Hay Problems

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Liquidtravel

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Hello all,

I have a question about getting your rabbit to eat hay. As background, I have an 8-month-old male flemish giant named Franklin.

When I first adopted Franklin, I had read to put hay in their litterbox to encourage them to use the litterbox. I did that and it seemed to work but I kept putting hay in his litterbox and since then, he only mixes it around and sits in it. He will eat some hay but obviously only when I freshly supply it. Otherwise, he just sits in it.

I have a hay box. It is just a cheap walled mounted box. He ALWAYS pulls it down, pulls the hay out, and mixes it around his cage. As far as his cage is concerned, It is an extra-large dog kennel. Franklin is not confined to his cage. It is always open and he almost never stays in it at all. Generally, he runs around my apt or sleeps under my bed. His litterbox and a water bottle are on the outside of his cage. Really, the only time he goes into his cage is because I am giving him a treat and I always give him treats inside of his cage.

So, back to the hay. I really hardly ever see him eat hay. He does but I don't see him eat hay very often. I know hay is very important so I wanted to see how I encourage him to eat more hay and how to give it to him. Obviously the hay box does not work. Once he pulls it down and mixes it around his area, he never eats it. Just recently I put hay into a large pan and put that inside his cage. That was last night and to date, he is not really eating that hay.

He is not unhealthy and doesn't seem to be underfed (I do also give him
 

Hermelin

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How much pellets do you feed and how do his droppings look like. Droppings can tell a lot about bunnies diets ☺

I know my bunnies love mixing the hay with other hay, for example oat hay encourage my bunnies to eat more. Filling up and buying good quality hay that smell good, don’t dust much and is a bit green will make my bunnies love the hay.

You can also try hiding small treats in the hay and see if it will make him eat more hay and search for the treats.

Bunnies will rarely starve themself but they can be picky hay eater. I know that my bunnies will always skip hay if they get too much pellets, veggies or treats during the day.
 

zuppa

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Smokey previously was pulling all hay into her toilet and peed on it and never ate it, it was very messy and stinky since she was also very aggressive and it was a problem for me to take her toilet out since I've got bitten so many times I was simply scared of her. Over a few months I've learned how to deal with it and our situation has improved now.

Firstly, I removed hay manger from over her toilet. She was also a digger so I placed a grate on her toilet box, I use wood pellets for litter so now she stopped digging it and I removed that grate so she has only wood pellets in there mixed with a bit of wood shavings so they don't make a noise when she moves in it. She's very curious and when there's noise she starts digging them.

Secondly, I stopped giving her long hay. I cut hay into 3 inch pieces and spread on her floor. She eats all of it. I find that when there are long strands many rabbits just picking coarse stems and leaving soft hay laying around. So I give those rabbits short hay and they are much less selective.
 

Liquidtravel

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I give him a handful of pellets each day, twice a day. His poop looks fine to me
 

Diane R

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Get his teeth checked by a good rabbit vet. If teeth are fine then get lots of different types of hay until you find some he likes and cut down on anything else you feed him. Good luck!
 

Hazelbun

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Some bunnies are finicky about hay texture. Ours likes thick, tough longer pieces. She devours Oxbow Timothy hay in the 9 pound bags. If we change brands or use smaller bags with lots of little “grass clippings” she gets frustrated. She will scatter that all over her litter box, throw it on the floor to make a statement and stops eating. If she wants more hay she usually makes a bunch of noise ripping cardboard. When we add some, right away the drama is over...We just buy what we know the queen likes now.
 
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