The best rabbit hay for happier & healthier bunnies!
April 9, 2019
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Remove all the confusions and figure out today which is the best rabbit hay for your bunnies and why hay is crucial for a bunnies health.
I can say this:
Not all hays are best for your rabbits and some hays may even create health concerns in your rabbits or an upset stomach.
Hence, I wrote this article to guide rabbit guardians on what kind of hay to buy, where to buy hay, and which is the best hay for your rabbits?
Skip to section
- What kind of hay for rabbits?
- Which is the best hay for your rabbit?
- Where to buy the best rabbit hay?
- Finding the best bedding hay for your rabbits.
What kind of hay for rabbits?
Depending on your rabbit and your accessibility you have a variety of options of hay to feed your rabbits.
Most common of them are:
- Timothy Hay
- Alfalfa Hay
- Meadow Hay
- Orchard Grass Hay
- Oat Hay
- Wheat hay
- Barley hay
- Dried grass
All of the above-mentioned hay has the same health benefits for your rabbits except for alfalfa hay which I will explain in detail later in the post.
As your rabbit diet requires a lot of fresh grass daily, it may seem unpractical for rabbit owners trying to give them fresh grass.
So it is very essential you understand what are the types of hay and which is the best rabbit hay for your house rabbits.
In order to do so continue reading.
Which is the best hay for your rabbit?
Depending on the age of your rabbit you should feed your rabbits timothy hay or alfalfa hay.
A rabbit under 7 months old must be fed alfalfa hay and adult rabbits that is over 7months old and onwards must feed on timothy hay.
An overweight rabbit must not be given alfalfa hay which can cause health concerns.
You have to test out different kinds of hay and figure out which is the most suitable hay for your rabbit and what do they prefer the most.
Grass Hay for rabbits.
Grass hay is basically different kinds of grass that dry naturally. Rabbit Hay has a very important role to play in your rabbit’s diet.
As grass hay contains a high amount of fiber, it helps your rabbits to maintain great health and remain happy.
There are several different types of grass hay present in the market, and a few of them are as follows:
Timothy hay for rabbits.
Timothy hay is one of the best rabbit hay for adult rabbits. Rabbits over 7 months old do not require too much protein in their diet.
Hence it is vital that your rabbit receives plenty of fiber in their diet for a smooth digestive system and at the same time do not consume too much protein. Too much protein will increase their weight.
My favorite go-to brand for timothy hay for rabbits is Small pet select timothy hay.
They come in color green and fresh looking. Compared to other Timothy Hay in the market small pet select timothy hay is less dusty.
You can order a small quantity at first for your rabbits to try it out and check whether they like it or not. In case they like it then you can buy in larger amounts.
Oat, Wheat, Barley Hay for Rabbits.
The main purpose of growing oat, wheat, and barley grass is for their cereal grains.
These three types of grass have very minimum nutritional value if compared with all other types of hay. Most other hay is green in color unlike oat wheat and barley hay which is color golden.
After the grain ripes, the grass turns from color green to golden and lose most of its nutrition. Therefore it is best to use these kinds of hay for the purpose rabbit bedding other than feeding rabbits.
You can read more about >>> oat, wheat, and barley hay by clicking here.
This is hay which is dried faster compared to the naturally dried hay. Dried grass is made from grass that is made by artificially speeding up the drying process.
Faster drying process leaves a lot more nutrition within the hay. The naturally dried hay does not contain as much nutrition and protein opposed to dried grass.
The appearance of dried grass looks fresh and greener. As well as it seems rabbits prefer to eat dried grass more because it tastes better.
But giving too much of dried grass to an adult rabbit can cause excessive weight gain due to the fact dried grass contains more protein.
Excess protein is not good for adult or an overweight rabbit as I have mentioned earlier. Dried grass may be a fine option to feed young rabbits.
|Hay type||Crude Fibre||Crude Protein||Calcium|
Hay for baby rabbits.
Alfalfa hay is the best hay for any young rabbit to help with their growth and strengthen bones. Nevertheless, only do so until your rabbit is 7 months old.
If your rabbit is overweight do not feed them too much alfalfa hay.
As I have mentioned earlier the significance of hay in a rabbits diet, it is equally important for baby rabbits to have hay.
Here is the deal:
First 8 weeks of a baby rabbits diet should only be rabbit milk. After your baby rabbit is 8 weeks old, only then you can introduce a little amount of alfalfa hay.
But before start feeding your baby rabbit with hay, you must realize that rabbit has a complicated stomach which can be upset quite easily.
So it is necessary that you slowly increase the amount of hay you feed your baby rabbits. At the same time frequently check on their poops to find out any noticeable changes.
If you see soft poops then stop feeding them the particular hay right away and again introduce them with hay after a couple of days.
Try testing different kinds of hay. However, the best practice is to feed alfalfa hay to baby rabbits because of the fact alfalfa hay contains more protein and calcium which helps highly for the development of young rabbits fitness.
Alfalfa hay for rabbits.
By now you know already alfalfa hay is best for baby rabbits. Although there are many different brands of alfalfa hay out there in the market, you must choose the one that is most suitable for your baby rabbits.
Just a reminder alfalfa hay is only suitable for rabbits those are under 7 months old.
If I want to buy alfalfa hay for baby rabbits then my first choice is Viking farmer alfalfa hay. The hay is a little pricey opposed to other hays.
But once you purchase this brand of alfalfa hay, you will not want to go back and buy any other hay.
The hay is fresh and color green. The texture is surprisingly good and not dusty at all.
Every time I suggested the Viking farmer alfalfa hay to someone who owns rabbits, I never received a negative review. Even the pickiest rabbit loved munching on this brand of hay.
My second go-to option for alfalfa hay is Oxbow alfalfa hay. Oxbow alfalfa hay is not the best quality of hay however they are pretty good for the price you pay.
It is often cheaper to order hay online rather than buying it from your nearest pet shop.
Best hay for picky rabbits.
If you have a rabbit that doesn’t like to feed on hay, you must encourage him to eat more hay.
The reason for that is hay plays a significant role to keep rabbits in good health. You can find a lot more about the topic in this article >>> The importance of hay for rabbits.
The easiest way to build interest of your rabbit to consume more hay is simply by reducing the volume of dry food you feed your rabbits.
Once they don’t get to eat other dry foods they will start to have an appetite for dry grass hay. At the same time give them plenty of water to drink.
Where to buy the best rabbit hay?
To buy the best rabbit hay you must visit your nearest pet shop or order it online.
I suggest in the beginning you buy rabbit hay in small quantities to try out which is best for your rabbit. Also that way you can determine which hay your bunnies love to eat the most.
Once you recognize your rabbits favorite brand of hay, now you can simply order online from Amazon.
If you have many rabbits and enough room to store hay, another option is to buy hay as bales from farms. That is going to be a lot cheaper for you.
But if you are buying in bales try to check on the quality of hay. Check the color of the hay, the texture as well as whether it is dusty or not.
If the price of a bale of hay is cheap but your rabbit does not like to eat that hay, you will eventually throw away the hay.
You can simply go to Craigslist and search for the nearest farm and hay sellers.
Although buying branded packaged products may be a bit pricey, your rabbits will love the taste and remain in good health.
Yet I am not saying that all branded packaged rabbit hays are fresh. Every time you buy a new packaged product you should verify the freshness and cleanliness of the hay yourself before you pass it to your rabbits.
Finding the best bedding hay for your rabbits.
Finding out the best bedding hay for your rabbits is not a difficulty. You can use the same hay as the one your rabbit feeds on to prepare their bed.
Your rabbits will sleep on the same hay and also feed on them. To understand more about rabbit bedding and rabbit sleeping positions go here >>> Where do rabbits sleep?
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