There’s nothing more frustrating than getting your rabbit to eat hay. It seems like they have no appetite for it at all! But don’t worry, there are a few tricks you can use to get your bunny eating hay like a pro. This article will discuss how to get my rabbit to eat hay. Check out the tricks below and see which ones work best for your furry friend.
Rabbits are crepuscular and in the wild, which means they’re most active at dawn and dusk. In captivity, this often means times when humans aren’t around to feed them their hay.
Why Is Hay So Important?
Hay is an essential part of your rabbit’s diet because it provides the dietary fiber they need to keep their digestive system running smoothly. This benefits them by creating more accessible, more regular bowel movements. Still, it also reduces their risk for potentially fatal intestinal problems like enteroliths (a type of intestinal blockage), overgrown teeth, and hairballs.
If you give your rabbit unlimited pellets and water but no hay, you’ll likely see some significant health problems quickly.
There are all sorts of commercial hays that people offer for sale, such as timothy hay or meadow hay; however, these types aren’t ideal for rabbits because they are often cut with grass hays which can cause digestive problems and make for a deficient fiber diet.
One of the biggest benefits of providing hay is that it encourages your rabbit to eat slowly, which means that they’ll be consuming less food overall because they’re chewing it instead of inhaling it like they would if they were given pellets alone.
A Detailed Guide on How to Get My Rabbit to Eat Hay
Trick 1: Mix Up Different Types of Hay
The first thing you should do when getting your rabbit to eat hay is mix up different grass types. A good idea would be to try Timothy, alfalfa, and oat hays. Your bun may enjoy munching on one more than another, or he may like them all equally, which is always better than not eating any hay. If you are able, it might help to purchase a few types simultaneously so that the next day when you come back for more hay, you can grab another type rather than having to go through this process again.
Trick 2: Sprinkle on Top of His Veggies
A fantastic trick would be to put some hay on top of your rabbit’s veggies. There are many theories as to why this works, but most say that it has something to do with the smell or the “crunchiness” of the hay. Nevertheless, this method is worth trying if you’re having trouble getting your rabbit to eat his hay. Just remember not to overdo it; otherwise, you run the risk of them filling up more on greens than anything else, which isn’t so tasty when it comes time for their next meal!
Trick 3: Leaving It in Their Stall
This is more or less an experiment that you can try if you’re willing to take the risk. If your bunny tends to graze throughout the day, this probably isn’t for him (although it might work sometimes), but if he’s like my bun and eats all of his veggies all at once, this trick might be what he needs.
Just put his hay in the corner where his stall is at night before bedtime; make sure it doesn’t get wet if there happen to be some droppings on it towards morning (ew!), but other than that, leave it. Alone! This way, you will have access to hay all night long.
Trick 4: Hay Cubes and Treat Balls
This is another one of those tricks where you can try it for yourself to see if it works. Just fill a treat ball or a hay cube with some hay and place it in his enclosure where he can get at it whenever he pleases! This might be good for bunnies who graze throughout the day, but again, I’m not 100% sure whether this would work with my bun because he eats all of his veggies during breakfast time.
However, if your bun tends to eat all of his hay right after you give it to him, then this method should serve as an excellent way for him to have access to grass during the day when you aren’t around to help.
Trick 5: Hay Box
This is my favorite trick! How it works is that you wrap up some hay in a towel and put it somewhere in your bun’s enclosure where he can get at it whenever he wants, but not immediately after getting it.
This method has all of the benefits of leaving his hay out in the open; however, there are no risks for him choking on any pieces or rolling over onto the hay (which would make this impossible for him to get at). I like doing this because I know that he still has something to eat until I return home if anything happens while I’m gone.
Trick 6: Dipped Hay in Water
This is the trick that I always use because it’s so simple! First, you have to make some hay and dip it in water.
How much water really depends on the type of hay that you’re using (I would suggest starting with just a few drops at first), but eventually, all you need to do is take your index finger and stick it down into the package of hay until it reaches the bottom; then stick your finger into your mouth -haha- and pull out any excess (disgusting, I know, but hey, it works!).
Then, hold this piece of hay over your bun’s bowl or eating area where he usually gets his veggies during breakfast time; make sure he sees you doing this beforehand to know that it’s coming. Then, just toss it over and watch him munch away!
Tricks 7: Fresh Hay Every Day
This method is a little trickier but sometimes works, depending on the bunny. First, you take some hay and put it in your bun’s bowl right before breakfast time, making sure that he sees you doing this beforehand so he knows what to expect. How much hay depends on two things: How much pellets/veggies/fruits your rabbit gets each day How big of a fan of fresh grass your bun is In any case, I would always start with just small amounts of hay first and work my way up as needed until you find the perfect piece for him!
Trick 8: Avoid Overfeeding on other foods
This method might sound a little weird, but it’s worth trying. If your bunny is refusing to eat his hay, then instead of feeding him more veggies and fruits the last thing at night (or the end of the day in general), provide them to him RIGHT before. Breakfast time when he usually gets his hay!
This way, he has access to fresh hay all morning long and hopefully will be able to scrounge up enough for himself throughout the night. How much you should give depends on how many pellets/veggies/fruits you give your bun per day; however, if your bun is still waking up hungry during the middle of the night after you’ve tried every trick above with no success, you should probably go ahead and give him just a little bit more than what he usually gets. These tricks will help in how to get my rabbit to eat hay.
How Much Hay Should I Give My Rabbit Per Day?
The recommended amount of hay to give your rabbit daily is 2 or 3 handfuls. How much hay you should give them depends on different things. The size and weight of the rabbit and their activity level will determine how much they eat in a day. A young, small breed may only need two handfuls per day, while an older, more giant breed may need three or more.
How much hay your rabbit eats also depends on whether they are healthy and what types of grass you’re giving them. A calcium deficiency can cause an increase in appetite because the body wants to take any unused calcium from the food it doesn’t eat and store it for future use (like creating eggs).
What if Your Rabbit Refuses to Eat Pellets?
When it comes to your rabbit’s food, you want to make sure that they eat a healthy diet. This means that your rabbit should be eating hay, vegetables, and pellets.
Many rabbits won’t show signs of being hungry or thirsty other than taking a little longer at their dish for the first few bites. Sometimes rabbits will throw their dish around to say, “I’m not going to eat this.”
So it is a good idea to check the food bowl a few times a day and make sure that your rabbit is eating all of its pellets. If they aren’t, knowing how to get my rabbit to eat hay will give you some ideas on what to do next.
You can check it out to Stop a Rabbit From Eating Her Babies
We hope you have gone through the article on how to get my rabbit to eat hay. By following these simple tricks, you can help your rabbit eat hay and improve their overall health. Hay is an essential part of a healthy diet for rabbits, so they must learn to enjoy eating it. With patience and persistence, you can get your rabbit to munch on hay in no time happily!