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Thread: Different types of hay

  1. #1
    Alpha Buck
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    Default Different types of hay

    Could some one please tell me what the difference is between all the different types of hay?
    Mine have always had meadow hay as that is what my local agricultural merchants sell but we had a bad bag last week. It smelt horrible but the rabbits have sort of eaten it.
    So, I went into town today and bought some timothy hay as I'd heard that its good for them but they dont seem that keen.
    What is the difference between the two types? Is one better than the other?
    Also if they havnt eaten all their hay that day should I remove it and replace it with fresh or leave it their till its all been eaten?

  2. #2
    Mama Doe
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    I'm not sure what all the differences are, but I think Timothy is one of the best hays you can feed, something to do with the fibres. I feed around four different types just for variety. My rabbit really loves green oat hay and is less keen on a welsh meadow hay I always throw uneaten hay into the litter box and put in fresh hay everyday. Basil won't eat old hay, but as soon as you put fresh in he goes mad for it

  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper prettylupin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristyRose View Post
    Could some one please tell me what the difference is between all the different types of hay?
    Mine have always had meadow hay as that is what my local agricultural merchants sell but we had a bad bag last week. It smelt horrible but the rabbits have sort of eaten it.
    So, I went into town today and bought some timothy hay as I'd heard that its good for them but they dont seem that keen.
    What is the difference between the two types? Is one better than the other?
    Also if they havnt eaten all their hay that day should I remove it and replace it with fresh or leave it their till its all been eaten?
    Do NOT feed any hay that smells bad, musty, damp or mouldy, it could do your bunny harm, they have very sensitive tummies.

    There are several types of hay:
    Grass hay, cereal hay and legume hay. Grass hay is the ideal hay for a daily rabbit feed, however you will notice that the fibre content of different grass hay varies. Timothy is only suggested to be the 'best' simply because it has a higher fibre content than meadow hay and most other grass hays. However, it is much slower growing and therefore is more expensive. I personally feed a timothy rich locally grown hay from here in the UK. But Oxbow US timothy hay is imported all around the UK.

    Cereal hays can also be very high in fibre, sometimes equalling timothy hays. These are Oat, wheat and barley hays - and make a good subsitution for grass hay especially for picky buns as they are very tasty, or you can feed a variety of hays every day and allow bun free choice.

    Legume hays such as alfalfa are only suitable for rabbits up to the age of about 6 months due to the very high calcium content. Rabbits can not process excess calcium once they reach adulthood and it is excreted but can build up in the kidneys/bladder and cause issues with stones and sludge.

  4. #4
    Alpha Buck
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    Thank you. I'll take the smelly hay back I think. Maybe there was a problem with the batch. It wasnt bad or mouldy just smelt different. Took my breath away!!

  5. #5
    Warren Scout
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    was it devon meadow hay in a yellow pack, i had a bad bag of them last week. so i'm now usin horse size bale hay which they love but i don't as it has thistles in it.

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper SarahP's Avatar
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    Feeding a variety of hays is always good, but if they don't like a certain type, don't worry too much. Quantity is probably the most important thing.

    I have always (with my bunnies when I had them, and my piggies) given the hay regularly throughout the day if I'm around, which seems to encourage them to eat more - they get quite excited by a hay change.
    Sarah.

    RIP Dusty and Clover bunnies xxx
    Bramble and Hazel guinea pigs

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