Which Type of Hay is Best for Rabbits? 

Relating to taking good care of a pet rabbit, it’s essential to offer them with a wholesome and balanced food plan. One important element of a rabbit’s food plan is hay, offering them with the required fiber to maintain their digestive system wholesome and functioning accurately. Not all hay is created equal, although, and a few varieties could also be extra appropriate on your rabbit than others. 

The very best sort of hay to present a pet rabbit is timothy hay. This sort has a excessive fiber content material and can also be nice for rabbit tooth. It’s additionally fairly extensively obtainable in pet shops each in-person and on-line, making it a superb first alternative for many rabbits. Typically, first or second reducing timothy hay is greatest, however third reducing can also be completely nice and simpler to get a choosy rabbit to eat.

Nonetheless, timothy hay shouldn’t be the one hay you can provide your rabbit. With so many various kinds of hay obtainable, you’ll be able to experiment and discover the kinds that your rabbit likes greatest. For instance, orchard hay tends to be barely sweeter (to a rabbit’s palette), and plenty of choosy rabbits will probably be joyful to eat it, even when they ignore timothy hay.

Ultimately, whichever sort you may get your rabbit to eat is the perfect form. You might have to change it up every so often, since some rabbits resolve they’re bored of the identical sort each day.

Necessary: This publish accommodates affiliate hyperlinks. As an affiliate to Amazon, Small Pet Choose, and Chewy.com, I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases.

Timothy hay is greatest for many rabbits

Timothy hay is usually thought of the perfect for rabbits, and is the optimum alternative for his or her dietary wants. Timothy hay supplies excessive ranges of fiber, which is crucial for sustaining a rabbit’s digestive well being and stopping situations akin to GI Stasis. It’s additionally appropriate for rabbits of all ages, whether or not they be younger or previous.

The advantages of Timothy hay are well-documented, because it mimics the pure food plan of a rabbit within the wild who will principally eat grass and high-fiber vegetation. Because it’s often not sensible to present pet rabbits grass 12 months spherical, grass-based hay (akin to timothy hay) is a superb different.  

Timothy hay, particularly, can also be well-known for its capacity to put on down rabbit’s tooth, stopping them from overgrowing. Different sorts of hay will do that too, however timothy hay is usually thought of the simplest.

It’s additionally just about inconceivable for rabbits to overeat timothy hay. You may provide your rabbit as a lot hay as they want and it’ll go via their digestion, maintaining it wholesome whereas not inflicting your rabbit to turn out to be chubby.

Timothy additionally is available in totally different cuttings in keeping with when within the rising course of it’s harvested. Most timothy hay in pet shops is not going to be labeled and will probably be some mixture of first and second reducing, however specialty hay shops will often have them for buy in separate batches.

  • First reducing is richer in fiber and decrease in protein. It tends to have extra stems and stalks.
  • Second reducing is the preferred, providing an excellent steadiness of fiber and protein.
  • Third reducing is leafier and softer, with larger protein and barely decrease fiber content material, appropriate for choosy eaters.
rabbit hay toy
You will get enjoyable toys on your rabbit the place you’ll be able to conceal treats in a pile of hay. This can encourage your rabbit to munch on hay till they will get to the yummy deal with.

Different hay options for choosy rabbits

Okay, you need to give your rabbit timothy hay, however they don’t seem to be having it. Your rabbit is a choosy bunny! 

When catering to the preferences of fastidious rabbits, you’ll be able to provide a wide range of various kinds of hay to make sure they’re in a position keep a balanced food plan. Listed here are some options to the standard timothy hay:

  • Orchard Hay: Rabbits often love this one as a result of its mushy texture and candy taste. It supplies comparable dietary worth to timothy hay and is low in protein and calcium. That is the primary one I might attempt in case your rabbit received’t contact timothy hay.
  • Oat Hay: With the next fiber content material and seed heads that present an extra texture, oat hay can entice rabbits which may flip up their noses at finer hays. This selection is particularly helpful in the course of the development and weight upkeep phases for youthful, older, and extra energetic rabbits.
  • Meadow Hay: Meadow hay can differ vastly in composition, containing a mixture of grasses and vegetation, providing your rabbit a various vary of flavors and textures. This could stimulate a rabbit’s curiosity in hay, encouraging common consumption, however attempt to discover a mix that doesn’t have too many flowers in comparison with hay, as this may find yourself resulting in weight acquire.

It’s turning into extra frequent to search out various kinds of hay in pet shops, however generally you’ll have to buy it from specialty on-line hay outlets. My go-to retailer is Small Pet Choose since they all the time have top quality hay and you may get large packing containers at a reduction. (use code BUNNYLADY for 15% off your first order)

With choosy rabbits, you may as well experiment with totally different reducing of hay and totally different manufacturers of hay. For instance, third reducing timothy hay will usually be extra palatable to rabbits. Some manufacturers additionally present hay that’s brisker total, or just has a unique taste that your rabbit finds extra interesting.

These options could be useful in stopping the event of picky consuming habits and guaranteeing that your rabbit continues to obtain the required fiber and vitamins for his or her digestion and total well being.

What sorts of hay to keep away from for rabbits

When deciding on hay on your rabbits, it’s essential to make sure that it isn’t solely nutritious but additionally protected. Some varieties or situations of hay can pose well being dangers to your rabbits:

  • Alfalfa Hay: Whereas not essentially dangerous, alfalfa hay is just too excessive in calcium and protein for grownup rabbits and will solely be given to younger, rising rabbits, or nursing does.
  • Straw: Although it might resemble hay, straw shouldn’t be an acceptable meals supply for rabbits. Its dietary worth is minimal.
  • Moldy Hay: At all times keep away from hay that reveals any indicators of mildew or mildew, as it could result in respiratory and digestive points in rabbits.
  • Hay with Pesticides: Hay that has been handled with pesticides could be poisonous. At all times go for pesticide-free or pet-safe hay. That is usually solely a difficulty if you’re buying hay from non-traditional sources (for instance immediately from a farmer who doesn’t usually promote hay as rabbit feed)
  • Flavored or Coloured Hay: Some pet shops promote hay that has been artificially flavored or coloured. Such a hay is pointless and the components could also be unhealthy for rabbits.

Keep in mind to offer your rabbits with contemporary, clear hay, and retailer it in a dry place to keep up its high quality. Introduce any new sort of hay slowly and observe your rabbit for any hostile reactions earlier than making the brand new sort of hay a staple of their food plan.

What manufacturers of hay are greatest for rabbits

There are numerous many manufacturers of hay for rabbits, some from pet shops, some bought on-line. I can not start to say that I’ve tried all of them. Nonetheless, the 2 manufacturers that I’ve come to belief the standard of most are Small Pet Choose (a web-based solely retailer) and Oxbow (often present in pet shops). 

  • Small Pet Choose provides a wide range of hay varieties rigorously chosen on your rabbit’s well being (and different small pets too). Their choice usually contains Timothy, Orchard, Oat, and different grass hays which might be important on your rabbit’s food plan. You can even order massive packing containers of the hay so that you’re not continually on the pet retailer shopping for extra baggage of hay.
    • (I’ve partnered with Small Pet Choose to present you 15% off your first order so you’ll be able to attempt it and decide the standard for your self. Simply use the code BUNNYLADY at checkout)
  • Oxbow, one other trusted model amongst rabbit house owners, supplies an array of hay choices akin to Western Timothy, Orchard Grass, and Oat Hay, guaranteeing that your rabbits have the fiber they want for correct digestion. For my part, the is the very best high quality model you’ll find in pet shops.
Model Hay Sorts Obtainable Notes
Small Pet Choose Timothy, Orchard, Oat, hay-based toys Focuses on high-quality hay, is offered for transport in massive portions
Oxbow Western Timothy, Oat, Orchard, meadow hay, and hay blends Good selection catering to totally different dietary wants, obtainable in most pet shops

Moreover, it’s price exploring relationships with native farmers who could provide contemporary, high-quality hay. Native sources may doubtlessly offer you a spread of hay that’s brisker and extra pure, because it’s usually harvested at peak season and has minimal processing time. Nonetheless, it’s essential to make sure the hay is free from pesticides and different dangerous chemical substances earlier than feeding it to your rabbits.

The very best hay on your rabbits will probably be one that’s inexperienced, odor-free, and never overly dusty. Offering a mixture of various kinds of hay may also assist stimulate your rabbit’s curiosity and guarantee a well-rounded consumption of vitamins.


  1. J. L. Prebble, A. L. Meredith. “Meals and water consumption and selective feeding in rabbits on 4 feeding regimes.” Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Vitamin Vol. 98 Iss. 5. 9 January 2014. Accessed: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jpn.12163
  2. Marcus Clauss PD Dr. med. vet., MSc, Dip. ECVN. “Medical Method: Feeding Hay to Rabbits and Rodents.” Journal of Unique Pet Drugs. 14 February 2012. Accessed: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1557506311002229

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