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Maybe you’ve just bought a pet rabbit. Or, maybe you’ve been a rabbit friend for many years! Either way, rabbits are fun, loving creatures that bring us a lot of joy and happiness. One common rabbit question is, “What bedding material should I use for my rabbit?” While there are many different options out there from paper shreds to aspen bedding, we’ll be looking exclusively at the details, pros, and costs of using straw bedding for rabbits. We’ll start off by listing a host of reasons that show why straw is great bedding for rabbits.
Is Straw a Good Bedding for Rabbits?
Yes, straw is good bedding for rabbits. It keeps your rabbit(s) warm and comfortable, works as a great absorbent, keeps the cage clean, works as great nesting material, and many other reasons, all of which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
Straw Bedding for Rabbits: Pro #1
Straw works as a great insulator, providing your rabbit with a warm bed to nestle and snuggle in when the days get cold. Since straw is the dry stalks of cereal plants, the hollow stalks allow for warm air to be trapped, which provides a warm and insulated environment for your rabbit.
Straw Bedding for Rabbits: Pro #2
Soft straw is also a very comfortable bedding material for rabbits. Make sure, however, that you purchase soft, fresh straw and not old, prickly straw, which could irritate your rabbit.
Straw Bedding for Rabbits: Pro #3
Straw is an excellent absorbent, allowing for a much cleaner and drier rabbit cage. Although it’s good to replace pee-soaked or dirty straw with clean straw, absorbing the pee is a temporary fix until the straw is replaced. This helps keep your rabbit from living in a urine-dampened habitat.
Straw Bedding for Rabbits: Pro #4
Straw also works great as nesting material. The warmth, comfort, and absorbent properties of straw bedding all help ensure that “mommy-rabbit” and the soon-to-be-born-baby bunnies (called kittens) are properly cared for.
Straw Bedding for Rabbits: Pro #5
Nobody wants their house to smell putrid just because their rabbit had to pee. Straw used as rabbit bedding can help reduce the odor that comes from rabbit pee.
Straw Bedding for Rabbits: Pro #6
Straw can also be used for rabbit bedding because it is much less likely to be eaten by your rabbits. Technically, rabbits can eat hay or straw, but they’ll much more quickly eat hay over straw. A timothy hay bedding for your rabbit could quickly turn into a massive rabbit feast (read an article on timothy hay for hamsters).
The best idea would be to use a balanced approach and put a bottom layer of straw, then sprinkle timothy hay on top for your rabbit to consume.
Straw Bedding for Rabbits: Other Pros
Here are several more miscellaneous pros of straw bedding for rabbits:
- Often more affordable than hay
- Non-toxic (straw can be eaten in small amounts by rabbits)
|Insulator||The hollow stalks of straw trap warm air, making straw a great insulator.|
|Comfort||Soft, fresh straw is comfortable bedding for your rabbit.|
|Absorbent||Straw can help absorb pee in the cage, keeping the cage much cleaner and drier.|
|Nesting Material||Because straw works as an insulator, absorbent, and soft bedding material, it can also be used as a great rabbit nesting material.|
|Odor Control||Fresh straw helps to keep odor (from pee, poo, etc.) under control|
|Misc Pros||Straw is often more cost-effective than hay and is not harmful for rabbits to consume.|
In summary, you can use straw as rabbit bedding because of its great insulation properties, absorbent abilities, and much more!
Is Straw or Hay Warmer for Rabbit Bedding?
Compared to hay, straw is a warmer rabbit bedding. Straw is basically hollow plant stalks, allowing for warm air to be trapped in the hollow of the stalk. That’s why straw is a warmer rabbit bedding than hay–because it’s able to trap warm air in the hollow straw stalks.
Straw is also absorbent, which is another reason why straw is a warmer rabbit bedding than hay.
Can Rabbits Sleep On Straw Bedding?
Yes, rabbits can sleep on straw bedding. Rabbits can actually sleep on hay or straw, but as we mentioned above, straw is warmer bedding for rabbits than hay, keeping your bunny more comfortable in the winter months.
However, make sure you don’t purchase old, stale, brittle straw, which can irritate your rabbit. Instead, opt for fresh organic straw (like this) to adequately insulate, protect, and provide soft bedding for your rabbit.
Do Rabbits Need Straw Bedding?
No, rabbits do not need straw bedding, necessarily. While fresh, soft straw bedding for rabbits is an excellent choice, there are other types of rabbit bedding. Here are a few common ones:
- Shredded Paper
- Old Towel
To learn more about other types of rabbit bedding, try reading this helpful article.
Is it Important to Change Straw Bedding for your Rabbit Frequently?
Yes, it’s very important that the straw bedding for your rabbit is changed frequently.
We’ve established that straw bedding is good for rabbits. We’ve also mentioned that rabbits eat and sleep on hay or straw.
That’s why it’s important that your rabbit is eating, sleeping, and playing on soft, clean straw bedding. Here are 6 reasons why it’s important to change straw bedding for your rabbits frequently.
1. Odor Control
Musty rabbit bedding stinks. And the smell will not exclusively be contained in the cage. Your house could be infatuated with that musty smell if you don’t periodically provide fresh, clean straw bedding for your rabbits. A fresh layer of straw bedding could make the difference between a musty or non-musty house.
2. Bacterial Growth
Because your rabbit may urinate on its own bedding, the litter box or cage bedding can quickly become damp and dirty. Removing damp and dirty straw is critical. Bacteria grow on damp surfaces; so, when a rabbit pees on its bedding, this creates the perfect warm, damp environment for bacteria. On their own, rabbits often have very clean habitats, so you don’t want a bacteria-infested cage for your rabbit.
3. Rabbit Health
Building off the previous point, your rabbit could ingest bacteria-filled straw or hay, causing breathing problems or skin infections. Your rabbit could also become very ill from bacteria-ingested food, which (as we said) can result from dirty or damp straw bedding. Obviously, your rabbit’s health is paramount, and keeping a clean cage will greatly aid that process.
4. Insect & Bug Attraction
Keeping a fresh, clean layer of straw bedding down for your rabbits will also cut out the damp and dirty environment that insects (e.g. flies) love. Bugs are also attracted to damp spaces, leaving room for potential insect or bug-related diseases.
5. Clean Rabbit
This should be a given. Your rabbit wants and needs to be clean. Rabbits sleep on the hay or straw that you place in their cage; so, be the friend that your rabbit deserves and place fresh, clean straw (here’s an example) down for your rabbit friend to sleep on.
6. Happy Rabbit
A clean and healthy rabbit is a happy rabbit. Your rabbit deserves to be happy all the time; you can help them stay happy with a clean straw bed to nibble or sleep on. As the saying goes, “A house is not a home unless it has a rabbit.” Make your home a happy home for you and your rabbit!
Photo Credit: NHV Natural Pet
How Often Do I Change the Straw Bedding for My Rabbits?
This depends, based on several variables: a good rule of thumb is to change the straw bedding for your rabbits at least once every 2-3 days. However, that can be a longer or shorter timeframe, based on the factors listed below.
If your rabbits are litter-trained, you can change the straw bedding about once a week. Again, you may need to do this a bit more frequently on occasion, if your rabbit has diarrhea, is sick, or has a smelly cage.
Also, if your rabbit is in the process of being litter-trained, you might want to replace the bedding a bit more frequently (since accidents do happen).
No Litter Box
Maybe your rabbit isn’t quite ready for litter training or doesn’t have a litter box. No problem! You’ll just want to clean out the cage or litter box every 2-3 days. So, cleaning out the cage 2-3 times a week would be a good rule of thumb.
Number of Bunnies
The number of bunnies you have will also determine how often you need to change the straw bedding for your rabbits. If your rabbits are all litter-trained, you might have to replace the straw bedding several times a week. However, if they’re not litter-trained, you might want to replace the bedding several times every few days.
Basically, you’ll have to decide when it’s time to replace your rabbit’s bedding straw. Here are several flags that will tell you that’s it time to replace your rabbit’s bedding.
- Musty and stinky cage
- A damp and dirty cage
- Sick rabbit
- Bugs or flies in the cage
Read more about how often to replace bedding straw for your rabbits here.
How To Save
There are a couple of ways to keep costs for straw bedding at a minimum while also getting the most bang for your buck (or rabbit).
1. Buy by the Bale
Buying in bulk will save you in the long run. Just remember to keep your straw safely stored away from the elements and insects.
2. Recurring Orders
You might be thinking, “That’s a lot of work to be constantly reordering straw bedding for my rabbits!” And you’re right.
That’s why it’s important to set up a recurring straw bedding order; that way, you can keep the straw-ordering process stress-free and hands-free.
Recurring orders also ensure that fresh, soft bedding will be delivered to your rabbit’s cage every several weeks.
For example, Blue Mountain Hay allows you to set up a subscription process that sends straw bedding to you every 2-8 weeks (based on your subscription frequency choice). Based on the order frequency, you can save up to 15% on every recurring order!
How Much Does Straw Bedding for Rabbits Cost?
While we can’t speak for other companies, our straw bedding for rabbits costs about $2.40 per pound.
Grown in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, our straw bedding for rabbits is fresh and organic.
Here’s a further cost breakdown.
|Straw Bedding for Rabbits||Sq. Ft. Coverage||Price|
|3 lbs.||45 sq. ft.||$26.99|
|5 lbs.||75 sq. ft.||$34.99|
|10 lbs.||150 sq. ft.||$49.99|
|25 lbs.||375 sq. ft.||$59.99|
Again, we can’t speak for other companies, but our organic, fresh straw bedding for rabbits costs about $0.16-$0.60 per sq. ft.
Here’s how much you can save on recurring orders.
|Straw Bedding for Rabbits||Sq. Ft. Coverage||2-Week Recurring Order Savings||4-Week Recurring Order Savings||8-Week Recurring Order Savings|
|3 lbs.||45 sq. ft.|
|5 lbs.||75 sq. ft.|
|10 lbs.||150 sq. ft.|
|25 lbs.||375 sq. ft.|
Purchasing straw through the subscription process can save you up to $0.02-$0.03 per sq. ft.
How Thick of a Layer of Straw Bedding should I put in my Rabbit’s Bed?
It’s a good idea to have a 2-3 inch layer of straw bedding down for maximum comfort and warmth for your rabbit.
Photo Credit: Pet Territory
How do I Replace Straw Bedding in my Rabbit’s Cage?
Replacing the straw bedding in your rabbit’s cage can be a simple, quick process! Just follow the following steps:
1. Take out the old, damp/dirty straw bedding.
2. Clean out the cage. Use dish soap and warm water to wash and clean the cage.
3. Add a layer of fresh straw! Make sure to spread the straw generously.
4. Don’t forget to place your rabbit back in the cage!
Is Straw Bedding for Rabbits Compostable?
Yes, straw bedding for rabbits is compostable. Straw bedding actually composts quickly and combined with rabbit poo is a healthy compost. This is because a rabbit’s diet is vegetarian and not carnivorous.
A Bit About Who We Are
We’re Blue Mountain Hay, and we grow fresh, organic straw for rabbit beddings at high altitudes in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest (learn more about us here). All of our organic straw bedding for rabbits adheres to the following criteria:
- No Chemicals
- No Artificial Colors
- No Flavorings
- No Additives
Be your rabbit’s hero and provide the fresh, chemical-free straw bedding that he/she deserves!
Wrapping it Up…
Whew! Hope you kept up!
Basically, straw is a good bedding for rabbits because of its warmth, absorbent abilities, and much more! We also discussed the importance of keeping fresh, clean straw bedding down for your rabbits and how often to replace your rabbit’s bedding to maintain a clean rabbit habitat.
Moving along, we also discussed some straw bedding costs and the savings involved in setting up a recurring order system. If you have questions, just contact us!
At Blue Mountain Hay, we’d love to provide you with fresh, organic straw bedding for your rabbits whether that’s on a one-time or recurring basis!
Let’s hop to it!
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There are all kinds of straw products out there for gardens and pets. Then there's fresh garden and bedding straw. There are all kinds of pet food products out there. Then there's tasty, nutritious pet food. We don't believe in typical products. We believe in real, healthy, genuine products.