NEED HELP? CALL

530-763-6900

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Q) What is the difference between all the different types and cuts of hay? 

A. First Cut Timothy Hay is known for its high fiber and low protein, making it a great food source for adult rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas. The seeds for Timothy Hay are planted in the springtime. The hay is then harvested (or cut) for the first time around May or June, which is why it’s called First Cut Timothy Hay. It contains larger seed heads, leaves, and stems making it coarser than the two later cuts. It’s a great choice to maintain healthy teeth and digestion.

Second Cut Timothy Hay is known being a softer hay with its long thin stems, short seed heads, and broad flat leaves making it easier for rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas to eat. After the first seasonal harvest of Timothy Hay, the hay regrows softer and is harvested again as Second Cut (typically harvested in late summer). Second Cut Timothy Hay is also high in fiber and low in protein making it a great choice for your small pet’s dental health and digestive system particularly if they are aging and need softer hay.

Third Cut Timothy Hay is rare and even softer than Second Cut Timothy Hay, with high fiber and low protein. Depending on the weather and growing season, Third Cut is typically harvested in early fall (if possible). Third Cut Timothy Hay has even fewer stems, lots of leaves, and almost no seed heads making it super soft and easier for rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas to eat (especially the picky ones!). It’s good for small pets that have soft or weak teeth which makes it hard for them to eat the more coarse types of hay. Third Cut Timothy Hay offers all the nutrients and fiber that are required for digestive health, but due to its softness it doesn’t cover dental health. Therefore, we recommend investing in chew toys, such as Apple Sticks, or mixing in some coarse hay such as Coarse Orchard or First Cut Timothy to maintain healthy teeth.

Soft Orchard Grass is known for being the softest hay that we carry. For pets and owners who are allergic to Timothy Hay, Orchard Grass can be a great alternative. Orchard Grass is great for digestive health and can be fed free-choice to your rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas. Soft Orchard Grass has long soft grass blades, minimal seed heads and fewer stalks than other types of hay. Due to its softness, we recommend investing in chew toys or supplementing their diet with a little coarse hay to keep their teeth in good health.

Coarse Orchard Grass is very similar to First Cut Timothy Hay and its known for its large seed heads and more fibrous leaves and stems. For pets and owners who are allergic to Timothy Hay, Orchard Grass can be a great alternative. Orchard Grass can be fed free-choice to your rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas. Coarse Orchard Grass provides long strands that promote natural chewing behavior. It holds a great balance of roughage and nutrition to benefit both dental and digestive health.

Alfalfa Hay is full of protein and nutrients, making it perfect for growing rabbits between the ages of 3 weeks and 7 months. Alfalfa Hay has a thicker stem and lots of elliptical leaves compared to the long thin leaves found on grass hays. Mature rabbits can only eat a limited amount of Alfalfa due to the high levels of protein and calcium. Adult rabbits also require more fiber than alfalfa can provide to maintain healthy digestion. Transition your 7 month old rabbit off of Alfalfa Hay and onto a grass hay (such as Timothy or Orchard).

Mountain Grass is high in fiber and low in protein and calcium content, ideal for keeping the digestive tracts of rabbits and other small animals functioning properly. It's made up of a variety of wild grasses that grow in a mountain meadow. Mountain Grass contains a variety of textures and colors, which your small pet will enjoy. Typically it has leaves that are fine and coarse in texture with almost no stems. It's known for being a grass hay that wild rabbits would naturally feed on with an added benefit of being coarse enough to wear down their teeth.

 

2. Q) How much should I feed my rabbit?

A. Baby Rabbits (Birth to Eight Weeks)
Baby Rabbits, or kits, between birth and three weeks old should be fed solely on their mother’s milk. By three to seven weeks of age, rabbits should still feed on the mother’s milk as well as very small helping of Alfalfa Hay and Pellets. When rabbits are about seven weeks old, they should have access to unlimited Alfalfa Hay and Pellets. Kits are usually weaned from their mother’s milk by eight weeks of age, depending on the breed.

Juveniles (Eight Weeks to Seven Months)
Between weaning and seven months of age, the juvenile rabbit can have an unlimited amount of Pellets and Alfalfa Hay. At three months of age, start introducing small amounts of vegetables into your rabbit's diet. Introduce one vegetable at a time, if any vegetable seems to cause digestive problems, avoid feeding it in the future.

Young Adults (Seven Months to One Year)
Young adults (seven months to one year old) should feed mainly on Timothy Hay. Timothy Hay is extremely important for rabbits at this age because it keeps the rabbit healthy and at the right weight. At this time in their life they should be eating fewer pellets (½ cup of pellets per every six pounds of rabbit’s body weight daily). Because of the decrease in pellets, along with the unlimited Timothy Hay you can increase the amount of vegetables to make up the loss in nutrition. Fruits can be given, but no more than 1-2 ounces (2-4 tablespoons) per every six pounds of body weight daily.

Mature Adults (One to Five Years)
By the time rabbits reach one year old, they should be fed an unlimited supply of Timothy or grass hay. You should decrease the amount of pellets to be ¼ cup per every six pounds of body weight daily. As vegetables are introduced and after your rabbit has deemed them tolerable, you should feed them 2 cups per every six pounds of body weight daily. Fruits can be given sparingly (a max of 2 tablespoons per every six pounds of body weight daily).

Seniors (Six Years and Older)
Senior rabbits can be fed the same as mature adults but keep an eye on their weight. If they begin to have weight loss issues and can’t maintain their weight, you can increase the amount of pellets they have. Alfalfa Hay can also be given to underweight rabbits in order for them to gain weight, but only if their calcium levels are normal. To determine senior’s calcium levels and other components of their blood it’s recommended that they receive annual blood workups.

To help you out further we have put together a simple feeding calculator, that will help you figure out how much hay, pellets, veggies and treats to feed your rabbit.

 

3. Q) Do you have good quality x in stock right now?

A. We monitor our inventory carefully, so if we don’t have what you are looking for in stock, we will not allow you to purchase it. Our goal is to have your product to your doorstep within no more than 5 business days of your order. We do our best to keep everything in stock, but some products, like the Third Cut Timothy Hay, are outside our control. Some years, a third harvest of Timothy Hay isn't available. 

 

4. Q) My rabbit won’t eat any hay, what should I do?

A. Rabbits should have fresh hay available 24 hours a day. Hay should make up 80-90% of a bunny’s diet because it’s rich in fiber and provides the roughage that helps reduce the danger of hairballs and other blockages. Hay also helps maintain the length of their continuously growing teeth–if uncomfortable chewing is an issue, a visit to the vet is mandatory. If this isn’t the problem, try feeding her in her favorite areas––like her litter box or the couch, as she may only want to eat there. If that doesn’t work, have her play! There are many rabbit-safe toys on the market that are designed to help encourage play and eating that might help you turn the corner. Sometimes, especially if you haven’t always fed your rabbit the best diet they will take time to acclimate to their new diet. Stick with it, and try to not give back in to their old unhealthy diet. Many rabbits are stubborn, but hunger generally rules the day.

You should also check the hay you purchase. Large scale providers do not hand-pack hay, and it’s typically shipped many times before it gets to you, and can arrive damaged. Rabbits will usually not eat powdered hay and will search through it to find larger strands. This is why it is important to get the best quality hay affordable, which is dust-free/sweet smelling/slightly green with long strands. You should also try a variety of hays to find which one your furry friend will enjoy most. You can flavor the hay by adding things like sage, rosemary, basil, parsley, peppermint and cilantro. Rub the hay and one of the additives to release the oils––remember that a little goes a long way. If this doesn’t seem to work, look to see if the rabbit is more focused on other tasty food and treats, and reduce those to redirect them.

If the issue persists, your bunny may be ill. If you don’t find stool in her litter box, or you find diarrhea, take her to the vet (the one who does her annual checkups) and go over stats and symptoms. NEVER try home remedies on a (potentially) sick bunny, unless recommended by your vet. Waiting for remedies to work will give your vet less time to help your rabbit.

It’s important to know that rabbits have difficulty passing gas; if you feed your bunny foods that cause gas, she might be in pain. If you spot her hunched over and looks like she is trying to press her belly to the floor, then she might have gas pains. You can speak with your vet to see how to help relieve her pains so she can eat again.

 

5. Q) I received dusty, dirty, brown etc. hay what do I do?

A. First of all, it is important to remember that the products we sell are direct from the farmers, and the quality varies based on weather patterns, including drought some years and an overage of rain others! Having said that, if you have received hay that you are dissatisfied with, please email support@rabbitholehay.com and let us know. You can also take a look at our shipping and returns page. We will do whatever we can to ensure you are pleased with our product.

 

6. Q) I received a dead, mouse, rat, bird in my hay, what do I do?

A. Yikes! We apologize! Throw the offending hay away and let us know so we can send you a replacement!

If you are curious how this happened, the simple answer is that we receive our hay in 100 pound bales directly from the farm and break it up to provide you with the amount that you ordered. While we try to make sure this doesn’t happen, occasionally in our larger boxes, something like this sneaks by. At least you know it came straight from the farm! Oh, and sorry again.

 

7. Q) Why should I buy this paper bedding?

A. Our food grade paper bedding is super absorbent and has quick action odor protection. Because it is super absorbent, it can last much longer than other beddings including, shredded newsprint, wood shavings or clay based litters (please never use clay based litters with your small pets, they can be extremely dangerous). Did you know that our paper bedding can absorb 6 times its own weight?!

If you worry about the environmental effect of the bedding, you can relax because the bedding is tested dioxin free! It’s 100% environmentally friendly, and FDA approved food grade virgin paper! Now that’s a deal! You no longer have to worry if your small pet nibbles or consumes it because it’s safe for them to ingest.

What could be better than environmentally safe bedding? Comfort! It’s soft and gentle, and is resistant to matting. So, when they snuggle up and dream of the dance of the Timothy Hay Fairies, they will not wake up due to a clump causing discomfort.

Additionally, they won’t be disturbed by dust from sand, dirt, or grit because there is none! The bedding is 99.9% dust free, something that you cannot expect with other beddings.