As we all know, or for those of you who don’t know, a rabbits diet mainly consists of that oh so crunchy goodness, hay! Now, when we were getting Dakota and all of her necessities from the store, I was actually surprised to find out that hay was the main and most important part of their diet. To be quite honest, I didn’t even know bunnies ate hay at all… Pretty embarrassing! Either way, I was determined to find out as much about it as I could! What brands were the best, what type of hay was the best and what should be avoided. Much to my satisfaction, it was pretty straightforward.
There really isn’t a specific brand of hay that you should buy, it really all just matters what type of hay you are buying. However, when you are starting off, having a brand in mind might help a little. Above are the two brands that I hear about the most, you can click their logo to visit each website. Small Pet Select unfortunately only ships to the USA, or if you choose to purchase it through Amazon who will ship it internationally, be prepared to pay a pretty hefty price. For this reason, I haven’t been able to try it myself. So I get the other most mentioned brand, Oxbow, which I have been pretty happy with! I am also fairly certain Oxbow products can be found in a lot of places. Another option is to buy from local farms, however, this does require extensive research to know exactly what you are getting and to make sure that the hay you get is rabbit safe. I do not have local farms close to where I live, so I did not delve into the local farm option.
Now let’s talk about the types of hay that you can get! There is actually a wide variety of types that you can get and it’s always best to mix it up a bit for your rabbit! Why? Because I’m fairly certain that you would get bored of eating the same thing all the time and so will your bunny! A few types off the top of my head that I can think of include;
- Orchard Grass
There are possibly even more, but those are the most common types. All of those are great for adult rabbits, however, Alfalfa hay is only to be fed to rabbits less then 6 months old, as a treat or if your bunny needs to gain some weight. This is because Alfalfa hay is a legume and therefore very fattening. Out of my list, it is usually recommended that Timothy hay be included in all of your mixes.
With all that being said, in the picture above, I included my personal top 3 picks of Oxbow hay! I always buy the Western Timothy Hay, which I will mix with either the Orchard Grass Hay or Botanical Hay. The Orchard Grass is very similar to the Western Timothy, so I find both of them pretty easy to handle. The Botanical Hay on the other hand, I have always found to be a little more dusty and the pieces of hay seem to be a little smaller. I do still get this for her occasionally because I know she loves it and the fragrance is absolutely beautiful, like herbal tea!