Thursday, January 26, 2006

Dora with a mouthful

Dora leaps and dances when I come with her salad in the evening. I think she's leaping more for the little bits of carrot and apple the salad is laced with, rather than the greens. Like most of the bunnies here, she goes for the sweet stuff first. She hates dill for some reason and leaves it behind to wilt at the bottom of the bowl. She's not a big fan of cilantro either and will only eat it after it sits in the bowl for a few hours and there's nothing left but the dill!

I used to feed the bunnies huge mountains of salad twice a day, but in the last two years or so have greatly reduced the amount of greens I feed. They still get them twice a day, but in much smaller quantities. I had one bunny who loved greens, but always was gassy from them, so now I'm afraid to feed too much.

Hay is the most important thing for a house rabbit to eat, but like anything that is *good for you*, it often is a challenge to get the bunnies to eat it. Every bunny has their particular likes and dislikes (which change from day to day, it seems) and they'd much rather eat pellets than hay, but too many pellets lead to fat bunnies and other problems.

I buy 50 pounds of 2nd cut timmy hay by mail order every three months and use this as *treat* hay, because it is expensive and 2nd cut is soft and green and lovely - and fattening. I also buy small bags of 1st cut timmy from the petstore each week. In addition, I order a less expensive mix of timmy and oat hay from a small farm in Massachusetts that I use to fill their litterboxes each day. As a result, my basement looks like a hay barn most of the time, but this way I always have something on hand that the bunnies will eat, regardless of how their tastes change from week to week.

Dora, so far, is not a good hay eater and this worries me. She loves to shred and eat willow and newspaper, but only nibbles at the hay in her litterbox and the baskets I keep scattered around my office. I've tried every type of hay I have in the basement, but she's not nuts for any of them. I may have to try a bale from a local horse farm to see if maybe she prefers a more stemmy, brown hay.


Simone said...

What kind do you get through the mail? Oxbow timothy and orchard grass is good, in case you haven't tried it yet. Fresh and yummy! Of course, I'm not picky. I love hay. Or... um... anything! Not much I won't eat.

Oh, and sometimes Mama rolls up the hay in an old toilet paper roll. I like rollin' it around to make the hay fall out, and sometimes chomp on the cardboard too.

LauraHinNJ said...

Our favorite is American Pet Diner. I buy Oxbow at the petstore - I used to order 50lbs. at a time from Oxbow until I got a huge box the bunnies wouldn't eat for some reason. I also order a nice mix (timmy and oat) from Sweet Meadow Farm in Massachusetts that I use in the litterboxes.

My bunnies like to eat the wicker baskets I fill with hay!

Paul said...

Nice wabbit! We have animals on our blogs too.