Oxbow hay alternative?

Bellie

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
11
Hey! So my chin loves Oxbow Timothy Hay, but recently the packaging of the hay has changed. By the packaging, I man the way the hay is compressed into the bag. The hay is now just a bunch of short pieces and pretty dusty, so I'm not sure what to do...Does anyone know a Timothy hay brand that sells hay that is packages with long pieces? Like--when you pick up a bunch it stays together in long pieces really well (and doesn't fall into a million pieces)?
Also, I've been wanting to start growing hay myself, so I was wondering if anyone had some advice/tips/products that would be good to start with :)
Thank you <3
 

Lucretia

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Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
13
I don't think this is just an issue with oxbow Timothy hay, I've had this problem. Ive tried several different brands recently but to no avail....they all appear to be the same.
 

Amethyst

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May 7, 2012
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2,452
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Yeah, like Lucretia said I've heard from a lot of people it's just been a bad year for hay this past year, no matter what brand you go with. I normally grow some hay myself but didn't get any this past year because of flooding. Your best bet would be to go to the pet store and actually look at the bags, see if you can find one that looks good, or at least better. The only real difference between hay brands is where it's grown and how it's sorted, so brand doesn't matter as much like pellets do. Chins definitely have preference but any of the brands sold in pet store are safe for chins.

As far as growing hay, depending on how much you plan to grow it's a lot of work. Do you live on a farm or acreage? Also how much are you hoping to grow, all your chin needs or just some so the chin gets something different. You will need to pick an area on the property that is not near any neighbors and also not near the road so you don't have as much risk of dogs peeing/pooping on the area, trash ended up in the area, as well as anyone spraying anything near the area that can end up on your hay crop. My hay field is just a one acre area near the back of the property, I don't harvest anywhere near all of it but it gives me a large untouched area to harvest from. The best thing to do is plow (a rototiller works if you don't have too large of an area) the area remove all the vegetation and rocks, then plant hay seed (the area should reseed itself year after year after the first planting). Ideally a swather is best for harvesting larger areas, but I cut the hay by hand (so I don't harvest much). Then you need to sort (get all the non hay things out), rinse (to remove any dirt or bugs), and then dry the hay. You will need a large area to lay the hay out to dry (size of the area needed depending on how much you plan to harvest) in a warm dry place, and make sure you flip and fluff the hay as it drys to help prevent any damp spots and mold growth.

That whole process I think helps explain why hay sold as "small pet hay" costs so much more then buying a bale from a farm. Most farmers just grow hay for livestock, so they just grow, cut, and bale, no rinsing or sorting so you never really know what other things might be in the hay, things like sticks, weeds, bugs, bits of trash, and even dead animals commonly end up in the bale.
 

Bellie

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
11
ahhh i see. i guess it’s just a bad year for hay harvest then.
also, wow! i had no clue growing hay was so intense and difficult...either way, thanks for all the info! ^_^
 

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