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Topic: My adult bunny won't eat his Timothy hay..... HELP!
Message: Posted by: Mike Brezler (Oct 4, 2012 10:09PM)
I have had a Holland lop-eared bunny for over a year now and I can't get him to eat his Timothy hay. All he wants to eat is the pellet food, fruit, and vegies. His teeth grow fast and we take him to the vet every 2 months to get his teeth clipped. He is also not a chewer. We leave him have the run of the upstairs and he never chews on anything. We love the little guy and we need some suggestions on how to get him to wear down his teeth.

One other question we use unscented paper litter pellets. Sometimes he eats this. Is there a better litter to use?

Message: Posted by: bwarren3 (Oct 6, 2012 07:30PM)
Hey Mike,
Iíve got a black dwarf bunny and we use the Timothy hay but if he starts having a problem eating it, like not eating it, we just clean out his entire eating bin and stock it all over agin with all clean stuff which usually works. He has a really nice fenced in caged area in the backyard that he loves to run around and play in especially when my basset puppy runs around his cage. He loves his lettuce and carrots and his bunny food too.

Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Oct 6, 2012 11:10PM)
Good luck:

Message: Posted by: Regan (Oct 8, 2012 09:48AM)
Mike, I have owned a lot of Netherland Dwarf bunnies and 1 Lionhead. I have never had a problem like you mention with any of them. For the most part the like hay, and I give them as much as they want. IMyabe you could try a different type of hay. Some bunnies really like alfalfa, but you might need to limit the amount of that.

Some of mine have been chewers, and some not, but I have never had to have the teeth trimmed on any of them. I thought hard pellets would eliminate the need for that in most bunnies, but I could be wrong. I have not had much luck with wooden chew toys, but some have chewed on their wooden hutches sometimes.

Something my bunnies love is toast! I will toast them some a couple of slices of bread and give it too them gradually. I store the toast in a plastic bucket with their pellets, and break off a small piece most every day for a treat. The toast gets very hard, so that might even help with the teeth. If your bunny likes toast you might even make it harder somehow. The older it is, the harder it gets. If it stays dry it will last a long, long time. I keep it for weeks and I have never had the toast to mold. I always check it though, but so far I've never spotted any. I don't know how hard it could get, but maybe you could try different breads and age it and see.

Maybe if your bunny would eat pellets, along with some hard veggies,(such as raw carrot), and maybe some toast...and hopefully a little hay of some sort....the teeth wear enough.

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Oct 8, 2012 08:09PM)
On 2012-10-08 10:48, Regan wrote:
I store the toast in a plastic bucket with their pellets, and break off a small piece most every day for a treat.
Mike, it might be a good idea to store the hay with the pellets as Regan did the toast. It might bring the scent of the pellets onto the hay. It might help your rabbit get the crave towards hay.
Message: Posted by: Mike Brezler (Oct 12, 2012 07:48PM)
Thanks for the suggestions. We took the bunny to the vet and he told us to cut his pellet portion in half and give him lots of fresh timothy hay everyday. He also told us to take the cardboard box out of his cage and use a wood hut. We also cut out his fruit and veggies for now. The vet gave us a suplement to add on top of his pellets. Now he gets hungry and is eating his hay. The vet told us the pellets will give him the runs and the hay helps to keep him regular and wear down his teeth. Now we have a happy bunny and he is chewing his wood hut now and not a cardboard box.
Message: Posted by: Kingry (Oct 13, 2012 02:27PM)
Never had a rabbit that likes the stuff. Mine smells a bananna from a room away.
Message: Posted by: Neznarf (Oct 26, 2012 12:03PM)
My new rabbit loves Alphalpha.

If I put timothy had and Alfalfa in the cage
he eats the Alfalfa.

He also love those freeze dryed bannana chips
from the health food store.

He has a buffet of rabbit food and H2O.

Had a Dutch Bunny and He got overweight.

I've also had a dwarf, hot tote, Holland Lop
and now have a Himalyan.

Always have a male because they are more calm
then the females. As most of you know.

OK I gave to much info. Just trying to help.
Message: Posted by: Chrystal (Nov 4, 2012 11:42PM)

I think it's great so many people are giving such helpful advice! It's also impressive that all of you appear to be taking really good care of the buns.

I've been fostering for a Rabbit Rescue for the last 10 years (we have 50 at the shelter) and I had as many as 18 in a large heated enclosure at my animal sanctuary. As long as they are spayed/neutered and bonded properly they can live with their pals. Un-neutered males should never live together as they are one of the few animals that will kill their opponent or injure it severely. Once fixed and bonded - males can live harmoniously together. Females live well together too and it's nice to see them groom and lick one another. Bunnies once bonded - bond for life. Okay I'm rambling too...:O)

I just wanted to add that rabbits teeth grow for the duration of their lives. Some due to dental malformations need to have theirs clipped or the teeth would grow at an impossible angle and make it impossible for bunny to eat properly.In a nutshell, the rare rabbits teeth don't line up and don't wear down naturally eating their foods so they need assistance by getting them clipped at the vets office or if one is experienced they learn how to do it themselves.
Hard foods like carrots or even apple wood is great for rabbits to chew on. Next time a neighbor is trimming their apple tree ask them for a few branches. Carrots are good but contain a lot of sugar. It seems all of you appear to give your bunnies - hay - good for you guys! Not a lot of people realize it's importance as many bunnies can suffer from statis/bloating...where they become blocked and it can kill them. They need the hay for roughage.

Should this ever happen with your bunny - of course take it to the vet but in the meantime...rub their tummies gently to help them pass the obstruction and you can even give them baby oval (for gas) but just a tiny drop due to their weight. it's a good product to have on hand in your medicine cabinet just in case. The signs may be they are become motionless or refuse to eat. They also tend to hide their pain very well as they are prey animals and this instinct is part of being a rabbit as they don't want to show they are in a weakened state - so always watch how much food intake they have. One that stops eating is experiencing distress.

Mike, I wouldn't worry about the bunny eating the occasional wood chip litter as we use that at the bunny shelter. I also foster for the SPCA and other rescues and they use it as well. What's dangerous is the kitty clumping litter which may be fatal to young kittens who accidently ingest it. (Think of slush powder and you get the idea). But, I'm regressing. :O)

Kingry, when we are called to trap an injured domestic/feral bunny we use bananas as bait!

Okay that was a long post but I need to add one more thing...please don't use wire mesh in your bunny cages.Bunnies have two kinds of poop. One is re-digested and serves as a natural antibiotic and those in mesh cages don't have the opportunity to do this , plus it's hard on their feet. Bunnies can be easily trained to use litter boxes (using stove wood chips) and remember to place it furthest from their food.

I'm now down to 5 bunnies as the others lived to ages 10-13. Bunnies can live up to 10 years if given lots of attention, good food and humane treatment. However, I don't have to tell any of you that as you've all come across as great bunny keepers.