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Clinical technique: Feeding hay to rabbits and rodents


Clauss, Marcus (2012). Clinical technique: Feeding hay to rabbits and rodents. Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, 21(1):80-86.

Abstract

The recommended diets of pet rabbits and herbivorous rodents are often based on hays (dried forages) as the staple diet item. The rationale for this recommendation is a combination of logistical factors (i.e., hays are more readily available than a constant supply of fresh forage) and health concerns (i.e., using hays rather than fruits, nonleafy vegetables, and grain products apparently circumvents several health problems). Offering a variety of hays is a feeding concept that has so far received little attention. The choice of hays should be based primarily on a hygienic evaluation. Although hays have to be of impeccable hygienic quality, they need not necessarily be of high nutritive quality. A high proportion of stems and high-fiber material may be adequate for the maintenance of herbivores, and hays of higher nutritional quality can be used as dietary supplements in animals with increased energy requirements. Educating pet owners about the use of multiple hay combinations and the appreciation of the nutritive variety of hays may represent an opportunity for channeling interest and engagement in their animal while concurrently providing a preventive health measure.

Abstract

The recommended diets of pet rabbits and herbivorous rodents are often based on hays (dried forages) as the staple diet item. The rationale for this recommendation is a combination of logistical factors (i.e., hays are more readily available than a constant supply of fresh forage) and health concerns (i.e., using hays rather than fruits, nonleafy vegetables, and grain products apparently circumvents several health problems). Offering a variety of hays is a feeding concept that has so far received little attention. The choice of hays should be based primarily on a hygienic evaluation. Although hays have to be of impeccable hygienic quality, they need not necessarily be of high nutritive quality. A high proportion of stems and high-fiber material may be adequate for the maintenance of herbivores, and hays of higher nutritional quality can be used as dietary supplements in animals with increased energy requirements. Educating pet owners about the use of multiple hay combinations and the appreciation of the nutritive variety of hays may represent an opportunity for channeling interest and engagement in their animal while concurrently providing a preventive health measure.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:03 Apr 2012 08:28
Last Modified:14 Sep 2016 07:14
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1557-5063
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1053/j.jepm.2011.11.005

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