Hay Question

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Hyatt101

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So, we've been giving our buns Timothy hay for quite a while now, but we were advised against this because Timothy's has too much sugar or artificial ingredients was what the guy at the store said. Is this true? I am now giving them a regular grass hay, fresh, from a big bale, just to be on the safe side.
 

Hyatt101

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I didn't ever hear of sugars in Timothy either, so I wanted to be sure. Is this regular grass hay fine?
 

erinmoveit

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are you talking about a large bale of hay from a feed store? If so, I think those tend to be a mix varieties of hay including Alfalfa. If you can check to see if it is a low percentage of alfalfa or non-alfalfa you should be ok. Do you have an adult rabbit?
 

missyscove

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Timothy is one type of grass hay. Others are orchard, coastal, bermuda, meadow, etc. All of the grass hays have a very similar nutrient profile. The word grass in "grass hay" is to distinguish it from hays made of legumes like alfalfa and clover which generally have too much protein for adult rabbits.
Basically, timothy hay is just fine and I have no idea what is in your bale of "regular grass hay" since there is no specific kind of grass listed.
 

Hyatt101

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I have two rabbits around 5-6 months old, which is another reason i wanted to switch from Timothy. I don't know whats in this hay, its just grass hay, not in packaging or anything.
 

JBun

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That sounds a little ridiculous what that guy said, especially about artificial ingredients. What?! Timothy is just a kind of grass hay. It's alfalfa hay that you have to switch them off when they are about 6 months, because alfalfa has too much protein and calcium for an adult rabbit. This bale of grass hay that you have now, should be fine as long as it's a good quality grass hay with very little to no weeds, hasn't ever been wet, and is a good green color.
 

Imbrium

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I wouldn't necessarily say that timothy is "the recommended hay"... it's more like it just happens to be the hay pet stores choose to sell. health-wise, ANY horse-quality grass hay is equally acceptable for rabbits of any age. grass hays include timothy, bermuda, coastal, bluegrass, oat, wheat, orchard, meadow, etc. the guy who told you not to feed timothy has NO clue what he's talking about.
 

Hyatt101

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I didn't think he was very smart, and that's what I told my mom as we were leaving. But, the other hay we have now is cheaper anyway! :p That guy didn't even know what cecotropes were, he said rabbits eat their first poop of the day, and I said, "oh do you mean cecotropes?" Spelling on that? Anyway, he looked at me like I was crazy
 

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you spelled it correctly ;)

and yeah, the feed store grass hay's usually not timothy and is always very cheap... great way to go, if your bunns will actually eat it (unlike mine).
 

Hyatt101

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My buns love it! They don't seem to care much when it comes to hay, as long as they have any hay they're satisfied! :)
 

Imbrium

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mine hate oxbow, lol... suits me, since they charge obscene prices just because it has their name on it. I'll take my $1.42 a lb sierra valley hay over $3 a lb oxbow any day :p (though I still wish they'd eat $1 for 8 lbs coastal!)
 

Imbrium

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yeah, it was $27 for 9 lbs of oxbow oat hay when I bought some from a feed store... and that crap is like HALF oats, which I have to pick out. sierra valley oat hay, which has less oats and seems fresher, is only $32 for 20 lbs (and that's with it being shipped to me). I'll never buy oxbow again!

for what it's gonna cost you in the long run feeding oxbow, you might give the 1st or 2nd cut sierra valley timothy a try. if you're not sure which to get and/or don't want to commit to a large order, you could email them and find out if it's possible to buy a little sample of each - they're really nice and seem quite accommodating. I'm getting samples of their 1st and 2nd cut timothy and their 2nd cut orchard for free in my next order of two boxes so the girls can try those out.
 

erinmoveit

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thanks, I will definitely look into that! Now they say that you shouldn't but more hay than you can use in a certain amount of time, but i can't remember the time frame... anyone want to refresh my memory?
 

ldoerr

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I have a bale of timothy that is at least 3 years old and still in good shape. I do not feed it to them though (rats got into it). When I gave them a bit of it a few months ago they LOVED it (before rats). There is only a short period of time a year when all the hay is grown and harvested. Any hay you get in all comes from that 1 small time when they harvest it. It is likely that you have bought hay that was almost a year old if you bought it out of season. It just needs t be kept in a dry location. I keep mine in a garage or in a shed outside. You want the hay to have room around it to breath.
 

sugarbunnies

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My buns seem to be picky when it comes to hay. They will devour timothy hay, but will barely touch orchard grass (which is what I am stuck with now). I have not tried meadow or anything else like that (don't think my feed store carries meadow hay). The prices I have to pay are kind of obscene. For 3 bags of timothy I pay $29. Their bale seems to be around the same price. I am so frustrated that there is no alternative. I hear of people getting a nice bale for like $8....
 
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