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Old 01-19-2013, 07:54 AM   #1
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Default Hay - 1st or 2nd cutting?

My bale of timothy is finally getting low. It was the first bale I bought and now I can't remember if I had gotten the 1st or 2nd cutting.

Can anyone remind me which is usually recommended?
We're in a mild climate so I remember buying in March last year. I think I might run out by February, so if the proper cutting isn't available, I may need to buy from petstore in meantime.

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Old 01-19-2013, 08:06 AM   #2
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Here you go.

"The Cuttings
There are two cuttings of Timothy grass. The first cutting is coarser, lower in protein and offers more chewing time. First cutting Timothy is usually used for race horses and export to the Pacific Rim. The second cutting is brighter in color, softer and much preferred by the retail client due to its color and texture. Often horses eat it much faster (remember, faster is not always better. ) Timothy hay is high in fiber, especially when cut late. It is considered part of standard mix for grass hay and provides quality nutrition for horses."

Where I live, all the hay is cut and baled in the summer months. So first cut usually comes around May/June. But it may be different further down south, depending on where your feed store gets it's hay from. Usually this time of year the hay all comes from where it's been stored for the winter. So the cuts available just depend on what it is they have stored.

I have both cuts as my rabbits have different preferences. The first cut is very thick stems, lots of fiber, but some of my rabbits don't like that, so I also have the second cut which is the timothy with the softer stems and higher protein.

Last edited by JBun; 01-19-2013 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:45 PM   #3
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Usually the first cuttings get fed first (when there is still grass for the cattle/horses to graze on). By this time of year, we're well into using the 2nd cutting, getting ready to start on the 3rd. And by the time May rolls around we're on 3rd (and usually just about out).
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:36 PM   #4
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if I was to get bales instead of buying bags at the store is a Timothy Mix ok? Or should it be just Timothy?
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:58 PM   #5
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Should be just timothy (or just Orchard grass, Oat, Meadow, etc). Mix bales are often mixed with alfalfa and its best to not give alfalfa to rabbits over 6 months due to its high protein and calcium content.

I would go with 2nd or 3rd cut depending what you can get your hands on. I generally prefer to pick it up when its been recently been brought in so I know how its been stored. But thats not always possible when you run out in the winter months Theres nothing wrong with buying any of the cuts as long as the hay still looks good, smells good, has been stored dry, has not gotten wet, feels okay when you stick your hand in the middle, etc.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:20 AM   #6
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I feed mixed hay and first and second cut (however my bunnies much prefer second cut) as I also have horses. My vet is very bunny savvy...and she knows I feed horse quality mixed grass hay and has never advised me against it. You can tell by looking at the hay if it contains alfalfa...it characteristically is very leafy...can't miss it! In addition, I have fed horse quality mixed hay to my bunnies for over 20 years without incident.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:21 AM   #7
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I have NEVER known what cutting of hay I got. I just get what the feed store gives me.

Former Mini Rex and Callifornian rabbit breeder. Now down to 2 pet rabbits named Beauty and Shiny Things.

Travel weekly between Brenham and Spring TX with bunnies.
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