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My rabbit loves her pellets. But when I ration them to her correct daily portion according to her weight, she starts to chew everything because she is hungry. She constantly has timothy hay, a mix of both green and brown, both of which she hardly touches. I change her hay everyday so it's not stale, but I don't know what to do. She won't really touch it. But when I give her the pellets, she doesn't even wait for me to put the bowl on the ground, she eats it out of the scoop and almost empties the bowl in a matter of minutes. I feel bad and always end up giving her more pellets, but I know she's not supposed to have too much. I don't know how to get her to eat her hay? I've tried putting the hay everywhere and in different toys, but she wont touch it, it just sits there. help?
I thought timothy hay was the best for rabbits? I thought the other hays were too high in calories and fat or something. Also, green timothy hay is just newer and brown is cheaper because it's not the best quality? She used to eat brown hay all the time at the shelter she was at, but she won't eat either now.
Answer: Hay isn't created equally, this is true.
But rabbits can eat all sorts of hay, there is no 'best hay' for anything. It's whatever the animal wants to eat.
The only hay you shouldn't feed them is hay that has been exposed to rain or water, it's called 'mulch hay'.
You can even feed them straw, but of course this would just be filler because I don't believe there's anything actually viable concerning nutrients.
I buy hay bales locally from farmers, I prefer oat and clover. Timothy is commonly over priced, although it's good.. it's not /that/ good in my opinion.
The brown hay is called First Cut Hay, while the green hay is Second Cut or Third Cut. It depends on where you live, in my state (Maine, USA) you're very lucky to get Second Cut because our growing season is so short. There is nothing wrong with First Cut, Second cut has a higher protein content from what I understand, most rabbits like First Cut better (in my experiences).
But if she's not eating her hay, then try unlimited pellets unless she's really getting fat.
Usually rabbits are pretty good about not overeating, unless something happened and they have this mentality they might not get food again for a while. Then they tend to stuff their faces. People say 1/2 cup for every 5 lbs, but usually the bag of feed tells you the best feeding instructions (although, I don't go by them).
Honestly, there's just some days my rabbits won't touch their hay. I don't really understand it, but I just leave it in there and let them have at it later on. There's nothing wrong with the hay, they just don't feel like it for some reason. But they'll eat the pellets just fine and then the hay later on.
You might want to look at the hay, to check first if there's any potential mold on the hay.
If not, have a feel of her belly. It should feel like dough, like soft silly putty. If her stomach isn't like this, you might want to take a guess that she's a bit gassy and treat her with Baby Gas Drops.
If she's fine, consider looking at her poo. Is it dry or a little moist looking? Is she hydrated enough? Some rabbits won't eat hay if they're thirsty.
Or, it could be you just have a picky bun.
Just keep offering the hay to her, if you bought the hay from a pet store. Take it back and ask for an exchange, if she's seriously not even nibbling it then there could be something generally wrong with the pet store hay. When I bought pet store hay, I only trusted the green bag stuff (I honestly don't remember the name) or Oxbow hay.
If you buy from a local feed store or a barn, call them up and tell them what's happening and ask if there's something you can do. They might offer you a new bale for the rest of the old hay back or offer a discount on another bale, if they don't then you should find a different place to get hay. Same goes for the pet store.
I hope this helps at all.
Sorry.. I know this sounds like a question I should know already but I don't. I don't have my own horse yet and am still learning. And yes I did a little searching online and still am.
I see people keep hay out for quite a long time and that sparked a few questions...
-Do you have to wait till hay is no longer green to start feeding?
-How long can hay sit outside without spoiling? Does temperature effect that (it gets VERY hot here...)?
-If it rains or gets wet, do you have to toss it all out?
-When people talk about the cost of hay, do they mean one rectangular bale?
-What is one flake?
-What are the qualities of different hay (for example, I know alfalfa is rich and shouldn't be the only thing a horse eats)?
-When should a horse only eat hay, and when should you add grain/feed?
Lots of questions. Like I said I'm do some reading on this myself.
Answer: - Hay can be fed the day that it's baled. A lot of horses actually prefer the greener looking hay.
- As long as it's not getting rained on, hay can stay outside as long as you want. Temperature doesn't really effect the hay, it's more about wetness.
- Most people choose to just throw out the bales that got wet instead of risking any of the bale being moldy when they feed it.
- The cost is usually calculated per bale. So, say someone says hay is $5. That means $5 per bale.
- Whenever the hay is baled, it gets pushed in in sections. So, when the twine is cut, it comes apart in sections, too. Those sections are flakes.
- I'm not an expert in types of hay, but I did find you a link.
- As for which a horse should it, it really depends on the individual horse. Depending on the horse's metabolism, workload, and other factors; every horse needs a different feeding regiment. Some horses can thrive off of just a couple flakes of hay per day. Other horses need pounds of grain in combination with their hay.
I've just gotten a 7 yr old QH mare. I'm boarding her out.Not cheap. She is let out in the day and put in at night. The hay that the owner keeps outside for our mare and another mare was fresh when I first went there. Now its been thru a couple of rainstorms and is almost black looking. I've complained to the owner who says "after this hay is gone, the horses are fed in their stalls and because of the high price of hay, I will not be putting out anymore. THATS fine with me, but won't this hay make my horse sick? The owner says 'No, it's "festus" WTF is THAT??? I'm worried, any ideas?
Answer: Hay left to long in the rain will rot, and black hay is definitely rotten. This is a huge no-no, horses can die eating moldy hay. Read up about how to feel and smell when hay is good and when it's rotten, and then inform the owner of the barn on your findings.
Your paying good money to have him take care of your horse, and he's not doing a very good job of it. If he can't get more hay he needs to take the hay out of the pasture so the horses don't eat it. I would suggest moving your horse to a place where the people know a little more about horses, or really keeping a close watch on what the owner does
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