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I absolutely completely understand that Rabbits must have an intake of around 80% (or more) of hay in his diet. I have tried multiple times and I am beginning to wonder if he even knows how to eat the hay.

He isn't my rabbit, but my mother's. I'm going to be very blunt here but she is the type of person who will get a pet onsite without researching anything into it. In her eyes, a rabbit is an easy peasy animal. All she feeds him is pellets. Unhealthy dried bits of corn, etc pellets.

It is excruciatingly frustrating telling her about how important it is, but all she has to say is she pities the poor rabbit for me trying to only feed him hay and questions why there are pellets for rabbits in the first place. Sigh. I just feel so hopeless and frustrated. She may as well view him as a dog. "Give him so pellets and he'll be fine."

So, now that you know what's kind of the main issue here, I want to encourage and wean off the pellets but also if my rabbit did forget, how do I provide/appetize the hay to him?

  • It is a myth, that 80% of diet should be hay... Rabbits are Herbivore (means they eat veggie) and in this class they are Folivore (means they eat a lot of herbs and a little grass). Hay misses especially water and vitamin and is a poor replacement for fresh green herbs, leafs and grass. For pellets see this question – Allerleirauh May 7 '19 at 5:55
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Some rabbits are frustratingly picky about hay. What kind are you feeding him? Second cut timothy hay is really fragrant and sweet, which might tempt him. You can also try orchard grass, oat hay or meadow hay. Oxbow sells a "botanical" hay that's pretty appetizing and worth a shot if you haven't tried it already. If he's fond of any kind of herbs or greens, like parsley or basil, you could try mixing a bit of hay with that or a tiny handful of alfalfa hay. If he likes fruit, you could try slicing a fresh piece and dripping a bit of juice onto the hay to tempt him that way.

If all else fails, get his teeth checked by a vet. Sometimes they'll refuse food because their teeth have grown too much to eat some things comfortably and need a trim.

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  • +1 Good answer, though I normally would not suggest fruit juice or anything sugary. While the amount you suggest is fine, if taken to excess it can be problematic. – James Jenkins Nov 24 '15 at 9:59

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