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Hay Oxbow 90oz hay bags are cursed

4boipigs

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Has anyone gotten angry at these 90oz bags Oxbow has switched to? I started to avoid buying them because the hay is crammed in there so much that it is difficult and annoying to pull it out. Compare that to the smaller bags a size down, with loose hay I can easily remove and not make a mess.

My coworker buys boxes of Oxbow hay from Chewy for nearly the same price of the 90oz bags. Does anyone have experience with the *boxes* of Oxbow hay?

I work in a pet store and get a discount on stuff, and wanted to avoid shipping items which is why I keep buying the bags...but with this recent bag I got, I'm ready to try something else.
 

OzzyandBruno

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I get the Oxbow hay blends bags for my pigs because they love it. But yes I agree, sometimes the hay can be SO difficult to pull out of the bag, yet other times it’s really easy. In the past we’ve had to cut open the bag and put some of it into an empty bag to separate it and pull it apart.

It’s really weird but I don’t know what other hay to try because my pigs like Oxbow. I’ll just have to put up with the difficulty of pulling the hay out!
I’ve never tried the boxes but they could be a good option?
 

Guinea Pig Papa

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Bags have been driving me nuts as well, since they started packing them this way. I may just start with the 50 lb boxes through Amazon.
 

ItsaZoo

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I had issues with the 90 oz bags as well. The hay seemed more coarse and Lacey seemed to leave a lot of it uneaten. So I started buying the 40 oz size. I put it in a big dog food bin which makes it easier to pull apart.
 

4boipigs

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I just order a 9lb box on Amazon. It's $23, which is about the same price list price for the 90oz (most places mark it down and with my discount at work it's usually $18). I'm hoping it's a lot easier and hopefully not messy...and save me some money. The only thing I'm worried about is it going bad if not used quick enough.
 

PetFamilyBK

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My wife complains of this all the time. Always screaming and yelling about splinters from the hay. Lol.
 

PetFamilyBK

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Our 10lb box of orchard grass and timothy hay from SPS just came in yesterday. Boxes came in nicely packaged and our piggies are liking them both. Looks a lot more fresh than the Oxbow I’ve been seeing on the pet store shelves recently. Hopefully this we’ll last me about 5-6 weeks.
 

PhattusRhattus

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I'm relieved to hear that your recent SPS hay was of decent quality, PetFamilyBK! I ordered one of those 10 lb orchard grass hay boxes from Small Pet Select yesterday, because I was down to one bag of Oxbow, and Amazon seems to be having supply/shipping issues with Oxbow's Orchard Grass Hay right now. Additionally (and perhaps in relation to the supply), my last two Oxbow bags were edible but not of the quality I was used to. This is my first time trying out SPS, so I'm hoping my box will be enjoyed by my piggies as well.
 

ItsaZoo

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I quit with the timothy altogether due to splinters. My last pig developed a problem an eating problem that was never resolved, and although the vet was thorough, I can’t help but think that course timothy could have been the cause. I’m feeding orchard grass and meadow hay now.

Chewy had a 20% off sale on Oxbow, and I’m also going to try Rabbit Hole meadow hay so we’ll see how that looks.
 

SSLee

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@ItsaZoo, thank you for bringing up that Rabbit Hole has meadow hay. I've been buying it from Oxbow but the last bag had so much brown in it, I set it aside to pick out the green pieces. But of course I've procrastinated and the bag is still in the hallway.

I've also just finished using up a 5 lb box of Grandpa's Best orchard and it was just OK. A lot of small brown pieces mixed with the green at the bottom. Since I know I am too lazy to pick through, it will all have to go into compost. For the 2021 season, I still prefer Rabbit Hole orchard. The quality in the 5 lb box is better than the 20 lb box though.

If you like oat hay for your piggies, be careful of ordering the Viking brand. It was terrible quality and I ended up dumping about 1/3 of the box and ordering from SPS which arrived last Friday. The SPS hay was far superior to Vikings.

Also, I've taken to weighing the hay upon arrival. My 5 lbs of Viking oat hay was really only 3 pounds. It was packed in a Viking box and then an Amazon box. If the weight of the boxes were added to the hay, it did total 5 lbs. The owner of Viking made up for the shortage by sending another 3 lbs, which was still terrible hay. I had a shortage problem with a previous KMS order.
 

ItsaZoo

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I haven’t received my order yet, it’s scheduled to ship Wednesday so I’m anxious to see what it looks like.
 

PhattusRhattus

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A little update: my Small Pet Select 10 lb order of orchard grass hay arrived three days earlier than expected, and I'm very pleased with the quality! There are inevitably a few brown strands of hay mixed in, but these are usually only the smaller, flakier bits. When it comes to the longer strands, they are almost all exclusively green. Unlike the Oxbow hay I had ordered a few months prior, the SPS strands in my order are quite broad and leafy, as opposed to being string-like. The hay was also noticeably less dusty than Oxbow. The only issue I had is with the box itself; the box arrived with some black dirt stains on the bottom, which is where some ventilation slits for the hay had been cut. Despite this, the slits were mostly blocked by another layer of cardboard, and the hay was tightly packed enough, so hopefully, only the bottom bits of hay were affected by this dirt, if at all. I've hand-sorted a bit of the hay today, looking for bugs or bits of twine, and all seems well thus far. I gave a few strands to the pigs, and they had no complaints either.

I think I'll be ordering from SPS from now on. I might try Rabbit Hole sometime to see if my piggies prefer it over SPS, but for now, I have plenty of hay for two boars.
 

4boipigs

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I'm on my 3rd or 4th 10lb box of SPS. It lasts me about 3 weeks with 4 boars. The only thing I don't like is the box because it makes a bigger mess than I'd like. Inevitably, hay will always get on the floor but it's worse with these boxes. Plus Amazon seems to hate the boxes and the last one was beat up. I stopped ordered from Amazon and am ordering from SPS directly. I'll get the first UPS delivery today or tomorrow.

I haven't yet found 'surprises' in the hay either.
 

ItsaZoo

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My Oxbow orchard grass arrived today. It doesn’t look too bad - smelled nice and fresh when I opened the bag, and wider strands of hay, mostly green with some brown.

I also ordered a small bag of meadow hay from Sweet Meadow and it looks good as well. Long strands of fine grass hay with brown mixed in. I think it’s been a rough year for hay and this looks good considering. Gidget seems to like it so that’s what counts!
 

PetFamilyBK

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It’s been a week on SBS timothy and orchard hay, and I think my boys definitely like the quality better than Oxbow. My elder, Nibbler who is generally a picky eater is eating a wider variety of parts as opposed to mostly just the seed heads as soon as a fresh handful is laid down. My only issue is after I’ve gone through the first layer of timothy hay there seems to be a great deal of dusty and fine particles between. I’m hoping it gets better as I go deeper through the box. The orchard grass doesn’t seem as dusty to me in comparison.
 

4boipigs

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It’s been a week on SBS timothy and orchard hay, and I think my boys definitely like the quality better than Oxbow. My elder, Nibbler who is generally a picky eater is eating a wider variety of parts as opposed to mostly just the seed heads as soon as a fresh handful is laid down. My only issue is after I’ve gone through the first layer of timothy hay there seems to be a great deal of dusty and fine particles between. I’m hoping it gets better as I go deeper through the box. The orchard grass doesn’t seem as dusty to me in comparison.

My boxes have been a bit dusty on the bottom. Not terrible like Oxbow, but once I'm almost out of hay it starts to get dusty/bits and pieces. Idk how to describe it...I'm still learning to judge when I am almost out of hay with these boxes, compared to the bags. But overall, I'm still way happier paying for SPS than Oxbow.
 

SSLee

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I've just started using the 20 lbs Rabbit Hole orchard and have found at least 5 dead flattened bugs in about 80 ounces of hay. The 20 lbs box is stored underneath my desk at work and I reuse an Oxbow 40 ounces bag to transport hay home as needed. I know bugs can get mixed up in hay during harvest but have not come across that many bugs before. Now I have to be extra careful to look through the hay before putting it in the piggies' hay pile.
 

PetFamilyBK

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I’m not sure what to think as this is my first time buying SPS/boxes but I’m pretty much out of the timothy hay already and it only lasted me 2 weeks. All that remains is a lot of dust, and smaller pieces I’ll need to sift through. I admit to spoiling my 2 boys with fresh handfuls 3-4 times a day depending on how soiled the piles get with pee/poop, but I did expect more.


I want to like SPS based on my first boxes having a fresh smell to it, good texture, and both piggies eating a wider variety of the pieces as opposed to Oxbow – but the amount of dust seems a little much to me. I’ve attached a photo of what’s left, although I’ve thrown out more dust as I went through the layers. I know for sure in (2) 5LB bags of Oxbow Hay Blends there isn’t as much dust as I’ve seen in the 10LB box of SPS.


I still have a good deal of orchard grass left despite mixing them both in their feedings.


What do you all think? Thanks!
 

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SSLee

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@PetFamilyBK, that pile on the right looks pretty dusty to me, at least more so than the Rabbit Hole orchard I am currently using. I think that was why I stopped using SPS hay sometime ago, it was quite dusty once you get through the top layer of hay.

An update to my Rabbit Hole orchard, one of my colleagues tested positive for COVID. Because I was in close contact for an extended period of time, my manager made me work remotely for a week. That would have been fine except my hay supply is at work and I only had a loosely packed 90 ounces bag at home. By yesterday, I was running really low on hay and just barely have enough to last through today. I'm back in the office and stuffed another 90 ounces bag to bring home. While at home, I contacted Chewy to complain about all the dead bugs, at least 8, I found in the hay. I wasn't expecting a refund but an answer. Yesterday, I received an email from Chewy and they refunded my purchase amount for the 20 lbs and asked I send them pictures of the bugs. I only took one picture since the bugs all looked the same but will be sending that over. Great Chewy customer service as always.

Same thing with the GuineaDad orchard hay, there were a lot more brown pieces than usual in the last order. I sent in a comment about the quality and their customer service responded with an apology, asked that I email them pictures, and provided me with a code for a free purchase of hay. I was also just expecting a response and the free code was a surprise. I actually missed their email for weeks before I came across it, while cleaning out junk mail. But again, another example of really good customer service. KMS Hayloft can certainly learn from both Chewy and GuineaDad.
 

PetFamilyBK

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Thanks for the info @SSLee. It looks like I might need to shop around a bit more for hay to find the best quality that is often similar in texture, smell, etc. purchase to purchase. My new box of SPS timothy hay 2nd cut came in a larger box than the previous one, but the pieces are much harder and does not smell as fresh as the previous one - kind of felt a little “wet” to me when I put my hand in the hay, but obviously that’s the cold winter for you. There’s also a bit more brown than previously, but does look less dusty already.

Let’s see how my boys like it…

As far as Chewy’s customer service, they are always on top of their game!
 
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