- Dunster House
- Head Office
- Caxton Road
- MK41 0LF
- Tel: 01234 272 445
- Fax: 01234 272 588
At least 80% of a rabbit’s diet should be hay (or grass), but a worrying number of rabbit owners report that their bunny eats little or no hay. Hay is an extremely important part of a rabbit’s diet, as the high fibre content is essential for maintaining a healthy gut and teeth, as well as alleviating boredom.
A lack of hay in the diet can cause or exacerbate many health problems, some of which may be serious. This includes Gut Stasis, Excess Caecotrophs (sticky poo) which can lead to Fly Strike or Overgrown Teeth which can result in tooth abscesses.
Here are some tips to get your rabbit eating hay:
1. Feed Tastier Hay
Hay comes in lots of different varieties and flavours and some rabbits can be quite fussy about the variety of hay they like. Avoid the finely chopped, brownish plastic packed varieties stocked by lots of pet stores, and opt for green, long strands that aren’t too dusty. You can usually buy hay at feed shops and farms that is much better and a lot cheaper than pet shop bags. You do not have to stick to one variety of hay, mix and match to keep your rabbit’s interest.
2. Put Hay Where Your Rabbit Sits
Rabbits tend to prefer eating hay whilst resting, and often eat in the same area as where their litter tray or toilet is. By placing a hay rack above their litter tray or toilet area, it’s there in front of them at the time they’re most likely to eat it.
3. Incorporate Hay into Toys
Most rabbits enjoy playing with toys, so it could be helpful to incorporate hay into play activities. A willow ball or cardboard tube filled with hay can be hung from the cage or thrown around by your rabbit, and hopefully encourage them to pull or chew on the hay.
4. Add Garnish
Hay can be made more interesting by mixing in some of your rabbit’s favourite foods. This could be dry food/nuggets or fresh vegetation. Hopefully they will be encouraged to eat the hay as they search through to find the bits they really like.
5. Feed Less Dry Food
Rabbits should only be fed a small amount of dry food (50g per day for an average size adult rabbit should suffice). If you give your rabbit too much dry food, then they may fill up on that and eat less of the hay. By reducing the amount of dry food you feed your rabbit, it should encourage them to eat more hay.