One Voice for Animals UK Guest Blog by Jeniveeve Russell-Newlands
Guest Blogger Jeniveeve Russell- Newlands runs a Baby Blue Bee Bunnies Rescue, in Scotland.
Hay is extremely vital for rabbits to be munching on all day so it’s important that they have it easily available and accessible at all times. Having hay on the floor for them to dig and forage in is great and encourages them to eat more, however it isn’t always practical in our homes as although it may feel at times like we live in a barn – ideally, we don’t want to be! That’s why hay mangers were designed – now commonly known by bunny people as “hay racks”. Hay racks keep hay contained by being stuffed with hay off the floor, which prevents it being sat and urinated on but also acts as an enrichment activity for buns to pull hay out of.
Here at the Baby Blue Bee Bunnies Rescue, we use all sorts of hay racks and over the years have found creative ways to stuff hay into toys and household items – the more places stuffed with hay, the more the buns will eat. At this point, we really have tried it all. I have put together a selection of ideas for hay racks – some designed specifically for rabbits and some that have been creatively used to stuff hay with pros and cons to each and my top 3 picks.
Top 3 Picks:
1. The VARIERA IKEA carrier bag holder – £1.50 – Our No. 1 best hay rack
Photo 1 and 2. The classic £1.50 Ikea carrier bag holder. Photo 3. Another of the Ikea carrier bag holders - a larger one and about £3
• Can hold lots of hay (up to 1kg) which means filling less often
• Heavy duty plastic which is wipeable and can be easily disinfected – not easily chewable
• Easily attached to walls/wood/puppy pen bars
• Extremely cheap and easy to purchase
• Can be climbed inside if put horizontally and some little cheeky buns can get stuck if you let it stay empty
2. Wooden hay feeder & litter tray combo – Manor Pet Housing or similar - £69 – No. 2 best hay rack
Photo 1. Manor Pet Housing large hay ad litter tray combo feeder. Photo 2. Custom made combo feeder with metal bars. Photo 3. A cheap eBay bought alternative - not as good quality but good on a budget. Photo 4. Great with a group.
• Contains all mess and hay pulled out easily in the litter tray attached underneath – least messy option
• Heavy and unmovable by buns which is good for buns who tend to drag litter trays around and tip them
• Extremely good quality and durable, these are built to last. Can be painted or gnawed safely by buns.
• Wood can get stained if urinated on
• Heavy to move and takes up lots of space
3. Bird cage – homeware stores or second hand vintage – No. 3 best hay rack
Large bird cage - hang it over a large litter tray to catch hay that gets pulled out.
• Small holes buns can’t get heads in
• Metal, so easy to wipe and not chewable
• Depending on the size you get, you can fill them with a lot of hay
• Can be picked up cheap/free
• Metal so can rust if used outdoors in exposed enclosures
• Not convenient to hang
Other hay rack ideas:
Little hay rollers and metal racks are great for filling with treat hays/grasses and tasty forage!
Mini hay roller from the One Hop Shop (we sell the large wooden size one which can be hung).
Mini bird cage tealight candle holder - great for stuffing with readigrass and forage
Small hanging stuffer from Amazon - great for grasses
Metal hanging baskets – these are one of our top picks for outdoor use as they are designed to be heavy duty against the elements and are easy to hang/attach anywhere. Our favourite is the half moon shape which can fit 1kg easily of hay inside. Bonus is that buns can sit inside and snuggle too which they often love doing – although be careful of it emptying as legs can get caught (you can put a hessian liner / mesh inside to stop this).
Peg basket - £1 from Poundland is easy to hang in outdoor runs / puppy pens and can be filled with hay, easy to clean and fold away for storage.
Hay carts – Amazon – can be filled with stalky hay but can get messy.
Shower caddy – £2.99 B&M (or other homeware stores) – get for hanging on bars, easy to wipe and don’t easily rust as designed for bathroom use.
Shower caddy storage
If you would like to Baby Blue Bee Bunnies Rescue, in Scotland, you can do so HERE.
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