• Forum/Server Upgrade If you are reading this you have made it to the upgraded forum. Posts made on the old forum after 26th October 2023 have not been transfered. Everything else should be here. If you find any issues please let us know.

Ryegrass Hay

I want to do a lot more research into this issue. What, in my view, would be the most beneficial outcome of Haybox making these claims, would be for ALL hay suppliers to be far more transparent about what they are actually growing and selling. Really helpful would be, if in addion to this, the suppliers could provide the approximate nutritional content of the different types of hay that they are selling, although this content will be highly variable within the same species.

In particular, this would mean that for every variety of hay that they sell, they state on their website exactly what species of grass it is. With some suppliers it is easy to find this information, but with others, well it just isn't there. To give an example, as far as I know there are at least three different Ryegrass species, Annual Ryegrass, Italian Ryegrass (which I think is an annual) and Perennial Ryegrass. Haybox, just calls it Ryegrass. This in my view is sloppy. They must know which Ryegrass they are referring to. To not identify it within this article could suggest that they want to deliberately cause confusion, although more likely they consider that the hay-buying public are just not interested in this sort of detail.

Something else I would like to see on all hay suppliers' website is their policy regarding herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. I often wonder how a farmer can grow and sell eg Timothy hay and not have the crop invaded by (a) other grass species and (b) weeds without controlling this in some way. I, for one, would like to know how this is done.

I suspect that for horses, the information might be considered more necessary. If Haybox are going to make these claims, then other companies might want to add their thoughts too.
 
I was also wondering about the use of herbicides, pesticides, etc.

It's very difficult to grow just one species of grass, and it's not a natural diet - rabbits would consume many species of grass and other plants growing nearby.

I would rather buy a locally grown mixed 'meadow' hay, and I don't mind if I find the odd 'weed' in the bale as that means the field hasn't been treated with excessive chemicals, although thistles are a nuisance (and can indicate poor pasture management).
 
I was also wondering about the use of herbicides, pesticides, etc.

It's very difficult to grow just one species of grass, and it's not a natural diet - rabbits would consume many species of grass and other plants growing nearby.

I would rather buy a locally grown mixed 'meadow' hay, and I don't mind if I find the odd 'weed' in the bale as that means the field hasn't been treated with excessive chemicals, although thistles are a nuisance (and can indicate poor pasture management).
I completely support this point of view.
 
As I have said many times before,all of the Rabbits I have cared for over the years have favoured the baled meadow hay I buy from an Equine Feed supplier/Farm. Whilst I hear how so many Rabbits favour course Timothy Hay mine never have. They have all preferred softer hay. Second cut Timothy Hay is usually softer.

My Rabbits are fed some Ryegrass hay, but not in large amounts. The do love it.

I have messaged the RWAF about this issue to see what their opinion is. I think with Rabbits on a 95% hay diet a variety of hay types is essential. Unless there is compelling evidence that feeding a small amount of Ryegrass hay is harmful I will continue to feed it in moderation.
 
As I have said many times before,all of the Rabbits I have cared for over the years have favoured the baled meadow hay I buy from an Equine Feed supplier/Farm. Whilst I hear how so many Rabbits favour course Timothy Hay mine never have. They have all preferred softer hay. Second cut Timothy Hay is usually softer.

My Rabbits are fed some Ryegrass hay, but not in large amounts. The do love it.

I have messaged the RWAF about this issue to see what their opinion is. I think with Rabbits on a 95% hay diet a variety of hay types is essential. Unless there is compelling evidence that feeding a small amount of Ryegrass hay is harmful I will continue to feed it in moderation.
I would hope that now that Haybox have started the dialogue online, other interested parties will join in. Not least those companies that are currently growing and selling Ryegrass hay. I think it's a good idea too to get the views of the RWAF as well.

My experience with Tui and Froe is that yes, they prefer very stalky Timothy hay, in particular Froe, who will eat hay in preference to anything else. We have a square plot in the garden, where the grass is left to grow long each year and cut and dried after seeding. It is a mix of at least a dozen different grass species, a very tiny amount being Timothy. When it dries, it becomes very soft, all of it. This makes me wonder if the question of whether it is course or soft, has more to do with the drying method, than the species. I'm also persuaded in this argument, as both bunnies will hardly touch 'our hay' once it has become hay, whereas they are very enthusiastic and do eat large quantities of it every day in its grass form.
 
Ryegrass is probably the most common lawn grass seed as it's hardwearing. It tends to dominate if it's in the mix, but is unlikely to be the only grass species there. There shouldn't be a problem with it being part of the rabbit's diet. Any grass / hay is still going to be better than eg commercially produced 'treats'.
 
Ryegrass is probably the most common lawn grass seed as it's hardwearing. It tends to dominate if it's in the mix, but is unlikely to be the only grass species there. There shouldn't be a problem with it being part of the rabbit's diet. Any grass / hay is still going to be better than eg commercially produced 'treats'.
This is one of the confusions though. I think the Ryegrass species used for lawns is Perennial Ryegrass. There are two other Ryegrass species, both annual, and I think, but am not sure because of lack of information, that the Ryegrass used for feeding animals is Italian Ryegrass (annual). There are bound to be differences between these three species with regard to likely toxins and fructans content. It's really useless information from Haybox that mentions that 'Ryegrass can potentially be high in fructans' unless they also provide a comparison species and the two fructans contents. 'Potentially' is also open to question.

Having said all of that, I nonetheless agree with your general point above and in my opinion there would be no problem including Ryegrass (any of the three) in a rabbit's diet.

I do still maintain though that hay supplier websites should provide more complete information about their product.

I can't imagine that suppliers of Ryegrass hay, who are competitors of Haybox, are going to be entirely relaxed about this mailshot.
 
Omi I love the names of your rabbits!
😍
Haha, thank you ❤️

We can't claim credit for the name Tui. She came from ARC and we adopted her when she was 3 months old. ARC had rescued several adult Californian/NZ white crosses from a 'meat farm' and several of the does were already pregnant. Tui was one of the kits born in the rescue. She was with her mother, when we visited the rescue to select one of the kits for adoption. Her mother was called Tui and she was so beautiful that we decided to call her kit, Tui, in her memory. ARC had given all the rabbits names with a New Zealand connection. The rescue ended up with about 30 rabbits from that rescue, many of whom were very young, like Tui. Tui is now six and a half ❤️

Jane's Elsa and Aoife were also part of the same rescue ❤️
 
Well my reply from the RWAF appears to be just the opinion of the person who does the admin etc not from the Veterinary advisor or any formerly qualified animal nutritionist. That’s not to say her opinion is wrong, but I would like to have a more detailed discussion with a qualified person.

At this point I will continue to feed the small amount of Ryegrass hay as part of the variety of hay types my Rabbits have.

i think mycotoxins Are a problem that needs to be kept in mind with all types of hay and feed. Hay sold in plastic bags and stored in a warm environment before or after purchase will ‘sweat’ and mould is very likely to occur. Although granted the higher the sugar content in the specific grass the more likely mycotoxins are to become a problem.

Omi, I agree with your thoughts regarding needing more information from the hay supply companies regarding the exact grass types of the hays they sell.

Haybox do provide this guide.


But it lacks links to evidence and me being me I want to read facts from a qualified independent source not just the company trying to sell me their product. This is a general statement, not one aimed only at Haybox.

The good thing is that receiving the email from Haybox has prompted me to do a lot more research about hay as my knowledge is very inadequate.
 
Well my reply from the RWAF appears to be just the opinion of the person who does the admin etc not from the Veterinary advisor or any formerly qualified animal nutritionist. That’s not to say her opinion is wrong, but I would like to have a more detailed discussion with a qualified person.

At this point I will continue to feed the small amount of Ryegrass hay as part of the variety of hay types my Rabbits have.

i think mycotoxins Are a problem that needs to be kept in mind with all types of hay and feed. Hay sold in plastic bags and stored in a warm environment before or after purchase will ‘sweat’ and mould is very likely to occur. Although granted the higher the sugar content in the specific grass the more likely mycotoxins are to become a problem.

Omi, I agree with your thoughts regarding needing more information from the hay supply companies regarding the exact grass types of the hays they sell.

Haybox do provide this guide.


But it lacks links to evidence and me being me I want to read facts from a qualified independent source not just the company trying to sell me their product. This is a general statement, not one aimed only at Haybox.

The good thing is that receiving the email from Haybox has prompted me to do a lot more research about hay as my knowledge is very inadequate.
Have just quickly skimmed through the Haybox guide. Firstly I'm impressed that a hay supplier is providing this for buyers who are interested in such information. I also would like to have links to evidence. However, without knowing more about Haybox (not sure I've ever used them) I don't know whether their customers have asked for such information or whether their feedback suggests that buyers are interested or not. Perhaps they should be applauded though for introducing the topic, as I'm not sure whether I've seen anything similar from other hay suppliers in the UK. I also don't have access to Facebook, so it's possible that there is more of a discussion out there within that site.

In my view, mould and indeed any fungus, is a potential danger to any animal. And that is whether it has occured on the plant when its growing or within storage. And of course part of the danger is a lack of information, whilst accepting that the world of fungi is only just being more thoroughly investigated.
 
Have just quickly skimmed through the Haybox guide. Firstly I'm impressed that a hay supplier is providing this for buyers who are interested in such information. I also would like to have links to evidence. However, without knowing more about Haybox (not sure I've ever used them) I don't know whether their customers have asked for such information or whether their feedback suggests that buyers are interested or not. Perhaps they should be applauded though for introducing the topic, as I'm not sure whether I've seen anything similar from other hay suppliers in the UK. I also don't have access to Facebook, so it's possible that there is more of a discussion out there within that site.

In my view, mould and indeed any fungus, is a potential danger to any animal. And that is whether it has occured on the plant when its growing or within storage. And of course part of the danger is a lack of information, whilst accepting that the world of fungi is only just being more thoroughly investigated.
Mycotoxins in animal feed have been a subject of concern for a long time. But usually not from the ‘ordinary’ pet owner’s’ POV. When you look at the shelves of hay packed in plastic in pet stores it’s obvious to those aware of the dangers that the temperature in store and hay in tightly wrapped plastic are not a good mix. With mycotoxin poisoning the animal might not become acutely unwell, but over time they can be harmed. I often wonder how many episodes of ‘unexplained’ gut stasis could be due to the ingestion of mycotoxins in hay over a long period of time.

Some people store hay in plastic storage boxes or bins. Again not a good idea. Especially if the storage is indoors in a centrally heated house.

The other thing that all this talk of Ryegrass Hay has made me think about is that if someone has a Rabbit who, despite the owner’s best efforts, is a very poor hay eater but will eat a good quantity of Ryegrass Hay then surely that has to be better than the Rabbit eating little to no hay at all.

I wonder what the competitors of Haybox who do sell Ryegrass Hay/ ‘Sweet Hay’ think about all this. Apparently it is being discussed in at least one FB Rabbit Group. But I left all the FB Rabbit Groups a couple of years ago as I found a lot of them so annoying as there were too many people who would ask for advice over and over again, but always ignore it. Or assumptions would be made about a situation and everyone would jump on a person in a bullying way. It could be worse than the old days on here 🤣🤣
 
A bit of reading for anyone interested, not about Ryegrass Hay so a bit OT


I haven’t bought hay from here, but I will probably give them a try.
 
A bit of reading for anyone interested, not about Ryegrass Hay so a bit OT


I haven’t bought hay from here, but I will probably give them a try.
I haven't heard of that company previously. It's interesting that they have an in-house nutritionalist, who welcomes contact. This has to be a plus. Also of course is the fact that they have bothered to display a lot of nutritional information on their website.

What did make me laugh and made me question their view of a typical hay-buyer, were the names that they have given to their two main products ie TASTY Timothy and MOREISH Meadow. A complete turn-off as far as I'm concerned, although I guess they will market their products according to what they think attracts typical rabbit keepers :LOL: I prefer to be targeted by a company who considers that my considerations are based on more serious facts. But this is nit-picking on my part really.

There's a useful information sheet on the website too regarding what to look for in rabbit poop.
 
I haven't heard of that company previously. It's interesting that they have an in-house nutritionalist, who welcomes contact. This has to be a plus. Also of course is the fact that they have bothered to display a lot of nutritional information on their website.

What did make me laugh and made me question their view of a typical hay-buyer, were the names that they have given to their two main products ie TASTY Timothy and MOREISH Meadow. A complete turn-off as far as I'm concerned, although I guess they will market their products according to what they think attracts typical rabbit keepers :LOL: I prefer to be targeted by a company who considers that my considerations are based on more serious facts. But this is nit-picking on my part really.

There's a useful information sheet on the website too regarding what to look for in rabbit poop.
I think you’re a bit too intellectual to find the corny names of the hays appealing 🤣🤣 I too was impressed by the fact they have a nutritionist. I have done a bit of research into the owner of the company. Human health and wellness diet seems to be something she’s involved with too.

Part of my research took me onto LinkedIn. Not logged on to my Account there for a very long time. I laughed when I read a message of a job vacancy in ATC ……in Vanuatu 😳🤣
 
I think you’re a bit too intellectual to find the corny names of the hays appealing 🤣🤣 I too was impressed by the fact they have a nutritionist. I have done a bit of research into the owner of the company. Human health and wellness diet seems to be something she’s involved with too.

Part of my research took me onto LinkedIn. Not logged on to my Account there for a very long time. I laughed when I read a message of a job vacancy in ATC ……in Vanuatu 😳🤣
Just for the record, I really don't consider myself in any way intellectual:LOL: Whenever I am looking at a new product or website I wonder always if the seller's priorities for the product are reflected in how and whom they target with their marketing. It was no more than that really and on reflection it probably makes sense for them to use devices like this merely in order to sell more of the product. I imagine that there will be fewer people like me, but more who consider the names to be 'cute' and therefore more likely to lead to increased sales.
 
Back
Top