It's Rabbit Awareness Week and this year the emphasis is on HAY. According to a survey carried out last year by the PDSA, it is thought that around 70% of rabbit owners aren't feeding them enough hay. It is sadly a little known fact that your rabbit's diet should consist of 85-90% good quality eating hay. It's not something that just needs to be fed along with pellets; in fact these should make up a very small percentage of your rabbit's diet, with the hay and grasses making up the bulk of the diet. Types of hay that are recommended include; Timothy Hay, Grass Hay and Meadow Hay.
Here at Brockswood, we follow a Rabbit Diet Pyramid:
As you can see this is made up mostly of hay and grasses; followed by leafy greens, herbs and other plants; a small amount of pellets, and an even smaller amount of treats – after all, the biggest treat you can give your rabbit is a healthy, balanced diet!
Your rabbits need 85 – 90% of feeding hay & fresh grass, that’s equal to their body size every day!
Please remember to throw away any old, damp or soiled hay!
High in fibre, promotes digestive health - rabbits have a very complex digestive system, and it is important that this is kept in tip top condition.
Stimulates chewing, good for dental health - hay helps to grind their teeth while they're chewing it. As their teeth never stop growing, they need to hay to ensure that they are kept trimmed down, so they do not overgrow and cause issues later on!
Encourages bunnies to forage for emotional health - keeping your rabbit's mind active is very important and helps to stop them from becoming bored and depressed.
Why not make it fun for your rabbit and present it to them in different ways? Hay racks for rabbits are available from most good pet shops, and even small hay nets like we use for our larger field animals! We like to fill up boxes with good quality eating hay, various grasses grown on site, herbs and other edible plants such as dandelion leaves - and occasionally we'll hide a couple of treats at the bottom, encouraging them to forage!
We use recycled fruit crates in our rabbit runs - we simply clean them up, paint them with a pet safe waterproof paint, wait for them to dry, and then fill them up with goodies!
By talking to our friends, family and other rabbit owners and letting them know the importance of hay in a rabbit’s diet we can all play a part in encouraging responsible ownership and helping to better the lives of more rabbits.
Are your rabbits getting enough hay?