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Diet mostly Timothy Hay

The next step to a healthy and happy bun is a nutrient-dense and diverse diet!

Disclaimer: Always consult with a veterinarian to ensure the diet plan put into place is suitable for your rabbit.


Hay is rich in fibre, a type of carbohydrate required to keep a rabbit’s digestive system functioning. It provides a moderate source of protein, calcium and as well as essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Rabbit’s teeth continue to grow throughout their entire lifetime, so the coarse texture of hay also plays a significant part in keeping them worn down. 


Young rabbits require plenty of nutrients in their diet to nourish them throughout the growing stages, which is why it is recommended that they receive a rich alfalfa hay. They should then be transitioned onto strictly timothy hay or a similar meadow grass hay when they reach 6 months of age.


Rabbits 6 months of age and older should be provided with an unlimited supply of timothy or meadow grass hay (such as orchard). Oat hay and alfalfa can be offered as an occasional treat due to their high calorie and fat percentages. Straw should never be given as it is more difficult to digest and has a very low nutritional value.


There are three types of timothy hay cuttings - First, second and third. First has the broadest stems with the least amount of protein and fat, whereas the third cut is the softest and is rich in the latter. Second cut has the perfect balance of nutrients and texture and is the recommended cut to purchase.


The bags of hay sold in pet stores are extremely overpriced and there are much cheaper alternatives. The most affordable option would be to buy square bales from a local farmer. Ensure to specify that you are looking for straight second cut timothy hay as there are many mixes on the market that include alfalfa. If going this route, be sure to inspect the bales prior to purchasing. They should be fragrant and free of any dust, mold, or insects.


Keep in mind that some farmers strictly sell their hay in bulk and won’t accommodate buying only a few bales at a time, so ask in advance and respect their regulations. Check Facebook Marketplace and Kijiji for hay listings near the area you reside.

If your rabbit is showing any signs of prolonged lethargy, lack of excretions, liquidy droppings, hunched body posture or any other behaviour that is out of the ordinary, please seek immediate veterinary advice.

**If you think you allergic to your bunny, check again. The culprit could be timothy hay.



Fresh greens are an excellent source of vitamins and moisture! A general rule to follow is to feed adult rabbits one cup of greens per 2 lbs of body weight daily. It is ideal to offer a variety of 4-5 different types of vegetables per day to maximize your rabbit’s nutrient intake. Fruit and sugary vegetables such as carrots should not exceed one tablespoon per 2 lbs of body weight daily to prevent weight gain. Fresh food can slowly be introduced to young rabbits starting at three months of age.


New vegetables should always be introduced in small portions and one at a time to allow you to observe any out of the ordinary behaviour. An indicator of how your rabbit is handling the new addition to their diet is the appearance of their droppings - If they become soft, cut back and try feeding a smaller amount. If the problem persists, stop feeding that specific food entirely.


If possible, purchase organic produce for your rabbit. All fresh food should be thoroughly washed before being given to your rabbit. When offering plants found from outside such as grass or dandelion greens, ensure they are collected from a pesticide-free area. In general, the only place it is safe to do this is on your own property. If you are in doubt about identifying a certain plant found from outside, your bun is better off without!


List of rabbit-safe food

List of toxic food:

- Avocados

- Chocolate

- Fruit seeds/pits

- Raw onions, leeks, garlic

- Meat, eggs, dairy

- Broad beans and kidney beans

- Rhubarb

- Iceberg lettuce

- Mushrooms

- House plants

- Processed foods (bread, pasta, cookies, crackers, chips, etc.)

- Raw potatoes


Pellets can be offered to your adult rabbit in small amounts daily. Alongside daily unlimited hay and greens, an 1/8 cup of timothy-based pellets per 2 lbs of body weight is appropriate. Young rabbits can receive unlimited alfalfa pellets to support their growth until they reach six months of age.


Avoid muesli mixes (pellets mixed with dried fruit and seeds). Whole pellets containing fillers such as soy and wheat with sweeteners like molasses are also unhealthy. The ideal pellet is extracted from timothy with little to no unnecessary additives. Sherwood Pet Health is the top of the line when it comes to their promise of creating filler-free pellets.

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