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Hay is essential in the feeding of the rabbit and should be the food that we offer in greater proportion. In fact, up to 80% of your diet should be hay. With this we realize the importance of knowing how to choose the best hay for rabbits on the market, since we are going to find a large number of different brands and types of hay.
In this AnimalWised article, we will explain what are the characteristics that we have to look at to identify the best hay for rabbits. We also review the best brands.You may also be interested in: Wet cat food - Best brands and homemade recipes Index
- Types of hay for rabbits
- What is the best hay for rabbits?
- Best brands of hay for rabbits
Types of hay for rabbits
We will see that the hay for rabbits can be of different types, each with specific characteristics. Thus, we highlight grass or meadow, alfalfa and timothy, fescue or fleo. These are its specificities and recommendations, which will help us choose the best hay for our rabbit:
- Grass or meadow: contains 31% fiber and 14% protein, with low calories and calcium. It is recommended for the maintenance of adult rabbits.
- Alfalfa: with up to 25% indigestible fiber, up to 18% protein, calcium, energy and potassium. It is advisable only for growing rabbits and pregnant or lactating rabbits. By having high levels of calcium, in adult rabbits it could cause uroliths, so they can only consume it occasionally. Here we explain more about ¿What does a baby rabbit eat?
- Timothy, fescue or fleo: with around 30% fiber and only 8% protein, in addition to calcium. Ideal for rabbits with stones in the urine and for the prevention of dental and digestive problems. Its minimal level of protein and calcium does not make it suitable for growing rabbits, pregnant or lactating females. If you have a pregnant bunny, we recommend you consult this other article on All about pregnancy in rabbits - Duration, symptoms and care.
Regardless of the type of hay chosen, it is recommended to change it daily and always leave it at the free disposal of the rabbit. Hay must be kept away from heat sources to prevent it from degrading. On the other hand, hay is sold in two formats, which are pressed or fresh. The latter preserves more nutrients. It can be made up of a single herb or a mixture of several.
What is the best hay for rabbits?
For a hay to be good for a rabbit, it has to have certain characteristics that make it nutritious and palatable, let's not forget that it will be its main food. When choosing hay, we have to look at the following aspects:
- Composition: the amount of protein should be 10-12%, while calcium will be between 0.5-1%, phosphorus between 0.4-0.8%, potassium 0.6% and fiber about 13-24%.
- Quality: the greenish color and the pleasant and intense smell are synonymous with quality. On the contrary, a yellow coloration and an appearance of dry straw that breaks easily indicate a poorer quality..
- Freshness: a palatable hay will be fresh, flexible, maintaining a certain degree of moisture, and green.
- Length: the herbs should not be too short, as they would end up falling from the trough to the ground and the rabbit would not eat them.
- Dust: there must be very little in the container, which will guarantee freshness. A lot of dust is a sign of little fresh hay.
If you have detected that your rabbit does not eat hay, in addition to checking its quality and composition following the instructions above, you can consult this other AnimalWised article about My rabbit does not eat hay.
Best brands of hay for rabbits
Actually, the best hay for rabbits is the one that, following the characteristics that we have indicated, our rabbit likes the most. Therefore, it is not surprising that we have to try several to discover which is your favorite, one of the typical processes in rabbit care. We highlight the following brands:
This Lleida company has been offering various types of hay, such as fescue, which are typical prairie grasses, oats or alfalfa. They are in charge of the entire production process, from planting to distribution. Hay dries in the sun and does not dehydrate. In this way, the protein is not destroyed..Image: Amazon
2. Nibble and Gnaw
Hay selected and analyzed to ensure its quality. It comes from Canada and stands out for its long stem and its cut and dried in the sun. They guarantee freshness for two years, provided it is properly stored. It is packed by hand and is dust free. As a bonus, the bag is biodegradable and the cardboard box recycled.
Of German origin, it has bio certificate, which guarantees that it has not been treated with pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Composed of different wild herbs from mountain meadows, it is processed and packed by hand.Image: Facebook
Although it looks like it, it is not pressed. It's about a natural hay, untreated, that comes from the mountains of Austria and is obtained after an early cut. Of high quality, it stands out for its intense aroma. Ensures that it is mold free.Image: Lovepets
Is a bio hay from the german mountain, without pesticides or fertilizers and drying in the sun. It is second cut and is made up of fine strands and flowers. As a curiosity, it is sold in a box with a hazelnut branch.Image: Lapraderaonline
It is marketed in various types and is a first cut organic mountain hay and Austrian provenance. From organic pastures, with aromatic tender herbs and flowers, the care with which they carry out both cultivation and drying stands out..Image: Facebook
7. Tiny Friends Farm
Lastly, we mention this sun dried meadow hay to keep all its properties intact. It does not contain dust, since it goes through a process by which it is extracted. It is marketed compressed.Image: Amazon