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Thread: Stalky hay and hay poke risk

  1. #1

    Default Stalky hay and hay poke risk


    Having perused a lot of posts on here about good hay, I have decided to give the stalky Timothy hay from a try. Up until now I have been feeding soft meadow hay and I think stalky hay would be better for my rabbit's teeth in the long run.
    However, I am worried about hay pokes in the eye! Does this tend to happen often with stalky timothy hay? On balance, do the dental benefits of stalky hay outweigh the risks of hay pokes?


  2. #2



    Although far from an expert I have tried my rabbits on lots of different hays, including a long stem hay which was quite spikey and never had any problems, apart from they wouldn’t eat it! Having said that, I have dealt with guinea pigs before that eyes have been scratched by the hay so it is possible, I just think guinea pigs are more likely as they basically nest in the hay. My rabbits love our rose plants and are very good at avoiding the spikes on the stem so i would imagine they’ll be okay and that yeh the dental benefits would outway the risk. If they did scratch theire eye, in my experience eye drops have been easy to access, affordable and very efficient at healing the eye 👍🏼

  3. #3
    Mama Doe
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    Stalky hay should be fine for rabbits. Any hay they will eat lots of is basically good hay.

    I agree about guinea pigs - they are more liable to eye damage - they burrow into it and only have short legs, so are basically stuck at ground level and anything at eye level has the potential to cause damage. Hay with lots of spiked seeds may also be an issue for them - I've had it happen a couple of times over the years, but it's easy to deal with when spotted early.

    Rabbits of any size are much more agile. I've not had an issue with hay getting into their eyes, over many years and random bales of horse hay.

  4. #4
    Mama Doe bunny momma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014


    I normally use timothy hay which is crunchier than orchard grass or meadow grass, yet still have a dental bunny. As noted above the important thing is what they will eat.
    The 'cutting'of hay also determines hay characteristics.

  5. #5


    Thank you all for your helpful responses! That is a very good point about guinea pigs being at greater risk (poor things), but I will try to get hold of eye drops to keep on hand for my bun, just in case. Yes, any hay they eat lots of is good hay! Mine eats the meadow hay but not as much as she should, so hopefully a change to the crunchy Timothy hay will entice her!

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper keletkezes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Nottingham, UK


    Mine have and love stalky hay, and the only eye issue I've had is generic to most hay: one idiot getting the biggest grass seed we've ever seen stuck under his eye I've not let them have TOO much loose hay since! Good luck
    The geeky one...

    Often available for bunny runs: PM for details.



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