ALL ABOUT RABBITS
A Little History
The House Rabbit
A Quick Glance -
Spaying & Neutering -
Life Expectancy -
Diet -
Handling -
Grooming -
Bonding -
Litter-Training -
Breeds -
Healthcare
Emergencies -  
Recommended Vets in Singapore -
Common Illnesses -
Preventive Measures -
Care for the Sick -
Air Travel with Rabbits
Pregnancy & Rabbits
General Misconceptions
Why Breeding is Bad
Confronting Animal Abuse
 

 



 
 

The House Rabbit
Diet

Types of Hay and Grasses
extracted from House Rabbit Society website

Alfafa Hay
Distinguished by stalks, usually brittle and flat green to brown leaves. Very high in calcium, can cause "sludge" in bunny's urine. High calories. Watch for gummy droppings, weight gain, sludge, and cecal pellets not being eaten. These are usually problems of the older (2+ yr. bunny). Hay can vary from dark lime green to yellow/green/brown depending on the season. There is almost always some alfalfa in HRS boxed hay. Alfalfa is easy to come by in San Diego County. Most horse people feed alfalfa, but a strict alfalfa diet for bunnies can lead to some of the problems listed above. HRS recommends a mixture of hay varieties.

Timothy Hay
Timothy is probably the second most popular hay with bunnies and their caretakers. It looks like a dried blade of grass, fairly wide and its color is a soft green to grey/brown green. Timothy hay also has "solid cattails" which distinguishes it from Orchard grass which has "broken cattails." Much of the Timothy is imported from Northern counties; it is not as widely available as Alfalfa, but is an excellent hay for bunnies. It contains a good level of calcium and calories. Typically included in all HRS boxed hay.

Oat Hay

Large hollow cylindrical stalks and flat blades that are golden yellow to light green with oats on the end. The coloration and the presence of oats distinguishes this hay from others. Oat hay can vary widely in appearance and oat count, depending on the harvest season. New harvests are generally oat laden, whereas later harvest such as Dec-Feb can be very light, with minimal oats. Many people confuse Oat hay with Straw. The similarity is in the coloration. Straw is not a food source, but is typically used for bedding, mostly in the horse and farming communities. Oat hay is an excellent source of fiber. Bunnies tend to enjoy mostly the oats, but will sporadically munch on the hay stalks.

If bun's diet is high in oat hay, the pellets she produces will be larger, lighter in color, and will look like sawdust if crushed. Many bunnies would benefit from eating more oat hay, an excellent preventative for GI Stasis. HRS boxed hay may contain oat hay or other fiber rich types to provide variety.

Bermuda Grass
Yes, it's that stuff you've been trying to get out of your flower bed since the beginning of time. Bermuda is a thin blade to flexible stalk, light green to gray/green in color. It is another of the higher fiber hays and may be seen in HRS boxed hay as one of the "alternative hays." Bermuda is less well known and not as easy to come by. Many bunnies prefer Bermuda and it is a good all around food source with a moderate amount of calories. Bermuda is typically fine enough that it doesn't get spread all over the cage which often happens with Oat hay. Typically no flowers or cattails are seen on Bermuda grass.

Orchard Grass
Another less known feed, orchard grass, is very similar in appearance to Timothy but the "cattails" have small segments missing from them every 1/32 of an inch. Also the cattails tend to be pale brown, whereas Timothy cattails are green to light yellow. Orchard is even less prevalent in San Diego County than perhaps all other hay/grass varieties. We try to include it whenever possible as it is a good alternative and provides change.

 

Back to top
 

All content copyright © 2003
House Rabbit Society (Singapore).
All rights reserved. Privacy Statement