s favorite grasses.
Zebras consume a wide variety of foods. Occasionally, it may even depend on their residence.
It may even depend on the type of habitat the zebras inhabit. Additionally, it could be determined by the local climate.
The following are some of the meals that zebras consume.
They are highly dependent on water. They move up to 700 miles in quest of food, preferring to migrate to rainy areas.
These zebras rely on rainfall for food and water. They love feeding on short grass, mainly newly produced, immature grasses.
Additionally, they consume leaves and shoots. Burchell zebras, on the other hand, are herbivores.
Unlike Plains zebras, Grevy’s zebras are not water reliant. They can go up to five days without it. These zebras feed exclusively on grasses and legumes.
Mares are on the lookout for territories that provide high-quality food and water. They may consume leaves, which account for approximately 30% of their diet.
They consume a large number of leaves in addition to everything else.
Mountain Zebras inhabit hot, arid, mountainous areas. They scour the ground for water, and their diet consists of tufted grass, leaves, bark, buds, and fruit.
Cape mountain zebras and Hartmann’s mountain zebras are the two subspecies of mountain zebras. Cape mountain zebras are herbivores.
If they are unable to get food, they eat shrubs. Apart from grass, Hartmann’s zebras graze on stems, roots, and leaves.
Here is an article I wrote on how do zebras protect themselves
What Kind of Fruits Do They Eat?
- Apples: Zebras consume apples; they enjoy fruits and can obtain vitamins and nutrients.
- Berries: Zebras unquestionably consume berries; their diet is vegan. Zebras can and will consume berries because they contain the necessary vitamins.
- Zebras do consume blackberries; zebras can consume a wide variety of fruits.
- Banana: Zebras consume bananas; they can obtain critical nutrients from them.
What Are The Health Benefits of These Fruits to Zebras?
The polyphenols in these fruits are extremely good for zebras’ health since they include several vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B9, manganese, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus are all abundant in strawberries, as with many other nutrients.
Vitamin C helps keep a zebra’s skin appearing young and healthy.
Even better for hot conditions, some contain up to ninety-one percent water. Zebras can maintain a healthy weight by eating these fruits in moderation.
For zebras, they are ideal since they include all of the essential vitamins and minerals.
Bananas provide these creatures with potassium, which is critical to their growth and development.
However, there is a lot more to this fruit than potassium. It has vitamin B6, vitamin C and folate, fiber, magnesium and manganese.
Apple aid in tissue healing, help digest carbohydrates, support the brain system and boost the immune system.
What Other Foods Do Zebras Eat?
In the wild, Zebras eat a diet that includes
- Tall grasses (90% of their diet)
- Small trees
Zebras have adapted to a diet of low-nutrient plants because of the harsh climate in Africa (drought is a common occurrence).
While most herbivores require plants with a higher concentration of nutrients, this is not the case for this species (like cows).
On the other hand, Zebras can thrive on dried-out grasses, unlike many other herbivores.
This is due to their unique digestive system, which allows them to break down plant stuff more thoroughly than most other herbivores do.
Animals with single-chambered stomachs benefit from a process known as hindgut fermentation, in which helpful bacteria break down plant fiber.
Most herbivores have more than one stomach to break it down and use foregut fermentation when it comes to planting material.
Before beginning the digestion process, they ferment their food to break down the plant material.
Thanks to their unique digestive system, zebras can survive not just on dry grasses but also on twigs, leaves, roots, and bark.
Also check out this article I wrote on why are zebras so aggressive?
Are Zebras Herbivores?
Zebras are herbivores that graze primarily on grasses, although they will occasionally browse on the leaves and branches of shrubs.
They feed for several hours each day, clipping the grass tops with their sharp front teeth. The meal is subsequently crushed and ground by their back teeth.
Grass accounts for over 90% of their diet.
However, they also consume leaves and twigs, and some zebras consume plants and shrubs, particularly during the scarcity of grass.
Zebras are herbivores (plant eaters), and their diet consists primarily of grasses.
The plains zebra, the mountain zebra, and the Grevy’s zebra are the three zebra species.
Compared to most other herbivores, zebras have an advanced digestive system that allows them to consume vegetation with greater efficiency.
The primary process that aids in their digestion is called hindgut fermentation, which occurs when animals with single-chambered stomachs are infected with helpful bacteria that aid in the breakdown of plant fiber.
Zebras spend a large portion of their day grazing (aka eating grass). Additionally, zebras have sharp incisors that aid in grass cutting and huge, robust molars that aid in grinding and chewing grass.
They will occasionally consume fruit when they are in the wild, mainly fallen fruit. While those kept in captivity are treated to fruits.
The digestive system of a zebra is quite delicate. The best plan of action is to feed fruits in modest amounts — they make excellent rewards!
Additionally, wash all fruits thoroughly before feeding them to your zebra. Finally, avoid overfeeding your zebra with fruits.
This is critical for captive zebras.