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Brown Hay in Oxbow Bag

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erinmoveit

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Typically, i pick up a 9lb bag of Oxbow Timothy hay about once a month. Today when I went to get some, there was a lot of brown in it. I've never seen it like that before. All the bags were the same way. I haven't had buns in the winter, so could this be attributed to the weather? Is it ok for me to feed it to them?
 

missyscove

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You know, I just opened my 9 lb bag of oxbow last night (although I got it in mid-December) and I noticed a lot of the hay was brown as well. It still smells fine and should be safe to feed although possibly less tasty.
 

erinmoveit

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It smells fine and is dry, I'll try to post a pic, but I'm curious whether or not the color will translate... It is just riddled with it, I'd say about 40% brown.



 

LakeCondo

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I haven't bought any Oxbow from the 2012 crop, soI can't compare. But who knows where it was grown & whether it was affected by last summer;s drought.
 

missyscove

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For what it's worth, the 9 lbs of orchard I bought at the same time is beautiful as usual. My bunnies get a mix of 3 (actually 5 since the third is a blend of wheat, barley and oat I get from a local rescue) at the same time so they have plenty of strands to choose from.
 

JBun

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I buy bales of timothy from the feed store. It's second cut, and it always looks just like that. But when I've gotten first cut with the thicker stems, it's all green and doesn't get the brown pieces in it. I think it might have to do with how the second cut dries differently in the field before being baled. Could it be that you are used to getting the first cut, and now you're getting a second cut?
 

mochajoe

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Having horses as well as bunnies, there are numerous variables that affect hay. When feeding hay, the most important factors are smell, dryness and color...does it smell okay? You don't want it to smell moldy or musty. Is it dry? Those are the factors to worry the most about...color is important too...but it can vary a lot and still be perfectly fine and safe. My first cut hay varies the most with a mix like in your photo, while my second cut is more uniform green.
 

roxyllsk

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As long as it's not dusty or moldy, it's fine. That just looks like a natural variation in the grass.

If you shake it, there should be no cloud coming off it, and it should smell clean and sweet. Mold often shows up as white patches in between the flakes on a bale.

If it's bleached (ie, white), it won't have as much nutrition in it as the nutrients have been leached out. The bleaching can happen if the bales get wet or are in the sun. But the brown hay is fine.

(My horse eats hay that looks like this and it has never made her sick).
 

erinmoveit

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I didn't think it would be an issue to feed it to them. When I gave it to them last night I was concerned that they wouldn't eat it because they are VERY picky. They seem to only eat Timothy Hay and only Oxbow (won't even eat botanical or oat hay). They seemed to ignore it all last night, but when I got up this morning, it was gone! :D
 

Shmoo06

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Thank you for making this post! I've had this same thing come up a few times. I've actually not purchased the oxbow hay before because the bag was really brown(and it was like 20 bucks, so I wanted to make sure my babies would eat it). I've actually purchased kaytee hay these past few times because of it.
 

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