Do you ever go to refill your rabbit’s hay pile and find you don’t need to? If you know how important Timothy hay is for a rabbit’s health then this may worry you.
Of course, you can’t force-feed your rabbit. All you can do is provide your rabbit with a hay pile that they want to eat. Make it so good they think it was their idea.
Imagine an irresistible pile of high-quality hay, with a couple of surprises thrown in there.
Yep! Once you have high-quality hay there are some little tweaks and treats that help get your rabbit excited about hay again.
Check out Sara's video on YouTube for more tips on how to get your rabbit to eat more Timothy hay!
Your Rabbit Knows Where You Got Your Hay
For a lot of rabbits, quality is all they need. Keep their hay pile fresh, fragrant, and full of the nutrients they thrive on.
You do this by finding a source that knows what high-quality hay is! Trust me, you can’t fool a rabbit.
Always make sure that fresh hay is available for your rabbit whenever they want it.
Rabbits are particular about their hay. I’m sure you can relate. You don’t like to eat just anything. When you have really good food around, you eat more of it!
Now there are some buns who are just picky eaters! If you have high-quality timothy hay and your rabbit still isn’t eating enough of it, you may need to get creative. But don’t worry, we have plenty of ideas for you.
Herbal blends take a variety of dried whole foods and mix them together. You can then take this and sprinkle it on top of your hay pile.
Kids love ice cream. But they love it even more with sprinkles on top. Rabbits work in similar ways!
There are a lot of different types of blends and herbs that you can try. By providing this variety your rabbit is getting a wider range of nutrients and a wider range of flavors.
Adding herbal blends to their hay encourages natural foraging behavior.
We’ve tried it and we can report that this entices rabbits to eat the hay in the pile too! Sometimes you just need a little something extra to get them excited enough to hop on over to the hay.
Timothy Hay Cubes
Hay cubes are just what they sound like. Hay shaped like cubes! Hay cubes give your rabbit hay in a different form with a new texture and crunch.
These are perfect because your rabbit thinks they are eating a treat but their stomach is getting nothing but the very best food for them!
You can hide hay cubes in the hay pile as well! It won’t be long until your rabbit learns that the hay pile is a fun place to hang out.
Madison B. | Review of Timothy hay cubes
My bunny loves to chew.
My bunny loves to chew on everything so this satisfies his chewing urges. He also is not the best hay eater so this helps encourage him a lot.
Healthy snackers take the idea of hay cubes and add a little something extra. These are made with just a touch of dried fruit.
This gives your rabbit a little sweetness to go with their hay. It works just like ketchup. Again, the buns are kids!
These are even more enticing when it comes to foraging! I’m not sure I’ve seen a rabbit turn their nose up at these.
Where Are You Putting Your Timothy Hay?
The setup of your rabbit's enclosure can also affect how much timothy hay they eat. For example, a lot of rabbits like to eat while they poop!
Putting a pile of hay in the front of their litter box encourages them to eat more hay... and it also encourages them to use the litter box more.
Some rabbits like to pull their hay. This is similar to what a rabbit would do when foraging outside. These rabbits might like a hay manger.
Hay mangers also help keep your hay contained and your rabbit's house tidy.
3rd Cutting Timothy Hay
Some of the pickiest eaters have a hard time with 1st and 2nd cutting Timothy hay. 1st and 2nd cutting Timothy hay are the hardest to chew and they have the most stems.
While 3rd cutting Timothy hay is the softest and has more leaves. 3rd Cutting Timothy Hay has a higher fat content and a lower fiber content.
It’s not the ideal ratio for adult rabbits. But it can be very helpful for picky rabbits or even senior rabbits who don’t have the energy to chew the tougher hay all day.
Sometimes 3rd cutting helps to get a rabbit interested in hay and then they can later transition to 2nd cutting.
Orchard and Alfalfa Hay
Timothy hay gets a lot of attention and that’s for good reason! It’s usually the best choice. For a one-size-fits-all approach Timothy hay works well.
But did you know that orchard hay does the fiber job just as well as Timothy hay? Orchard hay is grass hay and it is often softer than most cuttings of Timothy hay.
Alfalfa hay is usually used for young rabbits due to its high-fat content. But it can also be used as a hay topper similar to the herbal blends. Mixing some alfalfa in with their other hay can make the whole pile more tempting.
Alfalfa hay has a richer taste but don’t switch your adult rabbit over to just alfalfa hay. Alfalfa hay doesn’t have enough fiber for them.
More Timothy Hay = More Fiber
Feeding alfalfa hay or low fiber foods would defeat the purpose of the mission. The reason you need your rabbit to eat more Timothy hay is so they get enough fiber. Fiber keeps their digestive system moving as it should, which keeps your rabbit moving as they should!