How Much Hay Should I Give My Rabbit?
Although grass and hay may not be very nutritionally dense, their high fibre content is great for rabbits for many reasons:
- Keeps the digestive tract working well
- Wears down rabbits’ teeth, which continually grow throughout their lives
- Meets the behavioural drive to eat for long periods
- Keeps your rabbit occupied, helping to relieve any boredom
- Increased drive to drink, which promotes good bladder health
Without the action of fibre, serious dental and gastrointestinal health issues can result, as well as behavioural problems.
To make sure your rabbit gets enough fibre, unlimited access to sweet-smelling, fresh hay or grass should be provided. Don’t feed grass clippings, as these can ferment and upset your rabbit’s stomach.
Help! My Rabbit Won’t Eat Hay
There are many reasons a rabbit might refuse their hay, including:
- Overfeeding of concentrates
- Offering poor quality or mouldy hay
- Soiling of hay if it is used as bedding
- Dental disease
- Not being offered hay as a young rabbit
Hay intake can be encouraged by using sweet, fresh hay, and hanging it in a rack or net to keep it clean. You can also slowly reduce the amount of concentrates. If this does not work, taking your rabbit to the vets for a full examination is a good idea.