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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Straw and Hay
Last Post by Kokaneeandkahlua at 10/24/2012 4:22 PM (12 Replies)
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User is Offline SirThumpsey
491 posts Send Private Message
10/19/2012 8:05 AM

So I'm a little dumb when it comes to certain things. I grew up in the city and I never really new the difference between straw and hay...and our feed store sells both. I have actually googled this and learned alot and noticed that everyone on here says hay...

I have read that straw is used for bedding whereas hay is more for feed....Straw is doesn't have any nutrition and is mostly just fiber..

Does anyone on here use straw for bedding? And if so, has any of their buns sampled it? Will it hurt Bud if I put straw in his litter box?


User is Offline SirThumpsey
491 posts Send Private Message
10/19/2012 8:07 AM
Also, what is the difference between first and second cutting of hay...and I noticed on the BB store there is mature (yellowish like straw) and young hay (which is more green) What is the difference, or is it just personal (or should I say bunny) preference?

User is Offline LoveChaCha
Rabbit Warren
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10/19/2012 9:02 AM
I don't know about the straw vs hay thing (but I can tell the difference between them) but I can help with the first and second cuttings of hay.

First hay is very coarse hay, the hay has large stems.

Second cut is very rich in nutrients (and a Chacha fave, considering she is a picky hay eater and will only eat 2nd cut) and smells sweeter. It also might be a little softer.

Some bunnies are picky and will only eat a certain type of cut of hay.
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User is Offline Radhika
68 posts Send Private Message
10/19/2012 9:56 AM
I used straw for bedding at first, and Harry nibbled it here and there. I wasn't worried, he was eating a good amount of hay (way more than straw) and straw is tougher, requiring more chewing so good for his teeth. It was pretty messy though and went everywhere, so I've just got newspaper on the bottom of the hutch and hay in the places he likes to sit.

User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
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10/19/2012 9:58 AM
Straw is pretty much just the sheath of hte plant, with no nutritious value at all. Hay is definitely what you want to get Straw won't hurt them any if its in a litter box, just make sure he eats his regular hay and food as well, if he gets interested in the straw.

User is Offline SirThumpsey
491 posts Send Private Message
10/19/2012 1:50 PM
When I give bud hay he seems to eat the bottoms of the hay before he eats the top parts with the fluffy things on top....I have no idea what to call them..lol

So do you think he might prefer 1st cutting. I really wish I could get samples of bb hay...(hint hint)..that would really help since he is so damn picky!


User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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10/19/2012 3:18 PM
It's fine to use in the litter box safety wise but not very absorbent. It also stinks when wet -but totally safe

I know how you feel city slicker I worked as a farm hand one summer, and the lady said her grass was almost ready to bale. I felt really stupid asking for clarification that grass became hay...I'd always assumed hay was some sort of hay plant Yikes!
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User is Offline SirThumpsey
491 posts Send Private Message
10/22/2012 8:15 AM
K&K ha! I didn't know that until I just looked it up.

Is it a certain kind of grass? I wonder if it would be better to give them some fresh "hay" grass and some dried hay....hmmm

User is Offline Radhika
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10/23/2012 8:39 AM
You can make hay from any grass, just leave it to grow long, cut it and let it dry out in summer. When people talk about timothy hay, for example, they are talking about dried timothy grass.

Straw is the 'husk' of cereal plants so you can get barley straw, oat straw and so on. Because the concentrated nutritional part, the grain, has been removed it doesn't have much nutrition left although true ruminants like cows can live on straw for several months of the year.

I have been cutting grass for Harry from my garden, since I know there are no pesticides or any nasties on it - though I do wash it because there are some cats around. He really likes it and it introduces some variety from the hay he gets. Just make sure it cut it with scissors and not a lawn mower.

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
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10/23/2012 8:47 AM
You can feed fresh grass in small quantities, but it's not a substitute for hay. I know in larger grazing animals (horses, cows, etc) too much lush grass can cause issues because it is too rich. Hay has a lower nutrient value since it's dry, so is less rich and more fibrous, which is what they need in their diet (I'm not sure of the specifics, but the same thing sort of applies to rabbits). As others said, straw is pretty much devoid of any nutrients, which is why it's used as a bedding and not feed.
- Elrohwen

User is Offline SirThumpsey
491 posts Send Private Message
10/23/2012 9:18 AM
Thanks guys. I have learned so much about hay....

Radhika- There are a lot of cats around here so I would definitly wash our grass....The landlord, I know for a fact doesn't use any pesticide so I think we could make our own "hay" Be a nice little treat for bud...

Elrohwen- I hadn't even thought about fresh grass being too rich.... I wonder what buns do in the wild..

User is Offline Radhika
68 posts Send Private Message
10/23/2012 9:31 AM
I see the wild bunnies here grazing the grass every morning when I arrive for work. But I don't know what else they eat

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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10/24/2012 4:22 PM
K&K ha! I didn't know that until I just looked it up
lol ok then I'm not the only one lol


A caution when feeding fresh grass is that it must be consumed immediately. It can start to ferment after you cut it if it's not dried properly, so just pull what they can eat http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/nutrition/lawnclippings-018.shtml
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