You’ve probably heard it over and over again. Hay needs to make up more than three-quarters of a rabbit’s diet.
Plus show you how to choose the best quality hay for your rabbits and explore everything you need to know about hay for your rabbits (obviously including guides and reviews).
Our 8 Best Hay for Rabbits at a glance
- Oxbow Western Timothy Hay
- Kaytee All Natural Timothy Hay
- Vitakraft Timothy Hay For Rabbits
- Viking Farmer Alfalfa Hay
- Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay
- Small Pet Select 2nd Cutting Perfect Blend Timothy Hay
- Oxbow Animal Health Oat Hay
- Grandpa’s Best Alfalfa Hay
List of the Best Hay for Rabbits:
Our top pick
This hay is proudly made in the USA by expert hay growers trained in premium hay production. It is 100% natural hay with no additives, making it safe for your rabbit’s consumption. It has balanced nutrients and a sweet smell. It contains high fiber, low protein, and calcium.
Additionally, it is hand-selected and sorted by experts. It comes in great packaging, so you can easily store it in a cool, dry place.
- Good nutrient mix
- Reasonable price
- No additives
- Uneven hay
- It could be too crunchy for some breeds
Best value hay
If you’re looking for excellent quality hay that’s budget-friendly, this product is your best option. It is rich in fiber and has low protein to help your rabbit maintain a healthy digestive system. On top of that, it has low phosphorus and calcium to keep the rabbit’s urinary tract healthy.
If you like supporting local businesses, it’s made in the USA and is free from pesticides. It’s hand-picked and sorted by a team of experts who ensure that it maintains a great leaf-to-stem ratio for your rabbit to enjoy.
- Free from additives and pesticides
- Prevents urinary tract infections
- Not suitable for baby/junior rabbits (six months and below)
Vitakraft Timothy hay is another good quality option for your rabbit. It is rich in fiber and low in protein and calcium to keep the digestive system healthy. It’s made from 100% natural ingredients, which means it’s free from preservatives, pesticides, and artificial colors.
It has long strands of fiber which can help wear down growing teeth to help maintain good dental health. It’s harvested by hand for the best nutrients and quality and is preserved in compressed mini bales. The packaging protects the hay from exposure to UV light, which retains the green color and maintains the flavor.
- Long fiber strands help trim the teeth
- Maintains a healthy digestive system
- Good for picky eaters
- Fresh and green grass flavor
- There is dust present from cutting the hay into small pieces
We recommend Alfalfa hay from Viking Farmer for various reasons. First, it is all-natural with no additives and preservatives, which can harm rabbits. Also, it’s free from pesticides to ensure the safest and high-quality nutrition.
In terms of nutrients, it’s rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, providing your rabbit with the best nutritional value.
The best part about Viking Farmer is that the quality is top-notch. The hay has been tested and screened and has various certifications to ensure you get the best quality. Finally, its packaging is great as it comes in a box that’s easy to use.
- It’s an excellent choice for rabbits of all ages
- It’s nutrient rich
- Soft hay with a green color
- A bit pricey
- Contain leaf dust
If your rabbit is a picky eater or shows signs of loss of appetite, Oxbow orchard grass hay is a perfect choice. It has a soft texture, sweet flavor, and a fragrant aroma to stimulate the rabbit’s appetite and encourage it to eat.
It is 100% natural, is rich in fiber, and has low protein. You can be sure that it’s safe because it has been hand-picked and packed by a team of experts. It is great for rabbits of all age ranges.
- Sweet flavor and aroma
- A great option for picky eaters
- Encourages foraging
- Recommended by veterinarians
- No additives or binders
- Some rabbits can avoid it due to the aroma
This product is leafy hay with a proper stem-to-seed head ratio that attracts your rabbits to eat. It focuses on quality and freshness and has a good balance of nutrients. It is suitable for rabbits of all ages.
It is also packed in eco-friendly boxes, making it easy to open, use, and store.
- Constant supply of fiber
- 100% natural
- Delivered fresh
- Perfect balance of nutrients
- Coarse in texture
- Stems can be sharp sometimes
This oat hay is harvested before the oat develops into a seed, providing your rabbit with a savory flavor that they love. It is 100% free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. At maturity, it is sorted and packed by hand to maintain the highest quality.
- Veterinarian recommended
- High in fiber
- Aroma to stimulate your rabbit’s appetite
- Suitable for adult rabbits
This alfalfa hay has high fiber and other essential nutrients to keep your rabbit healthy. It is easy to feed, has the best flavor, and can occasionally be used as a treat during playtime. It is free from toxic additives and preservatives.
- It is packed in small, protected packages so it is less messy when stored
- Nutritionally diverse
- Suitable for rabbits of all age groups
- Some leaves can turn to powder when you flake them. As a result, there is dust
Why is hay so important for rabbits?
There are two main reasons why your rabbits need hay in their diets to stay healthy and energetic.
Reason 1: To maintain a healthy digestive tract
Rabbits have a complex digestive system designed to process high levels of high-fiber foods such as hay. Fiber is important for a rabbit because it stimulates and helps food movement in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The digestive system of rabbits allows them to separate digestible and indigestible fiber during digestion.
The digestible fiber has nutrients that are stored in a part of the small intestine called the cecum, where the good bacteria works to break down the contents before they’re passed as soft droppings.
The indigestible fiber in hay helps keep the food moving through the digestive system quickly as the nutrients are absorbed.
If the rabbit fails to eat enough hay, its digestive system can be slow, and this can cause issues such as gastrointestinal (GI) stasis.
Reason 2: To maintain good dental health
Rabbits’ teeth are “open-rooted.” That means that the teeth keep growing throughout their lives. They can grow by about 12 cm a year! Long teeth can cause dental problems.
They’re designed to be worn down to the right length by grinding and chewing. The regular chewing of hay can cause the necessary wear and tear to keep them trim and healthy.
If rabbits consume a low fiber diet such as pellets regularly, the teeth keep growing, and an opposing tooth can meet with the other opposing teeth in a bad position and cause abnormal wear, eventually developing sharp edges known as spurs.
This problem can progress to the teeth cutting through the tongue and into the cheeks, potentially causing soft tissue damage.
More reasons to feed your rabbit hay are:
- Provides the right nutrient mix
- Encourages good litter tray habits
- Keeps them busy and occupied and prevents boredom
- Encourages foraging.
It has the right nutrient mix
Hay provides essential nutrients for your rabbit’s needs to stay healthy. Hay has fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other important components. It meets the required nutritional guidelines for bunnies, which are:
- 12% protein
- About 1% fat
- 18% to 20% fiber
What is the best hay for your rabbits?
All hays are not the same. There are six different types of hay as you’ll see below.
- Timothy Hay: It grows well in cool climates and all year round. It has plenty of fiber and protein required for adult rabbits.
- Alfalfa hay: it’s not grass but belongs to the legume category, similar to lentils and peas. It has high mineral content and provides energy for rabbits. It is recommended for baby rabbits because of its high calcium and protein levels, which are essential for growth.
- Orchard grass hay: it’s another type of hay that grows in cool climates. It’s soft and has a sweet smell and taste that can tempt fussy eaters. It has good amounts of fiber and often lower protein.
- Meadow hay: meadow hay has different textures and flavors for your rabbit. It often contains other plants or herbs; therefore, the nutritional content varies depending on what’s included.
- Oat hay: it’s grown from seed/grain. It has high fiber and is rich in vitamins and minerals. It can be blended with other types of grass hay.
- Herbal hay: it’s a mixture of any kind of hay (usually Timothy) with herbs such as chamomile or dandelion. It’s a good choice for rabbits that don’t get a lot of foraging time outside.
What to look for when buying hay
Given the importance of hay in your rabbit’s diet, it’s important to know what to look for when buying hay. Here are some tips to help you select the best hay.
The hay must be fresh
Like humans, rabbits love to eat fresh food. So, it’s very important to buy fresh hay. Always check if the product is harvested by hand at maturity, stored, and packaged in packaging that protects it from direct UV light to retain its freshness and green color.
Free from excessive dust
Dust can affect your rabbits and cause respiratory issues. Before you purchase any product, ensure that it’s well-packaged and stored in a dust-free environment. You can go a step further and research the company’s process of harvesting and packaging the hay.
As you’ve seen from our reviews above, all hay is rich in fiber and has low protein and calcium. So, before you buy, check on the nutritional value and buy the product that provides a nutrient mix and high nutritional value.
As a rabbit owner, you must ensure that your rabbits eat hay more than anything else. As you’ve seen, it has great benefits, the main ones being; maintaining a healthy digestive system and good dental health. Hay helps rabbits live a healthy, longer, and happy life.
We hope these reviews helped you pick the right hay for your little bunny. Our top pick is Oxbow Western Timothy Hay, as it is freshly harvested from farms by experts, highly nutritious, with a sweet smell, and has quality packaging. Everything about it is of the highest quality.
We also recommend Kaytee All Natural Timothy Hay if you’re searching for good-quality hay on a budget.
There are many brands that sell hay, including Kaytee, Oxbow, Viktafarm, Viking Farmer, and many more. All of these brands have different nutritional content. Therefore, it’s important to check the fine print on the packaging before you buy.
Feed your rabbit any of these, and you can be sure that your rabbit will remain healthy and happy!