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Rabbits don’t like new hay :(

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Katie94

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Hello,

I’ve just opened a new bag of hay and my bunnies don’t seem to like it very much, poops from all 4 have become smaller and very dark. The hay doesn’t seem off or smell bad but they really haven’t taken to it. Any tips to get them eating it again or should I just suck it up and get rid of it for a new one, just feel bad wasting it!
 

Mariam+Theo

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I would add some herbs to the hay to make it more appealing, maybe that will work. If not go ahead and buy a new bag. It isn't worth them all going into stasis because they won't eat hay.
 

JBun

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If herbs don't help, you may just have to use it in their litter box or get rid of it and buy a new bag for eating. Not a lot you can do if a bun decides it doesn't like the hay. Maybe there is something sprayed on it or off about it that isn't noticeable to you, but your buns can smell and tell there's something wrong with it. If you can, before buying a new bag, try and get a sample that comes from the same batch to make sure your buns will like it. And I would try for a refund for the old bag. For all 4 rabbits not to want to eat it, it means there is likely something wrong with it, like the start of mold possibly. If it was just one or two of them not wanting to eat it, then I would say it could have been them just being picky.
 

Diane R

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I always recommend giving them at least 3 types/brands of grass hay. That way, if they turn their nose up at a new bag it's not a big deal.
 

zuppa

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What brand and type hay you feed normally and if there was a change to new brand/type of hay?
 

nicolekline97

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I would add some herbs to the hay to make it more appealing, maybe that will work. If not go ahead and buy a new bag. It isn't worth them all going into stasis because they won't eat hay.
What herbs are nice for mixing in?
 

Catlyn

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What herbs are nice for mixing in?
Any rabbit safe herbs are fine to mix in. We also recently stocked up on hay bales and those that we got have a nice mild minty smell to it and that really flies for my boys. You can probably just mix and match to see what works the best.
 

Katie94

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Thanks for the responses everyone I tried mixing in some cut up bits of herb and they had a great time foraging I might start doing this just for fun in future. Sadly didn’t make the actual hay any more appealing so I am going to use it in the litter tray and have opened another one for eating. They usually get meadow hay, Timothy hay or a mix of both depending which pet shop I go to and what is in stock at the time. This dodgey bag was a brand they have had many times before I didn’t dare take it back as I wasn’t sure what to complain about as to me it looks and smells fine. I once had to return a bag I opened that had obviously started to mold but that was easier to explain.
 

Catlyn

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If the pet shop employees have had any exposure to proper rabbiting (which i doubt few have had) they would understand that the rabbits just found something wrong with it.
Can you find a place where hay is sold in bales rather than bags from the pet store? They usually last waaaay longer for what you have to pay, and as far as i have heard and know, hay directly from farmers is usually of a better quality, although checks still need to be done.
(My previous rabbit ate bagged hay no problem, and quite contently ate the first bales of hay we got (it frankly was quite old hay from acquintances who got rid of their rabbits and still had hay) which my current boys didn't like at all.)
 

Diane R

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Thanks for the responses everyone I tried mixing in some cut up bits of herb and they had a great time foraging I might start doing this just for fun in future. Sadly didn’t make the actual hay any more appealing so I am going to use it in the litter tray and have opened another one for eating. They usually get meadow hay, Timothy hay or a mix of both depending which pet shop I go to and what is in stock at the time. This dodgey bag was a brand they have had many times before I didn’t dare take it back as I wasn’t sure what to complain about as to me it looks and smells fine. I once had to return a bag I opened that had obviously started to mold but that was easier to explain.
As you are in the UK, there are some great places online to buy good quality hay, much better than pet shop hay. A couple of examples: Hay and Straw Timothyhay.co.uk - Supplying the UK with Quailty Timothy hay
 

Katie94

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I’ve seen a lot of recommendations for hay box recently and they have a smaller sample pack you can purchase so have just ordered one to see what they think. I might start ordering if it goes down well. Unfortunately I don’t have anywhere to store bales from a farmer as they are fairly big otherwise would be a great option as you definitely get more for your money!
 

Catlyn

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Hmm.. Most people sell them singularily too, a single one migjt fit somewhere, no? The ones common over here aren't so big, i don't know about you though. You don't have to keep the whole bale together for storing either, breaking it up into containers helps with space and keeping it fresh too. Our small rooms don't allow us to keep a bale directly inside either. We pull from our bale and bring it in with a big bag so it's easier.
But if you get the hay box, i think it's still better than the shady bags at the pet store.
 
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