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 Hay! Feed Me Properly! - Rabbit Welfare

Rabbits evolved to eat grass, and grass, and more grass. In fact, they are designed to eat grass for hours every day supplemented with a wide variety of wild plants and vegetables. Including the odd windfall apple and bark stripped from trees.

Domestic rabbits are fundamentally the same as their wild cousins, so just as their accommodation should allow them to display their natural behaviours, their diet should mimic that of wild rabbits as closely as possible.

The natural diet consists of;
  • Unlimited grass or hay (long fibre) – 80%
  • Wide variety of leafy greens and vegetables – 15%
  • Approximately 1 egg cup of pelleted feed – 5% (Partly as a useful check that your rabbit is eating normally)

WARNING – never change your rabbits’ mix or pellets suddenly. Abrupt changes can trigger fatal digestive upsets. Take at least 1-2 weeks to change over to a new food and maintain unlimited hay at all times.


Why hay?

 Hay! Feed Me Properly! - Rabbit Welfare

Unlimited, good quality hay is the foundation of a healthy diet for pet rabbits. As well as meeting their basic nutritional requirements it has many other benefits, including keeping their teeth in order.

Hay provides lots of long-strand fibre which maintains healthy gut movement. It’s the closest thing to a natural diet.

Unlike humans, rabbits’ teeth grow continuously. The specific chewing action (plus the abrasive action of silica in the grass leaf) of eating grass and hay keeps the teeth worn naturally. This is vitally important: rabbits that don’t eat enough hay will develop painful ‘spurs’ on their teeth where the teeth have not worn down properly. These cut into the gums and tongue and restrict their ability to eat. The so-called ‘complete’ rabbit foods that are commercially available do not replace hay, although they provide the nutritional content they don’t provide the correct dental exercise.

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