Saturday, December 17, 2016

So You Want to Get A Rabbit 6 - The Hay Panic Buying Episode

As you may have seen in my prior posts, I now have 3 full-grown bunnies and one 4-month baby. This means that the supply and demand dynamics have changed.

In the past I would have like a 2-3 month supply of hay. However, that includes some cheap Star Grass Hay that I got from a local supplier that was not enjoyed by my bunnies. So I’ve thrown the whole lot out. They were starting to smell moldy anyway.

Because I also have a space situation at home and I don’t want hay getting old, I had to manage down the supply a bit to perhaps 1-2 months. Over the past few months, I’ve shifted some of my supplies from Choppy Timothy Hay to Chipsi Meadow Hay because I had some bad stock of the Choppy. The difference is that Choppy came in 750G containers while Chispi came in 5KG containers.

I apologize for the long intro. It’s relevant.

So here’s what happened. My last Chipsi Meadow Hay smelled bad. Yikes. All of a sudden, I’m 5KG down for supplies. It also turns out that I was out of Kaytee Timothy and just had one small bag of Oxbow Western Timothy. Ethan, being a baby has been eating purely the Western Timothy. I’m still letting his gut get used to small amounts of different hay. Even worse, I had three small bags of Oxbow Oat Hay, which for some reason my rabbits have been ignoring (weird, since they used to love Oat Hay, ableit with different packaging).

So here I was with 4 bunnies, a low supply of the staple hay. Easy. Just buy new stocks. Chipsi Meadow Hay is out of stock. I’ve asked 3 different suppliers. OMG.

I immediately called my regular Star Grass Hay supplier and ordered 6 KG (not the tasteless one from above). Now, by bunnies love this fragrant, shredded hay, but it also has some negative impact on the poop. Their poop becomes rather black and on the wet side. It leads me to think it’s too rich to be used as staple. To compare, using Timothy or Meadow (or even Verselle Laga Natural Hay (but they also don’t enjoy this too much)) as staple makes their poop big, golden brown and very nicely shaped.

Luckily, I was able to swap my wet-smelling unusable Meadow Hay from the supplier with 4 bags of Choppy Timothy Hay. So both deliveries happened yesterday. All in all, I received about 9 KG of hay yesterday. Even then I’m not very confident of my supply. My bunnies will mow through that in a few weeks. In the days leading to this, my supply situation became so tense that my wife was volunteering to fly to HK to get hay there. I sort of suspect her motives though. :-)

The whole point my fellow bunny lovers in the Philippines, the hay supply situation in our country is not very stable since we don’t seem to have a very developed rabbit market. The irony of this is that none of the pet stores carry hay. Oh you will find some once in a while, but usually not in good quality.

Here’s the lesson: 1) Have multiple hay suppliers; 2) Get your rabbits used to different staple hay while you have time (so that their tummy doesn’t have to adjust when you do change supplies); 3) Have at least 2 months worth of hay stored. If you love your rabbit, you’ll find that my tip makes sense. Have fun!


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