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Thread: Time between harvesting hay and selling?

  1. #1

    Default Time between harvesting hay and selling?

    Hi, Iíve been looking into getting a new additional Ďtreatí hay for my rabbits to give alongside the Small Pet Select 2nd Cutting Timothy Hay being their main hay. I looked on timothyhay.co.uk as it has been recommended on here, and was looking at the Oat Hay but later found out it was harvested back in 2017? I find this to be quite a long time for hay to be stored, especially when the Timothy hay sold by the same company was harvested in 2019 which Iíd guess to be more standard. But I could be wrong, as this could be due to demand; Iím sure the Timothy is their best seller. Even so, Iím still quite confused and have some concerns that hay harvested so long ago may not be as fresh/good quality. How long is hay usually stored for (excluding pet shop hays as I know this is stored for long periods)? Is hay harvested in 2017 and sold in 2020 considered a Ďnormalí timespan between harvesting and selling?

    Also has anyone got a cheaper alternative to the Small Pet Select 1st Cutting Timothy Hay (ie good hays for rabbits with GI issues). Iíve read that oat hay is similar in this respect and so thatís why I was looking for it in the first place, as well as just encouraging my rabbits to eat more hay in general.

    Any help appreciated.

  2. #2
    Moderator Zoobec's Avatar
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    Iím not sure how long is kept at other suppliers, but for example at equine hay merchants you would only ever be buying hay from the previous year or the same year if it had already been harvested. I would email different suppliers and ask them for samples, to see which they like best. My rabbits are currently enjoying the Timothy hay from hay and straw.co.uk and hay box. They also like the sweet green hay from natureís own.

    Mine arenít generally keen on oat hay, or meadow hay!

    Binky free at the bridge Boots, you will never be forgotten xxxx

  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Lots of folk recommend Haybox. I get mine from a farm. Also I have heard that B&M hay is good, also The Range have so scrummy hays with Marigold etc mixed in. What bunny could resist?

  4. #4
    Mama Doe
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    It is probably more about storage conditions than year if harvest. Last year's last cut could be quite ropey by now if it hasn't had optimum storage conditions. Most horse suppliers will only have last year's hay in stock - and at this time of year, even that can be hard to get hold of - so you know it will be from the last harvest, just due to demand.

    I have part of a saved bale bagged up from 2 years ago because it was ideal for chipmunk bedding, and they don't go through much compared with the other furries. It still looks and smells nice. I also have the end of the last bale I bought a few weeks ago - which is full of soil dust from the harvesting and is OK, but not exactly the best bale I've had, but it will get used as a base layer under nicer stuff for eating.

    Baled hay from the bottom of a stack in a barn from last year's cut is likely to dustier than bales from higher up in the stack, just due to gravity and the weight of the rest on top.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonibun View Post
    Lots of folk recommend Haybox. I get mine from a farm. Also I have heard that B&M hay is good, also The Range have so scrummy hays with Marigold etc mixed in. What bunny could resist?
    Iíve had a look at HayBox and it seems good value, so I might look at ordering something. How would you say it is for dust? Do you know how it compares to other suppliers like SmallPetSelect? Obviously the less dust, the better.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmer View Post
    It is probably more about storage conditions than year if harvest. Last year's last cut could be quite ropey by now if it hasn't had optimum storage conditions. Most horse suppliers will only have last year's hay in stock - and at this time of year, even that can be hard to get hold of - so you know it will be from the last harvest, just due to demand.

    I have part of a saved bale bagged up from 2 years ago because it was ideal for chipmunk bedding, and they don't go through much compared with the other furries. It still looks and smells nice. I also have the end of the last bale I bought a few weeks ago - which is full of soil dust from the harvesting and is OK, but not exactly the best bale I've had, but it will get used as a base layer under nicer stuff for eating.

    Baled hay from the bottom of a stack in a barn from last year's cut is likely to dustier than bales from higher up in the stack, just due to gravity and the weight of the rest on top.
    This was helpful, thank you.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoobec View Post
    Iím not sure how long is kept at other suppliers, but for example at equine hay merchants you would only ever be buying hay from the previous year or the same year if it had already been harvested. I would email different suppliers and ask them for samples, to see which they like best. My rabbits are currently enjoying the Timothy hay from hay and straw.co.uk and hay box. They also like the sweet green hay from natureís own.

    Mine arenít generally keen on oat hay, or meadow hay!
    Great, thank you. I am having a look at HayBox.

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