Hay Feeder Alternative

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GeorgieBunny

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Hi everyone!

My little bunny does not seem to like his hay feeder. It is one of those ones that come with the cage and is on the outside of it. He only seems to eat his hay out of his litter but I would feel better if he also had some sort of hay feeder to get his fill of hay from. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thank you!
 

Blue eyes

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Yeah. Those outside-hanging feeders are no good. They don't hold enough hay for a day and the hay is hard for bunny to access.

It takes some getting used to, but it is perfectly fine to feed their hay in the litter box. Just refresh the hay a couple times per day so he always has fresh hay. He won't eat soiled hay.

If the hay feeder came with the cage, then I'm guessing that the cage itself isn't large enough to hold an appropriate size litter rack. A bunny should be eating his body size in hay every day.

If you want other options for a rack, you can check the pics here:
https://rabbitsindoors.weebly.com/hay.html

I find it easiest just to add hay to the litter box. It helps the litter box last longer between cleanings too.
upload_2020-2-11_19-28-52.png
 

GeorgieBunny

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Thanks guys! Will look into these options. The only reason I don’t want his sole place for hay to be the litter box is because he won’t eat a lot of the hay because he has peed or pooped on it and if I can eliminate as much waste as possible that would be nice
 

Augustus&HazelGrace

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Ikea makes this basket shelf that would work perfectly for a large hay rack that is big enough to hold a lot of hay and reduce waste. I am sure others make this too.
 

Ap423

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One of my bunnies would repeatedly soil in his hay even if it was a hanging rack. He jumped into the tiny rack somehow and left poop there. Not sure if you have this problem. We even had a wooden box with 2 holes for hay access and he would jump inside and eat/hang out/ and pee/poop right in the hay box. Eventually we did this (see picture). He can't fit in the hay rack to soil it, but he can sit in litter box while he eats, a majority of bunnies prefer to. My other bunny is a lot neater and she doesn't have this issue. Just an idea! Fyi The litter box in the pic has litter but he pulls out hay and it ends up in it. And everywhere else...
 

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GeorgieBunny

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Ikea makes this basket shelf that would work perfectly for a large hay rack that is big enough to hold a lot of hay and reduce waste. I am sure others make this too.
Thanks!!! I never even thought of trying something like that. I might need to go to Ikea and check this out. Have you used this?
 

GeorgieBunny

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One of my bunnies would repeatedly soil in his hay even if it was a hanging rack. He jumped into the tiny rack somehow and left poop there. Not sure if you have this problem. We even had a wooden box with 2 holes for hay access and he would jump inside and eat/hang out/ and pee/poop right in the hay box. Eventually we did this (see picture). He can't fit in the hay rack to soil it, but he can sit in litter box while he eats, a majority of bunnies prefer to. My other bunny is a lot neater and she doesn't have this issue. Just an idea! Fyi The litter box in the pic has litter but he pulls out hay and it ends up in it. And everywhere else...
This is a really great idea. I think George would be a bit too small to manage to get into the feeder that way, but I like the idea of the connected litter box. I know I cannot completely keep him from getting hay in his litter box but I would like to try and minimize it if possible.
 

Pots+Potter

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My bunnies loved the ball you can fill that spins on a wheel, but they have it destroyed in a week. What ever you use, just make sure your bunny can't get a foot trapped since they panic easily in that situation and you can end up with a broken leg. I use half inch square wife fencing over my litter and it works great, urine and pee can fall into the litter, which keeps the hay pretty dry. It takes a bit to cut and form the wire to make sure there are no sharp edges or a place for a foot to get wedged between the wire layer and the side of the box, I have mine drape over the sides. My female rabbit would dig to no end without it. I do refresh the hay day daily.
 

Augustus&HazelGrace

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If you have room for a bale of hay I would recommend buying it in bulk like that. Hay waste is to be expected and buying in bulk helps with that.
 

Blue eyes

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Ikea makes this basket shelf that would work perfectly for a large hay rack that is big enough to hold a lot of hay and reduce waste. I am sure others make this too.
This one is a good idea. It is one of the options I have pictured on my link in my post above. (I think it may even be the same photo ;) )

I also second what @Augustus&HazelGrace said about buying hay by the bale. Rabbits love to pick through the hay to get their choice pieces. When you get a bale, it is infinitely cheaper. You'll end up being able to be overly generous (even wasteful) with the hay and still only spend about $1 or $2 per month.

Having the hay in the litter box is pretty standard practice for many rabbit owners. Rabbits won't eat soiled hay which is why you refresh the hay a couple times per day. It is a great way for the rabbit to pick through it as they so like to do. It is harder to pick through it if it is in a rack (unless the rack has very large openings).
 

GeorgieBunny

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This one is a good idea. It is one of the options I have pictured on my link in my post above. (I think it may even be the same photo ;) )

I also second what @Augustus&HazelGrace said about buying hay by the bale. Rabbits love to pick through the hay to get their choice pieces. When you get a bale, it is infinitely cheaper. You'll end up being able to be overly generous (even wasteful) with the hay and still only spend about $1 or $2 per month.

Having the hay in the litter box is pretty standard practice for many rabbit owners. Rabbits won't eat soiled hay which is why you refresh the hay a couple times per day. It is a great way for the rabbit to pick through it as they so like to do. It is harder to pick through it if it is in a rack (unless the rack has very large openings).
I will definitely look into buying bales then. If it only comes out to 1 or 2 dollars a month it wouldn’t bother me wasting so much. But I tried to put the hay on one side like you did in your photo but he seems to use the side where the hay is.
 

Blue eyes

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But I tried to put the hay on one side like you did in your photo but he seems to use the side where the hay is.
Try it on the other side. But it doesn't make much difference after the first placing of hay. The hay tends to end up over the whole box after the daily refreshes. Remember, he'll pick through the hay to find the pieces he wants and he'll be able to find plenty with daily refreshes.

This page of my site explains in more detail. It also has a photo showing how much hay I use to refill.
 

Augustus&HazelGrace

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@Blue eyes I just looked at your hay page and you said that 1 bale lasts 2 rabbits about a year. I don't know if you all's bales down there are bigger or I knew Tris ate a LOT of hay but I thought that was just average amount because Gus eats it just nowhere near as much as Tris. Gus eats about half of her body size each day whereas Tris eats about triple her body size. I go through a bale every 4 months. But I don't mind because bales here are $5 I think you said yours are $24. I wonder why it's so much more expensive down there.
 
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Blue eyes

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@Augustus&HazelGrace , that's a good question -- how consistent are hay bale sizes? I'm guessing it varies with how compacted they are as well. Not sure how our bale sizes compare to what you have. I'm attaching a couple photos for a rough idea. Maybe you can see if they look any bigger?

Your prices are super cheap! I assume that's not because you're buying multiple bales (like horse owners)??

With the bale size I get (in pics), I don't think it's ever lasted less than 8 months (with 2 rabbits).
hay bale w hay tub.jpg 100_9326.JPG
 

Augustus&HazelGrace

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I can fit about half a bale in one of those tubs you have pictured. And actually, if you buy multiple bales the prices are even cheaper like $3 a bale but they usually have a minimum requirement of buying like 20 bales or more. Our bales are about 50 pounds on average. Ours don't seem to be as wide as yours though.
 

Blue eyes

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I can fit about half a bale in one of those tubs you have pictured.
I use 1 bale to fill that tub about 6 (or 8?) times, so our bale must be considerably larger/compacted. You can actually see how little of that bale I used to fill up the tub.
I cannot lift the bale myself -- way too heavy.
 

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