Hay there! What hay is best for your bunny?

Hay there! What hay is best for your bunny?

So I started researching for a post about what hay is best for your bunny, and i found out the perfect article has already been written by The Rabbit Doctors.

Check that out here:

If you didn’t click the link above, here’s a short version of what you need to know – for reference sake all of this information is from the article above. It’s great, you should read it! So should your rabbit, whilst eating hay!

Your rabbit needs to eat hay, specifically about 80% of your bunnies diet should be hay.

Why?

I wrote about rabbit diets, back in the beginning of time (on this website), and you can check that out here:

But just like inception we will assume you havent clicked that link, and explain why rabbits need hay.

  • Indigestible fibre helps promote gastrointestinal mobility.
  • Chewing hay wears down your rabbits teeth, which is great as they will grow continuously.
  • Eating hay (dry grass) encourages rabbits to drink water, stay hydrated and reduce the risk of kidney and urinary tract disease.
  • If rabbits aren’t eating hay, they will eat other things that are harmful to their health.
    • Their own fur – leading to trichobezoars
    • Pellets – leading to obesity, dental disease, gut stasis and more.
    • Greens – not so bad, but lacking in indigestible fibres, which leads to obesity, dental disease, gut stasis and more.

So feed hay, okay?

What types of hay are available?

Read The rabbit doctors article for great pictures!
  • Straw
  • Oaten hay
  • Grass/meadow hay
  • Timothy hay
  • Lucerne hay

The Rabbit Doctors recommend feeding your rabbit Oaten hay.

Why oaten hay? Why is it the best hay?

Oaten, grass/meadow or timothy hay are all fine choices, however oaten hay is quite readily available and cheap, unlike timothy hay (in Australia). So if they are comparable, why feed oaten hay?

The answer is calcium content, oaten hay contains the lowest calcium content. Your rabbit excretes calcium primarily in their urine, if you have excess calcium in your rabbits’ diet, then your bunny is at risk of uroliths and nephroliths. This also increases the workload on your rabbits kidneys, which is bad!

Straw is bedding, not food.

Lucerne hay is high in calcium and protein, and is only suitable for for juvenile, pregnant or calcium deficient rabbits. Again, watch out for calcium content!

Hop to it! And read that article! The Rabbit Doctors do great work!

References
The Rabbit Doctors. Hay – What’s all the fuss? https://www.therabbitdoctors.com.au/hay-whats-all-the-fuss

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