Anyone who has ever perused the small animal aisle of a pet store knows that hay is good for chinchillas, guinea pigs, and rabbits. Problem is, the hay is not very fresh, there is usually a very limited selection and the bags are rather expensive for their size.
If you have the means to transport and then store a bale of hay in a dry, covered place, or if you can split it up among friends, you can pick one up at a feed store for not much more than the puny bagged, dried up and old pet store hay.
Your small furry friend will appreciate your effort because hay is not just good, but actually essential to their diet. A continual supply of hay acts as roughage to prevent intestinal blockages caused by grooming. This is especially important for long-haired animals and during shedding periods. Hay also provides rabbits with the enjoyment of chewing something close to their natural diet. This can cure boredom and keep their teeth down.
Grass hays like Timothy, Orchard, and Bermuda grass are high in fiber content and can really keep your little pal’s system healthy and moving.
Legume hays like Alfalfa are high in protein content and offer high nutritional value, but should be fed only to lactating and young animals and fed sparingly to adults as treats or mixed with grass or grain hays. Alfalfa can also be helpful in nursing back a sick animal or one that just won’t put/keep on weight.
When buying hay, make sure it is dry all the way through, dust free, and without weeds. Not only are feed stores supplied with varying qualities of hay, but some feed stores have the facilities to keep their hay in better conditions than others. Shop with a critical eye!
In the East Bay, bales of hay can be purchased at the following feed stores:
727 Industrial Parkway West, Hayward
Close Feed has a steady supply with nice variety, but some of the hay is kept outdoors. Inspect it carefully when you purchase, and if you find you have a moldy batch only after you get it home, let them know and they will replace it. Do not feed moldy hay to an animal!
710 E 14th Street, San Leandro
7100 Dublin Blvd, Dublin
Mike’s and Concord Feed will order hay if you call ahead as they don’t have an adequate storage facility and prefer to move it quickly.
3170 4th Street, Livermore
Livermore Feed has both supply and storage. Their hay is always top quality.
Depending on how many animals you have, a bale of hay will last for quite some time and is certainly worth the investment.