Different types of hay : what and why

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MiloTheBunny101

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Alfalfa-


Alfalfa (Lucerne), a legume not grass, is also grown as animal feed. Alfalfa hay has a higher protein level than grass hay, which makes it too fattening to feed as the main diet for the average adult rabbit, although it can be good for growing youngsters or putting weight on an underweight rabbit. It's also much higher in calcium (1.5% compared to 0.5% in grass hay), so best avoid for any rabbit with a history of problems related to excess calcium e.g. bladder sludge.


UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Small-Pet-Select-34-Alfalfa/dp/B01HDXHTBO/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=Alfalfa+hay&qid=1623076055&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExWUM4WjYwNU04TUo4JmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMjk5ODMwT1hWSkhGSU9FTUNNJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTAwNjU5MDMxVlNZNlJPTjk1NzVSJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

US- https://www.amazon.com/Small-Pet-Select-Alfalfa-9-07kg/dp/B07TLDKV1W/ref=sr_1_4?crid=COPM4CQTI61&dchild=1&keywords=alfalfa+hay&qid=1623076093&sprefix=Alfalfa+hay,aps,249&sr=8-4
 
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MiloTheBunny101

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Dried-

Sometimes the drying of cut grass is artificially sped up. This reduces the loss of nutrients giving it a higher nutritional value than hay. Grass dried in this way is usually labelled as 'barn dried hay' or 'dried grass'. The quick drying process tends to leave it greener looking and slightly higher protein (12-14%) than hay - more like fresh grass. That's not a problem, but if your rabbit is particularly senstive to diet changes then introduce it gradually, and overweight rabbits might benefit from mixing standard hay with it. Most rabbits find it very tasty so it's a good choice if your rabbit's a reluctant hay eater.


UK- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Burgess-Excel-Forage-Dried-Grass/dp/B00CFLQ1JG/ref=sr_1_4?crid=2YC5TIEB412H0&dchild=1&keywords=dried+grass+for+rabbits&qid=1623076336&sprefix=Dried+grass,aps,171&sr=8-4

US- can not find, can use uk link and deliver to us
 

MiloTheBunny101

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Grass-


Grass is the most natural food for a rabbit to eat. The ideal set up would be a secure exercise pen on grass that allowed your rabbit to graze freely, but that is not always practical. If your rabbit does not have free access to grass, you can simulate natural grazing by growing grass from seed in a pot or tray. You can also cut grass for your rabbit and scatter it around their pen. If you do this, use scissors not lawn mower clippings, the cutting action of the mower crushes the grass, which causes it to begin to fermenting, and could upset your rabbit's stomach. If you've a lot of grass, you could even try making your own hay.

How to make hay - Making Your Own Hay
 

MiloTheBunny101

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Meadow / orchard / timothy hay -


Because of the large quantity of grass a rabbit eats each day, it is rarely practical to provide enough fresh grass to meet all your rabbit's needs. The solution to this is to supplement or substitute grass with hay, which is readily available and easily stored. Hay is just grass that has been cut and left to dry out. It has the same health and digestive benefits that fresh grass does.

There are many different hays available; popular types include meadow, timothy, and orchard grass. Any of these hays will provide a suitable basis for your rabbit's diet, but you don't need to pick just one type. Mixing several different hays will provide your rabbit with a wider variety of flavours and even out differences in nutritional values.

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Small-Pet-Select-Cutting-Timothy/dp/B088BK6TD9/ref=sr_1_4_sspa?crid=3H8H8LRPNH9PO&dchild=1&keywords=timothy+hay+for+rabbits&qid=1623076640&sprefix=timothy+hay+for+,aps,163&sr=8-4-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFVUzE3V1k1NktRMEYmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA3OTQwMTgzSDk2MFREQkVQTDZTJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTAzNDcwOTkxUUswQkVEMkpYRFdCJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

US- Amazon.com
 

peanutdabunny

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This is important too


Why is Alfalfa Thought to be Bad?
  • Alfalfa is high in calcium.
    • The fear is that calcium may cause urinary sludge…a common problem!
  • Alfalfa is higher in calories.
    • The fear is that it may make your pet fat…a common problem!
What most people do to try and solve these 2 problems is to feed a low calcium diet and cut calories (less pellets). Despite these efforts many still struggle with weight control and may still suffer from urinary sludge issues.

Caretakers try to get their pet to consume more water by buying and preparing fresh lettuce, greens, and other wet foods for them to eat.


Yet these pets respond by drinking less water and still urinary sludge builds up in the bladder making it difficult to pee. Often this forces an emergency vet visit where SubQ fluids are injected with a needle to increase urine output and the bladder is squeezed to manually express the mixture of urine and sludge.

Although this procedure temporarily removes sludge from the bladder and helps your pet to pee again, sadly it is often required time and time again for the remainder of their life. Don’t let this happen to you.


The Solution
Choose Hay: Encourage MORE hay consumption by reducing the amount of fruits, veggies, treats…. and even greens that you give your pet. If you feed less of these favorite items your pet will eat more hay. This will increase the amount of water they drink and improve their urinary health. In fact, a temporary grass-hay-only fast can increase the amount of water they drink and their urine volume by over 400% and it will naturally flush their bladder. Learn more about it here: 3 steps to healthier and hoppier pets.

The picture of hay and pellets below is an example of the ideal balanced diet for a 4 pound rabbit (this is the minimum amount that should be eaten within a 24 hour period – you can add a small amount of treats and greens).


For those bunnies who don’t eat enough hay this complete formula contains the right ratios of hay and nutrients so it can be fed free-choice allowing them to graze on the pellets like they do hay – way different than the typical ‘timothy’ pellet that is mostly grain/soy.Screenshot 2021-06-07 at 10.39.26 AM.png
 

MiloTheBunny101

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Oat/Wheat/Barley Hay -


Oat, wheat and barley are types of grass which are usually grown for their cereal grain. When harvested before the seed heads have ripened they can also be fed as any other grass hay. Once the grain has ripened and the plant has turned from green to golden brown, the stems loose their nutritional value and are used instead as bedding in the form of straw. It's easy to tell the difference by the colour, straw is yellow and hay is green.



UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Burns-Green-Small-Animal-Food/dp/B0798QTSF2/ref=sr_1_9?crid=OJFWHXM7ASAG&dchild=1&keywords=oat+hay+for+rabbits&qid=1623076875&sprefix=Oat+hay+for+rabbits,aps,152&sr=8-9

US- https://www.amazon.com/Oxbow-Animal-Health-Pets-15-Ounce/dp/B00008DFPT/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Oat+hay+for+rabbits&qid=1623076952&sr=8-2
 

BunbunBannana

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Are you saying that we don't need timothy hay If we feed grass from our yard?
 

Preitler

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In what kind of environment do you live in ????

This kind of grass wouldn't be save for children to spend time on either, you all would have to live like we did over here when the Chernobyl cloud arrived, but permanently!

There is being cautious, and then there is being paranoid.
 

MiloTheBunny101

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Well i thought the lady enquiring has said that she grew some items with pesticides in it but I’m mistaken! Very sorry! Just make sure you cut your grass with scissors!! And don’t use any sort of spray to make your grass grow! I’m sure your rabbit will enjoy your back yard grass but even so you should mix with Timothy hay as it contains many vitamins which help your rabbit a lot! We all just want a happy bun 😄
 

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