Finding better hay.

Marie28

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So right now we have a large amount of Timothy hay we bought from farm and fleet. Both bucks refuse to eat any of the small pieces and it seems that more than half of it is to small to interest them. Should I expect this from all hay bought in a store? Would we have better luck buying from a local farm?
 

farmerjan

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My first choice to buy hay is a local farm. How long have you had the bucks and can you get a name of a supplier from where they came? Maybe not possible. Did you raise them? Unless the hay is moldy, which I greatly doubt from a retail store, because they would have too many returns and other concerns, the bucks will eat more than you think if they don't have alot to choose from. One thought, @misfitmorgan on this forum, has 2500 bales of hay she was talking about maybe selling. Don't have any idea where you two are located, but you might want to get on her thread, or PM her. She has goats and sheep so the hay ought to be good for those breeds.
 

Marie28

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They are a little over 4 months and little over 5 months and are silver fox rabbits. We have had them for a little more than a month. The older buck has been super picky for awhile and I'm assuming he was fed alfalfa because it took him 3 days to decide to eat the timothy, we had it in a hay rack but would only eat what was on the ground so we put it a bread pan and now he pulls out the long pieces and the pees on all the rest. The other one pulls it all down from the rack and picks out the pieces he likes and the takes the hay rack and makes as much noise as he can ,assuming he is asking for more.
Our doe eats it all, but I feel like so much is wasted. Right now they are inside and the floors of both bucks cages is covered in hay they don't eat. I'm sure if I refused to give them any thing else they would eventually eat it...:barnie
I'm not sure if this is just a normal hay thing or if this stuff is not the best quality/ I got a crappy bale... The brand of hay is called standlee.
 
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farmerjan

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I have to apologize, I didn't notice in the picture that it was a rabbit and when you said bucks, I just assumed it was "goat bucks" not rabbit bucks. Can't tell you about the rabbit end. Our pet rabbits always ate all the orchard grass hay we fed them so I have no idea of how to help.
 

Marie28

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lol its okay, the terminology gets confusing when they both eat hay and have the same names :p
 

misfitmorgan

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If your buying the compressed timothy bales from TSC that standlee makes...i wouldnt eat it either. The bags at our TSC sit on the shelf for so long that they dust them once every 2 months...seriously. My friend used to work there and told me she was told to make sure the compressed bales got dusted so it didnt look like it sat there for so long and then they had to dust off any bales that the customer asked for out of the back too. I assume this is relative to where you live on how much people would buy the compressed bales.

I would definately see if you can find a local farm and pick up a bale or two of hay. Since your in wisconsin even a bale of grass/timothy should only be like $3-4 and will feed one rabbit for at least 2 months longer if your giving pellets too. Since the stalks are longer they dont throw as much out of the cage either. The compressed bales are 50lbs and a normal bale is 45-55lbs, it is way cheaper.

Locally compressed hay is $18.50 at TSC
Local normal hay atm is $3/bale
So 50lbs for $18.50 or 300lbs for $18

Check out craigslist several farmers sell just timothy hay and if you cant find one look at grass hay as most grass hay has timothy in it in the midwest.
 

animalmom

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Rabbits will waste hay regardless as to how good or bad it is. It is just the way of the rabbit, sad but true. My rabbits get coastal hay and alfalfa cubes (I have goats). If you are using a hay feeder you will have less waste if you cut or break the hay into 4" pieces before putting it in the feeder and this can get to be time consuming. The reason is the way rabbits eat hay; they grab a piece and start chewing it but if it falls out of their mouth it may not get picked back up.

I've found with my rabbits that if I pack a cardboard tube with hay that they will eat the hay with much less waste (fallen hay). I've seen some folks use toilet paper tubes or paper towel tubes cut in half for this. Since I milk my goats I have the big tubes the paper filters for straining the milk come in and I can tightly cram a whole lot of hay in a tube and push it out as the rabbits gnaw it down. I have not seen where they pull out pieces and spread the hay around. Works real well for me.

Yeah, go get yourself a bale of hay.
 

Marie28

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Thank you all for the responses. Sounds like we will be looking at some farms! I've seen a few ads in the paper.We don't have a truck ATM so i will need to see if it can be delivered.

The younger one, Onyx is such a butt about it, in the afternoon I try to give him and Topaz (the older one) the best looking long ones and they eat them all, at night they end up getting a few long and some more of the smaller pieces and he just pulls it all out eats the long ones and then throws a fit.... I've tried to stuff it in real tight so its harder but it only makes it take longer for him to do it:he
 

misfitmorgan

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Thank you all for the responses. Sounds like we will be looking at some farms! I've seen a few ads in the paper.We don't have a truck ATM so i will need to see if it can be delivered.

The younger one, Onyx is such a butt about it, in the afternoon I try to give him and Topaz (the older one) the best looking long ones and they eat them all, at night they end up getting a few long and some more of the smaller pieces and he just pulls it all out eats the long ones and then throws a fit.... I've tried to stuff it in real tight so its harder but it only makes it take longer for him to do it:he

Look on craigslist for your area too, often you can find hay cheaper there and better quality...at least thats the case here. Most farmers here dont use the paper anymore to advertise. On craigslist it will be in the "farm+garden" section under the "For Sale" heading.
 

mysunwolf

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Thank you all for the responses. Sounds like we will be looking at some farms! I've seen a few ads in the paper.We don't have a truck ATM so i will need to see if it can be delivered...

Truck, what's that? We hauled hay in our sedan, and then our hatchback, for years before finally getting a truck :lol: Just be sure to put down a really good tarp first!
 
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