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Ryegrass Hay

Timothy hay and meadow hay. I already have two big boxes of Rye Hay from The Little Hay Company

Will be interesting :D Yes, I've just had a box of the usual timothy from timothyhay.co.uk One detail that I didn't notice on the Hay Day products is the age of the hay. The timothy from timothyhay is last year's. Their Orchard Hay is 2022!
 
Will be interesting :D Yes, I've just had a box of the usual timothy from timothyhay.co.uk One detail that I didn't notice on the Hay Day products is the age of the hay. The timothy from timothyhay is last year's. Their Orchard Hay is 2022!
The Cotswold Sweet from TLHC was only cut last month. Hence I am only feeding a very small amount of it.
The more I am reading about feeding Ryegrass Hay to Rabbits the more OK I am feeling about continuing to do so in very moderate amounts as usual.

With all hays IMO the origin and age of it and how it is stored is more important than what it looks like to us. Also, there’s no point in completely cutting Ryegrass hay from the diet of a Rabbit who will only eat a good amount of that type of hay.

My Rabbits won’t touch stalky Timothy Hay even if they are not offered any alternative. They will eat some of the second cut Timothy, as it’s softer. But it’s certainly not a favourite.
 
The first hay cuts have just started locally. It looks like it should be a good yield for the first cut this year. Some new bales are now in stock at the local equine supplier. Horse hay tends to be stored for a few weeks before it is sold.

My rabbits get some fresh grass. The stuff that's survived in the garden looks like mainly ryegrass. I've no issues feeding it to them.
 
OK, so it looks as though there is a commercial aspect to this issue. Today I received this from The Little hay Company
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The first hay cuts have just started locally. It looks like it should be a good yield for the first cut this year. Some new bales are now in stock at the local equine supplier. Horse hay tends to be stored for a few weeks before it is sold.

My rabbits get some fresh grass. The stuff that's survived in the garden looks like mainly ryegrass. I've no issues feeding it to them.
The fields opposite our house are owned by a local hay farmer. Every year since we've lived here, he has cut the hay twice, each time leaving it to dry on the fields. This year he hasn't been able to cut the hay and I suspect it will be past its best if he leaves it much longer and maybe he will just not be able to cut it at all. Not only is it starting to look brownish, but the rain and strong winds have flattened so much of it. For weeks now we seem to have had rain at least once every day, so even if he managed to cut it, which he usually does over a couple of days, he just wouldn't be able to get it to dry.

He can't be the only one in this situation, certainly here in the South East, so I suspect there could be a hay shortage later this year :( This is where those farmers, who barn-dry their hay will benefit.
 
If it's a bit damp, they usually bale it for silage / haylage around here if it gets to the stage where it looks like the weather won't pick up in time. There's always a balance / risk if the weather is fickle for a couple of weeks around the time it needs harvesting. Not cutting the grass at all means there won't be a second cut, though, and once it sets seed, it won't yield any more fresh growth.

I've noticed that the longer grass in my garden is getting a bit of past its best now so I've had to be careful what I pulled for the furries today. It's stayed damp for too long.
 
The fields opposite our house are owned by a local hay farmer. Every year since we've lived here, he has cut the hay twice, each time leaving it to dry on the fields. This year he hasn't been able to cut the hay and I suspect it will be past its best if he leaves it much longer and maybe he will just not be able to cut it at all. Not only is it starting to look brownish, but the rain and strong winds have flattened so much of it. For weeks now we seem to have had rain at least once every day, so even if he managed to cut it, which he usually does over a couple of days, he just wouldn't be able to get it to dry.

He can't be the only one in this situation, certainly here in the South East, so I suspect there could be a hay shortage later this year :( This is where those farmers, who barn-dry their hay will benefit.
TLHC barn dry the Cotswold Sweet/ Ryegrass hay. Is this an inferior drying method to outdoor drying ? IE does it effect the quality of the hay ?
 
If it's a bit damp, they usually bale it for silage / haylage around here if it gets to the stage where it looks like the weather won't pick up in time. There's always a balance / risk if the weather is fickle for a couple of weeks around the time it needs harvesting. Not cutting the grass at all means there won't be a second cut, though, and once it sets seed, it won't yield any more fresh growth.

I've noticed that the longer grass in my garden is getting a bit of past its best now so I've had to be careful what I pulled for the furries today. It's stayed damp for too long.
He normally does produce some haylage as well, so maybe he will do that with all of it. I was thinking about the implications of not cutting it ie no second cut and no regrowth :(
 
TLHC barn dry the Cotswold Sweet/ Ryegrass hay. Is this an inferior drying method to outdoor drying ? IE does it effect the quality of the hay ?
I wouldn't have considered it to be inferior, no. It might even be better nutritionally. It's probably better in respect of storage capability. Not every farmer is large enough or wants to invest in a barn-drying facilty though.

Speeding up the drying process in a barn will certainly in my view change the nutritional quality of the hay, but how I'm not sure. I also haven't seen any information regarding this.

The difference will possibly be similar to the difference between drying forage in a dehydrator and leaving it somewhere else to dry more slowly.
 
This looks like a good, more informative and independent source of information. Haven't got time to do it justice at the moment, but will read it properly later.


I will take a look at this when my brain is less befuddled by meds ! I am really disappointed with myself that despite keeping Rabbits for 26 years I have learned no more than the basics when it comes to hay.

Its really interesting to be learning a lot more about it 😀
 
I will take a look at this when my brain is less befuddled by meds ! I am really disappointed with myself that despite keeping Rabbits for 26 years I have learned no more than the basics when it comes to hay.

Its really interesting to be learning a lot more about it 😀
The thing is that we haven't really been expected to have been interested in it. The information is only available if you search hard for it, plus so much will be influenced by commercial interests. With the introduction of the internet so much of everyday life can now be looked at more carefully. I think it's also encouraged people to want to learn more about things too.
 
The thing is that we haven't really been expected to have been interested in it. The information is only available if you search hard for it, plus so much will be influenced by commercial interests. With the introduction of the internet so much of everyday life can now be looked at more carefully. I think it's also encouraged people to want to learn more about things too.
Yes, it’s just that I have made a huge effort to try to learn about Rabbit health issues and various welfare ‘best practice‘, but for some reason I have failed to thoroughly research hay types in detail. I have only learned about the basics.

iI fear I am now going to be asking endless questions about hay 🤣
 
The fields opposite our house are owned by a local hay farmer. Every year since we've lived here, he has cut the hay twice, each time leaving it to dry on the fields. This year he hasn't been able to cut the hay and I suspect it will be past its best if he leaves it much longer and maybe he will just not be able to cut it at all. Not only is it starting to look brownish, but the rain and strong winds have flattened so much of it. For weeks now we seem to have had rain at least once every day, so even if he managed to cut it, which he usually does over a couple of days, he just wouldn't be able to get it to dry.

He can't be the only one in this situation, certainly here in the South East, so I suspect there could be a hay shortage later this year :( This is where those farmers, who barn-dry their hay will benefit.
Not relating to Rye-grass hay, but I thought I would update this.

Yesterday was a very hot day here. The farmer opposite decided to cut his hay. It's a very large area of interconnected hayfields and every other year he has cut it in stages, probably over 3+ days. Yesterday he cut it all in one go 😮

Lunchtime today, he went out and winnowed it, which he normally does after a couple of days left just drying on the fields.

Anyway, we've just had an enormous deluge of rain, so I presume he's not that happy.
 
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