New rabbit prefers pellets over hay

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secretcheri

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Hi,
We just adopted an 8 month old rabbit (Leroy)
his former family feed him a little hay but mostly pellets
now we are noticing he is hardly touching is hay and starting and waiting at his pellet bowl, we only feed our other rabbit (MaryLu) a healthy portion for breakfast then hay the rest of the time
How are some good ways to get him used to eating mostly hay without starving him if he instists on only pellets?
 

Preitler

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Of course they do. Pellets are formulated to be real tasty.

I use pellets as treat, and reward. They don't get them without doing something for it, like going back in the hutch or house, comming when called, or after brushing and plucking fur or other things they don't like much.

Giving fresh forage or hay is something different, normal feeding.

Well, I slipped into a bad habbit of not following that rule with the nursing does and kits because they were somewhat on the skinny side, now they do expect treats whenever they see me, need to change that again soon.
 

christinedavies1980

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Hi,
We just adopted an 8 month old rabbit (Leroy)
his former family feed him a little hay but mostly pellets
now we are noticing he is hardly touching is hay and starting and waiting at his pellet bowl, we only feed our other rabbit (MaryLu) a healthy portion for breakfast then hay the rest of the time
How are some good ways to get him used to eating mostly hay without starving him if he instists on only pellets?
Pellets have always been supper, for my bunnies. Just a handful. Hay all day, with some veggies but pellets are a treat before bed, in our house.
 

BunLover

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Hi,
We just adopted an 8 month old rabbit (Leroy)
his former family feed him a little hay but mostly pellets
now we are noticing he is hardly touching is hay and starting and waiting at his pellet bowl, we only feed our other rabbit (MaryLu) a healthy portion for breakfast then hay the rest of the time
How are some good ways to get him used to eating mostly hay without starving him if he instists on only pellets?
Dry smudging banana on the hay, Only a little though. Do this smaller portions each time
 

Blue eyes

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You can try slowly reducing the amount of pellets offered each day. At the same time, be sure to refresh the hay at least once (better twice) every day -- don't wait for it to be gone before refreshing! There's something about newly added hay that tends to get their interest.
 

Preitler

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That's an important point, just because there's hay left doesn't mean there's enough palatable hay left. I think 80% of the hay I offer ends up in the vegetable garden or on the compost pile.

Before discarding the contents of the hay rack I mix and turn over the contents once, but then it gets replaced.
 
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When we first rescued Peter, he didn't know what hay was. He had a full hay rack and we gave him a bowl full of hay with some pellets mixed in. He started eating hay to the point where he ate mostly hay and not nearly as much pellet. I also use Orchard Grass as I'm very allergic to Timothy.
 

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