All You Should Know Before Purchasing Rabbit Hay
Bunnies are cute and playful pets with a sensitive digestive system. They make friends with people around very soon. But, it all starts with a healthy diet with 80% grass and hay for rabbits.
Your pet rabbit must eat a lot of hay throughout the day. Veterinarians suggest serving unlimited hay to your bunny from early childhood. Hence, hay is the chief ingredient in rabbit food for the entire day.
Want to buy the best rabbit hay?
We have lined up the hay from top brands so that you never have issues with the quality again.
The commercially packaged hay is made of a combination of different grass species. Read our rabbit hay reviews before buying so that you know if it is the perfect food for your bun.
What is Hay?
Bunnies living outdoors graze over fresh grass all around. They have unlimited green juicy grass to eat and stay healthy. This is not the case with domestic rabbits. If you can give them fresh grass of permissible species, it’s good enough, healthy to suffice nutrition requirement for the entire day.
For those who don’t have access to fresh grasses, the next best thing is hay. It is nothing but dried grass. Hay is the best substitute fiber-loaded food for bunnies. The fresh grass is commercially harvested and dried to prepare hay. It is 100% natural food, has the same nutritional value as of fresh grass, and safe for rabbits.
Best Rabbit Hay Products
Which is the best hay for my bunny?
This is a common question new rabbit owners ask their vet. Herein is a brief overview of different types of rabbit hay products.
There are three main types of grass hays that make up 80% of a bunny’s daily diet:
- Timothy hay: The most popular of all rabbit hay products, it is often blended with other types of grass hays. Very high in fiber, nutritional value, and delicious, you can give it to a bun of any age.
- Meadow hay: Much similar to alfalfa hay, this grass hay is high in calories and should not be fed regularly to adult rabbits.
- Orchard hay: This form of grass hay is also very high in fiber content. It is also a good source of phosphorus and calcium. Since it is high in proteins, you may avoid it for overweight buns.
- Bermuda grass hay: This is a good substitute for Timothy and Orchard hay. It’s absolutely fine for the bunnies to eat this grass hay every day. However, it is not as tasty as Timothy hay so your bun may refuse to have it.
This form of hay is extracted from cereals. The stems of the plants are cut and dried before they get ripe seeds. After the cereal ripens, they turn golden brown losing much of the nutrients.
Alfalfa hay also called Lucerne is not grass hay. It is derived from legumes and commercially packed as rabbit food. High in protein and calcium, this is part of the daily diet for young (under 7 months) and underweight bunnies.
Barn Dried Hay
Commonly known as dried grass, this is also a form of grass hay prepared through the quick drying process. It is delicious compared to other forms of hay. Your bun is going to love it. This is the ideal solution for rabbits reluctant to eat hay throughout the day.
It is high in calories with up to 12%-14% more protein than in other forms of high-fiber hays. If your rabbit is obese, you may give other types of hays with dried grass.
Don’t forget to read our rabbit diet chart so that you know how much food to serve to your bunny every day.
Why Hay is the Main Rabbit Food?
Even if you are lucky to get fresh garden grass, your bun will need a lot of them. It is practically impossible to cut so much grass using scissors every day.
Hay is the most important food for a bunny’s health. These small pets are too delicate possessing a long digestive tract. It requires a lot of roughage from fibers.
Eating fiber-rich hay throughout the day is crucial. The fiber helps to regulate the functionality of the prolonged and sensitive digestive tract in bunnies. High-fiber grass and hay aid the food to pass through the gut properly.
Hay Keeps Your Bun’s Teeth Healthy
Unlike other animals, the teeth of a rabbit keep growing bigger with passing time. Chewing hay, straw, and grass cause teeth enamel wearing in rabbits. If they don’t eat hay, their teeth will keep growing bigger. They will experience pain in the jaws and have problems while eating food.
Hence, a coarse fiber-rich diet is also vital for a bunny’s dental health.
Is your bunny reluctant to eat hay all day long?
Well, our bun also behaves the same way. Read our guides and articles to learn the tricks and tips to feed your rabbit with maximum hay.