Rabbits are herbivores/plant eaters and like to eat hay very much.
But what about oat hay for rabbits? Can they eat it? Does oat hay contains enough vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your rabbit requires?
Find out if oat hay is safe for your rabbit, how often you should give them the hay and which different hay types can be found and bought on the market. Provide the best for your rabbit!
IN THIS ARTICLE:
What Do Rabbits Eat?
The main diet for bunnies is fresh grass or hay. They should be provided with an unlimited amount of grass hay and a little bit fewer vegetables.
Since they have sensitive digestive systems, their diet should consist of 85% grass hay (meadow, timothy, orchard or oat hay). And the rest of their diet should include fresh vegetables, fruits and pellets.
How Often Should I Feed My Rabbit?
Unfortunately, rabbits will overeat if there is a chance for that. Also, they will always pick the highest-calorie food if they can. There is a good reason behind that behavior – since grass or hay is their main food, but is low in calories, they need to eat much of it to satisfy their daily needs.
Rabbits of every age should have access to unlimited quantities of grass hay. Your lovely bunny should eat a portion of hay the same size as its body (per day).
Is Oat Hay Safe For Rabbits?
Oat hay is dried grass just like most other types of hay. That means oat hay is an excellent food choice for rabbits. It has great nutritional value that provides enough fiber, calcium and protein your rabbit requires. This hay type is beneficial for rabbits’ health, particularly for dental and digestive health.
So, the answer is yes, oat hay is safe for rabbits. Actually, if your beloved pet doesn’t eat enough hay, it will cause some severe health issues.
Make sure the oat hay you bought for your bunny is dry and free of any harmful mold.
Is It Safe For Baby Rabbits?
Oat hay is fine whether your bunny is 3 years old or 6 months old. It is safe for baby rabbits, don’t worry.
But, baby rabbits require more nutritional-rich food, one that is higher in protein and calcium. So, when it comes to baby rabbits, alfalfa hay is the best choice for them.
The 6 Best Types of Hay For Your Rabbit
Maybe it all looks the same to you, but not to your rabbit. 😀
There are a few different types of hay, so knowing which hay type is the best for your rabbit can be a bit confusing. Hay can be divided into two categories: legumes and grasses. For example, alfalfa and clover go into the legume category.
- Timothy Hay – It is grass hay, which is high in fiber and protein and generally easy to digest. This hay type will keep your rabbit healthy and happy. When compared to other hays, it is a more affordable and very popular feed choice.
- Alfalfa Hay – As we mentioned above, alfalfa is a legume and it comes from the pea family. This hay type is rich in minerals and provides plenty of energy, it’s high in calcium and protein. It is great to use alfalfa hay for the first 6 months of bunny life. However, if you own an adult rabbit, be careful with this hay, it’s too rich for adults and can cause urinary stones. It’s best to avoid it when it comes to adult rabbits.
- Orchard Grass Hay – It is cool-season hay that is high in sugar and fiber and low in protein. Orchard grass hay has a soft texture, but it’s high in sugar.
- Meadow Hay – This is a mixture of grass hays, so there is a variety of textures and flavors for your bunny. If you want to buy this meadow hay, it is important to know where it came from and which hay types are included. That means protein and calcium content can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
- Oat Hay – This hay type is also a mixture, so it contains oat, wheat and barley. Oat hay is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals and low in protein. Plus, it contains seed heads that are crunchy and rabbits love to eat them.
- Herbal Hay – This is also a mixture of any hay type with herbs (dandelion or chamomile). Usually, the popular base for this mixture is timothy hay. Included herbs provide essential vitamins and nutrients for your rabbit.
Different hays provide different levels of minerals, vitamins or fiber. Also, they have different textures and flavors, so your rabbit may prefer one hay type above others.
Oat Hay Health Benefits
Oat hay has many health benefits for rabbits. This is its main diet and should be always available.
- Prevents dental issues – Keep their teeth from growing too long, because of chowing down.
- Maintains intestinal health – Hay contains valuable dietary fiber which keeps rabbits’ digestive systems healthy.
- Provides the right amount of nutrients – Since hay contains vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein, your beloved rabbit will be provided with all nutrients it requires for a healthy life.
Where To Buy Best Oat Hay For Your Rabbit?
As we mentioned above, you can experiment and offer your bunny hay bought from different manufacturers. Just like humans, they prefer different tastes and textures (some oat hay is softer than others).
When looking for the best hay for your pet, make sure you buy high-quality hay, free from dust, mold and chemicals.
Every pet shop should have oat hay, so you can visit your local pet store. If you are looking for a wider range of products, check Amazon, Walmart and Petsmart. They often offer discounts, so you can pay less for high-quality oat hay.
To Sum Up
Having hay for your rabbit 24/7 is very important since this is the most important part of its diet. Oat hay is packed with nutrients and benefits making it an excellent food choice for your beloved bunny.