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Thread: Not interested in his hay :(

  1. #1
    Young Bun Jo93's Avatar
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    Default Not interested in his hay :(

    I brought Twix home for the first time on Saturday and so he has only been with us for just over 2 days, but I'm already worried he isn't eating enough hay

    Everything I read talks about how his diet should be 80% hay but he seems so disinterested in it! Having done my research before bringing the little guy home, I was planning on just feeding him hay, and then slowly introducing different vegetables/herbs to see what he likes and what is ok for his stomach. However, the store recommended that we buy and give him some pellets as those are all he's known for the first 9 weeks of his life, whilst living in the store. I was dubious at first, but agreed.

    He now absolutely loves the pellets, but won't touch his hay! He will scoff down the small bowl of pellets but has only picked at the hay. It's just a standard bag of Timothy Hay from the pet store.

    I think I will eventually reduce his pellets until he doesn't want them anymore, but I'm wondering about ideas of how to get him to eat more hay? Different types? Or putting it somewhere else?

    Any suggestions would be really helpful! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Mama Doe catxx's Avatar
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    I would recommend a few different brands of hay - they like some more than others! Meadow hay, Timothy hay and Orchard grass are all fine to free feed.

    Then ditch the pellet bowl and hide his pellets in the hay instead. Encourage him to play with his food!

    To be on a pellet-free diet is quite a bit of work as you have to fill in the gap that the pellet provides nutrition wise with carefully chosen veg and forage. Good quality pellets as a supplement aren't a bad thing.

  3. #3
    Mama Doe Graciee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jo93 View Post
    I brought Twix home for the first time on Saturday and so he has only been with us for just over 2 days, but I'm already worried he isn't eating enough hay

    Everything I read talks about how his diet should be 80% hay but he seems so disinterested in it! Having done my research before bringing the little guy home, I was planning on just feeding him hay, and then slowly introducing different vegetables/herbs to see what he likes and what is ok for his stomach. However, the store recommended that we buy and give him some pellets as those are all he's known for the first 9 weeks of his life, whilst living in the store. I was dubious at first, but agreed.

    He now absolutely loves the pellets, but won't touch his hay! He will scoff down the small bowl of pellets but has only picked at the hay. It's just a standard bag of Timothy Hay from the pet store.

    I think I will eventually reduce his pellets until he doesn't want them anymore, but I'm wondering about ideas of how to get him to eat more hay? Different types? Or putting it somewhere else?

    Any suggestions would be really helpful! Thanks!
    How old is he?

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  4. #4
    Young Bun
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    Not all hay is created equal and your pet store may not have a good selection. There are other suppliers available, in the UK, the Hay Experts is one that is often recommended on here

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    Mama Doe binkyCodie's Avatar
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    how many pellets are you feeding and what brand?

    overfeeding on pellet may mean that he's full, so therefore he isn't eating any hay. along with that if he doesn't like his hay, he will hold out until he gets more pellet. that isn't good for him and it isn't good for his teeth either!

    while pellet can be bad, they do somewhat need it for vitamins, minerals, protein etc. without pellet you do need to provide a wide variety of dried, or fresh, forage to make up for it. the top brands of pellet is science selective, followed by burgess. if you do wish to cut out pellet, I'd make sure to consult your vet for advice and make a diet plan so he has a varied diet and doesn't lack in any areas.

    try and see if you have a farm, farm shops or equine stores around you. you can pick up big bales there which are fresher and haven't gone through hundreds of manufacturing processes, and haven't been sitting around in plastic for months on end. mine much prefer the bales I pick up from the farm. its also a lot cheaper, a 15kg bale for 5.

    if you don't, try hayandstraw.co.uk or timothyhay.co.uk. my dental bun would only eat ings hay from hayandstraw, so it must be good
    Snoopy : 14.02.15 - 12.05.17 [mini rex]👑Luna : 14.02.15 [rex]👑Orion : 21.10.17 [mini rex]

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    Young Bun Jo93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graciee View Post
    How old is he?

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    He's only 9 weeks old!

  7. #7
    Young Bun Jo93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by binkyCodie View Post
    how many pellets are you feeding and what brand?

    overfeeding on pellet may mean that he's full, so therefore he isn't eating any hay. along with that if he doesn't like his hay, he will hold out until he gets more pellet. that isn't good for him and it isn't good for his teeth either!

    while pellet can be bad, they do somewhat need it for vitamins, minerals, protein etc. without pellet you do need to provide a wide variety of dried, or fresh, forage to make up for it. the top brands of pellet is science selective, followed by burgess. if you do wish to cut out pellet, I'd make sure to consult your vet for advice and make a diet plan so he has a varied diet and doesn't lack in any areas.

    try and see if you have a farm, farm shops or equine stores around you. you can pick up big bales there which are fresher and haven't gone through hundreds of manufacturing processes, and haven't been sitting around in plastic for months on end. mine much prefer the bales I pick up from the farm. its also a lot cheaper, a 15kg bale for 5.

    if you don't, try hayandstraw.co.uk or timothyhay.co.uk. my dental bun would only eat ings hay from hayandstraw, so it must be good

    He's currently having the pets at home own brand pellets (junior). I've been filling up a small dish half way.

    I do want to start giving him greens, but conscious that it might upset his stomach... what would you recommend as a good starting point?

    I think my next step is going to be to buy some taster packs of hay online see what he likes!

  8. #8
    Mama Doe Graciee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jo93 View Post
    He's only 9 weeks old!
    Two out of three of mine were like that, I was worried - they liked alfalfa a little more but they only picked at the other hays. I personally wouldn't limit his pellets atm, and its good he's eating

    Within a few weeks one of the fussy ones was eating lots of hay, the other was always more fussy but did start eating an acceptable amount per day I wouldn't worry too much personally right now - or though other people on here are far more experienced about these things than me!

    Just try different hays and see if there's one he prefers currently as he gets used to eating hay x

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    Young Bun Jo93's Avatar
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    It seemed all I needed to do was be a little more inventive!

    I've stuffed some hay into a kitchen roll tube and cut some holes out, and now he can't get enough! He's pulling it out and throwing it around, seems like he's having a great time! Hopefully this will last!


  10. #10

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    Have you seen the recommended feeding guidelines for rabbits:

    https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-diet/

    So just an egg cup full of rabbit pellets per day, though baby rabbits need a little more but I believe it’s only something like 2 eggcups.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jo93 View Post
    It seemed all I needed to do was be a little more inventive!

    I've stuffed some hay into a kitchen roll tube and cut some holes out, and now he can't get enough! He's pulling it out and throwing it around, seems like he's having a great time! Hopefully this will last!

    Can’t see the photo but that’s good news.

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