Author Topic: Won't Eat Much Hay  (Read 3320 times)

Offline LizBuns

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Won't Eat Much Hay
« on: November 10, 2008, 03:19:37 PM »
Hi, I've had my young rabbit for about 3 weeks now.  He is getting nicer by the day and has plenty of out time, etc.  But I've noticed that he really doesn't eat much hay.  I know that hay is essential for their digestive system, but I don't know what to do.  He eats a little of it, but not as much as is recommended.  I even tried mixing it up, putting bermuda and orchard grass instead of timothy hay, meadow straw, basically everything except for alfalfa and I get the same result.  I don't know what to do  ???

Offline Jennicat

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Re: Won't Eat Much Hay
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2008, 03:31:58 PM »
How young is young?
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Offline LizBuns

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Re: Won't Eat Much Hay
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2008, 03:33:05 PM »
I'm guessing 4 months.  He's pretty small still.   I don't know what breed he is.  He is neutered

Offline Jennicat

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Re: Won't Eat Much Hay
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2008, 03:35:35 PM »
I'd start offering him alfalfa mixed in.  It's a bit yummier than boring old grass hay, and he's still young enough to need the extra calcium.  Hopefully it'll get him munching at all types of hays in general.  Also, make sure the brand of hay is good.  Kaytee is not appreciated in our house -- it will lay there until it rots (or the seedheads sprout, hah).  The Oxbow timothy or orchardgrass gets gobbled down and more demanded!
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Offline Dazydaizee

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Re: Won't Eat Much Hay
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2008, 11:14:24 PM »
I agree with Jennicat, my rabbits adore Oxbow hays. We stick to Timothy and grass hays because they're all adults, but the oxbow is great quality, very fresh. We've had Kaytee and some other brands in the house (given as gifts)  that they weren't thrilled about.
It'd be a good idea to check his teeth out, also. Misaligned teeth or issues with the back molars can make it difficult for a rabbit to eat hay. Sometimes if it's a tooth issue it can help to chop the hay into smaller peices and/or soak small portions in water for him. Of course, if it is an issue with the teeth, a vet can diagnose it and recommend appropriate treatment.

Offline LizBuns

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Re: Won't Eat Much Hay
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2008, 08:50:10 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions, guys, I'm going to the store tonight to try some other brands of hay.  I really don't think it's an issue with his teeth, especially since he was checked by a vet right before I got him, plus he's insured for a year against any congenital defects.  Honestly I think he just prefers to eat the pellets, so I was thinking maybe I should cut down on the amount of pellets he gets each day so that he has to eat the hay when he's hungry.  Exactly how much pellets should a growing bunny eat every day?  He's on Marshall's growth formula, which is what he was raised on and I didn't think it was a good idea to change his food.  I am also unsure of when I should switch him to the normal adult pellets.  I wish I knew how big he was going to get too...

Offline LizBuns

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Re: Won't Eat Much Hay
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2008, 09:10:07 AM »
Well I bought the different brand of hay like you suggested and put it in his big hay holder and he at almost the whole thing last night, which is more hay than he usually ate in a week.  So thanks for that suggestion, guys, it worked like a charm.