Bunny won't eat hay

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by donna-alexander, Jan 24, 2020.

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  1. Jan 24, 2020 #1

    donna-alexander

    donna-alexander

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    Hi I am looking for advice to get my new bunny to eat hay
    I have only had him 3 days he's 2 and had a few previous owners. He is a really gentle lovely snugglebug but he seems to have no interest in hay or veg ect only things he eats are things called carrot crunchies and pellets
    His previous owner said he wouldn't eat hay so just didn't give him any - I tried apple juice trick and he isn't remotely interested - any help very much appreciated
     
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  2. Jan 24, 2020 #2

    Theo

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    How many pellets are you giving him? What type of hay? What breed is he? Are the carrot crunchies like the ones in the link? https://www.amazon.com/Vitakraft-Pet-Rabbit-Slims-Carrot/dp/B000AAIAJS/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1LQKREHQUPLK5&keywords=carrot+crunchers&qid=1579893347&sprefix=carrot+cru,aps,263&sr=8-3
    If so, don't give him them. A good treat for a rabbit would be a tiny slice of apple, maybe 2 times a week. He probably won't eat hay because he is getting too many pellets. Rabbits should get 1/4 cup for every 6 lbs of body weight.
     
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  3. Jan 24, 2020 #3

    Morgan223

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    buy critical care it usually stimulates them to eat hay or at least will make sure he doesn't go into stasis while he's still not eating it

    also maybe try different kinds of hay like orchard grass
     
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  4. Jan 24, 2020 #4

    dgorgo

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    I agree with Theo. Cut back on the pellets and perhaps he will be hungry enough to eat the hay. Also, if the hay is not fresh, . has been sitting in a plastic bag in a store somewhere, my bunny will not eat it. I have been getting my hay from a company on line and they only bag so much of it and sell to their customers. I find that he really likes it. The bags start at 12 ounces; you can buy larger if you want. The bags look small when they are delivered, but there is a LOT of hay in the bags. I open the bag and put it in a clean cardboard box and keep in in the house. Hay should not get damp or wet. I buy Soft Timothy (which is a second cut Timothy) Soft Orchard Grass and Meadow Grass. That is what my guy prefers. If you don't want to purchase on line, you can purchase Oxbow Hay (which is usually highly recommended by Vets) They sell Timothy and Orchard. Or, some pet stores (Petco, PetSmart) sell it. Can also purchase from Chewy.com. Every rabbit is different as far as what they like. It is trial and error. Also, if your rabbit is over a year old, he should NOT be given Alfafa Hay. That is only for rabbits under a year old.
     
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  5. Jan 25, 2020 #5

    Smoggy

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    I am writing from Ireland, hello!

    I agree with everything Dgorgo, Theo and Morgan have said... Critical care is excellent but I only use when I know the rabbits have a tummy upset.

    We have two mature 9 year old house rabbits that won't eat enough hay. We use Meadow or Timothy... Our rabbits eat too much pellets - the 70% fibre to 30% pellet ratio is perhaps the other way around in our house. However our rabbits have been able to graze fresh grass all day which does even the scales. They get fresh veggies every evening and fruit treats daily (which I know is too much, they have been spoilt over the years)

    Have you tried stuffing hay into toys for your rabbit. For example a toilet roll holder with a hole cut into center where they have to work to get it out and can also enjoy a nibble of cardboard. But trying to stimulate the rabbit into eating hay by making it interesting...

    As you may know rabbits teeth do not stop growing so it is critical that they are able to chew and knaw. Hay is important because while eating it they use their molars not front teeth to grind it down.

    One of my rabbits has had two dental surgeries... Teeth spurs have needed to be rasped and a wobbly tooth removed. Bacteria from drool has caused an awful rash causing fur loss under and around the chin. I am finding this rash very difficult to treat because my rabbit is over grooming and this causes digestive issues.

    Anyway this health issue could all be due to the fact that my bunny does not eat enough hay...

    Dandelions are excellent sources of nutrition for rabbits and could help to give your rabbit a healthier appetite. I also use freshly cut lawn grass daily which they love (at the moment my garden is open and not safe for grazing)

    Have you tried leafy strawberry tops, top and tail of carrots and the peel (not the carrot itself) and kale!! Your crunchie carrots are treats and you could give your rabbit a few after he has eaten some of the stuff you want him to eat... And try to reduce the treats almost entirely and use fresh apple... We use top and tail leave center out as pips are poisonous but they like the roughage too...

    It will take persevering and trial and error as said. Stimulating your rabbit in general w plenty of attention and activity will probably help too!! Build cardboard castles for it and introduce games if you can...
     
  6. Jan 25, 2020 #6

    Jasminebunny

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    That happened to my bunnie , when she got stressed after i moved her from outside , to a big indoor run .
    I used to feed carrot crunchies , but they are really bad for them as they contain corn .
    Me and my sister are allergic to meadow and tomothy hay so we feed orchard grass.
    It might be that he is just stressed , and was stressed at his last owners house .
    Is he still eating greens , and his pellets? ( they only beed 1 table spoon per 3 pound of body weight)
     
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  7. Jan 26, 2020 #7

    donna-alexander

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  8. Jan 26, 2020 #8

    donna-alexander

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    Hiya he's a dwarf rex. He only has 6/7 pellets a day. He has tried parsley and really likes that and have given him few tiny slices of apple, trying different hay until we find the one he likes
     
  9. Jan 26, 2020 #9

    donna-alexander

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  10. Jan 26, 2020 #10

    donna-alexander

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    Thank you I will get that today
     
  11. Jan 26, 2020 #11

    donna-alexander

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  12. Jan 26, 2020 #12

    donna-alexander

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    Thank you. I'm getting there finding what he likes he's loving parsley and kale so least thats a start and I have him on slices of apples for treats. The vet says his teeth are ok but previous owner took him to get teeth cut down. I really don't want to do that - will keep persevering with different hay - I have put in in balls ect but he doesn't seem interested at all - I am going to get critical care as a start
     
  13. Jan 26, 2020 #13

    donna-alexander

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  14. Jan 26, 2020 #14

    donna-alexander

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    Thank you I'm going to get critical care see how we go
     
  15. Jan 26, 2020 #15

    Blue eyes

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    Critical care is not necessary. People use it if a rabbit suddenly stops eating hay (potential early sign of GI stasis). It would be force fed to get a rabbits gut kickstarted into motion. But this isn't the case with your rabbit. Your rabbit has just not been fed hay and is not accustomed to it. There is no reason to be feeding critical care for this.

    If your rabbit eats only 6/7 pellets per day and no hay, what does he eat on a normal day?
     
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  16. Jan 27, 2020 #16

    Orrin

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    Ad mixed breed neutered doe of ours has been putting on too much weight and has gut issues as well. She eats just about everything, hay included; however, I stopped giving her pellets, cold turkey. She is now eating much more hay than before and she's starting to slim down.

    All of our buns will eat a variety of hay; but, we've gotten them some that they won't touch. Maybe you could experiment with different types, starting with hand-cut lawn grass that is free of pesticides and herbicides.

    Our doe still has gut problems, however, because she has this massive hairball that she's gradually passing. Not to derail this thread; but, a word for the wise: everyone should brush their bunny often when they're shedding.
     
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  17. Jan 27, 2020 #17

    BunbunandBarry

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    We have a 2 yr old female Rex cross mini lop and she barely eats anything. She will happily scoff fresh foods like parsley, but the vet told us that too much parsley is bad and she should only have it 1x p/wk max. so i buy endive and coriander instead. I give her a small amount of dried oats too as a treat.
    Ive spent a fortune on different hay trying to get her to eat more (our apartment looks like a hay warehouse these days) and she hardly eats pellets ( tried 5 types before we found 1 she would eat)
    We are trying to give her less fresh snacks this week in a bid to get her eating hay, but when she was at the vets a few months ago he said she was healthy so I’m hoping all is well.
    So maybe your bun is just a bit of a fussy weirdo like ours?!
     
  18. Jan 27, 2020 #18

    Binky4eva

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    Hi, I'm a new member and this is my first post. So gday. Mine like a bit of fresh safe grass too. I try to get rye, which is low in calcium and protein, but high in fibre.
    Sometimes experimenting or mixing different hays can help. Some of mine like Timothy, others prefer Oaten. Some like crunchy, some prefer softer stuff.
     
  19. Jan 28, 2020 #19

    Donna Standar

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    My bun wouldn't eat hay either. His teeth get too long to chew it, I took him again yesterday for a trim and because the teeth get trimmed straight across and not on the angle which naturally occurs when they chew, my vet told me it will take a bit for him to chew it. I kept trying to get him to chew it yesterday and he finally did.. It's more of shredding the hay, but he's trying. This morning I found him with blood all over his blankets, he's chewing on his tail again. Has done it twice before. My vet said they sometimes have pain in their tails and do that. Of course his teeth are really sharp after the trim and he's going non stop. Have no idea what to do about it. Was thinking of having it amputated next time he gets put out for his molars. ??
     
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  20. Jan 28, 2020 #20

    Smoggy

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    God Donna that's so sad, you poor thing. .. How much activity does your little fella get? It sounds like he needs pain relief, would u not try that?

    I agree shredding hay and mixing it with food that they favour is supposed to work!!
     

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