Sunday, February 5, 2017



Rhodes Grass Hay (Chloris gayana) is best if it is young hay, about 4 weeks old at most (15% protein) Protein falls as the hay gets older in the bale (9% average)

Image of Rhodes Grass Hay in Australia
The leaves of the Rhodes Hay contain the most nutrients. The first cut of the hay in the paddock yeilds the most leaves and is the most nutritious hay. This will be known as prime or premium top quality hay and is most expensive.  

All rabbits need nutrients as well as roughage or fibre in their hay. Newer hay is always best. As hay is stored in sheds it becomes dry and not as tasty and can become dusty or soiled by rats. 

Rhodes Hay is low in sugar which is good for rabbits however it should not be the only hay fed because although it is a good fibre source it is not high in nutritional value unless very fresh. Even when fresh it should be fed with a good quality pellet to balance the nutritional intake for rabbits. Trials with rabbits overseas showed that if given a choice, rabbits prefered other hays. (Reference:

Baby rabbits, growing young rabbits and pregnant or lactating rabbits  need a high protein and high calcium hay like Lucerne Hay for growth and calcium for good bones.  

Hay should be fed from a rack or hay bag hanging at the end of their litter tray. This keeps hay clean and allows them to 'pluck' at the hay rather than just collect it from the ground. In nature the rabbit has to work hard to pluck and pull the grass from the ground. This aides their digestion.