Does Hay Quality Vary With Quantity?

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ItsaZoo
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:53 pm


Does the texture and quality of hay vary when it’s packed in larger quantities?

I have been buying Oxbow Timothy Hay in 40 oz. bags. That’s the largest size sold at our Humane Society store. A few times I’ve ordered the 90 oz. size from Chewy and thought the hay was more course. I recently ordered the 9 lb. bag and the hay strands are very long and tangled. Some are thick like straw, and I think I’m throwing more out that isn’t getting eaten.

Has anyone else noticed a difference in quality and package sizes?

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:13 pm


I have noticed a difference between types of hay. The 96 oz Forti Diet prepackaged timothy hay I've been buying for 2 years has a lot more smaller bits and pieces, especially when it gets near the bottom of the bag. The bale of orchard hay has much longer and thicker pieces. Mr. Bubbles couldn't care less what hay I give him. He eats all of what I give him. Scruffy, on the other hand is much more picky. He eats the medium length and thickness pieces. Too thin or too thick and he won't touch it. Too long and he'll bite it off after a few inches and then it's on to another peice.

When I've had to get the smaller bag of Forti Diet, I have noticed that it's smaller pieces.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:55 pm


Anything you buy from a local store that's packed in small cellophane or plastic bags is of unknown age and quality. You'll get the best bang for your buck by buying online from someplace like American Pet Diner, Small Pet Select, KMS Hayloft, etc. It will be half the cost per pound of that in a pet store, if not even cheaper.

I used Small Pet Select for years, and was very happy with it.

User avatar
Renonvsparky

Post   » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:18 am


Luckily I live in a town surrounded by ranches so I'm able to get fresh hay from rancher supply stores. I didn't even think of that until Scruffy got sick, lost his appetite and I was forced to look at other things, such as different hay for him to try.

Just keep in mind that a single bale of hay is a ton for Guinea pigs. A horse can eat a bale per day, but piggies, not so much! A full sized bale is at least a 3-4 month supply, even for two guinea pigs. I should have asked for a quarter bale. It's not too much of a problem having that much on hand as long as you have a way to keep it dry like I do. Wet hay molds and that's not good for the piggies.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:16 am


I made that same mistake a few years ago, when we first moved to this semi-rural farming community. Saw a local ad for a bale of "fresh timothy hay" which of course ended up being a big horse-size bale. I'll never forget the look on the farmer's face when I said, "Oh. Um...this is for guinea pigs, so could you maybe cut it in half a few times?"

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:48 am


A full-sized bale of hay will last guinea pigs for more than a year. I used to buy 40 or 50 pound boxes, and they would last mine at least 6-7 months, and I wasn't stingy with the hay.

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:35 pm


"I'll never forget the look on the farmer's face when I said, "Oh. Um...this is for guinea pigs, so could you maybe cut it in half a few times?"

Ha,ha,ha!

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:53 pm


Well at least it only cost me $17.50 LOL

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iastate09
Supporter in '15

Post   » Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:04 pm


My 4 boys just ate a 50 pound box of SPS 3rd timothy in 9 weeks. They don't waste it, either!

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:07 pm


That's great. Their digestive tracts will stay very healthy.

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RavenShade
Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:58 pm


I buy 35-40lbs of KMS Hayloft hay for 3 boars. Always good quality, no matter how much I get (I mix and match types of hay). I agree with bpatters than pretty much any hay that hasn't been on a shelf in a bag for months will be better quality.

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GrannyJu1
Supporter in 2018

Post   » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:25 am


I buy KMS by the big boxes also, then tend to mix and match when I have room. We keep it all in the house, dry & handy,

Bookfan
For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:42 am


I just got a box of KMS and it has a lot of dead tree leaves in it - various kinds.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:57 pm


Is KMS shipping cost still ridiculous?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:20 pm


KMS shipping is high, but the price of the produce is very low. If you compare the cost per pound (product + shipping) with any other supplier or local store, they're right in line.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:37 pm


I might have to check it out again. Used to occasionally order hay back when Linda was running the show, but then there was some issue with my "zone" here in Indiana and using UPS vs. USPS that bumped the shipping cost up significantly, so I stopped buying it. What I'm getting right now is mostly crap.

SSLee

Post   » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:47 pm


I bought a 10 pound box of KMS bluegrass hay for the first time and in my inexperienced eyes, there are quite a bit of long brown stringy pieces. I've used Oxbow, Sierra Valley (no longer in operation), SPS, and now KMS. GuineaDad recently started selling hay and I am thinking of trying their product.

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mmeadow
Supporter 2004-2019

Post   » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:48 pm


I have a 45 lb load of KMS bluegrass coming soon. I hope it's decent!

WICharlie

Post   » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:59 pm


I've always gotten beautiful hay from KMS, but I usually bought Oxbow brand from the local pet supply store. I think there were two occasions that I returned a box of Oxbow hay. One time it had a ton of sticks in it. Another time it had a lot of brown strands and I didn't want to feed it to the pigs. Good hay should be a muted green color and should have a nice "tea" smell to it. With that said, hay is cut and bound in bulk with machines and there is bound to be some anomalies from time to time. The farmer/harvester cannot always control the quality in each bale.

There is also differences in what "cut" the hay is. First cut, second cut or even third cut hay is different in stem to blade ratio and in thickness and length. So a lot depends on which cut you get. KMS is the only one I know that makes you aware of which cut you are getting.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:28 pm


I think SPS does, as well?

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