How much hay per rabbit yearly?

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Mini Lop Mama

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How much hay does a rabbit eat yearly? Guesses? We raise small 2-6 pound rabbit breeds. In the past, we have gone through 1 square bale for 2 growing kits through the winter. What would a grown adult rabbit eat? We do grass over summer so I haven't been able to figure it out yearly.
 

tambayo

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In percentage of bodyweight the figure i found is 5% of bodyweight in hay. But that is dry matter, so you'll need to calculate for that. dry matter in hay is 80-85%.
 

Frosted Rabbits

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several factors to consider, hay quality, storage method, number of rabbits, reproductive status, weight of bale, etc. if one bale lasted 2 growing kits a winter, did they reach the target wight and condition? If so, did they maintain both on the same diet? whatever you fed to maintain optimal weight for say, a month, should be multiplied by the number of months in the hay feeding season. you will need to made adjustments upwards for severe cold or pregnancies adjustments down for the rabbits that get fat.( thats where hay quality comes into play)
 

MnCanary

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I think that, given the chance, rabbits will seek to balance out their fiber intake with their protein and carb intake. I don't have any research to support that, just some years of observation. Plus, people that have rabbits in field situations, report that their rabbits sometimes pass up green grass in order to eat fiber-rich plants.

If this is true, than the amount of hay your rabbits eat would depend on the fiber % of your pellets.

Also, it would depend on the way the hay in presented. I find that rabbits eat less hay when it is offered in a hayrack as opposed to loose hay.
 

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