Why doesn’t my rabbit like to eat hay off the litter box?

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BinkyLouie

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I’ve noticed yesterday and today that louie hasn’t really wanted to go to his litter box. He did go yesterday but not like as much as he does. Usually he’ll finish the hay in the litter box but I’ve had to throw out the hay because I know he won’t want it if it has pee. It’s really weird. What should I do to make him go more often?
 

JBun

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Rabbits won't usually want to eat peed on hay unless they're starving. So try and keep the eating hay pile to a less peed on corner. Then there is always the excess hay that covers the litter that creates a softer surface over the litter and gets peed on. This excess peed on hay is part of a normal litter box set up. Which is why it's preferred for most of us to not buy expensive pet store hay, but cheaper baled hay at the farm store(though still needs to be good quality), so it doesn't matter as much if a lot of it gets peed on and wasted.


Now, there is a chance you have one of those odd picky buns that doesn't like to eat hay from the litter box :p If so, then you may need to provide a separate small hay box or bowl for your bun to eat hay out of.
 

BinkyLouie

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Rabbits won't usually want to eat peed on hay unless they're starving. So try and keep the eating hay pile to a less peed on corner. Then there is always the excess hay that covers the litter that creates a softer surface over the litter and gets peed on. This excess peed on hay is part of a normal litter box set up. Which is why it's preferred for most of us to not buy expensive pet store hay, but cheaper baled hay at the farm store(though still needs to be good quality), so it doesn't matter as much if a lot of it gets peed on and wasted.


Now, there is a chance you have one of those odd picky buns that doesn't like to eat hay from the litter box :p If so, then you may need to provide a separate small hay box or bowl for your bun to eat hay out of.
New hay should be added two times per day, directly on top of whatever is there. Large handfuls will entice him.
I’ve just cleaned it today ): I took out the hay bag today and tried to see whether he would eat it or not and he did. Enjoyed it way more than the one that was in the litter box. Also I clean the litter box everyday so that’s why I was like what???? Also I no longer feed him kaytee Timothy hay I feed him the oxbow Timothy hay and orchard hay mix. He loves it and that’s why it’s confusing to me. Hopefully he eats some later or tomorrow when I clean it out.
 

JBun

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Some buns are like that. Just very picky about how they want things.
 

BinkyLouie

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Some buns are like that. Just very picky about how they want things.
Yeah. I just went to go check on him and he’s eating it so I guess that’s an improvement. Is just rather see him eat it from the actual litter box not the one in the cage.
 

Blue eyes

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That's great he's eating it! If he's actually finishing it then not enough is being put down at one time. There should never be a time when the hay is "finished."
 

BinkyLouie

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That's great he's eating it! If he's actually finishing it then not enough is being put down at one time. There should never be a time when the hay is "finished."
The thing is that if I leave to much I’ll just have to end up throwing it out the next day. That’s why I put a good amount and if he finishes it I just put more. I just want him to finish it before I put more. I don’t wanna have to waste more hay.
 

Nancy McClelland

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I have a rack right above the litter box, which works well with ours. They can sit there and eat all the hay they want--of course I use Orchard
grass as Timothy fires up my allergies.
 

BinkyLouie

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I have a rack right above the litter box, which works well with ours. They can sit there and eat all the hay they want--of course I use Orchard
grass as Timothy fires up my allergies.
That sounds real nice. I was considering getting one for Louie but he is kind picky so I’m not sure lol Thank you!
 

Blue eyes

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The thing is that if I leave to much I’ll just have to end up throwing it out the next day. That’s why I put a good amount and if he finishes it I just put more. I just want him to finish it before I put more. I don’t wanna have to waste more hay.
No need to throw it out each day. Take a look at the maintenance of the litter box as described at the link. Just add more hay on top of the old. The old serves to soften the feel of the pellets below AND helps to keep bun paws off the moist pellets AND helps maintain the litterbox keeping the odor down below the hay. It is good to leave the old hay in place and add fresh hay on top.

One thing to know with rabbits is to expect 'wasted' hay. Rabbits love to pick through their hay for the choice pieces. If they are eating all that is given, then they are not able to pick through it but are forced to eat what is given and that means they aren't getting enough. They should always have an abundance of hay to pick through.

Remember, if you get a bale of hay, it is soooo cheap that wasted hay won't even be a thought. I spend the equivalent of less than $2 per month on hay for 2 rabbits. I add a bunch of hay that would be at least the size of a gallon milk jug. They get that amount of hay 2 or 3 times per day. So even with that much daily hay, it works out to less than $2 per month.
 

Apollo’s Slave

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I agree. The only reason that my bun had ever finished his hay was during the first lockdown when my haybox had been delayed two weeks - he spent both weeks eating the grass from our garden, which was finished so quickly, I had to refill every three hours.

I've seen bales of meadow hay being sold for £4 on Facebook marketplace. Unfortunately, I have to order my hay online, which is generally about £36 for five months' worth. It looks like you use bagged oxbow hay - that can really rack up the costs! I'd definitely recommend buying hay by the bale, from a farm, tractor supply, or online :)
 

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