Last Updated on noviembre 21, 2023 by Lili
Hello Rabbit Owner! Welcome to this Rabbit-Food.com Post about the Best Hay for Rabbits!
Hay is the most important food for your rabbit and should make up 80% of their daily diet. But how do you choose the best hay for your rabbit, whether they are young, senior, or have a specific condition?
In this Rabbit-Food.com Post, we’ll show you the key features to look for when buying hay for your furry friend.
But before you read on, we invite you to have a look at our article Rabbit Hay: The Essential Guide to Your Rabbit’s Diet, a must-read to learn more about this topic.
Are you ready? Let’s hop! 🐰🐇
The Best Hay For Rabbits: How To Choose And Why It Matters?
Before we tell you what the best hay for rabbits is, let’s quickly explain what hay is, why it’s so important and how it affects your bunny’s health. If you already know this, you can skip to section 1.3 in the index 😉
What Is Hay?
Hay is a mix of different kinds of grasses that are cut and dried to be used as animal food. It may also include legumes and grass flowers. Hay is usually fed to large farm animals, but it’s also great for smaller pets like rabbits.
Your pet rabbit needs hay because it can’t access fresh grass like wild rabbits do. Hay is their natural food and they should eat a lot of it every day. Here’s why.
Why Is Hay So Important To Rabbits?
Rabbits have a complex digestive system that is adapted to eating and digesting large amounts of plant fiber, which hay provides. Consuming plant fiber from hay prevents dental disease, diarrhea, and intestinal obstruction, which are very dangerous for your bunny.
First, rabbit teeth are constantly growing and need to be filed by chewing hay. Hay is coarse and fibrous, which keeps teeth healthy. Second, rabbits have a large cecum to digest and extract nutrients from low-quality food such as hay. Therefore, rabbits need hay and its plant fiber to perform their digestive functions, from the teeth to the intestines.
How To Choose The Best Hay For Your Rabbit?
Finally, we have reached the heart of the matter: How to choose the best hay for your bunny. Hay is their main food, so it should be nutritious and palatable for their specific condition. You want your bunny to enjoy and benefit from eating hay. To help you choose the best hay for your rabbit, consider the following criteria:
– Hay composition: This varies based on your rabbit’s needs, which depend on his age, health, and situation. Soon, in the next section, we’ll be discussing the best hay to use for different ages and conditions.
– Hay organoleptic characteristics: Hay should be greenish and smell nice and strong, indicating good quality. If it’s yellow and looks like dry straw that breaks easily, it’s poor quality.
– Hay Freshness: The hay should be green, fresh, pliable, and moist to make it more appealing to your rabbit.
– Hay dust level: There should be very little dust in the package, indicating that the hay is fresh. Too much dust means the hay is old.
– Hay length: Hay shouldn’t be too short or it will fall out of the feeder and your rabbit won’t eat it.
If your rabbit won’t eat the hay, use these tips to check the quality.
Best Hay For Rabbits Based On Age And Condition
Next, we will discuss the appropriate type of hay for your rabbit based on age and condition.
What Is The Best Hay For Young, Pregnant And Lactating Rabbits?
It is legume hay or alfalfa hay, because it has a high fiber content like grass hay, but provides more calcium, overall nutrients and energy. This makes it is ideal not only for growing bunnies from 3 weeks to 6 months of age, but also for pregnant and lactating females. It also aids in digestion and helps prevent dental problems.
Viking Farmer Alfalfa Hay is a nutritious hay product with fiber (18.1%), high protein (20.4%), and fat (3.0%). It has a digestible leafy and fine-stemmed texture. It is perfect for growing, pregnant, or nursing rabbits, as it boosts their weight and health.
However, alfalfa hay is not suitable for adult and senior rabbits or rabbits with urolithiasis or obesity.
What Is The Best Hay For Adult, Senior, And Urolithiasis Rabbits?
It is timothy hay, or grass hays in general, because it is higher in fiber (about 30%), lower in protein (about 8%), and lower in calcium than alfalfa hay. As a result, it meets the nutritional needs of adult and older rabbits (7 months and older), aids in digestion, and helps prevent dental problems. It is also recommended for rabbits with urolithiasis or obesity.
Grass hay is a category of hay that includes timothy hay, oat hay, orchard grass hay, meadow hay, and mountain hay. Of these, timothy hay (also known as fescue hay) is the most popular. Therefore, we will focus on it.
Kaytee Timothy Hay is a natural and premium hay product for small animals like rabbits. It has high fiber (32%), low protein (6%), and low calcium (0.15%), which support the digestive and dental health of your rabbit and prevent obesity and urolithiasis. It is fresh, delicious, and satisfying.
However, timothy hay is not suitable for baby or young rabbits or for pregnant or lactating female rabbits.
Best Hay Products For Your Rabbit
We have selected the best hay products for your rabbit based on their fiber, protein, fat and calcium content, as the proportion of these nutrients in the nutritional content of the product is closely related to the age and specific condition of your bunny. Here they are.
Best Alfalfa Hay Products: For Young, Pregnant And Lactating Rabbits
Young rabbits, between 4 and 6 months old, need legume or alfalfa hay, which has more protein and calcium for their growth. It is also ideal for pregnant and lactating rabbits. Moreover, baby rabbits can eat hay from 5 weeks old. Here are our top recommendations:
Best Timothy Hay Rabbits: For Adult, Senior, Urolithiasis And Obese rabbits.
Adult rabbits, over 7 months old, need grass or timothy hay, which has more fiber and less protein and calcium for their maintenance. It is also ideal for rabbits with urolithiasis and obesity. Below are our best choices for them:
Hay is dry and preserved plant material with high fiber content. It supports your rabbit’s digestion and prevents diseases from fiber deficiency, such as dental problems, diarrhea, and intestinal obstruction.
To choose the best hay for your rabbit, consider these factors:
1. Your rabbit’s age and condition.
2. The hay’s type and quality.
The type of hay will depend on your rabbit’s age and condition. Young rabbits (3 weeks to 6 months) and pregnant or lactating females need legume or alfalfa hay, which is high in protein and calcium. Adult and older rabbits (7 months and older) and rabbits with urolithiasis or obesity need grass or timothy hay, which is low in protein and calcium and high in fiber. Keep in mind that timothy hay is the most popular grass hay and alfalfa hay is the same as legume hay.
The hay quality depends on its color, smell, and dryness. Good quality hay is green, smells good, and is dry. Poor quality hay is brown, wet, moldy, or dusty.
We hope this guide helps you and your bunny. Thank you for reading! 🐰🐇
Important Note from Rabbit-Food.com
This website does not replace or substitute professional veterinarian advice and/or treatment. Consult your own veterinarian for your specific questions. Moreover, the price of the product you choose is the same as on Amazon. It will not change if you buy it here.
• Besteiros, M. El mejor heno para conejos – Tipos y marcas. (January 08, 2020). Experto Animal. Recovered on September 28 from El mejor heno para conejos
• ¿Que comen los conejos pequeños? Animales David. Recovered on September 28 from ¿Qué comen los conejos pequeños?
• Hay (January 27, 2020). Wabbit Wiki. Recovered on September 28 from Hay