My rabbit doesn't eat hay

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Rabbits are no longer only considered "farm" animals to have an increasing presence in our homes, since their characteristics can make this animal an exceptional companion animal for many families.

The fact of welcoming a rabbit in our home implies our responsibility and the firm commitment to cover their physical, mental and social needs, observing when their behavior manifests some anomaly to be able to treat it in an early and appropriate way.

Nutrition is a fundamental pillar for the organism of our companion animals, that is why in this AnimalWised article we resolve the following question: what to do if my rabbit does not eat hay. We explain the steps to follow to solve this problem, which can become very serious.

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  1. The importance of hay for rabbits
  2. Why doesn't a rabbit eat hay?
  3. What to do if your rabbit does not eat hay?

The importance of hay for rabbits

As responsible owners, we must strive to know the pillars of rabbit feeding, in this way we ensure that our pet receives the essential nutrients. In the adult stage, the rabbit's diet should be made up of feed, fruits, vegetables and fresh hay available in unlimited quantities.

Hay is the food resulting from the pasture cut, dehydrated and later stored. It is generally a mixture of herbs, clovers, oats, alfalfa, barley and wheat among others. It is an essential food in the diet of rabbits and of great importance for their health, as ensures intestinal mobility, so necessary for this species. Rabbits should have fresh hay available throughout the day.

Consumption of hay wears down the incisors and prevents abnormalities in the growth of rabbit teeth, in addition, it has a lot of fiber, helps the digestive process and prevents intestinal transit alterations, so it should not surprise us that this food is 75% of the diet of these animals. Therefore, when a rabbit does not want to eat hay, we must attach great importance to it and try to immediately remedy this situation..

Why doesn't a rabbit eat hay?

Lack of hay intake is a severe symptom in rabbits, for this reason, if you have observed that your rabbit does not eat after a few hours, we advise you to go to your emergency vet. Remember that, although you have properly followed the rabbit vaccination schedule, there are certain pathologies that can cause a decrease in appetite and that require immediate veterinary attention, let's see some examples:

  • Coccidiosis
  • Scabies (in the mouth)
  • Malformations in teeth
  • Tooth growth
  • Hair balls

Even so, your rabbit may have stopped consuming hay for other reasons, for example due to a change in the usual brand, its dryness, the presence of hairballs in the rabbit's stomach or other digestive problems. In any case, through different veterinary tests, the specialist will determine what is the cause that is causing your rabbit not to eat hay and will prescribe the treatment to follow.

What to do if your rabbit does not eat hay?

If no pathological alteration is causing your rabbit's loss of appetite and its subsequent decrease in hay intake, then it is time for you to apply the following tips to restore its diet again, the pillar of which should be formed by good quality hay.

Let's see how you can get your rabbit to eat hay again:

  • Change the commercial brand of the hay and if you consider it necessary you can choose to purchase a flavored hay, since modifying the flavor of it will make it easier for your rabbit to eat it.
  • Sometimes the rabbit does not eat hay because it obviously prefers the feed and it would be a serious mistake for the owners to increase the amount of it, on the contrary, reducing the amount of feed will cause your rabbit to eat more hay.
  • The rabbit eats the hay when it is fresh, for this reason, it is preferable that you give it frequently but in small quantities, since the hay that the rabbit spreads in its cage is hardly ingested again.
  • You can buy hay in blocks or in the form of feed, in this way, it will be much easier for your rabbit to end up ingesting the necessary amount.

Remember that before using these tips it is essential to initial evaluation by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying cause that is serious for the animal's health. Now that you know what to do when a rabbit does not eat hay, you may be interested in knowing some fruits and vegetables recommended for rabbits.

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