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Forum DIET & CARE Issues with hay

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    • GisC
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      So our bunny has a big 2 story  and in the ground floor we used to have a hay dispenser for him that we recently changed to 2 smaller ones with that have a small feeder at the bottom.  With both models our bunny tends to dig trough the hay (or at least tries to) so  a lot of it falls on the floor.  Poblem is that once this hay has touched the floor of his cage he just wont eat it.  The hay is completely clean – no pee or poop on it – and even if it falls for 2 minutes he just refuses it. I’ve tried  giving it to him  again as well as mixing it with new hay but he just refuses the whole thing.  He  can even go the whole day without eating just to prove a point.  This is starting to beome a burden because we are throwing away perfectly good hay and at this rate we are loosing around 40% of what we buy. Is there any way we can break this bad habit of his? Or is there something we can do differently to minimize our losses?


    • Wick
      Moderator
      4345 posts Send Private Message

      I have three thoughts:

      1. Change the hay brand/type you’re using
      2. Change the design of the hay feeder.
      3. Going a day without hay is significant. Perhaps he has a dental concern happening making eating hay painful/difficult

      What is his feeding schedule outside having unlimited access to hay? Also, are there more places that those two feeders he is getting hay, such as his litterbox(es)?

       

      The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      4523 posts Send Private Message

      Hmm that is a bit unusual. Are you positive he’s actually eating it? Dental issue buns can sometimes pick up hay and then drop it. Or perhaps he’s having trouble picking it up off the floor as Wick suggested.

      Ruling out dental issues, could you chose to use the “floor hay” as bedding in the litter box so at least it serves some purpose?

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


    • GisC
      Participant
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      I don’t think he has issues with teeth as he can easily pick it if he wants.  I’ve seem him do it, specially with long pieces. And he for sure eats, seems like it’s the only thing he does lol. Besides those 2 feeders he has 2 litter boxes (one outside the cage for when he’s out) and one of those dangling balls where you can put hay in it. I’ve seen him finish ALL the hay in one litter box while I’, preparing the other. As of right now,  he eats only hay and pellets once a day as recommended by the farm who gave it to me just before the holidays. I was told no greens or fruit before the 4th month – we just reached the third – but I haven’t been able to verify with the vet since there are not many in the area of Italy where I live that work with bunnies and getting hold of them considering the holidays and the covid restriccions has been kind of tricky.

       


    • Wick
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      4345 posts Send Private Message

      It sounds like he enjoys the hay more when presented in the litter box, which, in a way might be more “natural”, like foraging and scavenging for the best hay pieces on a dirt floor. I can also imagine that with a hay feeder, the rabbit might be smelling a particularly good piece of hay, but digs and digs to try and get to it, versus when it’s in the litterbox, it’s relatively easy to smell hay and get to it since there are no restrictions. One of my rabbits occasionally digs out hay from our one hay feeder to get to a piece of hay in the back of it.

      Is there anyway you could remove the two smaller hay feeders and make it another litter box area? This might be one of the many times rabbit care involves negotiation with your individual rabbit’s inclinations and preferences.

      The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.


    • DanaNM
      Moderator
      4523 posts Send Private Message

      My rabbits tend to eat more hay when it’s in the litter box as well. I still use a rack over the box in case they trample and pee all over the box hay, but I top up both regularly.

       

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  

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Forum DIET & CARE Issues with hay