Substitute for Timothy Hay

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by ruka, Dec 28, 2005.

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  1. Dec 28, 2005 #1

    ruka

    ruka

    ruka

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    My dad recently took an allergy test to find outwhat he has been so allergic to. Before he took the test, we alreadyknew he was highly allergic to cats; he would break out into hives andswell. Well, the results show that he is even MORE allergic to timothy!I've been keeping the timothy hay out of my dad's way, but the girlsare indoors and there's hay in there 24/7. (To add to that, my dad camedown with pneumonia a couple months ago and just had a lung biopsy acouple Fridays ago to see what the pneumonia was caused by. Now my dadthinks it's the timothy hay and/or mold. (We live in a pretty damp areaand the mold grows on our leather couch and on my mom's leatherpurses.))

    He said if he still allergic to the new hay, I have to keep the rabbitsoutside (which I do not want to do), and if he's still breathing in thehay when they're outside, I might have to place them in a new home. :(

    I'm sure there's no such thing as hypoallergenic hay, but does anyoneknow of a great substitute? Maybe one less "dusty"? Thanks.
     
  2. Dec 29, 2005 #2

    Spring

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    Try to see if you can get some timothy haycubes. They don't provide as much fiber and would probably be veryexpensive to feed the amount they need, but for a little extra fiberthis might help.

    Is it all hay? Maybe try some oat hay. You may also try some oat grass(They sell them in planters at the petstore they are also called catgrass) People on this forum said it's like Oat hay, just with all themoisture. Just give them a little at a time to get their systems usedto it. This can help.

    Before knowing the importance of hay with my first rabbit, she only gotpellets and a rare occasional vegetable and she lived for 8 years.Experiment with different types of hay maybe?

    With timothy hay cubes, pellets, oat grass, maybe oats you should get enough fiber to have areasonable diet.

    Maybe increase the amount of vegetables if you have to decrease oreliminate the hay. Vegetables do have some fiber in them, sothis may help.
     
  3. Dec 29, 2005 #3

    pamnock

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    You could try alfalfa hay cubes, oat straw, orrinsing the hay off outside before giving it too the rabbits(frequently remove what they don't eat). Another option is toput the rabbits in an outdoor pen to eat the hay.

    If you can't find a solution that works, remember that pellets, leafygreens and veggies can provide your rabbits with plenty of fiber intheir diets.



    Pam
     
  4. Dec 29, 2005 #4

    Spring

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    Good idea for the rinsing off the hay. Justdon't leave it in there for more then a few hours to avoid mould. Notsure with some bunnies if they'd like it or not?
     
  5. Dec 29, 2005 #5

    pamnock

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    Spring wrote:

    No -- some rabbits may not like it. You can shake it out anddry it a little. We used to wash down the hay for horses thathad allergies.

    Pam
     
  6. Dec 29, 2005 #6

    Spring

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    Hmm I was also thinking if apple branches or any rabbti safe branches have fiber in them?
     
  7. Dec 29, 2005 #7

    Snuggys Mom

    Snuggys Mom

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    ruka wrote:
    Wow, that's pretty bad. Maybe it's just the mold that's setting your dad off.

    Do you use de-humidifiers in your house?

    Laura


     
  8. Dec 29, 2005 #8

    nose_twitch

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    I'm also highly allergic to hay, which is why myrabbit lives on the porch but comes inside frequently. When Ifeed him hay, I wear one of those surgical masks. Someonesuggested feeding the hay outside. I think this is a goodidea. Also, make sure you seal your bags of hay.Then there is no dust flying around. I don't think you willever need to re-home your rabbits. There are alwayssolutions. If worse comes to worse, you can provide fiber inother ways.
     
  9. Dec 29, 2005 #9

    pamnock

    pamnock

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    Spring wrote:

    Yes, there are a number of safe branches that can be fed.

    Pam
     
  10. Dec 29, 2005 #10

    peapoo_bunny

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    im not allergic to the hay we feed my horse, buti am allergic to timothy hay....i give peapoo a few handfulls everyother day...other days she gets lots of vegetables and those treebranches from the store... when i do feed her hay i have to keep mynose covered.... i think its actually the dust in the air
     
  11. Dec 29, 2005 #11

    peapoo_bunny

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    im not allergic to the hay we feed my horse, buti am allergic to timothy hay....i give peapoo a few handfulls everyother day...other days she gets lots of vegetables and those treebranches from the store... when i do feed her hay i have to keep mynose covered.... i think its actually the dust in the air from the hay
     
  12. Dec 29, 2005 #12

    Maureen Las

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    I live where the winters are really cold and myrabbits are always inside but since I have been on this forum I amstarting to wish that if I lived in a warmer climate that I could havea really nice indoorand outdoor area(outside of the house in a separatebldg. I wish that it could be cooled and heated and I wish that I couldtake every bunny from the humane society home with me and give them alla wonderful home. Maybe your dad could help you build something reallynice for your rabbits. Also maybe there is less dust in certain timothy(Oxbow). What about orchard grass from Oxbow?
     
  13. Dec 29, 2005 #13

    FreddysMom

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    Ruka,

    Also keep in mind that the allergens from the hay will also be on yourrabbits fur. So just keeping the hay away from your dad will help butnot totally alleviate the problem.

    If possible, try switching to another hay ..I know they sell tiny bagsof each kind so that way you wont be stuck spending a bunch of money ofdifferent kinds.

    If that doesn't work as Pam mentioned veggies are a good source offiber and correct if I am wrong, Pam doesn't feed her rabbits any hay.

    and Also remember the pellets are timothy based. So you may want tosift them through a strainer when you buy the bags to reduce any dust.But you can;t rinse them in water as they will swell and turn into mush.

    I hope you find a solution and everything works out well!!!!!!!!!!
     
  14. Dec 29, 2005 #14

    ruka

    ruka

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    It's rains here often and I have a streamrunning through my backyard. The mold is only growing in the masterbedroom and nearby living room. Those two rooms are closest to thestream. We are planning on moving to a nearby town that isn't so dampwithin a few months, but in the meantime, my dad wants me to fix theproblem for now before he gets worse. He wasn't tested for any othertypes of hay or grass. I'll call the local feed/pet stores for oatgrass/hay. Since it has been rainy (Hawaii's snow is rain) I don't wantto keep them outside to eat their hay, but if my dad's still allergicto the oat hay, I'll have to keep them outside for that. Thanks for allof your advice! I greatly appreciate it.
     
  15. Dec 29, 2005 #15

    bluebird

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    oat hay is less dusty,orchard grass is oneoption.if you are feeding a high quality pellet and veges you could getaway with not feeding hay many breeders dont.bluebird
     
  16. Dec 29, 2005 #16

    Guest

    bluebird wrote:
    Pam and BlueBird have given some good advice , its not mandatory to feed hay,

    IT also sounds like the Mold is also an issue, one could be triggering the other , Iwould let them know Leather and dampnesscould also be part of theproblem and to remove theleather furniture where the mold grows.

    Cubed Hay has as much fiber as baled and cut hay ,it all comes from the same place andsubstance just cut into smaller pieces and compressed:disgust:
     
  17. Dec 29, 2005 #17

    pamnock

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    FreddysMom wrote:

    Due to the number of rabbits we have, it is impractical to feed themall hay. Does, kits and weanlings as well as older rabbitsget oat straw.

    Rabbits do require high fiber diets, which pelleted feeds areformulated to provide. Excess fiber sources can result innutritional imbalances such as protein deficiency, especially forproduction animals.

    Pam
     
  18. Dec 29, 2005 #18

    peapoo_bunny

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    couldnt you use some of that cat grass they sell at the store? the one at our store says its for rabitts too
     
  19. Dec 29, 2005 #19

    ariel

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    Even though I may be on the other sideof the world and there are different things here, I'd say try Oat hay.We switched to it and it's great, not as much dust and the bunnies loveit, or as has been suggested you could try cubed hay.

    Hope all works out for you.
     
  20. Dec 29, 2005 #20

    gentle giants

    gentle giants

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    You could also try giving them plain shreddedwheat, the cereal you can get at the grocery store. It's got tons offiber in it, and I know all my rabbits absolutely looove it. In fact,that's what they all got as thier Christmas treat, LOL!
     

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