Feeding 1st Cut Timothy Hay to your Rabbit
Now, one of the first things we learn about feeding our rabbits is that hay is the most important aspect of their diet. However, hay is not just hay – and all hay’s are not the most suitable for your small pet. So, we at Small Pet Select – being a little obsessed about hay for rabbits and small pets – do our best to make a tricky subject just that little bit easier to understand. And this article is about 1st cut timothy hay for rabbits.
What is 1st cut timothy hay?
Well, the clue’s in the name, as 1st cut timothy hay for rabbits is simply the first cutting of the season.
Hay is, after all, simply dried grass. Grass grows at its strongest during the spring and early summer. And the first harvest takes place at the beginning of the summer – creating this first cut.
Nutritional quality of 1st cut timothy hay for rabbits
First cutting hay tends to be somewhat harder in texture than the subsequent cuts. This is because the stems are larger and coarser, as well as being less leafy than 2nd or 3rd cuts.
The 1st cutting of timothy hay for rabbits is higher in fiber and lower in protein than the second cut.
Good points and bad points about 1st cut timothy hay for rabbits
Probably the biggest issue about feeding first cut hay to your small pets is the hardness and coarseness. Bearing in mind that our rabbits don’t just eat the hay, but burrow through it, sleep in it and play in it, it’s not surprising that there’s been many a report about this hay poking them in the eye and causing irritation and/or injury.
Some rabbits are just not that keen on eating first cut hay, although nutritionally it’s fine for them to eat. But being as we need to ensure that our rabbits eat enough hay, and that most rabbits and small pets seem to prefer the second cut, this is why Small Pet Select currently sell 2nd cut timothy hay for rabbits and small pets.
Of course, we’re not saying that it’s wrong to feed 1st cut timothy hay to your rabbits, because the nutritional content is good. And if you feed first cut to your pets and they enjoy it then that’s great. Our goal is to keep rabbit and small pet owners informed about the importance of grass hay consumption for their pets, and how vital it is to only feed the best quality that you can get your hands on. And this is regardless of the type or cutting.
Till next time, love those rabbits…