In the wild, the wild rabbit feeds mainly on grass. It’s not that they don’t like carrots, but their favorite activity throughout the day is munching on grass, dandelions, clover and plantain. So, when trying to feed your pet rabbit the most natural diet possible, the best thing to do is to feed it hay!
We will therefore discuss the essential points to choose the right hay for your favorite herbivore. But before we go into detail about the different types of hay, let’s talk about why it’s easier and safer to feed your rabbit dried grass rather than fresh grass.
Grass or hay?
First of all, a bag of hay is easy to store at home, whereas fresh grass cannot be stored. However, when you have the opportunity to get fresh grass, can you give it to your rabbit? In small quantities, yes, as long as you are careful about where it comes from. Grass picked on a roadside embankment is very polluted. Grass cut by a lawnmower has fermented on contact with the blade, which could be dangerous for your little friend’s stomach. As for the one in your garden, is it free of treatment products or fertilizers? Probably not. As you can see, even if your rabbit is accustomed to helping itself to the grass from a young age, hay should remain its basic food.
The different types of hay for rabbits
Prairie hay is suitable for the daily feeding of pet rabbits. Rich in fiber, this mixture of several plants is very similar to what your rabbit would eat if he were walking in a meadow!
After the first cut of hay, the grass grows back. A second cut can then be made to produce a higher quality hay, called regain hay. It is richer in protein, starch and sugars than first cut hay and is very digestible. It is also very soft to the tooth and rabbits love it!
Alfalfa hay is richer in protein and calcium than other hays. This is why it is usually reserved for rabbits under 6 months of age, to ensure good bone growth. Its high content of phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, iron, zinc and magnesium also makes it an ally for convalescent rabbits. It is also one of the most interesting hays in terms of taste! It can therefore be used in small doses as a treat to occasionally please your rabbit.
Mountain hay and Crau hay
Some hays are renowned for their excellent origin, such as mountain hays. This is also the case for Crau hay, an exceptional hay produced in the Crau plain in the Bouches-du-Rhône department and which benefits from an appellation of controlled origin.
Once you have found the hay that your little friend prefers, he will have nothing better to do than to spend his day looking for the most appetizing strands before savoring them. It’s easy to create the ideal conditions for your rabbit’s well-being: just make sure he always has clean, fresh hay to forage on. For your rabbit, happiness is in the hay!