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Thread: I have a question about Hay.

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    Cavy Slave Kelsie's Avatar
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    I have a question about Hay.

    I admit that I am a city girl and I don't really know much about hay but I recently bought 20# of Orchard Grass from a seller. I won't say who it's from but I am really disappointed. It seems throughout the entire batch there are these very prickly pieces of material that actually will stick into my hand. They appear to be some sort of a thistle. I realize that hay is baled by machinery and it is impossible to keep out all plant matter but still I am concerned that these prickly stems will harm my pigs.

    I have been sitting down and sorting through each and every strand of hay and needless to say this is very time consuming. Why is it impossible to find decent hay? I will buy a box from a seller and get beautiful hay and then the next time I purchase from the same seller the hay is inferior. This is extremely frustrating and worrisome. I'm not concerned about brown pieces because I know that is the nature of hay but when there are things in there that may cause harm to my pigs that is what causes me to get upset.

    Have any of you gotten hay that was full of thistles? If so, how did you handle it?

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    I only purchase Oxbow hay as in Canada that is the only real option for bulk.

    I have always had good luck with their 50 pound boxes of orchard grass, every box that I have had has been really nice.

    I can't say the same for their Timothy though. I had one 50 pound box that was entirely hard crunchy stalks... my pigs wouldn't touch it and I was fortunately able to return it to the store I purchased it from.

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    Cavy Slave lisa325's Avatar
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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    Not sure if they're regular seed heads you're talking about or possibly foxtails. I'm sure you know that seed heads are a norm with hay, you're always going to find some in there, but I completely understand your frustration at finding so many. Personally I pick them out when I'm filling up the pigs hay rack, as they're high in calcium, and I prefer to keep my guys on a low calcium diet.
    I get my hay from Small Pet Select and I'm pretty satisfied so far. Wherever you buy hay from it's a kind of hit and miss deal, maybe you should email the company and let them know you you are disappointed with the amount of seed heads in this batch.

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    Cavy Slave Kelsie's Avatar
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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    They aren't seed heads but more like a thistle. I'm pretty sure they aren't foxtails. A couple fell on the floor and I accidently stepped on them in my bare feet and I felt such a sharp twinge in my foot. When I lifted my foot up there was a piece of what looked like a small needle in my foot. I've had to pull them out of my fingers several times while searching through the hay. They really hurt when they get stuck in your skin. I'm so afraid that my pigs will get them in their feet or even stick inside their mouths.

    I think I will send the company an email. I'm not usually one to complain to a company but for the price you have to pay for hay you shouldn't have to worry about the pigs eating it.

    This is the first time I ever encountered this type of foreign material in my hay.

    Edit to add: I just goggled Foxtails and what I'm finding definitely looks like that's what they are.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    I used to get Oxbow hay from Amazon and some batches were amazing and some others were awful and would hurt my hands when trying to handle it. So it depends on the batch. Oxbow, SPS, KMS are good brands for hay. I decided to give Tractor Supply Co. hay a chance and so far I'm happy with it. Is 17$ a 50lbs compressed bale and It's amazing, my pigs love it.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    The best hay I've ever gotten has been from American Pet Diner, followed closely by Small Pet Select.

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    Cavy Slave Rywen's Avatar
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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    My piggies and I are very happy with Small Pet Select.

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    Cavy Slave lisa325's Avatar
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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    Edit to add: I just goggled Foxtails and what I'm finding definitely looks like that's what they are.[/QUOTE]

    It's unacceptable to find so many in your batch of hay. Those things can really hurt their mouth , it's a good thing you spotted and removed them before they got to your pigs. Please let us know how the hay company responds to you inquiry.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    Sally, where do you order those 50lb boxes and how much are they? $30 for a bag of Oxbow Timothy hay last about 2 weeks in my house.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    I get 50 pounds of Small Pet Select for about $50-$70, depending on what special is going on. It lasts my three at least six months.

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guinea Pig Papa View Post
    Sally, where do you order those 50lb boxes and how much are they? $30 for a bag of Oxbow Timothy hay last about 2 weeks in my house.
    I purchase the 50 pounds boxes at Ren's Pet Depot.

    They carry the Timothy in stores regularly and the price recently went up to $79.99.

    For orchard grass it is a special order item so you just have to talk to the associates at the cash and they fill out an order form for you and it comes to the store. However they recently bumped their Orchard grass price to $99.99 a box.

    I feed both varieties of hay so the next time I need orchard grass I'm going to look into in store pick up at Canadian Pet Connection (in Oakville) or if Ren's will price match as they charge 79.99 for their Orchard grass.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    I'm going to have to look into that then. It sure seems like a better option. Especially now with THREE boys, and all are just pure eating machines. I would love to try the Small Pet Select, but I don't think it's available in Canada. Oxbow has been the best I can find.

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    Cavy Slave miniver's Avatar
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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guinea Pig Papa View Post
    Sally, where do you order those 50lb boxes and how much are they? $30 for a bag of Oxbow Timothy hay last about 2 weeks in my house.
    I also get 50lb boxes of Oxbow Orchard Grass. I order on-line from Flowertown Chinchillas at http://www.chinchilla.ca/. It ships from Southern Ontario and they have great service.

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    Cavy Slave equinox96's Avatar
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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    @Guinea Pig Papa ... I have also seen this on amazon.ca and has pretty good reviews and free shipping. I'm seriously thinking about it myself.

    https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00A7QGAFQ/...I1JGB3FQM536Z9

    Also you can order it directly from Pet Shops you know who carry Oxbow or Living World. They both come in 25 or 50lbs boxes and if they are close by then you save on delivery. I wasn't crazy about the Living World order I got, it was very "stalky".

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    Quote Originally Posted by miniver View Post
    I also get 50lb boxes of Oxbow Orchard Grass. I order on-line from Flowertown Chinchillas at http://www.chinchilla.ca/. It ships from Southern Ontario and they have great service.
    Just wondering what you pay in shipping for the hay from flowertown?

    I order my hamster's lab blocks from them as well as Margaret's natural science supplements. Shipping isn't outrageous, but it's not super cheap either!

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    Cavy Slave miniver's Avatar
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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    I just ordered in October. I paid around CAD $27 for freight and I live around Barrie. The full cost, with taxes, was $118 and it lasts 4 months with 2 guinea pigs. That's roughly $30 per month.

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  19. #17
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    Just out of curiosity guys what are the dimensions of a box of hay that big?

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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    I buy all my hay straight from the farm, super cheap and i see what i get so i know it's good.
    Sometimes i wanna be lazy and order but if i hear stories about paying so much money and having bad hay.... Sounds horrid!

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    Cavy Slave Kelsie's Avatar
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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    I came back to my original post because I wanted to give an update on the response that I received from the hay seller. I sent them an email on Saturday explaining what I found throughout the entire batch of Orchard Grass. This morning I received an email from them expressing their dismay and telling me that they have now shipped me another 20# box of Orchard Grass. I was very surprised that they would do something so gracious. I really did not ask them to replace the hay, I just wanted to make them aware of what might be growing in their hay fields.

    I am thrilled with the customer support that this company provides. You can really tell when a business respects and appreciates it's customers. Sometimes that's a rare thing to find in today's world.

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  23. #20
    Cavy Slave lisa325's Avatar
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    Re: I have a question about Hay.

    Great update! I'm so glad they were so nice about it . It just goes to show that sometimes it pays to complain. I hope this will be your first and last experience with crappy hay .

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