I know it's healthy and good for her, but why does my rabbit eat 4x her size in hay?

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gelliebean

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I have a very tiny rabbit. She was 3.5lbs her last vet appointment but since then I think she's gotten fatter (which is a good thing because she was a skinny feral).

I heard that rabbits typically eat their size in hay per day. My rabbit eats probably 4x or 5x her size in her. In the morning I leave her with about 3x her body size and when I come home only a few hours later it's all gone! I had to buy a larger litter box to accommodate the copious amount of hay she eats.

She eats about 1/4 cup of pellets, a large bowl (probably just over 2 handfuls) of veggies, and the occasional treat (BOSS and fruit).

I just want to know if there's any explanation for why she's eating enough hay for a conti giant.
 

Apollo’s Slave

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She might just like it? Sorry, I have no scientific reason but it’s not bad that she’s eating more hay than her size. The more hay the better is what I’ve learned! I wish Apollo would eat as much as a giant breed 🙈
 

JBun

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Yes, younger rabbits that are still growing, will eat more. Also pregnant and nursing rabbits. More active energetic rabbits and rabbits with a fast metabolism will most likely also eat more.

If your rabbit is older and not growing anymore, I would say that if it was just a fact that she really likes that hay, then it would affect her other eating and she would have to decrease pellet intake because she was filling up on hay. So probably not just that she likes that hay.

There are some health factors that could be a cause. Because she was a feral, if the vet didn't deworm her at one of her appointments, that could be a possible cause and something to ask your vet about. A heavy parasite load could cause weight loss and increased appetite. Sometimes you will see evidence of worms in the droppings but not always. If they sell panacur rabbit in Canada, that's the most common dewormer used.

http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/GI_diseases/Parasitic_diseases/Pass/Pass_en.htm (pinworms in rabbits)

Then there is kidney disease that can sometimes lead to increased appetite, though more often it seems to cause decreased appetite. For this you would need a blood test to determine, but this would seem the least likely cause.

I would think most likely it's either your buns metabolism or possibly parasites.
 

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