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The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

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Home Forum DIET & CARE Wont Eat Hay

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    • Brooke
      Participant
      3 posts Send Private Message

      Hi there,

      My rabbit Alfie has determined that she will absolutely not eat hay for the life of her.

      She is currently just over a year old and the vet said as a result she shouldnt be eating alfalfa anymore, but she won’t eat anything else.

      She has never been fond of hay, but recently I looked into what was in her food and realized that it was alfalfa so I traded it for one with timothy hay, but now she won’t eat it. She just picks out the little fruit bits and leaves the pellets and hay.

      I am just concerned that she might not be eating that much and now I don’t know what to do.

      Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

      ~Brooke~


    • Cinnabunn the bunny
      Participant
      134 posts Send Private Message

      Oh no. so first of all, you shouldn’t be feeding your rabbit anything with fruit in it. thats a bad brand and I would switch over immediately. I would recommend oxbow brand hay/pellets which you could order off amazon or through this site.

      Since she just switched over to timothy i wouldn’t worry. All my bunns took a while to transition to timothy after alfalfa but they eventually accepted their fate after a few days. I just gradually decreased their alfalfa till they were left with timothy.

      If your bunny still refuses to eat hay, try a sweeter hay like botanical hay or different cuts of timothy hay.


    • MarkBun
      Participant
      2842 posts Send Private Message

      You can also try Orchard Grass. Just as good for bunnies as Timothy Hay. Doing a half and half mix of Timothy and Alfalfa for five days, then a 75/25 mix for the next five days and perhaps a 90/10 for another 5 days and you’ll soon get to just hay. I don’t want to sound cruel but a bunny will eat the hay when they get hungry.


    • ThorBunny
      Participant
      801 posts Send Private Message

      Hi! Sounds like you have a picky bunny on your hands

      I second the advice to switch pellet brands, you want one that has all one type of pellet (no kinds that she can pick and choose). I feed Oxbow adult pellets, and my bun loves them! When you do the pellet switch though, do it very slowly. You can shock a rabbits GI system by changing pellets all at once and make them very sick. I would do a few weeks where you gradually increase the amount of new pellet and decrease the amount of old pellet. Eventually she will give in to the switch even if she is picky at first!

      Also different types of hay can be good to encourage hay eating! It doesn’t have to be Timothy, it can be Oat hay, Orchard Grass, Meadow Grass, or any other pure grass hay. Every bun has their favorite.


    • tobyluv
      Participant
      3267 posts Send Private Message

      Besides trying different varieties, cuttings, and/or brands of hay, you could sprinkle a tiny bit of alfalfa over timothy hay or other hay that you might try. If the little bits of alfalfa filter down throughout the hay, that might fool her into thinking it’s all tasty alfalfa, and maybe she’ll eat it.

      I agree that she shouldn’t be eating any pellets with colored bits mixed in. Whatever brand you get should be pellets only. Since she is an adult, she should be fed amounts of pellets according to her weight. A medium size rabbit (5 – 7 pounds) would only get about 1/4 cup of pellets a day.

      Does she get a good variety of leafy greens? You didn’t mention greens. If she’s not used to eating greens or veggies, go slow, but those are an important part of a rabbit’s diet.

      Here are a couple of articles on good veggies/greens to feed:

      http://rabbit.org/suggested-vegetables-and-fruits-for-a-rabbit-diet/

      https://binkybunny.com/BUNNYINFO/VeggieList/tabid/144/Default.aspx


    • Bunnybuzz
      Participant
      223 posts Send Private Message

      First off don’t feed any brand of pellets with fruit or seeds or anything like that. I would suggest to get oxbow timothy pellets.

      As for the hay: same thing happened to me. Try mixing up different kinds of hay such as: oat hay, orchard hay, meadow grass. As long as it is some kind of grass hay. Or try to feed less pellets and more hay. Try putting a little bit of alfalfa hay over the kind of the hay you are trying to give him, this helped me a lot.
      One other thing that helped for me is to put hay in lots of different places such as: toys, hay racks, his litter box or a little scattered on the floor.

      Hope this helped let me know how it goes.

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