How Unhealthy are Oats? (Oat Hay)

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Well-Known Member
Dec 28, 2015
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My guys love oats from oat hay. They don't touch the hay, of course; they just nom all the oats.

How much they love to eat something tends to be directly proportional to how unhealthy/fattening it is, so... how limited should these be in their diet? Aren't they mainly carbs?

I got a box of oat hay to try out last year and am still working through it. I'm not sure if I should get more to have around for an occasional treat. (Note: My rabbits might be kind of slightly posssibly a little bit chubby, so we're trying to work on that.)

Blue eyes

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Mar 20, 2012
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Arizona, USA
Rabbits do love their sweets and their carbs (just like me!)!

You are correct that the oat seeds are high in carbs. I found this at

Grass hays include the following varieties: timothy, orchard, meadow, Bermuda, brome, wheat, rye, oat and barley. These hays are very high in fiber, low in calories, low in calcium, low in protein and most are low in starches. Though most rabbit societies and rabbit experts find no problems with feeding rabbits the ‘cereal’ hays (last four mentioned), I recommend these the least of the grass hays as the wheat, rye, oats and barley are hays grown primarily for their seeds, which are very starchy food items and NOT good for the normal movement of a rabbit’s small intestinal tract. If you insist on feeding these types of grass hays, I strongly recommend you at least shake out as much of the grain as possible into the trash and feed whatever is left over. Rabbits fed ‘shaken’ cereal hay may end up on the thin side due to some of these hays having relatively low nutrient contents without their seeds. In my opinion it is best to simply avoid these hays, and feed the other forms of grass hay listed above.
Oat hay is a very commonly recommended hay for rabbits, but with all the oats in it, it is a very potentially starchy and high-protein diet (neither are great things for rabbits)


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