Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: Our rabbits won’t eat hay....advice please

  1. #1
    Young Bun MaxAndMolly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    72

    Default Our rabbits won’t eat hay....advice please

    Our previous rabbits, Max and Molly, showed very little interest in hay. We tried different varieties, different places to put it, reducing pellets etc, but nothing made any difference. Luckily they spent a lot of time running free-range in the garden, so they ate plenty of grass and leaves etc, and a small amount of hay, but it still worried us a bit. Anyway, Max and Molly sadly went to rabbit heaven recently and we now have a new pair of rescue rabbits. When we brought Teddy and Taylor home from their foster carer a week ago, we put them into their hutch and they immediately settled down to munch on some hay. The droppings they produced were a beautiful golden brown, rather than the very dark ones Max and Molly produced. It was a relief to have rabbits that happily ate hay. A week on, and their hay consumption has definitely reduced. I put bundles of it into their hutch morning and evening, and hours later, most of it is untouched. We’re giving them the same hay (Timothy hay) that they’re used to, and that they ate so much of at their foster carer’s. Some of their droppings are golden brown, but a lot of them are now dark brown. We think Taylor is eating more hay than Teddy, but it’s hard to tell for certain.

    I bought a hay rack yesterday, stuffed it with hay, and it’s completely untouched. I’ve also scattered bundles of it around the hutch and run, and they are eating some of it, but not enough, I think. As I say, their droppings are dark.

    We’ve reduced the amount of pellets and green stuff we give them. They have free run of the garden for several hours a day, so are eating grass etc, and are very happy and healthy. It just bothers me though because I know rabbits should eat lots of hay, but ours never want it. It’s baffling.

    Should we be concerned? If they’re happy, healthy, eating grass and some hay, should I still be worrying about the colour of their droppings?!
    Max and Molly. Left us August and September 2018. Much loved.


  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    13,830

    Default

    How many pellets are you giving them each day? It could still be that they are getting too many and therefore are not hungry enough to munch on hay.

    However, it sounds as though it it is likely that they are consuming lots of grass, which is just as beneficial to the rabbits, but will result in darker droppings. If this is the case you will probably find that when there is insufficient grass to eat in the garden they will return to eating lots of hay and then the colour of their droppings will also change.

    I would not be concerned purely because of the colour of their droppings, as long as the droppings are still large.
    " We will remain friends until the end of days, and one day longer"......Donald Tusk

  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    41,860

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxAndMolly View Post
    Our previous rabbits, Max and Molly, showed very little interest in hay. We tried different varieties, different places to put it, reducing pellets etc, but nothing made any difference. Luckily they spent a lot of time running free-range in the garden, so they ate plenty of grass and leaves etc, and a small amount of hay, but it still worried us a bit. Anyway, Max and Molly sadly went to rabbit heaven recently and we now have a new pair of rescue rabbits. When we brought Teddy and Taylor home from their foster carer a week ago, we put them into their hutch and they immediately settled down to munch on some hay. The droppings they produced were a beautiful golden brown, rather than the very dark ones Max and Molly produced. It was a relief to have rabbits that happily ate hay. A week on, and their hay consumption has definitely reduced. I put bundles of it into their hutch morning and evening, and hours later, most of it is untouched. We’re giving them the same hay (Timothy hay) that they’re used to, and that they ate so much of at their foster carer’s. Some of their droppings are golden brown, but a lot of them are now dark brown. We think Taylor is eating more hay than Teddy, but it’s hard to tell for certain.

    I bought a hay rack yesterday, stuffed it with hay, and it’s completely untouched. I’ve also scattered bundles of it around the hutch and run, and they are eating some of it, but not enough, I think. As I say, their droppings are dark.

    We’ve reduced the amount of pellets and green stuff we give them. They have free run of the garden for several hours a day, so are eating grass etc, and are very happy and healthy. It just bothers me though because I know rabbits should eat lots of hay, but ours never want it. It’s baffling.

    Should we be concerned? If they’re happy, healthy, eating grass and some hay, should I still be worrying about the colour of their droppings?!

    Are they eating lots of fresh grass in the garden? That makes droppings significantly darker. But that's not a worry.

    It's perhaps because they have more to interest them now they are at your place, whereas I find rabbits who are in a restricted place eat loads of hay because there's nothing much else to do!

    They may love their fresh grass more than the hay!

    Have you tried them on Readigrass? (Freeze dried grass - just as good as hay for teeth and digestion)

  4. #4
    Young Bun MaxAndMolly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    72

    Default

    Really helpful replies, thank you. We’re giving them about two eggcup’s worth of pellets between them a day. I didn’t know droppings would be darker if they eat mainly grass - that would explain why Max and Molly’s were so dark then. And also why Teddy and Taylor produced light brown droppings at first, before we let them loose in the garden, but are now producing dark ones. It all makes sense now! Their droppings are nice and big, so no concerns there.

    We tried Max and Molly on readigrass but they weren’t interested. I’ll try Teddy and Taylor on it though.
    Max and Molly. Left us August and September 2018. Much loved.


  5. #5
    Moderator Zoobec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    28,138

    Default

    It sounds like they are eating a good amount of grass and if their droppings are still nice and large there’s nothing to worry about.

    You could try them on different hay, is the Timothy hay exactly the same from the same supplier as they were having previously?

    My rabbit has become a bit of a hay connoisseur since he needed a dental a few months ago. He went off the baled meadow hay I was feeding him on, and wouldn’t eat it even after the dental. He also wouldn’t eat it from the hay rack anymore so I ended up getting samples from different places. I feed him a few different varieties at a time. And I feed him them in little troughs - aka extra long loaf tins I bought in the charity shop. I find he eats a lot more hay than he did before feeding him better quality hay, and there’s less waste too.

    Binky free at the bridge Boots, you will never be forgotten xxxx

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    41,860

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxAndMolly View Post
    Really helpful replies, thank you. We’re giving them about two eggcup’s worth of pellets between them a day. I didn’t know droppings would be darker if they eat mainly grass - that would explain why Max and Molly’s were so dark then. And also why Teddy and Taylor produced light brown droppings at first, before we let them loose in the garden, but are now producing dark ones. It all makes sense now! Their droppings are nice and big, so no concerns there.

    We tried Max and Molly on readigrass but they weren’t interested. I’ll try Teddy and Taylor on it though.

    You're welcome

    I would find, unless your rabbits are *really* big, that two eggcups is too much for two bunnies. I give one small eggcup for three bunnies, but then I am a meanie Often people give one eggcup between two medium sized bunnies.

    I know you've tried reducing pellets, but it may make a difference in the longer term

  7. #7
    Young Bun MaxAndMolly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    72

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MightyMax View Post
    You're welcome

    I would find, unless your rabbits are *really* big, that two eggcups is too much for two bunnies. I give one small eggcup for three bunnies, but then I am a meanie Often people give one eggcup between two medium sized bunnies.

    I know you've tried reducing pellets, but it may make a difference in the longer term
    Ah, that’s interesting. I thought one eggcup full per rabbit was the recommended amount. We used to give Max and Molly a little bit more than that because they LOVED pellets. We’re being stricter with these two! Taylor is medium sized, but Teddy is a big rabbit. Apparently a Dutch, but the biggest Dutch I’ve ever seen! He’s also a bit overweight, so it probably wouldn’t hurt to reduce their pellet allowance further.
    Max and Molly. Left us August and September 2018. Much loved.


  8. #8
    Moderator Graciee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    London
    Posts
    4,720

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxAndMolly View Post
    Ah, that’s interesting. I thought one eggcup full per rabbit was the recommended amount. We used to give Max and Molly a little bit more than that because they LOVED pellets. We’re being stricter with these two! Taylor is medium sized, but Teddy is a big rabbit. Apparently a Dutch, but the biggest Dutch I’ve ever seen! He’s also a bit overweight, so it probably wouldn’t hurt to reduce their pellet allowance further.
    I give a table spoon of pellets a day between two large buns... I'm a super mean owner

    Sent from my HTC U11 using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    41,860

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Graciee View Post
    I give a table spoon of pellets a day between two large buns... I'm a super mean owner

    Sent from my HTC U11 using Tapatalk

    Meaner even than me!

  10. #10
    Moderator Graciee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    London
    Posts
    4,720

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MightyMax View Post
    Meaner even than me!


    Yeaa really cut down on the pellets tbh

    Sent from my HTC U11 using Tapatalk

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •