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Mowing grass to make rabbit hay


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#1 Greasy6020 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 30, 2016 - 01:24 AM

I have access to tons of grass that sits idle... It kinda bothers me. I figure that I could make hay for rabbits out of it.

I would frost seed some clover into the grass. Let it grow until 6" tall. Mow the grass. Let it dry just like normal hay. Rake into windrows. Haul to an area I can bag it into shopping bags. Sell it for $10 a bag on kijiji...

Seems like easy money to do in my spare time along with the sweet corn growing...

Any opinions on this are welcome
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#2 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted January 30, 2016 - 08:20 AM

Shopping bags cannot be air tight or it will mold.  Will have to keep air around it or be completely packed and sealed.  Not sure that rabbits would eat dried grass but sure worth a try.



#3 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted January 30, 2016 - 09:54 AM

I would think alfalfa would be more desirable.
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#4 devans OFFLINE  

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Posted January 30, 2016 - 10:30 AM

I have a fiber farm consisting of alpacas and angora rabbits. I mostly feed 2nd cut hay and have numerous times taken a small hand full and given it to my rabbits, they eat it right up.

I'm not sure if anything else is done to it but chopped hay is tightly packed in heavy mill plastic bags and heat sealed. If they were stored outdoors they would mold up but so would baled hay. Kept indoors like baled hay normally is they would be fine.

I would suggest talking with rabbit breeders and finding out if there is anything a rabbit shouldn't eat concerning grasses, I know clover would be bad for the fiber on my alpacas.

I like your idea and hope it pans out for you.


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#5 James Bosma OFFLINE  

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Posted January 30, 2016 - 10:34 AM

You need to make a hay press like this to package your hay

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=ygRvui8eQL0


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#6 CanadianHobbyFarmer OFFLINE  

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Posted January 30, 2016 - 10:35 AM

I let the grass get to 6" or so and mow and let dry just like you are planning on, and my rabbits do eat it. I rake it into piles then stuff it into feed bags. The only thing that I see wrong with your plan is your pricing. A small square bale of good quality hay around here goes for about $5. Who is going to pay $10 for a shopping bag full?

 

Jim



#7 oldedeeres ONLINE  

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Posted January 30, 2016 - 12:15 PM

Our rabbits got alfalfa/brome grass hay, put up dry and baled, same stuff we feed cows and horses. They also got alfalfa pellets, but the hay kept them busy and provided variety. You have a good idea there IMO. If the hay comes out of road ditches it won't be of the same quality as field hay simply because of dust and pollutants from traffic. The more lush the grasses when you cut them, the better the nutrition and more palatable it is. We also found that bunnies like/need to chew on sticks and small branches to keep their teeth healthy. A small bundle of 6-12" green cut branches with nice bark, tied up neatly and marketed as treats could give you some revenue as well. Pet owners will buy most anything if it is nicely presented.
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#8 Greasy6020 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 30, 2016 - 05:51 PM

Shopping bags cannot be air tight or it will mold. Will have to keep air around it or be completely packed and sealed. Not sure that rabbits would eat dried grass but sure worth a try.


All the rabbits I've ever seen have either eaten hay or alfalfa cubes... It's gonna be dry hay just like what comes in bales only in bags.

The pet stores sell it for nearly as much. I think $5 a bag sounds better actually.

It's gonna be hay from an actual hay field. Grass and maybe some clover.

Edited by Greasy6020, January 30, 2016 - 05:58 PM.

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#9 637Yeoman OFFLINE  

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Posted January 30, 2016 - 07:32 PM

Shopping bags cannot be air tight or it will mold.  Will have to keep air around it or be completely packed and sealed.  Not sure that rabbits would eat dried grass but sure worth a try.

When we used to have rabbits we would throw in some cut grass and they seemed to like it.



#10 CanadianHobbyFarmer OFFLINE  

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Posted January 31, 2016 - 01:43 PM

I didn't mean to sound too negative about your idea. Old Deeres has a good point about presentation. A bunch of hay stuffed in a bag is fine, but if you could make it look like a mini hay bale tied up with butcher twine it would probably be more appealing to pet owners. Also if you have an independant pet store nearby (ie not petsmart or pet value) you might want to see if they would sell it for you, possibly on a consignment basis.  Call it "all natural locally grown hay". $5 per bag/bale is probably more realistic, let the shop owner add their markup on top of that.

 

Jim


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#11 Greasy6020 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 31, 2016 - 07:34 PM

I didn't mean to sound too negative about your idea. Old Deeres has a good point about presentation. A bunch of hay stuffed in a bag is fine, but if you could make it look like a mini hay bale tied up with butcher twine it would probably be more appealing to pet owners. Also if you have an independant pet store nearby (ie not petsmart or pet value) you might want to see if they would sell it for you, possibly on a consignment basis. Call it "all natural locally grown hay". $5 per bag/bale is probably more realistic, let the shop owner add their markup on top of that.

Jim

Looks like I'm building a mini press baler... Yah there is a local pet store. I could probably also see about the local feed stores too.

I didn't notice the negative just the logical...

Any ideas on the press baler?

Edited by Greasy6020, January 31, 2016 - 07:35 PM.

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#12 CanadianHobbyFarmer OFFLINE  

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Posted January 31, 2016 - 08:17 PM

The finished product in James Bosma's video is what I had in mind, but it seems like a bit of a slow process. I have an easier idea in mind. just a rectangular box, lay two strings over it lengthwise, pack it full of hay, then lay the strings back over the top. Throw a weight on top, snug up the strings and tie them. 

 

Jim


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#13 James Bosma OFFLINE  

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Posted January 31, 2016 - 08:30 PM

Heres a better hay press  I have wanted one for awhile but haven't built one yet

In the process of a 1/4 scale traction engine so hay press will have to come after

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=QRUPb7HBDN4


Edited by James Bosma, January 31, 2016 - 08:31 PM.

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#14 bbuckler OFFLINE  

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Posted January 31, 2016 - 09:32 PM

Heres a better hay press  I have wanted one for awhile but haven't built one yet

In the process of a 1/4 scale traction engine so hay press will have to come after

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=QRUPb7HBDN4

For $3,200 one can be bought http://www.minihaypress.com/page2.html


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#15 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted February 02, 2016 - 12:42 PM

Rabbits will eat about any hay you put in there, timothy is the most popular. Rabbits needs to chew a lot, helps keep there teeth ground down and hay also helps with digestion. I used to feed alfalfa/orchid grass cause that's what the big animals eat, but rabbits don't need the extra protein and calcium as they cannot properly digest excess calcium.


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