When would you stop feeding Alfalfa hay?

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by ac11045, Feb 15, 2018.

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  1. Feb 15, 2018 #1

    ac11045

    ac11045

    ac11045

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    I am getting a new rabbit and he's 9 months old and his owner is still giving him Alfalfa hay is that ok? What should I do? If anything
     
  2. Feb 15, 2018 #2

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

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    If he's a large breed, i.e. Flemish or Checkered Giant, you give them alfalfa til 1 year as they have a longer growth time--the rest of the normal size and smaller only til 6 months. Our Checkered Giant was 19lb6oz at a year and our avatar was 3.2 at 6 months and grew no more.
     
  3. Feb 15, 2018 #3

    ac11045

    ac11045

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    He's a mini rex
     
  4. Feb 16, 2018 #4

    JBun

    JBun

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    I would stop the alfalfa and switch him to a grass hay like timothy, orchard, etc, that you free feed(never let it run out). He doesn't need all of the extra protein and calcium that alfalfa hay has, plus the excess calcium can sometimes cause health issues.

    You will need to monitor his hay consumption. Rabbits fed alfalfa hay can become a bit picky because it tastes really good to them, and they often don't transfer onto grass hay very well after switching off the alfalfa. If he doesn't eat the grass hay that first day, you may have to try the transition slower by mixing alfalfa hay with the grass hay and gradually decreasing the amount of alfalfa each day for a few weeks until you are able to phase it out completely. Keep a close eye on his poop to make sure it doesn't get too small. If he refuses to eat the grass hay while you phase out the alfalfa, he won't be getting enough fiber which will cause a gut slowdown(which is never good), and you might need to try a different tactic.
     
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  5. Feb 19, 2018 #5

    lavendertealatte

    lavendertealatte

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    Hi JBun, how old do you think is the ideal age to transition?
     
  6. Feb 20, 2018 #6

    Aki

    Aki

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    :yeahthat:

    I never give alfalfa hay to anyone because of those issues - I'm really wary of the extra calcium as it can cause a lot of urinary issues. Rabbits fed a healthy balanced diet of vegetables, pellets and regular grass hay grow perfectly well without it. But if you absolutely want to give it, I guess I'd say stop around 6 months old for small breeds like yours as the growth is mainly over by then and rabbits don't really assimilate calcium after that.
     

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