Hay is an essential part of an adult rabbit's diet for dental and digestive health. However, most store-bought hay racks are flimsy and far too small. Simply scattering hay in the rabbit's cage can be messy and unsanitary. One of the best options for feeding rabbits plenty of clean hay is to custom build a wire hay rack.
Things You'll Need
- Work gloves
- Wire cutters
- Thick rolled wire mesh or metal hardware cloth with spaces between 3/4 inch and 2 inches
- 3 metal key fobs or leash clips
- Small dish or piece of plastic
Making a Hay Rack
Find a convenient location on the rabbit cage for the hay rack. The hay rack should not hang on the door or on a side of the cage where a shelf, water bottle or food bowl is attached.
Wear work gloves and use wire clippers to cut a piece of wire mesh slightly smaller than the side of the rabbit cage. The piece should be at least 6 inches wide by 8 inches long.
Bend two opposite sides of the wire up into a rectangular or U-shape. Make one side slightly higher than the other. Leave a large opening at the top and an opening at each side.
Bend sharp edges of the wire in or clip them off. Feel the edges to make certain they are not sharp, to ensure the rabbit will not be injured while using the wire rack.
Connect a fob or leash clip to each side of the hay rack and to the middle of the bottom of the rack. Hang the hay rack on one of the sides of the rabbit cage, on the inside of the cage. Carefully clip all three fobs onto the bars of the cage and fill the rack with hay.
Put the dish or sturdy piece of plastic under the hay rack to catch hay dust that can fall through the rack.
Tips & Warnings
- As an alternative to using fobs or leash clips, bend the wires on the back of the hay rack into hooks for hanging the rack on the cage. However, rabbits are more likely to knock the hay rack down with this method.
- If desired, use small wire shelves or modular cube styled shelving instead of wire mesh for the hay rack.
- Before finishing the custom-made hay rack, use a commercially made hay holder in the interim, but realize that such racks may be too small or flimsy to be practical for long-term use.
- Do not use wire with spaces larger than 2 inches. Small rabbits can get their heads stuck in large gaps.
- Do not use wire that has been treated or coated. Certain treatments are dangerous for rabbits.
- Do not use soft woods or plastic to make a rabbit's hay holder. Both are dangerous when ingested.
- Photo Credit lapin en famille image by zepulon from Fotolia.com lapin 1 image by Nathalie P from Fotolia.com Pliers and wire cutters image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com finger signal image by Imagenatural from Fotolia.com Linked image by EasyBalance from Fotolia.com
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