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100% Hay Pellets

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100% Hay Pellets

Post Number:#1  Unread postby rhealove » Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:40 pm


I'm thinking about buying a 50lb bag of horse pellets. This isn't fortified so it just grass. How much can I use to replace hay for? I'm 50/50 in commercial and natural so it seems to be impossible to get a balance POV. Hay is too mess, variable and wasted with my rabbits. I want to do a mix hay pellets and regular fortified pellets.
Last edited by rhealove on Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 100% Hay Pellets

Post Number:#2  Unread postby akane » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:36 am


They often don't really eat them so I wouldn't invest too much before testing it. Trying to force a rabbit on to a food item is risky. Even more so when it's your fiber source. Unlike some other animals where you can just try to wait them out until they come around the long digestive tract of rabbits can crash without a steady intake. Also, it doesn't replace several of the benefits of hay by being powdered and it has fewer nutrients especially than fresher hay. They have to add vitamins and minerals to pellets for reasons beyond the extra ingredients added. Processed, compressed, older feed items will steadily break down certain vitamins in order. Hay pellets are mostly useful to cut the cost of pellets and fill in boredom when trying to keep them from getting fat on extra pellets than to add anything really beneficial. The long stem fiber of actual hay helps the teeth and digestive tract. Sometimes hay cubes work but sometimes they don't eat as much of those either and you need a different feeding style than throwing them in a standard size pellet J feeder or equivalent. Often if you just put them on the floor of the cage they whittle them down slowly to small chunks that you have to throw out so less mess but it barely saves hay waste and still isn't eaten in the same quantities as hay by rabbits so you still can't calculate the diet the same. There isn't a great hay substitute without the mess or waste. Beet pulp is sometimes used with horses that have problems with hay or don't maintain weight on hay. It just will not add protein. Protein is your most expensive and difficult problem in herbivore diets. Sunflower meats without the hull can really add protein.
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Re: 100% Hay Pellets

Post Number:#3  Unread postby SableSteel » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:23 am


Mine did very well on timothy hay cubes, but those are hard to find where I live. Usually when I don't have hay cubes I don't provide hay except for stressful situations (show, breeding, nursing, weaning, illness, transport, etc). I mix purina show, purina complete, BOSS, calf manna, and oats for my feed. If you don't want to feed hay, find a line of rabbits that has been raised and bred on a diet without much hay (so that the ones selected for breeding were ones that did well on that diet) and find a good, balanced diet (whats available and good varies with location, so ask around you). If you do decide to use the hay pellets, I wouldn't reduce the amount of normal pellets though, while you were testing it out.
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Re: 100% Hay Pellets

Post Number:#4  Unread postby akane » Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:34 am


Beet pulp will help counter the negatives of adding a grain since it is high in things like calcium and low in phosphorous so it does have that benefit if you are increasing grains instead of just looking for something to pair with pellets. Since it can be hauled in dry, compressed fibers it is also easier than hay. Feeding without soaking is somewhat controversial with horses but generally proven safe with other circumstances contributing to any problems. Whether they would eat it dry is a question I never tested though so downside is it might add the soaking step and a wet feed to handle. Less mess and not really more time than loose hay though.
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Re: 100% Hay Pellets

Post Number:#5  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:44 am


I like HAY CUBES instead of Pellets.
A. I find the rabbits like them better
B. they tend to play with them too, so alleviates boredom
C. much less messy than hay!!

The down side is most of my rabbits prefer loose hay, so a lot of cubes goto waste.

I purchased springs with clips at either end at the last show and have attached these to the inside of the cage... I fold over and stuff the hay into that..... so far this has kept the hay from being trampled and soiled... I just need more!

Edited to add:
I have hay feeders, but my rabbits don't seem to use them at all... likely because they always get hay inside the pen...
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Re: 100% Hay Pellets

Post Number:#6  Unread postby rhealove » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:57 am


Hay cubes read about those before will have to reread some stuff. My doe is so picky loves greenery, pellets, hay(most picky about) in that order so very hard to feed. Yeah that's the plan have hay pellets be filler for the regular ones because my doe got fat very quickly at one point when I was having a hay shortage. The only thing I'm really worried how much fiber do pellets/cubes have compared to hay(will do more research). I think these pellets said 35%. Can you supplement fiber? Any ideas for chewy stuff she can nibble? Tried wood chew. The buck like those. Is there anything I missed? I will be posting in the natural feed forum next. Thank you for the answers.

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