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Thread: Hay Only Diet

  1. #1
    Young Bun Finn.The.Mini.Lop.Bun's Avatar
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    Default Hay Only Diet

    I am having a real hard time moving Finn & Myrtle to a pellet free diet. In fact i am struggling to cut their pellets down at all.

    At the moment they get two table spoons of pellets each, and are on both Timothy and Alfalfa King Hay, with a little Kale each day. I have also tried them on some herbs which they like.

    However they are still not mad on hay and will sit and wait to be fed pellets all day, even though they only get a small amount. Myrtle use to be a good hay eater but now she has coped Finn and so they are now both pellet crazy...they both seems always hungry at the moment.

    Myrtle is always trying to pick bits off the carpet when she is out, yet they will have a load of fresh hay to eat. I have tried several different hays but they have the same attitude them all. I have noticed that Finn may has lost some weight since I have cut down the pellets so i feel he is now below his average weight....however his due back at the vet on Monday so i can check then.

    I do feel to just stop the pellets completely....but worried they will go hungry and will effect their behaviour (Myrtle). I think the problem is that they don't see Hay as their food, and only see pellets as a food source.

    Ideally I want to move them to a Hay only diet due to Finns gut issues. I am going to try them on Fibre First sticks instead of pellets....although i have a scary feeling this may work out more expensive.

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper Jack's-Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finn.The.Mini.Lop.Bun View Post
    I am having a real hard time moving Finn & Myrtle to a pellet free diet. In fact i am struggling to cut their pellets down at all.

    At the moment they get two table spoons of pellets each, and are on both Timothy and Alfalfa King Hay, with a little Kale each day. I have also tried them on some herbs which they like.

    However they are still not mad on hay and will sit and wait to be fed pellets all day, even though they only get a small amount. Myrtle use to be a good hay eater but now she has coped Finn and so they are now both pellet crazy...they both seems always hungry at the moment.

    Myrtle is always trying to pick bits off the carpet when she is out, yet they will have a load of fresh hay to eat. I have tried several different hays but they have the same attitude them all. I have noticed that Finn may has lost some weight since I have cut down the pellets so i feel he is now below his average weight....however his due back at the vet on Monday so i can check then.

    I do feel to just stop the pellets completely....but worried they will go hungry and will effect their behaviour (Myrtle). I think the problem is that they don't see Hay as their food, and only see pellets as a food source.

    Ideally I want to move them to a Hay only diet due to Finns gut issues. I am going to try them on Fibre First sticks instead of pellets....although i have a scary feeling this may work out more expensive.
    Have both Rabbits had a thorough Dental check very recently ? I ask as Rabbits who have some established Dental problems will struggle to eat enough hay to maintain their weight. The jaw action required to eat hay is rotational, where-as that required to eat pellets is more vertical. Hence eating hay may cause some oral discomfort for a Rabbit who has overly long/sharp/spurred molar crowns. I am not sure what the precise nature of Finn's GI tract problems are ?

    Was it at the suggestion of your Vet that you have decided to try to put both Rabbits on to a Pellet Free diet ? I agree that for many Rabbits this is often a good move, but if an individual Rabbit has specific issues ongoing it may be inappropriate for pellets to be cut out of the diet completely.

    Has their poo output reduced in size/quantity since you have instigated some dietary changes ? Also, are you actually weighing them both a couple of times a week to make sure that they are not losing weight (unless they need to) ?

    Will they eat fresh grass ?


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  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finn.The.Mini.Lop.Bun View Post
    I am having a real hard time moving Finn & Myrtle to a pellet free diet. In fact i am struggling to cut their pellets down at all.

    At the moment they get two table spoons of pellets each, and are on both Timothy and Alfalfa King Hay, with a little Kale each day. I have also tried them on some herbs which they like.

    However they are still not mad on hay and will sit and wait to be fed pellets all day, even though they only get a small amount. Myrtle use to be a good hay eater but now she has coped Finn and so they are now both pellet crazy...they both seems always hungry at the moment.

    Myrtle is always trying to pick bits off the carpet when she is out, yet they will have a load of fresh hay to eat. I have tried several different hays but they have the same attitude them all. I have noticed that Finn may has lost some weight since I have cut down the pellets so i feel he is now below his average weight....however his due back at the vet on Monday so i can check then.

    I do feel to just stop the pellets completely....but worried they will go hungry and will effect their behaviour (Myrtle). I think the problem is that they don't see Hay as their food, and only see pellets as a food source.

    Ideally I want to move them to a Hay only diet due to Finns gut issues. I am going to try them on Fibre First sticks instead of pellets....although i have a scary feeling this may work out more expensive.

    I can see why you would want to move them to a hay only diet, but it's not appropriate for all rabbits. Fibafirst sticks are a good alternative and can be used in place of pellets. Yes I think it may be more expensive.

    I would suggest to try them on readigrass, if you haven't already, as that will establish whether there is a mechanical issue with them eating hay/grass etc .. I say this because pellets and veggies are a 'chomping' movement, whereas to eat hay it needs to be ground up (a bit like flour in a windmill) - see this link:

    http://www.therabbithouse.com/blog/2...ay-tooth-wear/

    What I've done in the past is get some fresh grass and forage, and readigrass if I have it, and mix it in with hay. You should get the vet to ascertain that their teeth are in a good enough condition to eat hay, but lots of rabbits with mild/moderate dental issues (ie wonky back teeth) can still eat loads of hay.

    Do you feed forage? Have you tried bramble leaves?

  4. #4
    Young Bun Finn.The.Mini.Lop.Bun's Avatar
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    Thanks Both

    Finn has had his front teeth removed and gets his jaw checked often. All seems ok. Myrtle has also had her teeth check and she has a good set of teeth. However with Myrtle I have a feeling that she is copying Finn (unless its spring fever again). He seems sensitive to pellets and gets a sticky bum due to the amount of cecotropes. Finn sees the same vet every time so he knows about Finns constant issues…so we have both agreed that he needs to cut well back on his pellets. I want to put him on a hay only diet as I know that would be better for him. That said, even though I have cut back on the pellets they are still hungry and I would rather not feed them any more pellets.

    While Finn had his dental issues (before the removal of his incisors), he lost a lot of weight and fur. So after his op I had to feed him pellets and oats to help him gain weight. Its from then he has gained his obsession with pellets I think.

    Grass I haven’t tried yet as we have an ill cat in the building (i live in a flat) and Finn is due his RHD2 injection (his had the others). So I get a little worried about that.

    I haven’t tried readigrass grass yet…I will get some with the Fibre Sticks and see if that helps.

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finn.The.Mini.Lop.Bun View Post
    Thanks Both

    Finn has had his front teeth removed and gets his jaw checked often. All seems ok. Myrtle has also had her teeth check and she has a good set of teeth. However with Myrtle I have a feeling that she is copying Finn (unless its spring fever again). He seems sensitive to pellets and gets a sticky bum due to the amount of cecotropes. Finn sees the same vet every time so he knows about Finns constant issues…so we have both agreed that he needs to cut well back on his pellets. I want to put him on a hay only diet as I know that would be better for him. That said, even though I have cut back on the pellets they are still hungry and I would rather not feed them any more pellets.

    While Finn had his dental issues (before the removal of his incisors), he lost a lot of weight and fur. So after his op I had to feed him pellets and oats to help him gain weight. Its from then he has gained his obsession with pellets I think.

    Grass I haven’t tried yet as we have an ill cat in the building (i live in a flat) and Finn is due his RHD2 injection (his had the others). So I get a little worried about that.

    I haven’t tried readigrass grass yet…I will get some with the Fibre Sticks and see if that helps.

    Would you like me to send you a bit of readigrass in an envelope for him to try it before you splash out?

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