How to Select the Best Hay for Your Bunny
When thinking about keeping a bunny or if you already own one, you need to know how to differentiate between different types of hay and how they affect your bunny. Rabbit hay is essential to their health, but they differ depending on the nutrients they contain. You can consider using alfalfa for little bunnies, while you can use timothy hay for your adult bunnies. Don’t panic if you are unfamiliar with these terms, as discussed below. This article will give you a detailed summary of different types of hay and how to select them.
Timothy hay is one of the most common hays used to feed rabbits. This is because it contains delicious and nutritious components, which are great for rabbits with high fiber content. However, the timothy hay has three cuts which affect the composition of the nutrients contained in the hay. The first cutting contains high fiber and low fat and protein contents. This is ideal for rabbits that require weight loss or tummy issues. The first cut hay is soft in leaf but high in the stem, making it more delicious for the rabbits. The second cutting contains well-balanced levels of fiber, fat, and proteins, making it perfect and the most preferred hay to feed rabbits. Most rabbits prefer the second cut due to its soft stem, leaves, and sweet taste. The third cut contains high protein and fat and low fiber content. This is ideal for buns that require adding weight, and you can use them as a diet change for the bunnies.
Grass hay contains high fiber contents and provides significant enrichments to the rabbits. It would be best to consider giving your rabbits unlimited amounts of grass hay since it helps move everything down the intestine and prevent gut stasis. An example of the grass hay is the timothy hay and the oat hay.
The oat hay is yellowish and more stemmy than timothy hay. However, it has high contents of fat, fiber, and proteins. You can consider using the oat hay often as it contains oats that are delicious for your bunnies. However, don’t feed them the oat hay throughout but consider mixing it with another diet to avoid boredom and losing appetite of your bunny.
Orchard has more leaves and fewer stalks compared to timothy hay. However, the orchard hay has different fiber nutrients compared to timothy hay. If you are allergic to the timothy hay, you can choose this as it contains all the necessary nutrients for your rabbits.
The bluegrass has more blue-green color, differentiating it from the orchard hay. This is also ideal for rabbits as it contains fat, fiber, and proteins. The advantage is that it smells nice and is delicious. When feeding your buns, consider scheduling a day to provide them with the blue grass hay to avoid being monotonous.
Only give alfalfa hay to young bunnies since it has a higher calcium concentration and protein. The alfalfa has a higher calorie concentration, which can adversely affect adult rabbits and cause obesity.
When feeding your rabbits, consider the nutrients in the hay. Always give rabbits water when you feed them to avoid blockage of the intestines. Avoid feeding your adult rabbits with Alfalfa hay.