Premium quality feeding hay and fresh grass should form 85-90% your rabbits diet every day - that’s equal to their body size in hay!
Feeding hay or fresh grass is good for dental health as the grinding action needed by the rabbit to eat them helps to wear down teeth. Rabbits’ teeth are constantly growing and overgrown teeth can be the cause of very serious and potentially fatal problems. Feeding hay (and fresh grass) also plays a vital role in digestive and emotional health as it provides the bulk of the fibre needed in the diet and encourages natural foraging behaviour. Do not feed lawn mower clippings as this can cause bloat and serious illnesses.
Choosing the Right Type of Hay
Most rabbit owners aren’t aware of the differences between bedding hay and feeding hay. Bedding hay can be low in quality and is only suitable for rabbits to sleep on, whereas feeding hay is much more tasty and specially grown for eating.
Good quality feeding hay should be given to rabbits daily, you can judge the quality by the feel, smell and appearance. Always make sure the hay is not dusty or mouldy.
Just like children, if given the choice a rabbit will wrongly eat high energy diets or large amounts of vegetables and fruits over feeding hay and fresh grass any time, but this is really bad for their health! But by giving feeding hay and fresh grass it will provide variety, making sure they are satisfied whilst spending more time eating and benefiting from that all-important fibre.
Feeding hay needs to be replaced daily, and it can be put above a litter tray (e.g. in a hay rack) or in toys/willow balls etc.