As soon as you start delving a little deeper into the subject of feeding hay to small pets, it won’t take long before you hear about 2nd cut timothy hay for rabbits. But what does this actually mean – if anything – to you as a rabbit owner? Well, seeing as here at Small Pet Select, hay is our life, we’ll attempt to throw some light on the subject.
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What is 2nd cut timothy hay?
2nd cut timothy hay for rabbits is as simple as this; it’s the second cut of the year of grass grown specifically to produce hay. This takes place at the end of the summer, as opposed to the first cutting that takes place at the beginning of the summer.
Nutritional quality of 2nd cut timothy hay for rabbits
Now, being as hay is simply dried grass, the time of year in which it grows does have some input on the nutritional quality of the hay. And in the case of 2nd cutting timothy hay for rabbits is that it has a slightly lower fiber content and slightly higher protein content than 1st cut hay.
Chippy Loving His New Box Of Timothy Hay
The other major difference is the texture and feel of the hay. Whereas 1st cut hay is pretty hard and coarse, 2nd cut timothy hay for rabbits tends to be much softer and leafier.
Why feed 2nd cutting timothy hay for rabbits?
On first glance, it might then appear that the 1st cut would be better for rabbits because it has more fiber. So why does Small Pet Select sell 2nd cut timothy hay for rabbits?
Well, the reasons are simple. Firstly, and in no order of importance, the softer texture of the hay means that your rabbit is far less likely to be poked in the eye with a stalk (as often happens with 1st cut hay) and cause an injury.
The second reason – and perhaps it is because of the extra softness – we’ve found that the majority of rabbits and small pets actively like this second cut hay far more. And even though it might have a slightly lower fiber content, because they prefer it and therefore eat more in quantity, they actually get more fiber in their diet from eating second cut hay.
And as we all know, fiber – and lots of it – is essential to keep your rabbit in the best of health. So the more they eat, the better. And being as rabbits don’t only eat their hay, but burrow through it, make nests in it and generally treat it as a plaything as well as a foodstuff, both these reasons are as important as each other.
Hopefully this has made the issue of 2nd cutting timothy hay for rabbits a little clearer, and explained the reason why, in the main, this is the preferred kind of hay that small pets like to eat.
Till next time, love those rabbits…