Types of Rabbit Hay & Grass

Hay & Grass for Optimum Rabbit Health

The main diet ingredient for every single rabbit ever born is fresh grass and hay, (dried grass). The high fibre content in grass is essential and the single most important thing in maintaining optimum intestinal and dental health in all rabbits. Without this crucial fibre, a rabbit’s digestive system will not function properly. The movement of food through the gut will slow down, causing all manner of illnesses and, more often than not, can lead to an early death. The crucial fibre in hay/grass is also essential for the dental health of rabbits. Rabbit’s teeth grow all the time and need the chewing action of course substances to wear down teeth to stop them becoming painfully long. If teeth do get too long it can inhibit a rabbit’s ability to eat, swallow and groom themselves, all of which are essential functions for any rabbit.

A Closer Look at Grass

Hay is just dry grass, so why not just feed rabbits grass?

The large quantity of grass a rabbit needs to eat every day, to meet all of their needs, is not usually practical in a domestic environment.

There could be a few reasons for this.

Some rabbit owners…

  • don’t let their rabbit’s outside for safety reasons, (high predator risk, dangerous terrain etc).
  • don’t have a garden or yard, (live in a high rise or flat etc).
  • have other pets that prevent a rabbit from going outside without getting stressed.
  • supervised outside grazing for long lengths of time is not always possible.
  • their garden or yard is not secure.
  • plants within the garden are not rabbit safe.

The solution to these issues (and others), is to supplement or entirely substitute, fresh grass with hay. The benefits of hay are tenfold including the fact that hay is always available from good stores and is very easily stored.

Rabbits Eat A Lot of Grass!

The grass is more nutritious than hay as hay is dried, causing some of the beneficial vitamins & minerals to fade over time. Just as their wild counterpart, a domestic rabbit will always opt to eat fresh grass over hay.

Please Note:
If a rabbit is not used to eating grass, you should introduce it into their diet

Rabbit Hay & Grass

There are many different varieties of hay suitable for rabbits, and as described on the rabbit diet page, hay is a vital ingredient for keeping healthy, happy rabbits.

Types of Hay

There are many different hays available and popular varieties include meadow, Timothy, and orchard hay/grass. Any of these types of hay will provide an excellent base or foundation for your rabbit’s diet.

Types of Grass

  • Oat Grass
  • Wheat Grass
  • Barley Hay
  • Bromegrass
  • Bermudagrass
  • Barn Dried Hay / Dried Grass

Oat, wheat and barley are all types of grass which are usually grown for their cereal grain. Grasses are harvested before the seed heads have ripened they can also be fed like any other grass hay. However, once the grain has ripened and the plant has turned from green to a gold-brown colour, the stems lose their nutritional value and it becomes straw, which is used for bedding rather than food.

Netherlands Dwarf Bunny
Netherlands Dwarf Bunny
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