Hay hay, bunny parents! You know that hay is a critical part of the rabbits' diet, but you might not know which hay to choose. This blog will explain what kinds of hay are best for rabbits and how much they should eat daily.
Hay for Rabbits' Diet
Hay provides essential nutrition and helps prevent dental and digestive problems. Good quality hay has high fiber, low protein, and low fat. A protein level of around 12-16% is ideal for growth and ensures that your pet does not become obese at this percentage of protein.
Hay that contains less fat also helps to prevent obesity as well as other health problems like GI Stasis.
Hay is high in fiber which is good for rabbits' digestive tract to function properly. If you fail to provide your bunny with fiber-rich food, the digestive system will stop working, leading to a more severe health problem or even death.
Rabbits should have an unlimited amount of fresh hay because it helps them to maintain dental health, stay active by chewing on it throughout the day and regulate body temperature. Some people even believe feeding your rabbit too much hay will lead to obesity and digestive problems like diarrhea or bloating.
It is the other way around because bunnies need unlimited hay for their daily diet. Take age into consideration. Start feeding rabbits at about 7-8 months with alfalfa hay because it has extra calcium, fiber, and protein they need for growth.
Types of Hay for Rabbits
Timothy Hay for Rabbits
Timothy hay is what owners usually feed their rabbits. This type of hay is high in fiber and low in protein. Timothy hay is a healthy choice for your bunnies. It is the best hay for your rabbit's digestive system, so it should be available daily.
Alfalfa is a legume that can be fed to rabbits if they're not allergic (it contains high lignin content). Alfalfa hay is best for baby rabbits at seven months as it is high in calcium and protein they need for growth and development. It is not the best for adult rabbits, although you can still give them a limited amount of alfalfa hay mixed with other varieties of hay.
Bluegrass hay can substitute for timothy hay; it's green like grass but darker. It is lower in protein and calcium and is also good to mix with other types of hay.
Orchard Grass Hay
It is low in protein like bluegrass hay but high in sugar and fiber. The price of this hay can be different depending on the company that sells it.
Oat hay is a mixture of wheat, oat, and barley which is high in fiber, vitamins, and other minerals but low in protein. Oat hay alone can be expensive, but it can be cheaper if you buy it in a blend with different types of hay.
Herbal hay is another good choice for rabbits. This type of hay is suitable to mix with lavender, hibiscus, and clover.
Is Meadow Hay Good for Rabbits?
Meadow hay is another excellent choice for your rabbit. It's a full-flavored grass with plenty of fiber, protein, and calcium. It is another type of hay with a natural source of fiber which is beneficial for bunnies.
Hay From Online Pet Supply Stores
You must check the quality of hay you purchase online through buyers' reviews and testimonials. Hay is so crucial that many veterinarians recommend offering your rabbit unlimited access to it—so make sure it's fresh, not dusty or moldy, and stored in non-toxic containers.
It can be helpful to buy different kinds of hay so your rabbit can have a variety of flavors in its food if it's not a picky eater (some rabbits like one type but not another). Try mixing timothy pellet into the mix for a new taste and texture.
Choose a high-quality pellet because some pet supplies owners sell junk food pellets in the market.
Disclaimer: We are not professional veterinarians or medical doctors. We created this blog based on our experiences with pet rabbits. We volunteered hours in the rabbit shelter, did extensive pet product research, and asked experienced peers. The purpose of this blog is to provide information about properly taking care of rabbits. Please know that it is still best to visit the vet regularly. For medical emergencies, contact a rabbit-savvy vet. Always observe your rabbits around new products or environmental changes.
Final Thoughts on Hay for Rabbits
Hay is the most important of all things that your bunny needs; then next is fresh and clean water.
It's always nice to mix a variety of hays so your bunny would be excited every mealtime. It is better if there are different tastes and textures every time they eat.
You can always try other types, but timothy hay must be available all the time because it's the best one and used by many bunny parents who have been taking care of bunnies for a long time.
We hope that you learned in this blog about hay for rabbits!
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