how do you know your rabbit is eating hay?

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TheBunz

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I just got a bunny for the first time a week ago and I don't think it's eating hay. I have a huge bale of coastal Bermuda I was using for duck bedding and she ate some of it the first time I showed it to her but she's not obviously eating the hay now. Are rabbits picky about some hay? How can I tell she's eating it other than it all being gone (which it's not)?
I feed her kaytee plain pellets unlimited (she's a 2 mo Flemish giant) and give her romaine in the evening after work.
 

scottd

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In my experience rabbits can be very fussy with Hay but it is important to try and get them to eat it to prevent teeth problems down the line.
Younger rabbits can be fed Alfalfa hay and they tend to enjoy this hay.

If for any reason your rabbit doesn't like his hay you can lots of different types and it's also a good idea to mix different types together to encourage natural grazing.

Another trick is to lightly spray the hay with pineapple juice as my rabbit really enjoys this.
 

TheBunz

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Ok. I'll try that. I've seen plain alfalfa pellets and Timothy hay "cubes"
Are those ok to feed rabbits? I don't wanna buy a whole Bale of hay if she isn't gonna eat it.
 

Ivythelionhead

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My rabbits always enjoyed Timothy hay and refused to eat other hay so I just buy Timothy hay for them now.
 

amandaaaa_xxo

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Rabbits are so fussy with hay! There are a few alternatives you can try.
1) try mixing in two or three types of hay. Rabbits love to 'choose' which hay they prefer according to smell and taste
2) try spraying a little apple juice or pineapple juice on the hay to add a sweetened flavour. Rabbits like us humans, love sweet things!
3) refresh the hay multiple times a day. Rabbits can differentiate between 'old' and 'fresh' food
4) add a small amount of hay in your hay feeder or wherever you place the hay and if it becomes less and less, then that's a good indicator that your rabbit is munching on them. You won't be able to tell if you provide your rabbit a whole bunch of hay.
5) remove any fruits or vegetables that is in the sight of your rabbit and allow your rabbit to only have pellets and hay in its surroundings. This will leave your rabbit no choice but to eat what is in front of them as this will leave them thinking "okay well I guess I won't be getting any greens or fruits, better eat what I have!".

If none of those alternatives work, then perhaps your rabbit is in the first phase of experiencing dental problems. When my rabbit was refusing his hay, I tried all of the above and none seemed to work and that was because he had spikes and Spurs (this was found out by my rabbit doctor when she examined him). Ever since he had his surgery, he's been eating his hay again :). When rabbits have dental problems, they'll avoid foods that are solid and especially hay because hay requires a different chewing motion than do other foods.

Let us know how your rabbit goes!

Hope this helped :)
 

amandaaaa_xxo

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It is essential that your rabbit starts to eat hay ASAP as hay is fundamental to their diet as it ensures a healthy digestive system and prevents GI Stasis. After all, 70% of a rabbit makes up their digestive system!
 

TheBunz

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Alright I bought a little bag of Timothy hay from the pet store and when I just showed her the bag she binkied all over and tried to take it from me. I gave her a handful and it was gone by the time we went to bed! I guess she just hated the other hay haha
 

Aki

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Some rabbits are picky with their hay or even change their mind about it for no apparent reason. I've got this problem with Aki currently - she's eaten the same hay brand with no problem for almost 7 years and for the past few months she suddenly decided that she didn't like it all that much anymore (I could understand if it was one or two bags, but it seems to be all of them). It took me a while to notice, because she lives with another rabbit who can eat for two, and it resulted in two nasty bouts of GI stasis (currently curing the 2nd one). I finally caught up and ordered different brands. Hopefully, she will like one of them... I have faith in oxbow which is crazy expensive ^^
 

doodlebugger

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I agree. We had to start using Orchard Grass for one of our bunnies who has some sore hock issues. The Timothy hay was too hard for him when he would jump on it in his litter box, and it seemed to be busting his scabs open. So, we switched completely for a while, but we noticed one of our other bunnies wouldn't hardly eat the hay. We bought a bag of Timothy, and put a big handful down in his cage next to his litter box and he was so happy! So, we still keep Timothy hay for the two other rabbits to eat and for all three litter boxes, but we use Orchard Grass for one bun completely and he loves it better than the Timothy. So, yes, they can be very picky! Glad you figured it out!
 
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