Hay question

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CedarRidge

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We’ve got combo feed/hay feeders, and have been using them for about a year. We are thinking of moving to internal hay feeders because we just don’t like the fact our rabbits have to shove their face in the hay when they want to eat pellets from the trough below. For those of you who have used the internal hay cages, do you find the rabbits get enough hay by pulling it out through the wire, or do you have to cut a few larger holes in the wire to allow them to more freely access it. (We ended up doing this when we had the jay feeders mounted on the cage and it seemed to help with access):
 
Give them some loose and fill the hayfeeder as well. Observe to see what they like best and weigh/feel your rabbits to keep an eye on their weight. If you feed more then they'll eat they are likely to make a mess that is a pain to clean up and costly. I don't mind rabbits eating a lot so much, but i do mind if they waste a lot. Both because of the extra work, the costly fertilizer it becomes and not enough going into the rabbits.
You could feed smaller amounts more times per day to see what they do waste wise. And if you have the option set up a camera so you can see what they do when you are not there.
 
I throw hay on the ground in the corner and they eat it. If they don't eat all of it, it's bedding. I use j feeders and bowls for feed. I sometimes put alfa scraps(the leaves that fall off the stems in the bucket) on top of their feed. They get water bowls with a little acv. They seem fine with this.
 
I have j feeders and an internal home made hay rack on one end of each cage made from wire fencing with about 3x3 openings that would hold a whole thin flake of baled hay. I made it with a gap at the bottom to prevent a kit from climbing in and getting trapped somehow. They work ok, but some rabbits like to dig in them and spill a lot. I give those rabbits less pellets a little at a time until they start to see the hay as food instead of a toy. That usually reduces both my feed bill and the mess. (to be fair my carcasses prove that I am a chronic over feeder)
 
I rarely feed hay now, I used to and built feeders as it helped reduce waste. But it's still a major waste and I don't see it needful to spend money on wasted feed. just seems wasteful all around. But feeders I used were the simple metal cutlery containers you can buy at the dollarstore. I c-ringed them to the side of the cage and it held just enough for an individual rabbit (or if stuffed full for an average sized doe with kits). They didn't work for the bucks as they love to rummage through hay so they'd pull it out and play with it. Silly boys.

Now, on the odd occasion that I feed hay, I just toss it into their feeders in a bundle just enough for each hole to minimize the waste.
 
I make hay racks from 1/2”x1” wire like you’d use for cage floors. They hang on the outside of the cage and the rabbits have no trouble pulling hay through the 1”x2” wire cage sides. I use the smaller spaced wire for the hay rack because less hay falls through before the rabbits get to it.
Would you mind posting a picture please?
 
Would you mind posting a picture please?
I’ll post a few… I needed a couple more racks so I took progress pics for you.

IMG_3358.jpeg

This is the shape to cut out. This is going to be mounted on the end panel of a cage that’s 24” deep and 16” tall. You can easily alter dimensions to fit your own space.

IMG_3362.jpeg

You can cover the top edge like you would a door frame or simply roll the sharp tips over. Just using wire cutters or flush cutters leaves a rough edge that’ll scratch you every time you add hay. I also bend the short side wires I didn’t clip off into little hooks.

IMG_3363.jpeg

Bend in the sides and bend the bottom up to meet them, then use a j-clip on each bottom corner to hold it in shape.

IMG_3364.jpeg

If you made hooks top and bottom, just hang it on the cage. If you messed up and broke the bottom hook off (like I did!), just j-clip the side near the bottom.
IMG_3365.jpeg

IMG_3368.jpeg
 
I’ll post a few… I needed a couple more racks so I took progress pics for you.

View attachment 40904

This is the shape to cut out. This is going to be mounted on the end panel of a cage that’s 24” deep and 16” tall. You can easily alter dimensions to fit your own space.

View attachment 40905

You can cover the top edge like you would a door frame or simply roll the sharp tips over. Just using wire cutters or flush cutters leaves a rough edge that’ll scratch you every time you add hay. I also bend the short side wires I didn’t clip off into little hooks.

View attachment 40906

Bend in the sides and bend the bottom up to meet them, then use a j-clip on each bottom corner to hold it in shape.

View attachment 40907

If you made hooks top and bottom, just hang it on the cage. If you messed up and broke the bottom hook off (like I did!), just j-clip the side near the bottom.
View attachment 40908

View attachment 40909
OMG this is absolutely priceless! I had never even thought to bend the extra wire over. Between this and the suggestion I read the other day to use small pieces of flashing to cover the door edges will save me a ton of scars. I found gardening arm protectors on Amazon and have been wearing them just to save some blood. 🤣 They work really well but with our summer heat right around the corner I will happily retire them.
I seriously appreciate you sharing this, thank you!
 
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