Have my bunnies manipulated me into filling up their hay racks too frequently?

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by J3lly, Aug 17, 2019.

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  1. Aug 17, 2019 #1

    J3lly

    J3lly

    J3lly

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    I am a new bunny owner and I have a lot of learning to do. I notice that I throw out a lot of hay. My bunnies have their hay racks right beside their litter boxes so that they can eat and pee and poop to their hearts content. So far they are both pretty good at keeping most of the pee and a lot of poop contained in their litter boxes. I fill up their hay racks and then they pick out the pieces that they like and a lot gets scattered in the litter box. I usually fill up their hay racks a few times a day even though there is still tons of hay scattered in their litter boxes. I change their litter every morning and I throw out a lot of hay when I change their litter. How can I waste less hay? Am I filling up their hay racks too frequently? When they eat hay that sits with the pee and poop in their litter boxes is that bad for them?
     
  2. Aug 17, 2019 #2

    J3lly

    J3lly

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    I just figured out the answer from reading a post on a different thread. I think I need to buy hay in bulk from a feed store and not worry about wasted hay. Bunnies like having fresh hay to sort through. :)
     
  3. Aug 17, 2019 #3
    This exactly you got it!
     
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  4. Sep 10, 2019 #4

    Radikal9k

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    My rabbits are happy when i give them new hay "or" just if I pretend that I've added some hay.. I just move it around the litter box and they fall for it..
     
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  5. Sep 10, 2019 #5

    Poopy Poo

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    Well if you want to waste because you've got money to spend it's up to you. I know there's always some waste but I know exactly what your situation is as I've been there myself. You can train your rabbits waste less you decide who's the boss you or your bunnies, that's all.
     
  6. Sep 10, 2019 #6

    Redrabbit

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    Sorry to post on someone else’s thread but how do you train them to waste less? I haven’t got money to waste and we buy our hay from a farm but would love to waste less hay. Thank you
     
  7. Sep 10, 2019 #7

    Blue eyes

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    Usually hay from a farm (or feed store) is incredibly cheap. If yours is not, maybe check around. I can buy a bale of hay for around $16 and it would last 2 rabbits about 8 months. That boils down to about $1/month/rabbit. ---and I 'waste' hay like crazy. I add body-size amounts of hay to their litter box at least twice per day.

    Honestly, I don't see how it can get any cheaper than that. Why worry about waste when it is that incredibly cheap? The best thing for our rabbits is to eat plenty of hay. When the bunnies sort through their hay it also keeps them occupied and gives them something enjoyable to do.

    I say it is worth it to shop around and find a reliable source of cheap hay.

    Here's a photo of what I mean when I refer to a "bale."
    upload_2019-9-10_11-44-0.png
     
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  8. Sep 10, 2019 #8

    Redrabbit

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    Wow!! No, I don’t get anything like that. I spend about £28 and it lasts two rabbits just under a month. I’ve saved loads since I stopped going to a pet store but will carry on looking for a deal
     
  9. Sep 11, 2019 #9

    Imbrium

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    @Redrabbit A cursory google search turned up a couple potential places to get cheap hay. You'd just have to call around and ask. If I had to guess, "College farm pet store" looks like the best bet since they sell horse feed and tack (you're looking for "horse quality" grass hay, as opposed to "cow quality" and/or legume hay).
     
  10. Sep 11, 2019 #10

    Redrabbit

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    Thanks so much @Imbrium
    Really appreciate the help off to look now
    imb
     
  11. Sep 11, 2019 #11

    Orrin

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    It is too late, this season, to follow my suggestion; but, here is what you could try next spring and summer: Look for hay on Craigslist. In our area farmers will sell directly to the customer. I shopped around and found very good timothy for $6.00 a bale; and, the fellow loaded it for me. For $48 I got eight bales, more than enough for our six bunnies for a year.

    Each day I empty the feeder into the litter box and replace it with fresh. For some reason, they much prefer the farmer's hay to expensive Oxbow. I don't care if the bunnies waste a bit. The next stop is the garden where the hay makes wonderful mulch, keeping the weeds under control.
     
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  12. Sep 13, 2019 #12

    Esthezyl

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    I personally have been wasting way less hay since I started to put plastic grids and puppy pads in my litter boxes instead of small animals litter. Nor my buns feet neither their hay get soiled because the pee and poop immediately get through the grid and absorbed by the pee pads. Even if they scatter the hay searching for the freshest bits, I just put it back in the hay feeders and they almost eat it all.
     
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  13. Sep 13, 2019 #13

    stepharellie

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    Esthezyl, I am interested in the set up you are describing. Would you mind posting a picture so I can see a little better what you are describing? I waste tons of hay AND litter. What you are describing sounds like it might work well for me.

    Thanks!
     
  14. Sep 13, 2019 #14

    Jacaroe

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    I live close to a relatively rural area, so I could probably pick up bales within a drive of 30-minutes or less. My question is how do you store 48 bales of hay?? Do you have a barn? Otherwise, how would you keep it dry and healthy? I got a bale from Tractor Supply when we first adopted him and it was a challenge to find places to store it. We don't have a barn. lol
     
  15. Sep 13, 2019 #15

    Poopy Poo

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    Hi, apologise only see your comment now. I have more than one rabbit and they are quite different with using toilet and eating hay, so I really reduced how much hay and litter I use now but I've tried many different ways and I have different setup for different rabbits. I'll have to think a bit how to explain better and maybe take some pics and will post here later, not today though. I'd love a photo of your setup as well so would be easier to communicate. In short, it always based on my rabbit's habits I just study them and make setup that would suit them best.
     
  16. Sep 13, 2019 #16

    Esthezyl

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    Here you go!

    [​IMG]

    Both my buns are perfectly litter trained, and cleaning only takes me 5 minutes for 2 litter boxes. If you have any question, feel free to ask!
     
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  17. Sep 14, 2019 #17

    Imbrium

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    Here's another way to do a similar set-up (puppy pads could be used instead of wood pellets beneath the grid); the thread has step-by-step instructions.
     
  18. Sep 15, 2019 #18

    Poopy Poo

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    I'd like to see it on day 3 with all the poo&pee if you could share some pics as well. Your grid isn't flat are there legs or something to make room for droppings? This looks very clean :)
     
  19. Sep 15, 2019 #19

    Esthezyl

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    Uh? My grid is flat, in fact there is just enough space for the poop. I don't elevate it more because I don't want cockroaches to get there too. I live in Japan where it's very humid and hot in summer and I've already seen flies lay their eggs under the grid , plus my buns get greens everyday and pee a lot, so I don't wait till day 3, at least not in summet. I've got two litter boxes but they love to use the wider one together so sometimes the pee pad gets soaked really fast (I don't want to imagine the mess if it was regular litter). And I use citric acid on the pee stains, so yes it's very clean.

    DSC_0075.JPG
    DSC_0073.JPG
     

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