Rabbits Eat Mostly Hay And Some Other Types Of Food As Well

If you are considering getting a pet rabbit or already have one, you need to have a good understanding of their digestive systems. What can rabbits eat? Or what do rabbits eat? As with all domesticated pets, what they like to eat and what they should eat needs to be defined. If you can feed them the food that is right for them, your bunnies will always be healthy and happy.

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Kaytee Timothy Hay
  • Low on calcium and protein
  • High on fiber
  • Suitable for adult rabbits
  • Check Price on Amazon.com
    Small Pet Select Sampler Box
  • Smells and looks fresh
  • Hand-picked hay
  • Different cuts and types
  • Check Price on Amazon.com
    Oxbow Oat Hay
  • Low in protein
  • Good balance of fiber & flavor
  • Carefully picked hay
  • Check Price on Amazon.com
    Kaytee Wafer Cut Hay
  • Grown in the USA
  • High in fiber low on calcium & protein
  • High-quality, nutritious
  • Check Price on Amazon.com
    Vitakraft Timothy Hay Sweet Grass
  • All natural
  • Hand-picked stems and leaves
  • Has long-strand fiber
  • Check Price on Amazon.com

    The primary diet of a rabbit should be hay. Other than hay, what can rabbits eat? Of course, rabbits eat other foods to maintain a balanced diet like fresh fruits and vegetables. You need to limit the number of vegetables and especially fruits that you feed your rabbit, as fruits have a high sugar content which is bad for them.

    The Importance Of Hay In A Rabbit’s Diet

    Hay offers multiple benefits to rabbits. The main reason why hay is essential to rabbits is that it keeps them nibbling all day. Rabbits’ teeth have the property of growing continuously, roughly 12 centimeters a year! By munching on hay all day, this excessive tooth growth is kept in check.

    Another important benefit of hay is that it has long fibers which help to aid the digestion process. A steady supply of hay all day long ensures that the complex digestive system of a rabbit keeps moving along the nutrients. A rabbit’s digestive system should never be static as it could lead to blockages that could be fatal. It could lead to a terrible medical condition known as gastrointestinal stasis or GI Stasis which can take the life of a rabbit in less than 24 hours.

    Finally, hay is a crucial component of a litter tray. Rabbits love to forage around their hay, being busy as bees all day. They continue to do the same thing in a litter tray (which needs to have an ample stock of fresh hay). This eventually results in good litter box habits.

    Basic Diet Of Baby Rabbits

    So, let’s start with baby rabbits. So, what do baby rabbits eat? When you ask the question, “What do rabbits eat?”, the food for baby rabbits is different from  adults. From newborn to three weeks, the kit should get only the mother’s milk. If the mother’s milk isn’t available, then you can get pet shop milk formulas. But it’s advisable to consult a vet if you are looking after such a tiny bunny.

    But other than milk, what do rabbits eat? From the fifth week until the eighth week, she needs to continue with her mother’s milk. But, you can add a bit of alfalfa to the diet which boosts protein and calcium levels. You can also give her a few baby rabbit pellets. At this stage, add a small quantity of hay as well, so that the rabbit develops a taste for it.

    At 12 weeks, what do baby rabbits eat? At this stage, your bunny will have grown considerably, and you can introduce a few veggies like carrot tops, basil, parsley, spinach, and kale, but never give her lettuce. Monitor your rabbit’s digestion through her droppings to ensure that she can digest her food.

    From four months onwards, your bunny is all but grown up! So, you can start treating her like an adult and gradually tone down the alfalfa and veggies. You can include a few pellets as well. The percentage of pellets and veggies should be about 10 percent each, and the remaining 80 percent should be hay. So, what do baby rabbits eat? We hope this has answered your question.

    Basic Diet Of Adult Rabbits

    As we have already mentioned, rabbits have a complex digestive system. So, what can rabbits eat to be healthy? There are a few stereotype images that we grew up with. One is of a rabbit munching a carrot. Rabbits should only be given an occasional carrot top, as the root part is high in sugar content and not suitable for them. Never feed your bunny lettuce, particularly iceberg lettuce.

    What can rabbits eat other than hay and the vegetables that are not good for them? There are scores of different vegetables, leafy and non-leafy that rabbits can eat. However, it is good to restrict the daily dose of veggies to one cup per four pounds of body weight. You can feed them fruits but only very sparingly.

    In addition to your rabbit’s daily quota of hay, fruits and vegetables, you can also add adult pellets to what can rabbits eat. However, please consult your vet to ensure that you get pellets that don’t contain unhealthy additives.

    Basic Diet Of Wild Rabbits

    What do wild rabbits eat? This is a question that we tend to ask, even if we aren’t closely associated with wild rabbits. It is useful because answering the question “what do wild rabbits eat?” can help us in feeding our pet rabbits more comprehensively.

    Wild rabbits mostly eat grass that grows in the vicinity of their warrens. This grass is low in nutrients, so they have to eat plenty of it to survive. By answering the question “what do wild rabbits eat?”, researchers have been able to create a model diet for the modern, domesticated rabbit. We add a few supplements like fruit, vegetables and rabbit pellets, so that pet bunnies don’t have to chew as much hay as their wild cousins.

    5 Best Brands Of Rabbit Hay

    1. Kaytee Timothy hay for rabbits

    Kaytee Timothy

    Here is a brand of Timothy hay that is carefully hand-picked to maintain the correct leaf-to-stem ratio. It contains everything according to what do rabbits eat without the ingredients that are no good or harmful to your bunny. This hay is high in fiber, and you get it in four different flavors to add variety to your bunny’s diet. Protein and calcium levels are low here, which helps in supporting your rabbit’s urinary health. The hay also contains added carrots. This hay is suitable for adult rabbits. 

    Pros

    • Hand-picked product
    • Balanced proportion of nutrients
    • High on fiber, low on calcium and protein
    • Different flavors
    • Added carrots

    Cons

    • Powder content needs to be chaffed away before use
    • The hay is a bit too finely cut
    Kaytee Timothy Hay

    Is carefully hand-picked to maintain the correct leaf-to-stem ratio, hay is high in fiber.


    2. Small Pet Select Sampler Box

    Small Pet Select-Sampler Box

    Starting your bunny on hay, or introducing a change in diet? What do rabbits eat? This sampler pack from Small Pet Select is a good choice. This sampler pack contains second cutting and third cutting Timothy hay, Oat hay, and orchard hay. Hence, busy giving your rabbit hay from this pack, you can identify which cutting and type she likes the most before you buy in bulk. You can also feed your bunny from this pack to add variety to her regular diet. This hay is carefully hand-picked to ensure that your rabbit gets the best parts of the grass that is nutritious to her.

    Pros

    • Small samples to identify your bunny’s eating preference
    • Hand-picked hay
    • Different cuts and types
    • Smells and looks fresh
    • Low on dust

    Cons

    • Price a bit on the higher side
    • Some contaminated batches reported
    Small Pet Select Sampler Box

    Sampler pack contains second cutting and third cutting Timothy hay, Oat hay, and Orchard hay.


    3. Oxbow oat hay 15 oz

    Oxbow Oat Hay

    Having gone into details about the characteristics of Western Timothy hay, this oat hay by Oxbow is similar to Timothy hay. It is carefully picked to include the immature seed head that is nutritious and something that your bunny will enjoy as a special treat. This hay also serves well to use as bedding instead of wheat straw. You can feed your bunny this oxbow hay in addition to Timothy grass hay for best results. When you consider what do rabbits eat, you will realize this is a good option for them.

    Pros

    •  Carefully picked hay
    • Immature seed heads that rabbis enjoy
    • Can be used as bedding as well
    • A good balance of fiber and flavor
    •  Low in protein

    Cons

    • Some reports of contaminated feed
    • May not be the preferred choice of all buns
    Oxbow Oat Hay

    Is carefully picked to include the immature seed head that is nutritious and something that your rabbit will love.


    4. Kaytee Wafer Cut Hay

    Kaytee Wafer Cut Hay

    What do rabbits eat? Timothy hay? If you are looking for standard-quality Timothy hay to feed your rabbit, this brand from Kaytee will probably meet your requirements. This hay produced by an all-American company is also grown in the United States. It is low on calcium and protein, and high in fiber to provide the best nutrition for your bunny. You can rest assured that your pet rabbit’s delicate digestive system will benefit from this hay. It is cut in such a way that it peels off in layers. This makes it easier to feed and less messy as well.

    Pros

    • All-American company
    • Product grown in the USA
    • High in fiber but low on calcium and protein
    • Wafer cut for convenient feeding and reduced mess
    • Proper leaf-to-stem ratio maintained

    Cons

    • Reports of contaminated hay
    • High level of hay dust
    • Large quantity of brown non-hay strands
    Kaytee Wafer Cut Hay

    This product is low on calcium and protein, and high in fiber to provide the best nutrition for your bunny.


    5. Vitakraft Timothy hay sweet grass

    Vitakraft Timothy Hay Sweet Grass

    This all-natural hay from Vitakraft is free from pesticides and preservatives and a good option to feed to your pet rabbit. It’s from an all-American company, and the hay is also 100% grown in the USA. You get hand-picked best-quality stems and leaves. The hay also has long-strand fiber which is precisely what your bunny needs as part of a proper diet and dental hygiene. The product is compressed into convenient-sized bales for easy feeding.

    Pros

    • All-American product
    • Long-strand fiber
    • Hand-picked stems and leaves
    • Compressed into bales for easy handling and feeding
    • Fresh and green

    Cons

    • Reports of fungal spores
    • High hay powder content
    Vitakraft Timothy Hay Sweet Grass

    All natural, contains No pesticides. Product is compressed into convenient-sized bales for easy feeding.


    Maintain A Balanced Diet For Your bunny’s health and happiness!

    You can see now, that your bunny’s diet is very critical to her overall health. But once you understand a bit about a rabbit’s complex digestive system and the best food to provide, you will be able to have a healthy pet with you for years to come. We are sure that this article will give you some good options for your bunny to be able to be healthy and happy with you for years to come! 

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    Miranda Hawkins
    Miranda currently lives just outside Colorado Springs, Colorado with her husband, 8-year old son, and what she lovingly calls her “zoo.” Miranda grew up in the Midwest and always had animals around while growing up. After graduating from college, she married her husband Sam and they moved to the mountains of Colorado where Miranda became very involved with the regional rabbit rescues.

    Currently, her “zoo” includes two dogs, one rambunctious cat, and three indoor rabbits. Oliver, a delightful Black Otter Holland Lop, and Juniper, a gorgeous Opal Satin Angora, are a bonded pair and have been together for three years.

    She had the pleasure of adding an energetic Fawn Flemish Giant to her family one year ago, named Sir Gregor. He had been abandoned outside a pet store and was put up for adoption. Miranda feels very blessed to have this lovable lagomorph living amongst her family and is a strong advocate for educating people about rabbits and how special they truly are.

    Miranda has put together a team of rabbit lovers and breeders from across the country and hopes you will find the information and resources on the JustRabbits.com site beneficial. She loves to hear from her readers and looks forward to seeing many more people become loving responsible bunny parents.