Where can i get fresh timothy hay?

J

Jake

Guest
Hello everyone, I wanted to buy oxbow timothy hay from petsmart, but they said that the hay there is old. so where can i get fresh timothy hay?
 

3CsMommy

My babies Rock!
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At this time of year, it's all going to be "old" since hay is usually cut during the summer and fall. Check the date on the bag of Oxbow to figure out when it was cut; more than a year ago, don't buy it. Next, look at it; how brown is it? Smell is also a good way to tell if hay has gone stale; it should smell more like recently mowed grass than dust, mildew, cardboard, etc.

If you're in a somewhat rural or suburban area, you might have a Tractor Supply or similar type of store nearby. Checking their community bulletin board (or just with their employees) could point you in the direction of someone that had a good hay crop in autumn of '09 and might still have some you could buy by the bale. When I got it, it was about $5.00 for a square bale that weighed 45-50 lbs.-- more than enough for a couple of chins for most of (if not all of) a year. I just dump whatever's left of the old bale in a compost pile when I get a new one.
 
J

Jake

Guest
okay, i was going to ask if there was a date on the bag, i guess there is lol, ill go and take a look tomorrow and see. so anything over a year old is no good?
 

3CsMommy

My babies Rock!
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Most of the nutrients in hay (and they're scarce as it is) deteriorate over time. I wouldn't spend the money on it if it's a year old or more b/c it's already farther along that process than stuff from Farmer Dave or Kleen Mama's Hay Loft, which are somewhat expensive (comparatively) hay-specific suppliers for pet owners. Farmer Dave is closest to me, so I've ordered from there before and was *very* pleased with what I got, but if you can get Oxbow hay in your area that was cut right around the same time as was Farmer Dave or Kleen Mama's is selling and shipping, why pay the postal service on top of the seller? Just make sure to get Timothy hay since your chin(s) are probably on alfalfa pellets. Second cutting is usually better eating for chinnies; first cutting has more stems and hard bits that my guy tosses on the cage floor instead of eating.

So, if the Oxbow isn't too old, is still mostly green, and smells kinda like grass, that's what I'd get. Otherwise, I'd try one of these places:

Farmer Dave, based in NY State-- http://www.farmerdave.biz/servlet/StoreFront

KleenMama, based in the Western US (Oregon?)-- http://www.kmshayloft.com/
 

SpaceChinnie

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Syracuse NY
On the same train of thought...
The greener the hay, the better? I have gotten some hay that is fresh from a local farm and its more brown than what oxbow has in the petsmart. The oxbow hay looks almost un-naturally green compared to the locally grown hay. (they dont add color do they??)
The strands of the local hay seem to be thinner and less wide than the oxbow stuff.

(not that I'm complaining about oxbow, I do like it, I just needed something to use for comparison)

So, does color really matter that much?
 
J

Jake

Guest
i just went to my local petstore, and they had oxbow, it was green and smelt like fresh cut grash. the "use by" date on the back was 2012. so i think im good?
 

3CsMommy

My babies Rock!
Joined
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Location
Western NY aka: Our Zoo. (We only lack a bird.)
On the same train of thought...
The greener the hay, the better? I have gotten some hay that is fresh from a local farm and its more brown than what oxbow has in the petsmart.
That's a general guideline, yes, but there will always (or should always) be some brown since some of the grass dies before it's cut. If every single blade is green, I'd check for dye powder. (Kaytee, I think, colors theirs, and my chins hated that stuff.)

The oxbow hay looks almost un-naturally green compared to the locally grown hay. (they dont add color do they??)
The strands of the local hay seem to be thinner and less wide than the oxbow stuff.

(not that I'm complaining about oxbow, I do like it, I just needed something to use for comparison)
To the best of my knowledge they don't dye it. I could be wrong, but I don't think it would come so highly recommended if they did. The reason behind the strand difference might be growing conditions; Oxbow is a factory farm, so they have a lot more fields than somebody with a couple hundred acres of hay outside town.

So, does color really matter that much?
Color is one indicator of old hay, but like you pointed out, some companies (like Kaytee) will color hay artificially. However, if most of the bag is brown, it's probably not going to go over well with your chins. As for natural green v artificial green, that's harder to tell through the bag, so ymmv.

i just went to my local petstore, and they had oxbow, it was green and smelt like fresh cut grash. the "use by" date on the back was 2012. so i think im good?
I'd feel comfortable buying that, assuming I couldn't get in touch with a local Amish guy, etc. If you notice an increase in tossed away hay, it'll probably be time for a new supply, but by then it'll be summer/autumn when there've been a crop or two already cut, so it'll be easier to get right off the farm so you know its fresh. (Can you tell I've been through the ringer trying to get hay for my boys? :banghead:)
 

kogia

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 29, 2009
Messages
112
Location
Texas
3CsMommy- where are you in western NY? I picked up an awesome bale from a guy in bloomfield (he has a ton of hay). Its way better then oxbow and 50lbs bale for me was 6 bucks!
 

trg005

Active member
Joined
May 17, 2009
Messages
33
Location
SC
I bought 3rd cut from KleenMama. My 4 chins can't get enough of it. They act like they have never had hey before! I guess it's a hit with them!!!
 

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