Why Your Rabbit Isn't Eating Hay + Feeding Hay Tips & Tricks
Written by The Rabbit Hole Hay Team
New to owning a rabbit? Adding another rabbit to your family? Did your rabbit decide to just stop eating hay? No matter which stage you’re at with your rabbit, the most important thing to note is that no two rabbits are the same. One rabbit may chew on hay all day long without any issues, while another rabbit may take extra coaxing to eat their hay.
Just like humans, rabbits have their own personality and diet preferences. Learning their likes and dislikes will go a long way in helping to determine the best way to get them to eat their hay.
We know that you want to give them the proper care to ensure they stay happy and healthy, and in order to do that your little one needs to have a diet of at least 80% grass hay.
To help we’ve come up with a eight questions that will help you narrow down why your rabbit isn’t eating their hay and some tips to get them to start eating again.
Your rabbit is simply adorable, has a wonderful personality and you have a bond like no other. However, there’s one thing wrong, your furry friend won’t eat their hay! They always eat all the other greens, fruits, and pellets you leave out but the hay you leave stays untouched or they’re only picking at it and eating a little bit.
As a rabbit owner you’ve read that hay is essential for a rabbit’s diet and you want to provide the best rabbit care possible. You research ways to get your rabbit to eat their hay and you begin going through the list of tips to see how you can switch things up.
Ask Yourself These Questions
Go through the questions listed below and see if maybe the reason behind your rabbit not eating hay is because of the way you are purchasing or storing their hay.
Question #1: Is the Hay You Order Fresh?
Just like humans, rabbits don’t like to eat food that isn’t fresh. Make sure that the hay you are ordering looks green, has a nice smell to it, and isn’t full of dried out strands.
Question #2: Are You Buying Quality Hay?
Buying high quality hay is important in ensuring that you rabbit gets the best hay available. Purchasing high quality hay will help to make sure you are receiving farm fresh hay and not dried out bales of hay that have been sitting on a shelf for 6 months or hay that has been dyed green to look fresh.
Question #3: What Type of Hay Are You Purchasing?
Purchasing the right type of hay is just as important as making sure you are purchasing fresh, high quality hay. A rabbit’s diet needs to be made up of 80% grass hay in order to keep their digestive system working properly. The best kind of grass hays for your rabbit are Timothy Hay, Orchard Grass, or Mountain Grass. You can try purchasing different types of grass hay (check out our Sample Pack!) to see if something new will get your rabbit interested again.
While purchasing fresh, high quality hay is important, you also have to consider the age of your rabbit when purchasing their hay. Grass hays are crucial for adult rabbits, but if your rabbit is under 7 months then you need to also be feeding them Alfalfa Hay to make sure they grow up happy and healthy.
Question #5: Where Are You Placing Your Rabbit’s Hay?
Are you placing your rabbit’s hay only in their hutch/cage? It’s known that rabbits like to eat while going to the bathroom. Try placing some in their litter box too!
Question #6: How Much of the Hay Are You Giving to Your Rabbit at Once?
Are you placing all of their hay for the week in their hutch/cage? While you want to give them a sizable portion for the day, you don’t want to give them too much. If they are leaving hay uneaten then it can go bad just sitting in their hutch/cage for prolonged periods of time.
Hay is an all natural product (think of it like produce). If it’s not stored correctly then it can go bad quicker than normal. Making sure you store it the right way will ensure that your hay lasts and stays fresher longer.
Question #8: How Often Should You Replenish Your Rabbit’s Hay?
Make sure you are checking your rabbit’s hay supply on a regular basis. Giving them fresh hay when you notice their supply is low and switching out their old hay for fresh is the best way to go.
The answer to any of the questions above could be the reason your rabbit isn’t eating their hay. See if following along with the suggestions mentioned in each has your rabbit eating their hay again.
If they still aren’t wanting to eat their hay, a visit to the vet to make sure there aren’t any other underlying issues making them not want to eat their hay is vital!
Know what type of hay to purchase for your little one? Find it in our store and get it shipped straight to your door! Not sure what type of hay to purchase? We have samples of all our hays so your little one can try as many as they want!