Cutting hay lose in half

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by moopups, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Hay, delivered freely on the bottom of the cages is a lose-lose situtation, most of it lands under the cages, to be transfered to the compost pile. By adding wire cylinders to stuff the hay within works for us. The wire is 2 by 3 inches, the 3 inch portion curved around a 3 inch PVC pipe equals a good sized circle, 6- 2 inch squares equals the height, plus the rabbits enjoy haveing something to play with whether full or empty. That is 15 inches round, clipped by 'J' clips, 12 inches tall, hand stuffed as full as I can make it. Got two 'Thank you' notes allready. :p And at $14.00 per bale this is a good savings.
     
  2. sheep tamer

    sheep tamer former HT member

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    We've found the same thing...and had to cut our losses, too.
    DH devised a more rectangular basket that we've attached
    to the outside of our cages...hay loads from the open top,
    plus I added metal screen on the bottom to catch finer pieces
    We cut away a couple openings on the actual cage towards
    the bottom of the hay basket so they can eat but not escape.

    I'm not very good at describing things...but we basically bent
    spare wire from cagemaking to make our hayracks after
    pricing readymade. BTW, how much does a $14 bale weigh?!
     

  3. smokie

    smokie Well-Known Member

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    cool idea on the hay tubes. $14 for a bale of hay??? is the a huge shortage?
     
  4. kisota

    kisota Active Member

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    Why don't you guy's go to the feed store and buy ALFALFA Cubes. They are $6.95 a 5olb sack, and are for horses, but they are little bales of alfalfa hay, about 3" by 2" and the rabbits love them, no mess, no waste, and they get all the fiber they need.

    Kisota
     
  5. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I have hay racks on the outside of the cages, and the rabbits pull the hay through. Timothy hay. I wish they made that in cubes, as the alfalfa is too rich for the angoras.

    Meg
     
  6. March Hare

    March Hare Well-Known Member

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    A similar idea we have used is to simply cut a toilet paper tube in half or in thirds and stuff it with hay. The bunnies can eat them without any ill effects, and it beats throwing them away....

    Russ
     
  7. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    The $14.00 per bales are imported here, thimothy does not grow well in Florida, the weight is about 60 pounds. The thimothy/alfala bales are $18.00 at the yuppy feed store/designer clothing outlet.

    And yes, I am aware that title word should have been 'loss', cannot edit titles yet.
     
  8. trixiwick

    trixiwick bunny slave

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    Wow, that's expensive hay, but great solution!

    Meg, they actually do make timmy cubes, but they're not easy to find. We have one feed store near us that carries them, plus I've found smaller suppliers on the web (depends on how much you need, I guess).
     
  9. markm240

    markm240 Well-Known Member

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    Moopups,
    Let me know how much someone will pay for Hay! I live in Maryland and am more then willing to drive loads to Florida for that kind of profit!!!! I buy My Timothy for $ 2.50 a bale and sale it to the horse people and my alfaha for $3.00 to $4.00 a bale depending on the time of year. Mark
     
  10. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    trixiwick,
    Thanks for the heads up! I'll ask my feedstore guy if he can find a source (and a price) on it! It would certainly save waste, and keep the worm beds from slowly filling with hay, rather than poop and worms!

    Meg
     
  11. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    Hey Mark-

    You'd better do some number crunching before you load your truck- DH and I take hay from Minnesota to Florida and so far it has not been a profit-making venture for us. Of course, you are much closer to Fl than we are and that will help a lot on the fuel costs, and maybe save on meals and hotels, but we definitely would lose money on the deal if that was our only reason for making the trip. It is worth it to us because we keep bees down there in the winter, so we can haul hay down and bring bees back- otherwise, we would not bother with it.

    Consider that you have to own a truck and trailer, you have to grow the hay, then load it on the trailer, drive down, find buyers, deliver and unload, then drive back home. It takes time- although for us, we have a buyer who will take up to 3 tons of hay at a time- we can't haul that much in one trip, but she takes what we bring, and then we have a few friends and acquaintences who have bought smaller quantities from us- but, if you have to deliver 10 bales here and 10 bales there, that takes a lot of time and fuel. Of course, you could sell direct to feed stores if you want to wholesale and just get rid of the entire load. Or, if you had time, you could park on the side of the road in an area where people keep horses and sell it right off the trailer- we would have done that if we had not had a good buyer lined up.

    You might ask over on the homesteading board- I know one of the posters over there does this with her husband- she could give you a good idea of their experiences. If you think you can make a profit- go for it- but just do a good cash flow analysis before you commit yourself. The high cost of fuel has really messed up some good marketing opportunities.
     
  12. markm240

    markm240 Well-Known Member

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  13. nehimama

    nehimama An Ozark Engineer Supporter

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    Many thanks, Moopups, for the timely and excellent post about saving hay! I'd known about these devices, but had never really applied myself to applying them for use in my rabbitry. I did like Sheep Tamer, and used scraps of cage building wire (I KNEW I was saving those scraps for something useful!)

    Mine are rectangular, with open tops, fit on the outside of the cage doors with j-clips. I snipped away some of the cross wires on the inside of the cage door itself so the rabbits can get at the hay in the rack (not TOO much snipped away, though. If it's too big of a hole, they just pull it all out, and it's like you never put up a hay rack. Gets all over the cage floors and underneath again.)

    I was able to cobble these together and attach them to the cages in one afternoon, and I am totally amazed at the savings in hay! The hay droppings on the floor beneath the cages used to be inches deep in only a matter of days. Now, there is barely ANY wasted hay under the cages. (There goes my garden mulch. . . . . .) :(


    Thanks again for the great tip.

    NeHi Mama
     
  14. backachersfarm

    backachersfarm Well-Known Member

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    I used to raise angora rabbits yrs ago. I fed them alfalfa cubes. They did fine on them. I don't think tha tstuff is 100% alfalfa. It only has to be a certain % to call it that.

    Sharon
     
  15. Tucker

    Tucker Well-Known Member

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    LOl Mama mm Naw you are looking at it the wrong way ,, inches less in hay scraps = less seeds sprouting ,,

    and the straw is still going to be there it is just now coming from the rabbits in pellet form
    :)
     
  16. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Now that these hay rings have been installed for a couple of weeks I am seeing an actual drop of about 90% of the previous waste. A bale a week is now down to about a bale every 6 weeks or so.
     
  17. Lena

    Lena Well-Known Member

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    how many alfalfa cubes do you think a 8 month old flemish giant would go through a day? :shrug:
     
  18. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Alfalfa cubes are very high in calcium, fine for growing stages, but could be too much for mature rabbits kidneys.
     
  19. Buffy in Dallas

    Buffy in Dallas Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Have y'all tried just putting a handfull of hay on top of the cages? That is what I have been doing. They just reach up and pull the hay down through the wire top. works pretty well for me.
     
  20. nehimama

    nehimama An Ozark Engineer Supporter

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    Walked up to the rabbitry the other morning, and my JRT alerted on something before I even got in the door. I knew right away I had an AWOL rabbit in there somewhere.

    Sure enough. One of the 6-week-old Checker/Californian bunnies was running around on the floor, having a great old time. I caught her, and returned her to the cage, then looked to find out just HOW she escaped.

    Yep. From inside the cage, she climbed into the hay rack, and exited through the top of the hayrack, and on to freedom. Found some left over bits of cage wire, and made the feeding hole much smaller. Also, I now keep the hay rack full to discourage any repeat attempts.

    NeHi Mama