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FAQ

1. Q) What is the difference between all the cuts? 

A. 1st Cut Timothy Hay: The first cutting of timothy hay yields the most hay from the crop and has more large seed heads compared to second and third cuts. It has a lower protein level and it tends to be coarser than later cuts. First cut timothy hay is an important staple of your rabbit’s diet because it helps wear down your rabbit’s teeth. It also provides the long strand fiber that helps keep your rabbit’s digestion regular and functioning properly. 

2nd Cut Timothy Hay: Second and third cut timothy hay are simply the harvest of hay that has regrown during the year after the first cut. Depending on the growing season first cut is harvested in the late spring, and second cut is harvested in the late summer. Second cut timothy hay is easier for rabbits to eat because it is softer than first cut. It has fewer stems and larger leaves compared to the first cut. It has a slightly higher protein and slightly lower fiber than first cut. Second cut timothy hay is still a great choice for your rabbit particularly if they are aging and need softer hay.

3rd Cut Timothy Hay: Depending on the growing season first cut is harvested in the late spring, and second cut is harvested in the late summer. Sometimes a third cut is possible in the early fall. Third cut timothy hay has even fewer stems and lots of leaves. There are almost no seed heads. It is super soft, so it is easy to eat for any rabbit. With each cutting of the hay, the protein gets slightly higher and the fiber gets slightly lower. We often times refer to third cut timothy hay as a “treat”. It can be fed as the primary source of hay for your pet, however, most pets need more fiber than third cutting hay can provide.

Alfalfa Hay: Alfalfa is high in minerals like calcium as well as high in protein, however it does not have enough fiber to maintain the digestion of a healthy adult rabbit. It has lots of very small leaves and a course texture than most grasses, this is because it is not a grass but a bean stock.  It is known to be a warmer weather crop and it offers the best nutrition to baby rabbits. This is the ideal for younger, growing rabbits between the age of 3 weeks and 7 months as it will help them build to a healthy weight.  Because of the rich nature of this product it can be hard to ween a rabbit off of it and on to grass hays. 

Orchard Grass: Orchard is high in fiber and low in protein. It is a soft grass hay similar to second cut timothy hay. It is a great alternative to Timothy Hay (especially if your rabbit or you are allergic to Timothy Hay). Rabbits and other small animals do need coarse feed to help wear down their teeth, so a mix of Timothy Hay and Orchard Grass will aid in good dental health.

 

2. Q) How much hay is in a pound, (…or five, …or ten, …or forty)

A. We usually get this question when a new customer is trying to figure out how much to purchase.  First let me try to explain roughly how much by volume hay is:

Quarter Pound: (our smallest size). This amount can easily fit into a 1 gallon zip top bag, without compression. This is perfect for a sample for one or two rabbits. It should feed an average sized rabbit for a day or two.  In short, this size is perfect to give us a try.

3/4 Pound: This can best be described as being roughly the size of a basketball. This should feed an average rabbit for a less than a week. You might be asking yourself why 3/4 of a pound, why not a full pound. The answer is it all comes down to shipping. If we ship 3/4 of a pound in a box, the total weight comes in just shy of a pound and costs about $4.50 to ship. One pound of hay with the box comes in at roughly 1.5 pounds which costs an astonishing $8.00 to ship. In order to be most price competitive, we are offering 3/4 of a pound.

5, 10, 20 and 40 pounds: We really struggled to come up with the best way to show these sizes and landed on this: for context purposes only, our 32-gallon shop trash can fits roughly 10 pounds of hay. This of course means that 5 pounds is roughly half full, 20 pounds is two full cans, and of course 40 is roughly 4 full cans. 5 pounds should feed one average adult rabbit for 3 to 4 weeks.

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) How much should I feed my rabbit?

Baby rabbits: A baby rabbit, or kit, feeds solely on its mother's milk for about the first three weeks. During the first few days, the milk contains high levels of antibodies that help protect the kit from disease. After three weeks, the kit will begin nibbling on alfalfa hay and pellets. By 7 weeks of age, baby rabbits can handle unlimited access to pellets and alfalfa hay in addition to mother's milk. Kits are usually weaned from their mother's milk by 8 weeks of age, depending on the breed.

Juveniles: Between weaning and 7 months of age, the young rabbit can have an unlimited amount of pellets and alfalfa hay. At 3 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: Young adult rabbits from age 7 months to 1 year should be introduced to timothy and grass hays, and it should be available all-day long. The fiber in the hay is essential for their digestive systems to work properly. At this point, they will require little alfalfa hay, as well as fewer pellets. Instead of offering unlimited pellets, a good rule of thumb is 1/2 cup of pellets per 6 lbs. of body weight daily. To make up for the nutritional loss, you must increase your rabbit's intake of vegetables and hay. You can feed your rabbit some fruits during this stage, but because of calories, limit them to no more than 1-2 ounces per 6 pounds of body weight daily.

Mature adults: Mature adult rabbits should be fed unlimited timothy, grass hay, and oat hay. Once again, you should reduce the pellet portion of the diet. A standard guideline is 1/4 cup of pellets per 6 lbs. of body weight per day. Several servings of vegetables are required (2 cups per 6 pounds of body weight daily)

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.

 

4. 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 3rd cutting Timothy Hay, are outside our control. Some years there isn’t a third cutting available. 

 

5. 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 usually will 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.

 

6. 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 jason@rabbitholehay.com and let me know. I will do whatever I can to ensure you are pleased with our product.

 

7. 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 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.

 

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

A. Our 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 news print, 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! With that, you could technically eat the bedding, but we don’t know how pleasant that would taste.

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.