Do you use compressed hay?

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a7736100

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A small 2 string bale of local hay is $10.

Standlee Grab & Go Timothy Grass Compressed Bale is $21.50.​


I'm trying to decide if it's worth paying twice as much for western hay and the convenience.

 

MnCanary

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I see these Standlee bales, also, and wonder if it is worth it. There is a LOT of writing about the value of Timothy hay. Are the claims actually true? Sometimes I wonder if almost all these writers are just copying more original writers. ( ? ). Is there actual data that says Timothy hay is that much better than 'hay'?

And, even without the nutritional issues, does the Standlee bale have less wastable hay than a regular farmer's bale?
 

a7736100

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I think most hays are fairly equal except alfalfa because it's a legume with almost twice the protein as other hays. Timothy is slightly better hay for rabbits because it's tougher making it slightly better for wearing down teeth.

I think it was the pet rabbit people that saw the health benefits of hay for rabbits. Most scientific studies on feeding meat rabbits are not interested in longevity of rabbits since rabbits are processed in just a few months.
 

SableSteel

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I feed standlee compressed bales
Is buying hay straight from a farmer cheaper and higher quality? Certainly.
But the compressed bales are so much easier to bring home in my little SUV, Unless you have a truck that could easily haul hay. After buying a 3 strand bale of bermuda hay and hauling it home in a mini van I am more than willing to pay that extra $10 to NOT ever have to do that again. The back of the van was still filled with loose hay scraps when I took it to the junkyard a couple years later. I bought the standlee hay on a whim and I wasn't quite sure of it but it turned out to be fine, went back for more.

Most the hay cubes are alfalfa or alfalfa/timothy based which I wouldn't use when you already have alfalfa pellet diet.
If you can find timothy or other grass hay cube, those work fine, I use them when I can find them.
 

Rabbits by Accident

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I feed standlee compressed bales
Is buying hay straight from a farmer cheaper and higher quality? Certainly.
But the compressed bales are so much easier to bring home in my little SUV, Unless you have a truck that could easily haul hay. After buying a 3 strand bale of bermuda hay and hauling it home in a mini van I am more than willing to pay that extra $10 to NOT ever have to do that again. The back of the van was still filled with loose hay scraps when I took it to the junkyard a couple years later. I bought the standlee hay on a whim and I wasn't quite sure of it but it turned out to be fine, went back for more.

Most the hay cubes are alfalfa or alfalfa/timothy based which I wouldn't use when you already have alfalfa pellet diet.
If you can find timothy or other grass hay cube, those work fine, I use them when I can find them.
I have always had SUVs, but recently bought a truck - I agree it's easier with a truck. However, if you put a tarp down in the back and then put the hay on it it won't make a mess. Many years of experience in hauling all kinds of things in SUVs LOL

Liz
 

Ducklove74

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I haul hay in my car so I understand the desire for a minimal mess and smaller package, but at $5 for a 50 to 60lbs bale of mixed hay from nearby farms vs $20+ for the standlee I deal with the bit mess...besides my trunk already has scattered straw from hauling bales.
 

eco2pia

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Yeah I don't buy compressed because you are really just paying for convience packaging. It is indeed convenient. There is not a big health difference. Where I live (PNW) local hay is likely orchard grass/rye/timothy mix anyway, with some fescue for erosion control. All good stuff. But if the local hay is bleached and moldy then I would feed the compressed stuff. Some years there is rain...
 

Zee-Man

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I think the typical size bale of orchard grass cost me $3 and IIRR alfalfa was selling for $8. I do have to drive extra distance because the short path would take me through a state that disallows me to defend myself. But it is such a cost saving over commercially packaged hay that I gladly do it. Even with bradonesque gas prices the total cost might be $5 per bale.
 

Olbunny

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We feed timothy. It's grown locally and our rabbits eat it the best. And 13$ a bale 50 #. We have some compressed bales from a pet store we had to buy last year, lots of leaf but our bunnies will not eat it. Maybe it's the orchard grass. Alfalfa costs over 70 bucks a bale if you can find it. It has to be imported. We did use alfalfa cubes for our old quarter horse
 

MuddyFarms

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I have been feeding the compressed bales of timothy hay this year because of the extreme heat here in the NW that made good hay hard to come by. We call it the rabbit's "treat hay" because they like it so very much! It is especially easy for small kits to start eating, so I make sure to put some in their nestboxes early. Standlee has their own way of handling and storing their hay, which makes it highly palatable and nutritious, according to their website. It is very leafy, bright green, and soft. The only problem (aside from the cost) is that I can't use it in my regular hay racks. It falls out easily and gets wasted. I have found it best to feed in a dish or on a piece of wood, and only as much as they can clean up in one sitting. I used to have grass/timothy hay in the hay racks all the time, but now they only get it twice a day.

I have also started feeding them alfalfa/timothy hay cubes. I wish Standlee sold plain timothy cubes, though. So little waste! I really like using them, and the rabbits absolutely love them! This is the form of hay I have in the cages at all times, now. It gives them something to play with, too. My thought is that the rabbits are getting less alfalfa by eating these than by eating straight pellets. So it is at least diluting how much alfalfa they get. The cubes are also easier for me to feed them with my hay allergy.

The other nice thing about the Standlee products is that they are the same pound for pound for bales of hay. So a 40-lb bag of hay cubes is the same as a 40-lb bale of hay.

The compressed bales of straw are also good-quality. It makes beautiful nests and is so soft.
 

RabbitsOfTheCreek

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We gather up extra hay off of the ground after tractors cut our long grass into bales. They leave some on the ground and we pick it up and put it into big garbage bags to keep down stairs.
Some of the growing grass can be seen in my picture I think
<---
(And here's a few about maybe eight month old pictures of the outside cats)
 

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northernnevadahollandlops

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We are making our way through our first compressed bale from Standlee. Bunnies love it! But it does make a mess for sure. I have found hay cubes at a local feed and horse tack store for a pretty good price. I think they are great as it takes them a while to get through a cube and I'm sure it's doing great things to file their teeth. If I had the space to store a big bake, I'd for sure fo that route.
 
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Is compressed hay the same as those compressed blocks of hay? If it's what I have used, there is added molasses to help keep its form. My older rabbits pretty much ignored it, but kits and growouts were gaga over it. We just made sure not to overfeed because of the extra sugars in the molasses.
 

MuddyFarms

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The compressed bale of hay is just a regular bale that was pressed even tighter together. It takes up less space, but expands to normal bale-size when you cut the strings. The compressed blocks you used sound like hay cubes. I am using the ones that have alfalfa, timothy and some bentonite clay for holding it together.
 
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I find there is a lot of crumbly bits of shredded hay with the compressed bales, which makes them to be 'powdery' when pulling apart. But the compression is fantastic for storage. I think that regardless of farmer's bales or compressed bales from the feed store, either way you're going to have hay bits floating around your car f-o-r-e-v-e-r.
 
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The compressed bale of hay is just a regular bale that was pressed even tighter together. It takes up less space, but expands to normal bale-size when you cut the strings. The compressed blocks you used sound like hay cubes.

Hay cubes, that's the term. You're correct, those are what I have gotten. Thank you :)

Compressed hay sounds pretty interesting. I don't think I've seen any around here, but I also haven't looked. If the compressed hay expands to normal size, I'd probably not get them unless I get a normal sized bale (that would be able to fit into my small car) but expands to double size when I unload it into storage. But I'm also cheap so maybe I'd just make multiple trips for normal hay and deal with the mess -- have a beef farm not even five minutes away that sells me 3-string bales for $5 😁
 

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