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rabbits wasting hay

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rabbits wasting hay

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Noobious » Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:39 pm


Is it normal for rabbits to waste a lot of hay? I'm new to raising rabbits but it seems like I'll fill their hay mangers only to come in a few hours later and find about 1/3 of it on the floor under their cages. Is this normal, or is it a problem with my hay mangers not holding it properly.
Also, I do know that one of my bucks, who is a temperamental little shit head, throws his hay around his cage.

Any suggestions?

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Re: rabbits wasting hay

Post Number:#2  Unread postby SableSteel » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:09 pm


Rabbits are wasteful creatures. If I feed them hay cubes, they seem to waste less. Mine waste just as much with hay holders and just throwing the hay in there on the bottom of the cage.
Your buck just sounds bored, like he's playing around
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Re: rabbits wasting hay

Post Number:#3  Unread postby LittleFluffyBunnies » Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:37 am


Most rabbits are just messy. For the buck, you could try taking a handful of hay, twisting it, and tying it with twine in the middle. My sisters rabbit loves that, he tosses it around and chews the hay. Or putting hay in a toilet paper tube. He'll still probably mess but he might have fun with it.
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Re: rabbits wasting hay

Post Number:#4  Unread postby FourRingCircus » Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:48 am


Yep.... mine too... thankfully I get hay cheap/free and have my rabbits outdoors so I try to look at the bright side - it's nice ground cover for blocking weeds :lol: . Not sure how your set up is, but could you put a small container under the racks to catch the stuff that falls out? It would have to be anchored, but might save at least some of it. I have started just throwing a handful in the cage - they like to burrow and dig in it.
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Re: rabbits wasting hay

Post Number:#5  Unread postby ButtonsPalace » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:28 am


I noticed mine played with their hay more when bored then when gave something else to chew and throw, I gave them all Maple branches *After making sure it's ok* and the gnaw on them and then toss it around, they think it's absolutely great.
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Re: rabbits wasting hay

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Preitler » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:18 am


When I saw Grumpys hay racks:
http://rabbittalk.com/hayrack-feeder-t17591.html
I added horizontal bars to mine, they still are wasteful gremlins, but it got noticeable better.

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Re: rabbits wasting hay

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Rainey » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:21 am


We make our own hay for the goats and rabbits, so we know what's in it and don't have to buy it. The hay feeders are kept full on all the cages. We don't feed pellets so instead of getting a concentrate they eat up quickly, our rabbits have a variety of weeds, grains, roots, twigs etc. to eat every day. I wonder if they are less bored although that is not why we decided to feed this way.

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Re: rabbits wasting hay

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Noobious » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:21 pm


Thanks for all the advice everybody. Our hay is local and pretty cheap since we live in a ranching town, but I still hate things being wasted.

My solution ended up being to place these ceramic tile pieces under the hay mangers, it seems to catch most of what falls out, and they're heavy enough that the rabbits shouldn't move them. As for my buck, i stayed throwing willow sticks in there and they keep him fairly busy

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Re: rabbits wasting hay

Post Number:#9  Unread postby MaggieJ » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:46 pm


I once used a hamburger grilling basket to keep a couple of indoor rabbits from making such a mess with their hay. It worked pretty well . . . they could only get it a stem or two at a time.

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Re: rabbits wasting hay

Post Number:#10  Unread postby robeyw » Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:21 am


It seems to me that there are 2 things to consider: Making more available than they can eat, and providing something that the rabbit does not consider food.

I have 2 holders for grass and hay, one for short or tangled commercial hay and one for long pieces. Last summer I fed fresh grass and tried to keep a good supply. The rabbits would eat from the holder and a bit from what they pulled onto the cage floor but it would build up on the floor while they ask for more. As fresh grass became scarce and there were many brown tips, I would provide some on the tiled kitchen floor and every green bit would be eaten. I have just finished reintroducing fresh grass and when I provide less than what is wanted, whether on the kitchen floor or in the holder, nearly all of the green is eaten. Over the winter I fed commercial hay, some I made, and some silage I made along with a measured (limited) amount of commercial pellets. All of mine was completely eaten but a substantial part of the purchased hay was not. I would delay adding more hay to get them to clean up what they pulled onto the ground. Most would be eaten without complaint but then they would become agitated, hunting vigorously through the house for bits of food and begging vigorously from me while leaving much. (This was not accompanied by weight loss, so maybe they would have eaten more if I persisted.) I tried to see the difference between what they eat and what they reject but I can’t. To me it smells and looks good and I see them eating what looks like the same thing. Looking for mold using fluorescence from 366 nm illumination, I see no difference between the new and rejected hay. As to my hay, it was cut in mid summer from a open field and dried at room temperature with continuously flowing air to a equilibrium relative humidity of 37% then put into a plastic bag which is kept sealed.

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Re: rabbits wasting hay

Post Number:#11  Unread postby SoDak Thriver » Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:22 pm


LittleFluffyBunnies wrote:Most rabbits are just messy. For the buck, you could try taking a handful of hay, twisting it, and tying it with twine in the middle. My sisters rabbit loves that, he tosses it around and chews the hay. Or putting hay in a toilet paper tube. He'll still probably mess but he might have fun with it.



I tie these into the top of the cage so the rabbits have to get on the hind legs to reach them. They waste a lot less that way and it is good to eat, but not convenient for play.
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Re: rabbits wasting hay

Post Number:#12  Unread postby Teddy2511 » Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:26 pm


Wasted hay is totally normal... And definitely not economical.

I used to deal with a lot of wasted hay, so I switched to feeding hay cubes instead. It has cut down on both the waste and the mess, while providing a fun chew block at the same time. ;)

These are the cubes I buy:
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/produ ... _vc=-10005
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Re: rabbits wasting hay

Post Number:#13  Unread postby robeyw » Sat Apr 24, 2021 9:54 pm


HayHolder.jpg
HayHolder.jpg (164.64 KiB) Viewed 152 times
Now that mine are over a year old and on fresh food plus manufactured pellets, I have to limit supply to avoid excess weight and there is absolutely no waste. I do keep Kaytee timothy hay (their least favorite) in one holder as a precaution against under feeding but no significant waste (remembering that not all of the hay is edible). Here is a photo of my hay holder.

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