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Thread: Oxbow is Terrible

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    Cavy Slave LifeAsItMayBe's Avatar
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    Oxbow is Terrible

    I bought some Oxbow hay in May after many people on this site told me it was a better store brand than Kaytee. Well, my pigs (especially Zelda) weren't fans of it and would only munch for a while when I filled the hay rack and then ignore it the rest of the time. I had to throw out about half the bag because it was hard and they wouldn't eat it. Mind you, this was the best looking bag in the store. I will never waste money on this brand again.

    That said, yesterday I started feeding KMS hay (also recommended by many here) and they love it. The hay rack was nearly empty this morning after filling it half-full (it's a bent grid hay rack, pretty big), which has never happened before! I am so impressed with how soft and pretty it is. If anyone has any doubts about the hay you buy at the store, get KMS online! You and your pigs won't regret it!

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    Cavy Slave NarwhalsRock's Avatar
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    Yeah, I got some Oxbow from Agway, and on one of the sides, the hay was brown... Yuck! The rest of the hay is great, but it's a pain avoiding it... I'm very close to KMS, so I think once this bag runs out, I'll try them! It's a 20 lb. bag, and I'm about 1/2 way through, so that'll be a while!

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    Section Moderator CanadianComforts's Avatar
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    That works great for USA people but I know for Canada, Oxbow is the best or if you can find a farmer who offers better than that's better. I use oxbow orchard hay right now and LOVE it. Its better than anything I can get here right now. KMS from what I hear is great but $90 for 20lbs of pellets for me is just too much, shipping sucks to get stuff like that here. Hay is restricted, so I can't even get it here.

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    Cavy Star mufasa's Avatar
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    When I picked up some Cavy Cuisine at Petsmart a while back, they also had Oxbow hay and it was brown and awful-looking. That surprised me since I know it's a good brand, and Amy loves their Cavy Cuisine. Amazingly, the Kaytee hay actually looked greener and more fresh. I don't know if the Oxbow was old or just a bad batch or what.

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    Cavy Slave NarwhalsRock's Avatar
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    I've wondered this for a while, and does orchard hay, and other types of hay REPLACE timothy, or are they extra? Kind of like a treat?

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    Cavy Slave Kipsie's Avatar
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    The Oxbox hay that I see at stores are never brown and old and were always ever-so-scrumptious.
    O_O
    I've never gotten a chance to buy KM.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    When you buy any brand of bagged hay, you never know how long it's been sitting around in the store. Only buy bags that look fresh and green. I buy 50 lb. boxed Oxbow that I order through my local pet store and it's always been nice and green.

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    Cavy Slave LifeAsItMayBe's Avatar
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    Quote Originally Posted by pinky View Post
    Only buy bags that look fresh and green.
    The only bags that were fresh looking and green were Kaytee, I bought the least nasty-looking Oxbow I could find because I needed hay immediately and everyone told me Kaytee was bad.

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    Cavy Slave LifeAsItMayBe's Avatar
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    Quote Originally Posted by NarwhalsRock View Post
    I've wondered this for a while, and does orchard hay, and other types of hay REPLACE timothy, or are they extra? Kind of like a treat?
    From what I've heard, guineas can have any kind of grass hay to replace timothy. You can give them a variety or mixed if you like.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    @NarwhalsRock, any kind of long strand grass hay is acceptable. Timothy is one kind. Others are orchard, blue, meadow, and brome, although brome is pretty crappy food.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ellisa's Avatar
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    I agree with Pinky. I order big boxes of Oxbow orchard and it's always been lovely and I've never had a problem. I find that the smaller bags of Oxbow that they sell at pet supply stores are pretty dusty and the strands are broken up. If you get the boxed Oxbow hay it's usually very nice.
    I'm with CanadianComforts. If you live in Canada and can't get local hay Oxbow is pretty much the only choice.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    When I first got Shadowfax, I had ordered hay from KM's but it hadn't arrived yet. I couldn't find Oxbow in stock anywhere near me and ended up getting Kaytee. I had dug through to find the greenest-looking bag I could, and he didn't mind the Kaytee, but when the box of KM's 2nd cut timothy hay arrived he was ECSTATIC! He eats every last piece of hay I put in his cage, I'm constantly refilling his hay racks and "hay boxes" (cereal boxes I fill with hay). His favorite part is actually the seed heads, he picks them out and eats them all first.

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    Cavy Slave Onetwo's Avatar
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    The last few years Hay pretty much everywhere in the states have been not up to par. (even KM's hasn't been the greatest but its better than most regardless) I buy local hay and I got a bag of oxbow with a rescue and no one would touch it. The oxbow looked greener and softer than my local hay it also smelled more hay like (fresh) than the bale of hay that has been sittin in a storage locker for nearly a year but they still prefered the local.

    Dont blame the company too much. There is only so much they can do about the quality of the crop and if the stores had it improperly stored ot had it for too long...

    Oxbow is still the 2nd best brand next to KMs.

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    Cavy Slave Mastershroom's Avatar
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    I've had pretty consistently good quality with Oxbow, and they are generally one of the more highly regarded brands, at least here in the US. Perhaps you should consider re-titling your thread "This batch of Oxbow hay was terrible" or something like that to avoid confusion.

    As others have said, hay that you buy in stores has more variables; if nobody buys it, the store won't re-stock with fresher hay. I always get Oxbow orchard grass at Petsmart...they're out of stock half the time, and when they have it, it's very fresh, soft, green, and smells fantastic. On the other hand, I was at a Pet Supplies Plus that I don't usually go to (I was taking care of business in another city, figured I'd stop by on my way home), and got a bag of the same Oxbow orchard grass...it had to have been sitting there on that shelf for weeks. It was very dry and the color was faded, with a bit of yellow and brown. The pigs are still eating it, but usually when I dump some fresh Oxbow hay into their cage, they will eat it up until there is no trace of it in the cage. In this case, they've eaten most of it, but they've left a significant portion behind.

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    Cavy Slave NarwhalsRock's Avatar
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    I din't see the brown part until I had gotten home and opened the bag. By then, it was too late.. Hooray! My next order from KMS will include a bag of orchard hay!

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    Cavy Star mufasa's Avatar
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastershroom View Post
    As others have said, hay that you buy in stores has more variables; if nobody buys it, the store won't re-stock with fresher hay.
    I think that's part of my problem here. I live literally in the middle of a tourist corridor, with limited residential property. Our Publix used to carry some small animal items, but finally stopped because I doubt anyone bought the stuff. Same thing then happened at Target. They put everything, including their remaining Kaytee hay, on sale dirt cheap for clearance, but it looked worse than the straw you'd use to weave a hat. I sure hope no one bought it for a piggy.

    Perhaps the Petsmart here doesn't have much of a turnover in the Oxbow hay. Being a tourist area, incomes are also low here because hospitality jobs don't pay much. Many pet owners probably go for the cheaper options. I hope they don't stop carrying Cavy Cuisine; I know I can order it, but we shop near that store a lot so it's handy to be able to run in for a bag. I was shocked that they even started carrying it.

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    Cavy Slave LifeAsItMayBe's Avatar
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastershroom View Post
    Perhaps you should consider re-titling your thread "This batch of Oxbow hay was terrible" or something like that to avoid confusion.
    Interesting, is it possible to change the name of a thread? Without asking an admin?

    And really, it isn't just "This batch of Oxbow hay was terrible," it is "every batch of Oxbow I have ever seen, timothy, alfalfa, orchard, or other, has been hard, yellow-brown, and terrible." I get that most of you guys like this brand, but honestly I've never been so disappointed with something that was recommended here. Everyone told me it would be better than Kaytee even if it was brown, but my pig would wheek for Kaytee and looked confused the first time I threw in a handful of Oxbow. Like, "Mom, that's not food."

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    Cavy Slave skittyginny's Avatar
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    I'm using Oxbow orchard and my piggie seems to like it.. Should I try something else?

  23. #19
    Cavy Slave LifeAsItMayBe's Avatar
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    Quote Originally Posted by skittyginny View Post
    I'm using Oxbow orchard and my piggie seems to like it.. Should I try something else?
    If your pig likes it I say stick with it, but mine hate it.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: Oxbow is Terrible

    Quote Originally Posted by LifeAsItMayBe View Post
    Interesting, is it possible to change the name of a thread? Without asking an admin?

    And really, it isn't just "This batch of Oxbow hay was terrible," it is "every batch of Oxbow I have ever seen, timothy, alfalfa, orchard, or other, has been hard, yellow-brown, and terrible." I get that most of you guys like this brand, but honestly I've never been so disappointed with something that was recommended here. Everyone told me it would be better than Kaytee even if it was brown, but my pig would wheek for Kaytee and looked confused the first time I threw in a handful of Oxbow. Like, "Mom, that's not food."
    Have you special ordered their boxed hay? It's just as nice as KM hay. Stores order bagged hay and it sits on the shelf or in the stock room until someone buys it. Boxed hay is delivered fresh and there's a huge difference in quality. Hay should never be stored in plastic bags so if it sits in those plastic bags, it goes bad. KM and Oxbow stand by their products. If you're ever dissatisfied, you should contact customer service to let them know there was a problem with their product. There should always be some sort of lot number on the package that they can trace back to the date it was packaged.... I think you probably have more of an issue with the store you bought the hay from. Sounds like they overstock and sell old stock. Didn't you just get your guinea pigs in May?
    Last edited by pinky; 07-06-12 at 07:24 pm.

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