With adorable button noses, fluffy tails, and characteristically long ears, rabbits are universally recognized and very much loved around the world. They are also extremely popular household pets, with many people opting for pet rabbits over a dog or cat. If you're one of the many people considering purchasing or adopting a rabbit for your home, then you will need to make sure you get all the right equipment and food in to keep them healthy and happy.
Hay is an essential part of any rabbit's diet and the wrong hay can cause gastrointestinal problems as well as unnecessary weight gain - so as I'm sure you can tell, it's important to get it right. We have here a quick list of the best hay for rabbits, including a helpful guide on what to look out for when purchasing hay for your bunny to help you make an informed decision.
The 9 Top Rated Hay For Rabbits
|KAYTEE® All Natural Timothy Hay Plus Carrot||Buy on Amazon||4.3|
|Standlee Premium Western Forage Timothy Grass||Buy on Amazon||4.6|
|Oxbow Timothy Hay For Rabbits||Buy on Amazon||3.7|
|Grandpa's Best Orchard Hay For Rabbits||Buy on Amazon||2.2|
|Kaytee Timothy Hay Plus Variety Pack||Buy on Amazon||4.7|
|Small Pet Select First Cut Timothy Hay||Buy on Amazon||4.6|
|Vitakraft® Timothy Premium Sweet Grass Hay||Buy on Amazon||3.9|
|Oxbow Organic Meadow Hay Small Animal Food||Buy on Amazon||4.7|
|Small Pet Select 2nd Cutting Perfect Blend Timothy Hay||Buy on Amazon||3.1|
- High fiber content for better digestion
- Includes dehydrated carrots
- Handpicked to ensure proper ratios
- Healthy levels of protein and calcium
- Complements Kaytee Fortified Food
First on the list is the Kaytee Timothy Hay for Rabbits, and it is the best choice because of the nutritional value it offers rabbits. It is an all-natural meal, ensuring that the rabbit does not experience any digestive issues. It mostly consists of Timothy hay that has been hand-picked to achieve the best ratio of leaf to stem. Apart from this component, the meal also includes carrots and additional nutrition.
This rabbit hay meal is high in fiber, and so the rabbit’s digestive health will be top-notch. It is also low in protein and calcium, two nutrients that can interfere with normal urinary health. There are no artificial colors or preservatives that may interfere with the rabbit’s health. This timothy hay for rabbits with real dehydrated carrots has 24 ounces in a pack, and so the rabbit will have all the nutrition it needs.
Natural Sun-Cured Timothy Hay, Dried Carrots.
- Free from any unnecessary additives
- The high fiber content for digestive health
- Stimulated chewing for good dental health
- Suitable for all small hay-eating animals
- Low in protein and calcium
Next on the list is the Standlee Premium Western Forage Timothy Grass with its healthy ingredients. It is a natural diet with no harmful chemicals or noxious weeds that will harm the rabbit. The main ingredient is timothy grass hay of very high quality, which is high in fiber and low in protein and calcium. This combination protects the gastrointestinal tract of small animals and keeps them functioning smoothly.
The fiber from the long stem encourages the natural foraging instinct in the rabbit, which contributes to general and dental health. It is also instrumental in their digestive health and ensures they do not experience any issues. The timothy rabbit grass is 100% dried or sun-cured, leaving a suitable amount of moisture, and void of additives and preservatives. It is also hand-sorted to give the rabbit a better chance of getting the best. This Timothy hay for bunnies can be fed in addition to their regular diet and will be a palatable addition to their diet.
Naturally Sun-Cured Premium Western Timothy Grass Forage
- High fiber content supports digestions
- Suitable for most small hay-eating animals
- Low in protein and calcium
- Handpicked and hand-sorted
- Veterinarian approved
Another timothy hay for bunnies the little animal will enjoy is the Oxbow Timothy Hay. It is a high-quality meal harvested from sources recommended by veterinarians. The timothy hay used is high in fiber and has a sweet smell that will whet the rabbit’s appetite. It is nutritious and performs a double action of supporting the rabbit’s digestive health as well as dental health.
It is harvested fresh and handpicked and packed with maximum care so that the rabbit gets only the best. It is an excellent addition to a balanced meal, and even picky eaters will not be so stubborn. Mealtimes will become more enriching and enjoyable, and there will be more bonding between the pet and the parent. You get nine pounds of food per bag, and you can feed it to the rabbit depending on the preference. Furthermore, Timothy hay is suitable for guinea pigs, and other small hay-eating family pets.
100% Timothy Hay. Preservative and Additive Free. Loose Hay Contains Stems, Leaves, and Limited Seed Heads.
- Handpicked grass for best quality
- Available in multiple sizes
- No additives and preservatives
- Tender stems for easy chewing
- Nutritionally diverse for a varied diet
Another one of the best grass hay for rabbits is the Grandpa’s Best Orchard Grass Bale. It has been molded into a compact size to make it more convenient to handle. The measurements are 6 x 6 x 12 inches, and it weighs about 10 pounds, which is enough to cater to the rabbit’s nutritional needs. Everything from their dental health to their playtime will be improved, and the rabbit will live a happier life.
Mealtimes will also become more convenient because the hay is easy to feed. There are no additives or preservatives in the recipe, and so the rabbit is assured of a safe meal. You can mix it with other grasses to give your rabbit the best chance at a balanced meal. The grass is harvested fresh with a tender stem and, therefore, maximum nutritional value. It is also handpicked but on the minimal side to prevent contamination as much as possible.
Sun Cured Orchard Grass Hay.
- Uses “stay-fresh” inner packaging
- No artificial colors or flavors
- Includes carrots, marigold, and mint
- Each pack of food weighs 60oz
- Handpicked for best leaf-to-stem ratio
The Kaytee All Natural Timothy Hay is another healthy diet to give to your rabbit that will not compromise their immune system. One pack contains 50 ounces of high-quality ingredients that have been complemented with delicious flavors for the rabbit’s pleasure. It is ideal for small stomachs and has been handpicked to offer the best when it comes to timothy hay. The hand selection also ensures the appropriate leaf to stem ratio to provide a well-balanced diet for the rabbit.
The grass contains low protein and calcium so that the rabbit’s urinary health is preserved. It is also suitable for digestive health due to the fiber content and for dental health. You do not get any artificial colors or flavors in the hay, which is perfect for rabbit health. It has been special-cut to make it easier to feed so that your rabbit gets the best out of it. It can be fed to rabbits over seven months old, and how you feed it depends on factors like size.
- Made from orchard grass
- Hand-selected and hand-packed
- Packed in a high-strength corrugated box
- Family owned and operated business
- Minimally handled for maximum freshness
Aside from the impressive packaging, the Small Pet Select Orchard Grass Hay offers great nutrition for the rabbit. This orchard hay for rabbits is perfect even for picky eaters because it comes with an irresistible flavor. One box contains 10 pounds of food which have been hand-selected to give the rabbit the best.
The orchard hay has is so that it is as fresh as possible with little to no contamination. It has been sourced from trusted farms with high-quality grass so that the rabbits experience a boost in their quality of life. The feed is green, soft, and has a sweet taste and fragrance to improve your rabbit’s appetite. The box the hay comes in is sturdy and adopts a simple design that makes it easy to open and close so that storage is secure.
100% Timothy Hay
- 100% American-grown
- No pesticides, artificial colors, or preservatives.
- Great source of long-strand fiber
- Compressed bails are available in 3 sizes
- Contains vitamins, minerals, and protein
Another timothy hay meal that rabbits will love is the Vitakraft Timothy Hay, Premium Sweet Grass Hay. It is a natural recipe without any pesticides, artificial colors or preservatives that can compromise rabbit health. The grass used is 100% grown in America and hand-selected so that only the best elements get to your rabbit. You get only the best leaf and stem, which are the parts that will benefit the rabbit the most.
It is ideal for healthy digestion since the composition includes long strand fibers. The rabbit will also experience improved dental hygiene and health because of the vitamins, protein, and mineral content. These nutrients, in the long run, contribute to the overall health of your rabbit in a positive way. This timothy grass hay has been compressed into pet-sized bales, which is perfect for keeping it fresh.
Sun-Cured Timothy Hay.
- Weighs 15 ounces per pack
- 100% certified organic grass hay
- High in fiber for better digestion
- Chemical-free farming methods used
- Specifically designs for small pets
Meadow hay for rabbits is another way to go when feeding rabbits, and the Oxbow BeneTerra Organic Meadow Hay is another one of the best there is. The feed comes in a 15-ounce pack with smaller sizes to cater to your needs. It has a 100% certification as organic grass hay, which means it is naturally grown.
Therefore, there are no chemicals included that could harm your rabbit’s health. This hay is high in fiber, which contributes to better digestive health. The natural handpicked composition makes it suitable for the rabbit as well as the environment with as little dirt as possible. Apart from being nutritious, the hay is also sweet smelling so that the rabbit is attracted to it and enjoys every bite.
100% Organic Meadow Hay.
- Available in six weight options
- Suitable for rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas
- Strong corrugated box makes easy storage
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Leafy with soft stems and flower head
Small Pet Select has put together the ideal hay munch box for your bunny. Timothy hay has long been established as the best hay for rabbits owing to the fact that it provides a healthy, varied supply of nutrients that are essential to your rabbit’s overall health. In particular, this hay is best suited as a constant supply for adult rabbits.
Small Pet Select has packaged this hay into a sturdy, corrugated box which is ideal for stacking and easy to store. Furthermore, they offer a brilliant range of weights from 10lbs to 50lbs, which can suit anything from a single bunny owner to a multi rabbit household. Small Pet Select even offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee to demonstrate the pride and confidence they have in their product.
100% all natural timothy hay
Best Hay For Rabbit Buying Guide
Things To Consider When Buying Hay for Rabbits
- The type of grass used: Rabbits are each unique, with each individual rabbit having its own preferences. There is a wide variety of grasses out there that can be used as food for rabbits, and you must figure out what the rabbit prefers so that you can be sure they’re enjoying their meal properly.
- The cut of hay: There are primarily three cuts of hay, and this determines the nutritional value, texture, and fiber content of the grass. The first cut occurs before the hay blooms, and the stem is still flexible and thin. This type of cut is high in fiber and low in protein and fat and so is recommended for rabbits. The second cut also has thinner stems but there are more leaves, and its protein and fat content are higher, with a pleasant smell. The third cut hay has the least fiber of the three with an extremely high level of protein and fat and deficient fiber. This type is usually recommended as a treat to be fed in minimal quantities because the low fiber content can cause problems.
- Safe: When it comes to grass things like pesticides and other chemicals should be avoided as much as possible. These substances may contain specific components that are not good for rabbit health and may cause serious problems. Organic or natural hay is the best since it is less likely to harm the rabbit.
Different Types of Rabbit Hay
There are 7 main types of hay on the hay market, each with its own benefits and drawbacks that should be considered before feeding it to your rabbit:
- Timothy hay
- Orchard Grass hay
- Meadow grass hay
- Oat hay
- Alfalfa hay
- Bromegrass Hay
Not all hay is necessarily suitable for use as part of your rabbit’s daily feeding routine. Knowing the differences between each of these types of hay can be the difference between having a healthy or unhealthy bunny.
Timothy Grass Hay
Best recommended for adults as part of their daily food intake. Timothy grass hay is the most popular hay for rabbits by a country mile. This is because, depending on the bloom and when the hay is cut, Timothy hay is relatively even across the board when it comes to nutrition. It is harvested in the cooler seasons and offers great digestive support for bunnies with sensitive stomachs, due to the high fiber content.
Just keep in mind with Timothy hay that the low calcium content means it is better suited to adult rabbits as opposed to young bunnies, which need the calcium support for healthy bone growth.
Orchard Grass Hay
Much like Timothy hay, orchard grass is also grown and harvested in the cooler months. A great upside to orchard grass is that it had a better tolerance for drought than Timothy grass, meaning crops are less likely to be affected by dry weather. Is it a soft texture that is good for any rabbits with dental problems, and can be easily mixed with Timothy hay.
This is another hay that is mainly recommended to adults however, as once again it has a low calcium content as well as a lower protein content that is ideally needed for a growing bunny.
Meadow Grass Hay
Meadow grass offers a varied flavor owing to the fact that it is a mixture of different naturally occurring grass hays (hence the name). It has proved to be quite tasty and one that many rabbits seem to enjoy, however, it does have its downsides.
Because of the mixed nature of meadow grass, it is not particularly easy to calculate the protein, calcium, and fiber levels in it. This is because many farmers don’t generally analyze every crop that they harvest. So it is best to stick with a farmer you know and trust if possible. Also, try to monitor your rabbit’s hay intake with this particular hay, as the protein levels could be significantly higher than that in Timothy hay, making it fattier, and so an “unlimited” diet of meadow hay isn’t advised.
As you would expect, oat hay is rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, phosphorus, fiber, and magnesium whilst being relatively low in calcium. This great supply of vitamins makes oat hay a fantastic choice alongside alfalfa hay for young bunnies. The alfalfa will provide the appropriate level of calcium to encourage bone growth which the magnesium and other vitamins of oat hay will support the proper immune system, eye, and brain development.
The only downside to oat hay is that it needs to be mixed with high-calcium hay in order to balance the calcium and protein levels for young bunnies. Adult rabbits, however, will thrive from eating oat hay, which includes crunchy oat husks for your rabbit to chomp down on.
Alfalfa is a type of hay that can be fed to rabbits in carefully controlled amounts. It is typically used for horses as it has a high protein and calcium content that encourages strength and muscle rejuvenation. This means alfalfa can make a pretty good hay choice for young bunnies alongside a less rich option, but it must be carefully monitored to ensure your bunny is benefitting properly from this dietary choice. This means no unlimited hay feeding.
But the protein and calcium content in this hay can also make it very rich and fattening. So be careful not to overfeed your fluffy buddy or it could result in them gaining unnecessary weight that can be difficult to shift.
A tender, sweet-tasting perennial bunch-grass that has a high fiber content that assists rabbits with healthy digestion and body function. Bromegrass is less commonly seen on the rabbit hay market but makes a good diet nonetheless. This can be used as a constant source of food as there is no excessive amount of fat or protein to worry about.
The Importance of Hay for Your Rabbits
Hay provides roughage for rabbits which keeps the food moving smoothly throughout their digestive tract. It is useful for preventing blockages and pushes out any foreign object that may be in the tract. It should make up between 80-90% of their diet for this reason. Especially seeing at hay is a rabbit’s best source of fiber, which is the key to good digestion with most animals. Furthermore, constant chewing also helps to maintain their dental health whilst strengthening their jaws and massaging their gums. Because rabbits have ever-growing teeth, meaning they don’t ever stop growing, continuously chewing food with a good course texture will help to keep them at a suitable level.
The first cut hay is usually the best for rabbits because the nutritional value is at its peak with high fiber and low protein and fat. This cut of hay is when the hay is cut before it blooms and is characterized by a thin and flexible stem. Correctly selected the hay you will be using helps to ensure that your bunny will bloom and develop as it should.
That depends. When choosing how much hay to give to your rabbit, you need to take into account their body weight, which will indicate the portion size required for proper feeding. If you’re unsure exactly how much hay is right for your rabbit, just contact your vet to have them weighed, and to ask advice on what would be best. Furthermore, rabbits should have 24-hour access to hay for them to be healthy.
A rabbit’s hay should be topped up at least twice a day if your bunny has a healthy appetite. However, you may find that your rabbit is not consuming the hay very quickly in favor of alternative food. This is perfectly normal, as rabbits enjoy a healthy varied diet as much as humans. So long as they are eating everything that they should and maintaining their body weight then this is not something to worry about.
Yes, they can. Especially if it is as close to their natural diet as possible and there is clean water available at all times. It is, however, recommended to include fresh leafy vegetables and a small amount of commercial rabbit food to top up their nutritional requirements and ensure they are eating healthy, well-rounded meals.
There are several ways in which you can try to entice your rabbit to eat its hay. Though if they continue to refuse it may be worth contacting your veterinarian for some advice or a check-up.
- The first thing to do is to visit the vet to rule out any underlying health issues.
- Another way to go is to get the highest quality of hay there is to increase the chances of them eating it. You can switch it up by increasing variety so that you can figure out which one they prefer.
- You should also feed them smaller portions for a start and gradually build up to allow them to adjust.
Yes. Though you must be sure not to feel them grass using the clipping from a lawnmower, as this can ferment and cause gastrointestinal problems. Instead, you should allow your rabbit to naturally graze in the garden as it would do in the wild. Furthermore, don’t even try to switch your rabbit from hay to fresh grass overnight as this also can cause digestion issues. Instead give them limited time in the natural grass during which they can graze to their heart’s content, then for the remainder of the time provide them with hay.
Yes, but it’s not ideal. Maybe brands of horse hay tend to use Alfalfa Hay, which is a legume not a type of grass. As a result, the hay is especially high in protein and fat which can be a little too excessive for rabbits to metabolize. Therefore if you’re in a pinch and need to use horse hay, it is best to stick to smaller amounts until you can get back around to using the grass-type hay, which provides better fiber and the correct nutrition levels.